I have created custom .php file that should show list of all posts that correspond to user's choice. I have 3 custom fields and 1 category condition. I've tried all the queries i could possibly find in wordpress codex database but nothing seems to work.

I've created 3 custom fields: a_field,a_fieldd,a_fielddd (and ofcourse i have posts with those fields already posted for the test) now I just want to show all of the posts with custom fields with specified values (user's choice) and only if those posts are inside the chosen category


I have a query (with just 1 value for test), which seems to be working, but sometimes takes 0,00002s someties up to 4 seconds. any suggestions? I know it would be better if I use wp_query but I found this way to be easier to modify. in this example i am trying to get the post with meta_key a_field with value "5"

SELECT wp_posts.ID FROM wp_posts 
INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_term_relationships.object_id)
INNER JOIN wp_postmeta ON (wp_posts.ID = wp_postmeta.post_id)
INNER JOIN wp_postmeta AS mt1 ON (wp_posts.ID = mt1.post_id)
INNER JOIN wp_postmeta AS mt2 ON (wp_posts.ID = mt2.post_id)
WHERE 1=1 AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' 
AND wp_posts.post_status = 'publish'
AND ( (wp_postmeta.meta_key = 'a_field' 
AND  find_in_set('5',wp_postmeta.meta_value)) ) 
GROUP BY wp_posts.ID ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 10  

any suggestions?

  • Are you using WP_Query for this?
    – Milo
    Jan 6, 2015 at 14:25
  • this is just a simple query to give an example, i am not using any method, just tried few of them and nothing seemed to work
    – Wordprez
    Jan 6, 2015 at 15:05
  • 1
    Posting the methods you have tried would help us to help you better.
    – cybmeta
    Jan 6, 2015 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


For multiple category handling you need either category__in or a tax_query, for multiple custom fields you use meta_query. The various options for both of these are covered in the WP_Query codex page.

$args = array(
    'posts_per_page' => 10,
    'category__in' => array( 163, 165 ),
    'meta_query' => array(
            'key' => 'a_field',
            'value' => array( 1, 2 ),
            'compare' => 'IN'
            'key' => 'a_fieldd',
            'value' => 3,
            'compare' => '='
            'key' => 'a_fielddd',
            'value' => array( 1, 3, 5 ),
            'compare' => 'IN'
$results = new WP_Query( $args );

if( $results->have_posts() ){
    while( $results->have_posts() ){
  • Well I get error "Warning: trim() expects parameter 1 to be string, array given in ....meta.php"
    – Wordprez
    Jan 6, 2015 at 19:38
  • sorry, the 2nd meta value should be a string not an array since you're doing an equality test.
    – Milo
    Jan 6, 2015 at 20:10
  • well now i get blank page (meaning no results maby?) and I am not always sure wether I am going to do just single = or an array, since that depends on the users, if their are going to chose 1,2,3 or just 1 or maby even no comparsion for that particular custom_field
    – Wordprez
    Jan 6, 2015 at 20:14
  • you have to loop over $results to output them, see edit above.
    – Milo
    Jan 6, 2015 at 20:25
  • Well nothing shows, there are no results found, I've tried with var_dump and it shows really long query which seems to return 0 rows. I will try to edit the fields(if I am missing any value) and will be back with the results.
    – Wordprez
    Jan 7, 2015 at 5:51

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