20

First of all, I know it's a duplicate, but none of the older answers were helpful.

I'm searching in posts through post_meta. Here's my code, which currently returns nothing.

$args   =   array(
    'numberposts'   => -1,
    'post_type'     => 'post',
    'meta_query'    => array(
        array(
            'key'       => 'system_power_supply',
            'value'     => array('single', 'redundant'),
            'compare'   => 'IN',
        )
    )

);

$query = new WP_Query($args);
echo $query->found_posts;

If I remove meta_query it works. I'm sure of these things:

  • There's no spelling mistake in the key or the value.
  • post type is post
  • There is a post with the value 'single' in 'system_power_supply'. However, post fields are generated by Advanced Custom Fields.
3
  • is system_power_supply serialized?
    – Howdy_McGee
    Apr 3, 2015 at 19:52
  • yes, it is. Here's the value in postmeta table a:1:{i:0;s:6:"single";}
    – Rizwan
    Apr 3, 2015 at 20:20
  • 2
    well that's your problem, meta query won't work on serialized data. if you search this site for querying serialized data you'll find some answers, but no method will be ideal.
    – Milo
    Apr 3, 2015 at 20:30

2 Answers 2

22

There's no easy way to search serialized values in a meta query. If the list of values isn't crazy long, potentially you could set up multiple meta queries:

'meta_query'    => array(
    'relation' => 'OR',
    array(
        'key'       => 'system_power_supply',
        'value'     => 'single',
        'compare'   => 'LIKE',
    ),
    array(
        'key'       => 'system_power_supply',
        'value'     => 'redundant',
        'compare'   => 'LIKE',
    )
)

Or if you wanted to get super fancy, you could set it up dynamically:

$values_to_search = array('single', 'redundant');
$meta_query = array('relation' => 'OR');
foreach ($values_to_search as $value) {
    $meta_query[] = array(
        'key'       => 'system_power_supply',
        'value'     => $value,
        'compare'   => 'LIKE',
    );
}
7
  • Thank you so much, bro. I can't tell you how big headache you've solved of mine.
    – Rizwan
    Apr 3, 2015 at 20:52
  • btw, why the meta_value containing serialized data if we're not able to query through meta_query ? Is this wordpress's bug?
    – Rizwan
    Apr 3, 2015 at 20:53
  • 4
    I'm a woman, not a "bro", but no problem. The meta_value contains serialized data because of the way Advanced Custom Fields saves the data. It's not ideal, for sure.
    – Jen
    Apr 6, 2015 at 15:38
  • 1
    haha, I apologize my lady. Second and third worked well, didn't try the first one.
    – Rizwan
    Apr 6, 2015 at 16:14
  • 2
    you can remove the first one, it doesn't work
    – Toskan
    Mar 12, 2016 at 22:13
6

I know it's been a long time, but just in case someone has the same issue. Well i've been pulling my hair for hours before i found the issue: 'meta_query' with 'IN' comparison operator doesn't seem to accept the usual array. instead, you need to join it first with ', '.

So, in your case, something like this should work :

$args   =   array(
'posts_per_page'   => -1,
'post_type'     => 'post',
'meta_query'    => array(
    array(
        'key'       => 'system_power_supply',
        'value'     => join(', ', array('single', 'redundant')),
        'compare'   => 'IN',
    )
)
);
$query = new WP_Query($args);
echo $query->found_posts;
1
  • In WP 5 you can just pass the array directly to the value key. If you implode it to a string you may get unexpected results in regards to how wp splits the string up into segments for the IN() part. Eg, 'this that', 'and', 'that' becomes 'this','that','and','that' - so seems to be better to just give it the array. May 3, 2019 at 9:43

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