I have a plugin with several CPTs (we'll call them CPT-A, CPT-B, CPT-C, and CPT-D). All CPTs have custom fields. In CPT-D, the user is able to make a selection and assign a post in CPT-A, CPT-B, and CPT-C to the current post in CPT-D. Basically linking relevant records to each other.

If the post in CPT-A, CPT-B, and/or CPT-C does not yet exist, the user can "quickly" create the post by entering the post's title using a standard text input field. No other data is required, and any optional data can be entered later.

I then will use wp_insert_post() to add the new post (CPT-A, CPT-B, and/or CPT-C). This all works as expected.

Next, I need to update CPT-D's postmeta with the post ID of the new CPT-A, CPT-B, and/or CPT-C. To do this, I am using update_post_meta().

The problem I'm having is that the wrong post's postmeta is being updated.

For example, if CPT-D's Post ID is 99, it should have postmeta meta_key 'assigned-cpt-a' = 100, 'assigned-cpt-b' = 101, and 'assigned-cpt-c' = 102 if all three CPT's are set.

What happens instead is: CPT-D gets postmeta 'assigned-cpt-a' = 100 CPT-A gets postmeta 'assigned-cpt-b' = 101 CPT-B gets postmeta 'assigned-cpt-c' = 102

Here is a sample of the code that inserts the new CPT and updates postmeta:

$new_cpta_title = sanitize_text_field( $_POST[ 'cpt-a-name' ] );
/* Only add new if a CPT with the same title doesn't already exist */
if( null == get_page_by_title( $new_cpta_title, OBJECT, 'cpt-a' ) ) {
    $new_cpta_slug = preg_replace("/[^A-Za-z0-9]/",'',strtolower($new_cpta_title));
    $author_id = get_current_user_id();
    $new_cpta = array(
        'comment_status'    =>  'closed',
        'ping_status'       =>  'closed',
        'post_author'       =>  $author_id,
        'post_name'         =>  $new_cpta_slug,
        'post_title'        =>  $new_cpta_title,
        'post_status'       =>  'publish',
        'post_type'         =>  'cpt-a'
    wp_insert_post( $new_cpta );

    $new_cpta_info = get_page_by_path($new_cpta_slug, OBJECT, 'cpt-a');
    if ( $new_cpta_info ) {
        $new_cpta_ID = $new_cpta_info->ID;
        update_post_meta( $post_id, 'cpt-a-id', $new_cpta_ID );

So, my question is, how can I reset the $post_id in update_post_meta to be the same post ID as the original CPT-D?

  • Where is post_id coming from? Is this in a hook? Also, if you want the id of the post you created, you can just do $new_cpta_ID = wp_insert_post( $new_cpta ); Jun 7, 2016 at 22:54
  • $post_id is being passed by a function. Sorry for leaving that part out. Elsewhere in the function it returns the correct ID, but in this case it returns the new CPT's ID, which is not what I'm looking for.
    – ScottD
    Jun 7, 2016 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


Ultimately the solution that I found was to use global $post; to retrieve the current post's ID. Immediately after wp_insert_post( $new_cpta ); above, I added

global $post;
$currentid = $post->ID;

Then I was able to update the post meta for the correct post with $currentid in place of $post_id.

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