I have a custom content type called cards.

I have 3 custom meta fields called:

my_cards_activity (select field type; options 0 and 1)

my_cards_user (select type; many options)

my_cards_datetime (text field type; yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm format)

When I press SAVE button I want to get the value of the my_cards_activity field (value can be 0 or 1) and if the value is 0 then change my_cards_datetime and my_cards_user to empty value and only after the change save it all. If it is 1 then do nothing.

How to do such before save thing? How should my code in functions.php look like?

  • 1
    Use the hook save_post see here for a ton of examples and put an if inside the function that do the save.
    – gmazzap
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 11:29
  • @G.M. How do I limit custom save_post function only for a certain content type? In my case cards?
    – Derfder
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 11:38
  • @G.M. Should I use add_filter ? Could you provide an example, please?
    – Derfder
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 11:39

1 Answer 1


Use the hook save_post and put an if inside the function that do the save after the 'normal' save meta fields routine.

add_action( 'save_post', 'this_is_the_function_name' ); 

function this_is_the_function_name( $post_id ) { 

    // No auto saves 
    if( defined( 'DOING_AUTOSAVE' ) && DOING_AUTOSAVE ) return; 

    // make sure the current user can edit the post 
    if( ! current_user_can( 'edit_post' ) ) return;

    // assure the post type
    if ( ! get_post_type($post_id) == 'cards' ) return;

    // assure the data are sended by the form
    if (
       ! isset($_POST['my_cards_activity']) ||
       ! isset($_POST['my_cards_datetime']) || ! isset('my_cards_user')
    ) return;

    $activity = $_POST['my_cards_activity'];

    // and now the simply logic
    if ( $activity == 1 ) {
        $datetime = $_POST['my_cards_datetime'];
        $user = $_POST['my_cards_user'];
    } else {
        $datetime = '';
        $user = '';    

    // save data as array
    $meta_data = compact("activity", "datetime", "user");
    update_post_meta($post_id, 'card_data', $meta_data);

    // if you want can save data as 3 different meta fields in this case
    // delete the previous 2 lines and uncommente the following
    // update_post_meta($post_id, 'card_activity', $activity);
    // update_post_meta($post_id, 'datetime', $datetime);
    // update_post_meta($post_id, 'user', $user);        


If in your metabox have you setted a nonce field check for it before save.

See Codex for:

  • Hm for some reason everything works, except the update_post_meta() function. I have tried to save/upadet only one field update_post_meta($post_id, 'datetime', $datetime); to eliminate errors. But still it seems not be working. Do you know can I var_dump all the meta fields of a content type?
    – Derfder
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 13:44
  • Function is correct. Maybe you have to chack the name of the inputs <input name="LOOK HERE" and see if they are equal to what is inside $_POST['LOOK HERE']. For var_dump, just var_dump($var); and then wp_die(); to stop execution and let you read.
    – gmazzap
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 15:06
  • no if i print_r and die every variable before update_post_meta it shows everything correct, the 0 and 1 and the if condition too. The problem is that it's not saved for some reason ;(. $post_id is correct too. The only problem could be in the name of my metabox.
    – Derfder
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 16:10
  • OK, thanks. It's working except for the datetime field, but that's the problem of a meta box plugin I am using wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/111248/…
    – Derfder
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 21:12

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