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I'm not entirely sure this is Wordpress' fault, but I figure I'd ask anyway and see if anyone else has experienced any problems like this before.

I'm trying to save an array to a wp_options table row. The data is coming from a custom metabox and is being saved when the save_post hook is triggered. I assumed this should do the trick:

update_option("myOptionName", $myArray);

I started getting 4(?!) of each value I saved. For instance:

$myArray = array("option1");
update_option("myOptionName", $myArray);
// array([0]=>"option1", [1]=>"option1", [2]=>"option1", [3]=>"option1");

Needless to say, this behavior is extremely annoying. It works perfectly well with strings, but never arrays. I've tried to get around this by trying json_encode to store it as a string-y entity, but even that isn't working. The problem could very well be the legacy code I've inherited by taking on this project, but I see nothing pointing to save_post.

Has anyone ever seen a situation like this before?

EDIT: As requested ... the save function:

function brick_update() {

// Verify if this is an auto save routine.
if ( defined( 'DOING_AUTOSAVE' ) && DOING_AUTOSAVE ) {

// Check permissions
if ( !current_user_can( 'publish_posts' ) ) { // Check for capabilities
    wp_die( 'Sorry, you do not have the capabilities access to this page. :(' );

if (!wp_verify_nonce($_REQUEST['brickupdate'], 'brickupdate')) {

$newView = array();
$currentView = get_option('ci_guidesbrick_posts');

if (!is_array($currentView)) {
    $currentView = (array)$currentView;

for (var i = 0, i < count($currentView), i++) {
    $newView[i] = $currentView[i];

$newView[] = $_REQUEST['postID'];

update_option('ci_guidesbrick_posts', $newView );   

share|improve this question

save_post is called multiple times while you edit a post (autosave). That's a common gotcha, but it'd be cool if you can post your function's code to see whats going on.

share|improve this answer
Edited my original comment to include it. – Akamaozu Aug 24 '12 at 12:34

Like MZAweb said it's (probably) the auto save.
You should edit your code that when the hooks triggers it checks for auto save:

add_action('save_post', 'my_save_post', 10, 2);
function my_save_post($post_id, $post) {
    // stop on autosave
    if ( defined( 'DOING_AUTOSAVE' ) && DOING_AUTOSAVE ){
    // do your magic
share|improve this answer
I have it in there. Autosave doesn't trigger this. It happens only when I get it to submit and it adds exactly 3 more of the current item being saved to the array. For example, first save results in: array([0]=>"option1", [1]=>"option1", [2]=>"option1", [3]=>"option1"); On save two: array([0]=>"option1", [1]=>"option1", [2]=>"option1", [3]=>"option1", [4]=>"option1", [5]=>"option1", [6]=>"option1", [7]=>"option1"); – Akamaozu Aug 24 '12 at 13:33
It appears that save_post action is triggered multiple times in Wordpress, according to wordpress.org/support/topic/save_post-called-repeatedly. I don't know how true that is, but it really explains the level of weirdness I'm experiencing ... – Akamaozu Aug 24 '12 at 16:03
you could prevent it with named array keys, it won't add them then – janw Aug 25 '12 at 7:02

As you recreate the whole array each time from reading it, I would just erase the option before creating it again :

$newView[] = $_REQUEST['postID'];
delete_option( 'ci_guidesbrick_posts' );
update_option('ci_guidesbrick_posts', $newView ); 
share|improve this answer

I had something similar going on when I tried to use the wp_editor() function while inside a custom metabox. It was wanting to save multiple times.

Take a look at this.

// SAVE Metabox for admin response
add_action('post_updated', 'display_jwl_wp_etickets_response_meta_box_save');
function display_jwl_wp_etickets_response_meta_box_save( $post_id ){

        if( defined( 'DOING_AUTOSAVE' ) && DOING_AUTOSAVE )
        if( !isset( $_POST['jwl_wp_etickets_editor_box_nonce_check'] ) || !wp_verify_nonce( $_POST['jwl_wp_etickets_editor_box_nonce_check'], 'jwl_wp_etickets_editor_box_nonce' ) )

        global $post;
        $post_type_object = get_post_type_object( $post->post_type );
        if ( !current_user_can( $post_type_object->cap->edit_post, $post->ID ) ) {

        //$values = get_post_custom( $post_id );

        $editor_id = 'jwl_wp_etickets_response_editor';
        $meta_key = 'jwl_wp_etickets_response_box_select';

        $content_post = get_post($post_id);
        $old_content = $content_post->post_content;

        if(isset($_POST[$editor_id]) && !empty($_POST[$editor_id])) {
                if ( !wp_is_post_revision( $post_id ) ){ //IMPORTANT - Can cause infinite loop otherwise : codex - wp_update_post  (see note a few lines down)

                        $new_content = '<div class="eMember_admin_div"><p class="eMember_adminname_response"><strong>Admin</strong> on <strong>'.date('F j, Y @ g:i a').'</strong> said:</p>'.$_POST[$editor_id].'</div>';

                        $update_content = array(
                                'ID'           => $post_id,
                                'post_content' => $new_content.$old_content
                        // IMPORTANT!!!!
                        //*****  Apparently the 'post_updated' action likes to fire on every WP process while saving the content.
                        //*****  Since we are also firing on 'wp_update_post'; we are getting stuck in a loop.
                        //*****  To get around, unhook the function before sending the revised content with 'wp_update_post'.
                        //*****  This will prevent clashes between 'post_updated' and 'wp_update_post" firing at the same time.
                        //*****  DAMN YOU WORDPRESS!!
                        // Unhook this function so it doesn't loop infinitely
                        remove_action('post_updated', 'display_jwl_wp_etickets_response_meta_box_save');

                                // Update the post, which calls save_post again
                                wp_update_post( $update_content );
                                // Let's check the 'ticket state', and if queued... let's update it to 'in progress'
                                $terms_types = wp_get_post_terms( $post->ID, 'jwl_wp_etickets_states');
                                foreach ($terms_types as $term_type) {
                                        if ($term_type == 'Queued' || !empty($term_type)) {
                                                wp_set_post_terms( $post_id, __('In Progress','wp_etickets_lang'), 'jwl_wp_etickets_states' );
                                // Do the same for post meta for cool admin filtering
                                update_post_meta( $post_id, 'jwl_wp_etickets_states_box_select', __('In Progress','wp_etickets_lang'), __('Queued','wp_etickets_lang') );

                        // Re-hook this function
                        add_action('post_updated', 'display_jwl_wp_etickets_response_meta_box_save');


Look at line #43. See how I had to remove_action the original function... run the update... and then add_action back again?

That may be what you need to do as well.

Here is a quick "example" code:

add_action('post_updated', 'my_metabox_save');
function my_metabox_save() {
    // Run checks

    // Unhook this function so it doesn't loop infinitely
    remove_action('post_updated', 'my_metabox_save');

    // Run your update stuff

    // Re-hook this function
    add_action('post_updated', 'my_metabox_save');
share|improve this answer
You might be on to something here! Unfortunately the code base where I experienced this problem is no longer my responsibility, so I'll set up a test to see if this solution works for me or not. Thanks for your reply! – Akamaozu Oct 24 '13 at 13:43
You're welcome! Yeah, I'd be interested to hear your results. – josh Oct 24 '13 at 16:20
Please don't use third party services to host code. Add it directly to your posts. Thank you :-) – Pieter Goosen Dec 7 '14 at 6:46

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