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I need to redirect to the first child page in a hierarchical Custom Post Type. For the love of me I have scoured high and low, but all the solutions seem to involve applying a template to the parent that kicks off redirection.

I need to bypass the template and redirect to the first child with a nice, clean bit of code in functions.php. Can someone help?


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It is not clear what you want. A template will be used no matter what. I think maybe you want the template_redirect hook but I have no idea what conditions you need to match. – s_ha_dum Feb 18 '13 at 0:46
Ok, that was me being silly. Of course it will use a template as per Template Hierarchy. I have installed the redirect code inside the single-{custom-post-type}.php file and it works a treat. Thanks for your patience :-) – Jacob Feb 18 '13 at 4:58

I'm not sure how you define "first child" - alphabetically, by highest or lowest ID, etc., but if you can query for the child you want via WP_Query, then you can filter single_template to do the redirection based on whether the requested post has a parent or not:

function wpa87313_redirect_post_type( $template ){
    // if this isn't the right post type, return
    if( ! is_singular( 'my_post_type' ) )
        return $template;

    // if this post has a parent, return
    global $wp_query;
    if( 0 != $wp_query->post->post_parent )
        return $template;

    // query for the child of this parent
    // here's where you need to sort out what a first child is  
    $child = new WP_Query(
            'post_parent' => $wp_query->post->ID,
            'post_type'   => 'my_post_type',
            'posts_per_page' => 1,
            // orderby?
            // order?

    // if a child was found, redirect to it
    if( ! empty( $child->posts ) ){
        wp_redirect( get_permalink( $child->post->ID ) );

    return $template;

add_filter( 'single_template', 'wpa87313_redirect_post_type', 10, 1 );
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Thanks once again for the thorough response Milo! – Jacob Feb 18 '13 at 4:59
Pay attention to the single_template filter. From version 3.4 this filter is deprecated. codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Filter_Reference/single_template – Eugene Manuilov Feb 20 '13 at 5:59
well, the bizarre thing is, it's still a valid filter. codex says it's deprecated in favor of {$type}_template, which in the case of single.php, is... single_template. – Milo Feb 20 '13 at 6:05

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