How can I return taxonomy terms within post data, from the same query.

Currently I'm calling get_posts / wp_query and then looping over and calling wp_get_post_terms. Needless to say it thrashes the database and results in far too many queries.

For context, I'm listing all WooCommerce products ('product' post type) and then adding in 'designer' taxonomy terms.

Is this possible with any of the built in functions?

1 Answer 1


You should be using get_the_terms(). wp_get_post_terms() queries the db to get post term info, where as get_the_terms() returns the post term objects directly from the post term cache and only queries the db if that info is not available.

By default, all post's terms are cached by the query being executed.


I cannot comment (crappy mobile), but there is no native way to return post objects with their respective post terms and meta data in one single object. However, when any instance of WP_Query is executed either through the main query, query_posts(), get_posts() or a new instance of WP_Query, by default, WP_Query returns all relative post terms and post meta belonging to the posts in the $posts property of the query object.

These post terms and post meta are however not returned as part of the post object, those data are directly stored into their relative caches, namely the post term cache and the post meta cache, and they remain there until queried, in the case of post terms, via functions like get_the_terms(). These caches are set up in order to avoid extra db calls being made to return a post/posts term and/or meta data. What that means is, whether you make 1 or a 1000 calls to get_the_terms(), you would still have made zero db calls.

So to conclude, when you think you are making extra db calls to return post term data, you are in fact not making any db calls at all, all post term data is returned from the term cache

  • Thanks, that does indeed in reduce the query count once the cache is warmed up. Was still interested in a one query approach, as there are 100 products, so it's still a slow start, do you think that is possible? May 23, 2016 at 17:57
  • Any feedback on this yet, I hope you saw my edit though ;-) May 28, 2016 at 8:40

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