The register_taxonomy accept array as the object type so I can link as many custom post types to a custom taxonomy. That is fine.

The issue is, the default taxonomy count is always zero with the default settings, so what should I set for the argument update_count_callback?

I've been thinking of this since, the taxonomy is linked to multiple post types, so the count is meaningful when I am viewing a particular post type.

So, what is the best way to handle custom taxonomy count if this taxonomy is linked to multiple custom post types?

  • If i understand you correctly, then on editing tax for cpt1 you need to see how many cpt1 are applyed to thet tax, and on cpt2 - how many cpt2 applyed - i think there's no way to do that ( only by js and ajax replacing it after page load ). I folowed all the code and didn't found any filter wich would help us to echo different values of posts_count for specific term. If it is what you need than use js to change the number of posts. For ex. you could count them by your sefl, add values to wp_localize_script and change them throught js. Jan 21, 2015 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


Ive run into things similar from time to time. What I've ended up doing when using custom post types and taxonomies is the following:

  • Setup a callback on init (before 10) to register taxonomies.
  • Setup another on init (before 10) to register post types.
  • Setup another on 10 to relate them, maybe later if working with other peoples custom taxonomies and post types and they are registering them at 10.

Doing so has almost always eliminated odd issues that I've run into with custom objects and the documentation on register_* functions in wordpress notes that you should definitely be registering them during init.

If you do not link them manually, you may or may not get proper talking back and forth between them ... and the update_callback_count is part of that talking back and forth, so I register all objects during init before 10 and then associate them all after (or on) 10.

add_action('init', do_create_taxonomies, 7);
function do_create_taxonomies() {
   # setup taxonomies as array of key => options arrays
   foreach ( $taxonomies as $slug => $options ) {
      register_taxonomy("{$slug}", null, "{$options}");

add_action('init', do_create_post_types, 8);
function do_create_post_types() {
   # setup post types as array of key => options arrays
   foreach ( $post_types as $slug => $options ) {
      register_post_type("{$slug}", "{$options}");

add_action('init', do_bind_post_types_to_taxonomies, 11);
function do_bind_post_types_to_taxonomies() {
   # setup relationships as Tax_slug => array( post_type_slugs )
   foreach ( $relationships as $tax_slug => $post_types ) {
      if ( is_array($post_types) ) {
         foreach ( $post_types as $post_type_slug ) {
            register_taxonomy_for_object_type( "{$tax_slug}", "{$post_type_slug}" );
      } else {
         register_taxonomy_for_object_type("{$tax_slug}", "{$post_types}");

That has solved all kinds of strange problems related to custom post types and taxonomies for me. If that doesn't do the trick, it might be worth digging into the source to see exactly how _update_post_term_count works ... and look at your relationships to see if maybe it is forcing _update_generic_term_count instead.

  • Can you explain what is the strange problem if you do not use the code above? And those problem can go away with the code above..I want to test it out..
    – Yoga
    Jan 19, 2015 at 7:57
  • Most of the problems that I've had with custom post types and taxonomies have had to do with not having everything linked up in the proper order. I've found that if I register my custom post types and taxonomies during init, but before 10 and then link them up on or after 10 (depending on whether I'm linking up with other peoples custom objects) then things tend to work very nicely. If you are not registering them during init, I'd start by registering both during init and see if things fix themselves.
    – Privateer
    Jan 19, 2015 at 15:44

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