I need to get the attachment (will be only one per post) associated to a post with meta_key wpcf-legislacion-gratis (not matter the value the column has) by using a custom query using get_posts() function. I've tried this two ways:

$nonActivePlan_args   = array(
    'order'           => 'desc',
    'meta_query'          => array(
                'key'     => 'wpcf-legislacion-gratis',
                'value'   => NULL,
                'compare' => '!='
    'post_status'         => 'inherit',
    'posts_per_page'      => 1,
    'post_type'   => 'attachment',
    'post_parent' => get_the_ID(),

$nonActivePlanAttachment = get_posts( $nonActivePlan_args );
if ($nonActivePlanAttachment) {
    foreach ($nonActivePlanAttachment as $attachment) { ?>
        <div class="legislacion-ico">
            <a class="pdf" href="<?php echo wp_get_attachment_url( $attachment->ID, true ); ?>">
                <img src="<?php echo get_template_directory_uri(); ?>/images/ico_descargas.png">
                Descargar PDF


Related to the one above I have this doubts:

  • How do I write the query for find the attachment with meta_key equal to wpcf-legislacion-gratis not matter what values it has?
  • Is the loop on this case the right one? Notice I'll only have one wpcf-legislacion-gratis per post so do I need to loop over the results? Shouldn't be just one?
  • If I'll get both attachment separated (as you will see in the query at the end of the post) should I execute wp_reset_postdata()?

I've tried also this code:

$nonActivePlan_args   = array(
    'order'             => 'desc',
    'meta_key'          => 'wpcf-legislacion-gratis',
    'post_status'       => 'inherit',
    'posts_per_page'    => 1,
    'post_type'         => 'attachment',
    'post_parent'       => get_the_ID(),

But is not working meaning I don't get any value from DB. This is the result of query I've executed on the MySQL command line:

SELECT * FROM `wp_postmeta` where post_id='11839';
| meta_id | post_id | meta_key                | meta_value                                                                        |
|   22149 |   11839 | wpcf-legislacion-gratis | http://jurisprudencia.dev/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/modelodatos.pdf              |
|   22150 |   11839 | wpcf-legislacion-pagada | http://jurisprudencia.dev/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/AtencionUsuario_version1.pdf |

I have also checked docs here and here but didn't found any helpful to me.

How do I get the attachment? Any help or advice?

  • Is this on a single post page – Pieter Goosen Mar 6 '15 at 5:26
  • @PieterGoosen Yes, it's in a single-legislacion.php – ReynierPM Mar 6 '15 at 5:29
  • Any reason why you are running a custom query instead of using get_post_meta() – Pieter Goosen Mar 6 '15 at 5:31
  • @PieterGoosen not at all, can you provide an example? How to get the same but using get_post_meta() instead? – ReynierPM Mar 6 '15 at 5:34

I think what you are after is get_post_meta() and not a custom query.


  • The results from custom fields are cached and extremely streamline when it cone to performance. You can read this answer I have done recently which will explain everything

  • You are trying to get the custom field attached to a post only in a single post page. This is what get_post_meta() was designed for

You can replace all your code with something like this: (Modified from the codex)

$key_1_value = get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'wpcf-legislacion-gratis', true ); 
// check if the custom field has a value 
if( ! empty( $key_1_value ) ) { 
    echo $key_1_value; 


If you need to get the custom field value outside the loop like in a sidebar or function, you need to replace get_the_ID() with get_queried_object_id()

$key_1_value = get_post_meta( get_queried_object_id(), 'wpcf-legislacion-gratis', true ); 
// check if the custom field has a value 
if( ! empty( $key_1_value ) ) { 
    echo $key_1_value; 
  • Ups, Pieter my bad I just notice that is not in a single, it's in a sidebar-legislacion.php, I think in this environment your code will not works, I forgot to mention that on the main post, any advice taking this mistake from me into account? – ReynierPM Mar 6 '15 at 6:02
  • Ok, just to be clear then, you need to get the custom field value of the post on a single post page in the sidebar of the single page – Pieter Goosen Mar 6 '15 at 6:09
  • See my update on usage outside the loop – Pieter Goosen Mar 6 '15 at 6:26

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