I have a list of magazines I need to categorize and sort. I have created a custom post type and registered a custom taxonomy to organize them.

Category Structure: Print Magazines (parent category)

  • Animals (child category)
    • Dog (magazine)
    • Cat (magazine)
    • Bird (magazine)
  • Sports (child category)
    • Baseball (magazine)
    • Football (magazine)
    • Soccer (magazine)

I need to query the print-magazine category and create a list of print magazine categories [animals, sports, tech, ...]. Each child category will use the first magazines cover image as the child categories thumbnail. That thumbnail will link to a page that lists all magazines for that category. That page will link to individual magazine pages.

I can query and get all magazines in the parent category (print-magazines), but am wondering how to return only the first magazine post info per child category or loop through the results of the query to sort it myself how I see fit.

This is my tax query.

$args = array(
    'post_type' => 'magazine',
    'post_status' => 'publish',
    'posts_per_page' => -1,
    'tax_query' => array(
            'taxonomy' => 'magazine-category',
            'field' => 'slug',
            'terms' => 'print-magazines'

$the_query = new WP_Query( $args );

while ( $the_query->have_posts() ) : $the_query->the_post();
    $image = get_field('magazine_thumbnail');
    if( !empty($image) ) {
        // render result to page

1 Answer 1


Set 'posts_per_page' to 1 on your args variable. I also suggest that you add 'page-attributes' while registering the magazine's post type and order the result by 'menu_order'. This way, you will have the field Order while editing a magazine, and set the highest which should appear on this query.

  • If I set 'posts_per_page' to 1 I only get one post returned for all print-magazines. What I need is one post returned for all children of print-magazines. Also 'page-attributes' has a warning about memory issues with posts over 100. I expect I may have at least this many posts.
    – WithAnEs
    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:58
  • Why not query the children category then, instead the parent one? Jun 24, 2015 at 13:03
  • That was one avenue I was going down also. Get a list of child category id's and query those so I can limit to 1 per child category. Wasn't able to figure it out.
    – WithAnEs
    Jun 24, 2015 at 13:08

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