I am using the User Submitted Posts plugin which I love. The only problem with this plugin is that it does not check for duplicate post titles and outputs a post with the same title, even if it already exists.

So I want to know: how can I check if someone clicks on the submit button, if a post with the same title exists and give them a 404 error? Is this even possible?

PS: it would be even better that if the post with the same title exists, the submitted would be a comment beneath that post, but I guess that's utopia.

I already tried

    if (is_null(get_page_by_title( $content['title'], OBJECT, 'post'))) {

// Do your stuff in this case (no post with the same title)


else {

// Do not create post



var titleArray = $('.row-title');
for (i=0;i<titleArray.length;i++) {
        var thisTitle = $(titleArray[i]).text();
        for (j=0;j<titleArray.length;j++) {
            if (thisTitle == $(titleArray[j]).text() && i < j ){
                $('input',$(titleArray[j]).parent().parent().parent()).attr('checked', true);

But it did not do what I wanted.

  • 1
    Please explain what you have tried already.
    – fuxia
    Jun 15, 2013 at 15:37
  • Do you want to do that without changing the plugin files or you can deal with manual plugin updates? Avoiding to change the plugin files would make things a bit more tricky, but it's still not impossible. Jun 15, 2013 at 16:07
  • Well, any way would to actually Jun 15, 2013 at 16:39
  • Please post the plugin code that inserts the posts.
    – s_ha_dum
    Jun 16, 2013 at 13:35

2 Answers 2


Here's a sample code to get you started - basically it intercepts the creation of a new post by the user-submitted posts plugin(well at least it tries to, but in general there shouldn't be any other posts created during that request). If a post with that name already exists, we add the content as a comment to that post and redirect to the comment's URL, otherwise everything else is left up to the plugin itself.

// Hook to the "wp_insert_post_empty_content" filter, since that is the only place
// we can intercept the creation of a new post and not let it be created
add_filter( 'wp_insert_post_empty_content', 'intercept_user_submitted_post', 10, 2 );
function intercept_user_submitted_post( $maybe_empty, $post_data ) {
    if ( isset( $_POST['user-submitted-post'] ) && ! empty( $_POST['user-submitted-post'] ) ) {
        $target_post = get_page_by_title( $post_data['post_title'], OBJECT, 'post' );

        // We found an existing post!
        if ( $target_post && $target_post->ID ) {
            global $usp_options;

            if ( stripslashes( $_POST['user-submitted-name'] ) && ! empty( $_POST['user-submitted-name'] ) ) {
                $author_submit = stripslashes( $_POST['user-submitted-name'] );
                $author_info = get_user_by( 'login', $author_submit );

                if ( $author_info ) {
                    $authorID = $author_info->ID;
                    $authorName = $author_submit;
                    $authorEmail = $author_info->user_email;
                } else {
                    $authorID = $usp_options['author'];
                    $authorName = $author_submit;
                    $user_data = get_userdata( intval( $authorID ) );
                    $authorEmail = '';
            } else {
                $authorID = $usp_options['author'];
                $authorName = get_the_author_meta( 'display_name', $authorID );
                $user_data = get_userdata( intval( $authorID ) );
                $authorEmail = $user_data->user_email;
            $authorUrl = stripslashes( $_POST['user-submitted-url'] );

            $time = current_time('mysql');
            $data = array(
                'comment_post_ID' => $target_post->ID,
                'comment_author' => $authorName,
                'comment_author_email' => $authorEmail,
                'comment_author_url' => $authorUrl,
                'comment_content' => $post_data['post_content'],
                'comment_type' => '',
                'comment_parent' => 0,
                'user_id' => $authorID,
                'comment_author_IP' => preg_replace( '/[^0-9a-fA-F:., ]/', '',$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] ),
                'comment_agent' => isset( $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'] ) ? substr( $_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 0, 254 ) : '',
                'comment_date' => $time,
                'comment_approved' => 1,

            $comment_id = wp_insert_comment( $data );

            // Redirect to the comment URL
            wp_redirect( get_comment_link( $comment_id ) );

    return $maybe_empty;

Place that code in your theme's functions.php and that should be all.

PS: There's more room for improvement in that code, like displaying a message when the user is redirected, or adding the photos to the comment as well, but I'll leave that up to you. I think the above code is a good place to start from.

  • 1
    Haha damn, you are truly wonderful. Thank you very very much Nikola! It works like a charm! PS: yes, it is very frustrating that I can't see the post if I submit it, but I will check on that from here. Thanks again! Jun 16, 2013 at 21:30

I am using this solution to check duplicate post title.

$page_check = get_page_by_title($content['title'],OBJECT,'post');
   //do something when post not exits
    // give a error or something
  • Hi, thank you Vikas. Where do I have to put it? In the plugin files or functions.php? Both did not work... Jun 16, 2013 at 9:09
  • you should add this in plugin where you are submitting post and make sure you have post field title in the form. Jun 17, 2013 at 9:57
  • Thanks for your help and time Vikas, I gave you a upvote for your efforts. Jun 17, 2013 at 10:28

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