I want to query my posts and only return one post from a custom taxonomy. Is this possible?

Here is an example:

I have a custom taxonomy called Author. I have 200 posts with various authors. I want to query and display 6 posts, but I don't want the same author ever repeated within the query. This is my query below. Thanks!

<?php $args = array('posts_per_page' => 6, 'orderby' => 'rand');
                $taximg_loop = new WP_Query( $args );
                while ( $taximg_loop->have_posts() ) : $taximg_loop->the_post();?>
<?php endwhile; ?>
            <?php wp_reset_postdata(); ?>

1 Answer 1


I think that using standard WP_Query you should run 6 different loops, but this is overwhelming. But using a custom $wpdb query you can do the trick...

function get_unique_posts_tax( $taxonomy = 'category', $number = 10, $cpt = 'post') {
  global $wpdb;
  return $wpdb->get_results( $wpdb->prepare(
    "SELECT p.* FROM $wpdb->term_relationships
    JOIN $wpdb->term_taxonomy AS tt 
    ON tt.term_taxonomy_id = $wpdb->term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id
    JOIN $wpdb->posts AS p ON p.ID = $wpdb->term_relationships.object_id
    WHERE tt.taxonomy = %s
    AND p.post_type = %s AND p.post_status = 'publish'
    GROUP BY $wpdb->term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id
    ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT %d", $taxonomy, $cpt, $number
  ) );

Put this function in functions.php after that, you can

$loop = get_unique_posts_tax( 'author', 6 );

if ( ! empty($loop) ) {
  global $post;
  foreach ( $loop as $post ) {

    // Here goes your loop content...
    echo '<p>' . get_the_title() . '</p>';

  • This seems to work perfectly! Wish I knew why, but I'm happy it works:)
    – Jacob
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 16:46
  • @Jacob to understand the fucntion you need some SQL knowledge... I can say that the query get post from database assuring every post has a different taxonomy term. This is done via GROUP BY $wpdb->term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id. To explain how all the query works I should write some page, not an answer ;) Howerver, I'm happy it works, too.
    – gmazzap
    Commented Oct 27, 2013 at 16:59

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