For example, there are the tags {foo, bar, chocolate, mango, hammock, leaf}

I would like to find all posts with at least 3 of these tags.

A post with tags {foo, mango, vannilla, nuts, leaf} will match it because it has {foo, mango, leaf} - so at least 3 tags from the needed set of tags.

Therefore it would be in the list of the matched posts.

Is there a simple way to do that, without doing multiple loops through all the posts ?


3 Answers 3


The answer below is simplified, and could be extended to check if any posts have 3 matching tags before outputting the list. Using one query and assuming you have at least one post with 3 matching tags:

//List of tag slugs
$tags = array('foo', 'bar', 'chocolate', 'mango', 'hammock', 'leaf');

$args = array(
    'tag_slug__in' => $tags
    //Add other arguments here

// This query contains posts with at least one matching tag
$tagged_posts = new WP_Query($args);

echo '<ul>';
while ( $tagged_posts->have_posts() ) : $tagged_posts->the_post();
   // Check each single post for up to 3 matching tags and output <li>
   $tag_count = 0;
   $tag_min_match = 3;
   foreach ( $tags as $tag ) {
      if ( has_tag( $tag ) && $tag_count < $tag_min_match ) {
         $tag_count ++;
   if ($tag_count == $tag_min_match) {
      //Echo list style here
      echo '<li><a href="'. get_permalink() .'" title="'. get_the_title() .'">'. get_the_title() .'</a></li>';
echo '</ul>';

EDIT: Adjusting the variable $tag_min_match will set the number of matches.


Here's one way to do it:

Given a set of 5 tags, {a, b, c, d, e}:

1) In PHP, generate all the possible subsets containing 3 elements, without repetition:

{a, b, c}
{a, b, d}
{a, b, e}
{a, c, d}
{a, c, e}
{b, c, d}
{b, c, e}
{c, d, e}

2) Convert those subsets into a massive taxonomy query:

$q = new WP_Query( array(
  'tax_query' => array(
    'relation' => 'OR',
      'terms' => array( 'a', 'b', 'c' ),
      'field' => 'slug',
      'operator' => 'AND'
      'terms' => array( 'a', 'b', 'd' ),
      'field' => 'slug',
      'operator' => 'AND'
) );

The approach of sprclldr is the one I used. As for the while loop, here is what I used instead :

$relatedPosts = $tagged_posts->posts;
$indexForSort = array();

for ($i = count($relatedPosts) - 1; $i >= 0; $i--) {
  $relatedPostTags = get_tags($relatedPosts[$i]->ID);
  //get the ids of each related post
  $relatedPostTags = $this->my_array_column($relatedPostTags, 'term_id');
  $relatedPostTagsInPostTag = array_intersect($tags, $relatedPostTags);
  $indexForSort[$i] = count($relatedPostTagsInPostTag);

//sort by popularity, using indexForSort
array_multisort($indexForSort, $relatedPosts, SORT_DESC);

I then take the top posts :

$a_relatedPosts = array_slice($relatedPosts, 0, $this->numberRelatedPosts);

my_array_column is a similar function than the PHP 5,5's array_column :

  protected function my_array_column($array, $column) {
    if (is_array($array) && !empty($array)) {
      foreach ($array as &$value) {
        //it also get the object's attribute, not only array's values
        $value = is_object($value) ? $value->$column : $value[$column];
      return $array;
      return array();

It doesn't answer the initial question (but it resolves my root problem), as : if there is no related posts with 3 common tags, then this will all the same give some posts.


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