I am using the following function to create a dropdown search form and populate it with the terms of a custom taxonomy called 'grades'. The dropdown works for searching, but I can't figure out how to add the selected class to the selected term. See the variable in my function below $SEARCHEDTERM -- how can I get that to equal the searched term?

function get_terms_grades_dropdown() {

    $myterms = get_terms('grades');
    $output = "";
    foreach ($myterms as $term) {     
        $term_taxonomy = $term->taxonomy;
        $term_slug = $term->slug;
        $term_name = $term->name;
        $value = $term->term_id;
        if ($SEARCHEDTERM == $term->slug) {
            $selected = "selected='selected'";
        } else {
            $selected = '';
        $output .= "<option value='" . $value . "' " . $selected . ">" . $term_name . "</option>";

    return $output;
  • Have you passed term name in URL as parameter or anything? Apr 21, 2015 at 4:01
  • No, there's nothing added to the URL.
    – LBF
    Apr 21, 2015 at 4:10
  • Ok, then may be you have passed through POST method. First get selected term ID from $_POST and find its slug. You can use this get_term_by. After that compare that slug like you are currently comparing. Apr 21, 2015 at 4:19
  • I did a var dump of $_POST and after I searched I got this: array(7) { ["action"]=> string(13) "search_events" ["category"]=> string(2) "-1" ["grade"]=> string(1) "7" ["centercat"]=> string(0) "" ["country"]=> string(1) "0" ["near_distance"]=> string(2) "25" ["near_unit"]=> string(2) "mi" }
    – LBF
    Apr 21, 2015 at 4:48
  • A var dump of $POST['grade'] = string(1) "7" -- how I can get that in a usable format for the comparison?
    – LBF
    Apr 21, 2015 at 4:51

1 Answer 1


To show dropdown with currently selected option, first you need to fetch current value. You can get that value from $_REQUEST variable. If you have grade variable then your current value is $_REQUEST['grade'].

Eg. if ($_REQUEST['grade'] == $term->slug)

Do not use REQUEST variable directly without sanitization. Use function like esc_attr. If you are sure that you need positive integer, you can use absint. May be.

$current_grade = esc_attr( $_REQUEST['grade'] );
if ($_REQUEST['grade'] == $term->slug)
  • Thank you. Can you tell me why I should use $_REQUEST['grade'] instead of $_POST['grade']?
    – LBF
    Apr 21, 2015 at 14:33

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