Problem Summary:

I am trying to write a SQL query that returns only my custom taxonomy terms, but the table (wp_terms) contains all of the terms, even ones that I don't want (such as category terms, and nav_menu terms).

This is my present query:

function myajax_inputtitleSubmit_func() {
global $wpdb;
global $customTerms;

$acInput = $_GET['input'];
$mydb = new wpdb('','','','');//commented out on purpose
// check nonce
$nonce = $_GET['nextNonce'];    
if ( ! wp_verify_nonce( $nonce, 'myajax-next-nonce' ) )
    die ( 'Busted!');

//$custTermQuery = "SELECT slug FROM wp_47_terms";
$custTermQuery = "SELECT slug FROM wp_47_terms WHERE slug LIKE '%" . $acInput . "%'";

$customTerms = $wpdb->get_results($custTermQuery); 

// generate the response
//$response = json_encode( $_GET );
$response2 = json_encode( $customTerms );
$acInput_encoded = json_encode( $acInput );

// response output
header( "Content-Type: application/json" );
//echo $response;
echo ($response2);
//echo ($acInput_encoded);

// IMPORTANT: don't forget to "exit"


This is my table wp_47_term_taxonomy:

This is my table wp_47_term_taxonomy:

  • As you can see, my query gets all slugs even things like footer1, utility-links, and uncategorized. I don't want that. I only want the slugs that are part of my custom taxonomy wcmc_keywords.

This is my table wp_47_terms:


  • I believe this table can be used somehow in a query to only show slugs with the taxonomy wcmc_keywords. This table shows association between 'Taxonomy' and 'term_id'.


I am trying to use WordPress tables and SQL queries to obtain only the slugs of my custom taxonomy. Unfortunately, I am new at SQL queries, and even though I feel like I am on the right track, I would please like some help understanding what changes I need to make to my query.

  • Why SQL? get_terms() will do this.
    – s_ha_dum
    May 22, 2014 at 18:09
  • Hello, sorry I needed to update my posting because I actually put in the wrong query on accident. I am not particularly opposed to get_terms(), however as you should be able to notice from the updates, I am using the terms as part of jquery autocomplete. WPDB works well for this because I can do things like %" . $acInput . "%, which returns data according to matching user input in realtime. Perhaps that is possible with get_terms(), if so, I was unaware. Thanks! May 22, 2014 at 18:17

1 Answer 1


If you take a look at get_terms() documentation it accepts search argument, which will perform LIKE match against term name and slug.

  • Thanks that will probably be really helpful, I would like to try it out some time. At this point, I am still curious about how to achieve my goal with SQL, even though get_terms() could be much more elegant. I am grateful. May 22, 2014 at 18:48

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