I would love some help on how I can best display the custom taxonomy of a post as text only (and not as link within an tag).

I have a small template file that is called by a few other pages, and the job of that template file is to render a citation for an article - here's the complete code:

<div class="ehp_citation_block">
   <h6><strong><?php the_category(' | '); ?></strong></h6>
   <span class="alignright"><?php the_terms( get_the_ID(), 'ehp_volumes' ); ?></span>
   <?php the_field('ehp_citation'); ?>

This portion of that php file:

<?php the_terms( get_the_ID(), 'ehp_volumes' ); ?>

Does its job in displaying the taxonomy - but it is wrapped in a hyperlink. Is there an attribute that will just return the text of taxonomy? Do I need to use a variable instead?

1 Answer 1


Use get_the_terms instead of the_terms.


Something like this should do the trick:

$terms = get_the_terms( get_the_ID(), 'ehp_volumes' );
$term_count = count( $terms );
if ( $term_count > 0 && ! wp_error( $terms ) ) {
  $terms = array_values( $terms ); // reset keys for easier looping. by default the key matches the term id
  for( $i = 0; $i <= $term_count; $i++ ) {
    $output.= $terms[$i]->name;
    $output.= ( $i < $term_count-1 ? ', ' : null ); // add commas between terms, but not to the last one
  echo $output;
  unset( $output );
unset( $terms, $term_count );

Below is an updated suggestion based on comments (need ability to order terms DESC). To accomplish this use wp_get_object_terms instead of get_the_terms since it accepts a third parameter allowing you to filter and order the results.

I actually like this one better - much simpler.

$terms = wp_get_object_terms(
    'orderby' => 'name',
    'order' => 'DESC',
    'fields' => 'names'
echo ( ! is_wp_error( $terms ) ? implode( ', ', $terms ) : 'null' );
unset( $terms );
  • Joey - thanks! Would that code go inside a php statement? I'm not sure how to implement your solution.
    – Hal Atkins
    Jun 11, 2014 at 17:46
  • I've updated the script on how to output the terms. This would replace what you have currently in span.alignright.
    – Joey Yax
    Jun 11, 2014 at 18:00
  • Awesome. Just put that in, and it is working. If you care to continue to lead me along on this problem, the solution you crafted creates another issue. The template file is being called ten times by the page (I'm using it to display a set of results), so it adds to the $terms variable every time. Can I null out the variable at the beginning?
    – Hal Atkins
    Jun 11, 2014 at 18:10
  • Ah, sounds like we need to clear the $term_count and $terms vars as you suspected. I've updated my original answer to reflect this.
    – Joey Yax
    Jun 11, 2014 at 18:20
  • Awesome! Really appreciate the help, Joey.
    – Hal Atkins
    Jun 11, 2014 at 19:34

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