I have a custom post type, service-provider, with two taxonomies, area and service. I wanted to make a template based on the taxonomies.

function template_taxonomy($template) {
    if (is_archive()) {
        if ((is_tax('service') and is_tax('area')) or is_tax('service')) {
            $template = locate_template( array( 'taxonomy_service.php' ) );
        } else if (is_tax('area') and !(is_tax('service'))) {
            $template = locate_template( array( 'taxonomy_area.php' ) );
    return $template;

The code is pretty simple but my problem is, when I try to visit this URL


the service taxonomy doesn't seem to exist, so it uses the taxonomy_area.php template. Also tried just using the taxonomy_service.php template and it seems like the area taxonomy doesn't exist on that template either.

Any ideas?

  • That template is going to be used to display the taxonomy archive or a post? When and where do you call the function in the code you have posted? Also, the URL you have posted is wrong, notice that the service-provider query string has no value. – cybmeta May 26 '14 at 18:55
  • Also, take a look to template_inlude entry in the codex, you can create a template file for each taxonomy, with the name taxonomy-$taxonomy-slug.php, and Wordpress will load it automatially. – cybmeta May 26 '14 at 19:04
  • I do use template_include. It's in functions.php of a child theme. I need to to display it in the archives. – xporj May 27 '14 at 1:52
  • And I'm not sure about the URL being wrong. It displays what I want to display, just using the wrong template. – xporj May 27 '14 at 2:25
  • If the URL is giving you what you want maybe you don't need to have service-provider in the URL because that query string has no value in the URL you posted. Anyway, I ask you again: What do you want in that page? A list of post of "service-provider" type that belongs to service=electricians & area=north-shore-lower? A single post? Anything else? – cybmeta May 27 '14 at 7:12

If you are trying to display a list of post that belongs to two or more taxonomy terms, you are using the wrong URL. If your are usgin pretty permalinks, it should be:


If you are not using pretty permalinks, it should be:


Anyway, you are expected to be in multitax archive page and you can't check it with is_tax(), a function intended to check for single taxonomy archive. You can use some alternatives, like checking the actual $wp_query object:

add_filter('template_include', 'wpse_multietax_template');
function wpse_multietax_template( $template ){

    global $wp_query;

    if( (isset($wp_query->query_vars['service']) && isset($wp_query->query_vars['area'])) || isset($wp_query->query_vars['service']) ) {
         $template = locate_template( array( 'taxonomy_service.php' ) );
    } else if ( isset($wp_query->query_vars['area']) && !isset($wp_query->query_vars['service']) ) {
         $template = locate_template( array( 'taxonomy_area.php' ) );

    return $template;
  • I tried both URL's because I'm desperate. The first URL gave me a 404 error. The second one still uses the template for the area taxonomy. – xporj May 27 '14 at 8:12
  • Please, see edited answer. – cybmeta May 27 '14 at 14:57
  • Thanks, it works now but I have another problem. So in the template taxonomy_service.php I want to access the terms of each of the taxonomies. I tried using get_term_by('slug', get_query_var('term'), 'service'); but that only seems to work on one taxonomy, namely area, just like my recent problem. – xporj May 27 '14 at 16:13
  • Thats another question. Anyway, get_query_var('term') will try to get the queried term within a taxonomy called "term" but you haven't queried for post in a taxonomy called "term", isn't it? You must use get_query_var('service'), get_query_var('area') or whatever taxonomy name you have queried. See get_term_by() and get_query_var() docs for more info. – cybmeta May 27 '14 at 16:30
  • Thank you very much for your answers. I got it working now. :D – xporj May 27 '14 at 16:55

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