Certain posts of mine will have the custom field release_author in them - others don't. If that field exists, I want to display that in the header.php's title (not in the h1 of the post itself.

Right now this is the PHP that displays my title from the header.php file:

<title><?php wp_title( '|', true, 'right' ); ?></title>

So right now this is what it would display:

Random Title Name

This is what I want it to display:

Random Title Name (Author Name)

Does anyone know how to do this? I found a ton of tutorials similar to it, but they are all for modifying the title on the page itself, not for altering what shows up in the header...

  • Do you use add_theme_support('title-tag') or hardcode it?
    – wpclevel
    Apr 21, 2016 at 3:46
  • @Dan It's hardcoded at the moment - the title tag is the code snippet above :) I've added an answer to convert it to the new way of doing things, though.
    – Tim Malone
    Apr 21, 2016 at 4:01
  • How did you go with this, user92726?
    – Tim Malone
    Jul 6, 2016 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


What you're looking for are the filters that let you modify the page title. There is a new way of doing this since Wordpress 4.4, so I'm going to focus on that. If you happen to be using a version prior to 4.4 and you can't update, the alternative is the wp_title filter (not to be confused with the wp_title() function), which I can elaborate on if you'd like.

So, the filter you are after (for WP 4.4+) is called document_title_parts.

To use this, you want to open your theme's functions.php file and place in the following:

add_filter("document_title_parts", "wpse_224340_document_title");

function wpse_224340_document_title($title){
    global $post; // make sure the post object is available to us
    if(is_singular()){ // check we're on a single post
        $release_author = get_post_meta(get_the_ID(), "release_author", true);
        if($release_author != ""){ $title["title"].= " (" . $release_author. ")"; }
    return $title;

You'll also need to remove that <title></title> tag that you found in your header.php, and add the following code to your functions.php as well:

add_filter("after_setup_theme", function(){ add_theme_support("title-tag"); });

This is telling Wordpress that it's safe to add its own <title> tag, which you're then modifying with the document_title_parts filter above.

EDIT: As this is a fairly new change to Wordpress, if you're interested in the background behind it or you want to know why it's best not to use wp_title anymore, you can see this blog post.

  • 2
    It will add blank () to every title. You should also check is_singular() as well.
    – Sumit
    Apr 21, 2016 at 7:29
  • 1
    Thanks for pointing that out @Sumit - I've edited the post :) Feel free to add any other enhancements you have.
    – Tim Malone
    Apr 22, 2016 at 2:47
  • Haha oops, thx for that syntax error fix too @Sumit!
    – Tim Malone
    Apr 22, 2016 at 4:45

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