I want to pass on values from a search field and use those values to show posts with specific tags. I'm using get_query_var for this. I'm almost there, but not getting the values in my query. When I echo my both input values I get the right results on the result page but not in my query

I'm using these:

<?php echo $_GET['area'] ?>  <?php echo $_GET['persons'] ?>

Which outputs South 8 (that is correct). But how do I get this in my query to work, anyone?

Input is given by a form select name="area". I'm trying to fetch the values from my URL on the searchresults page which looks like this http://xxx/search/?area=South&persons=8

$TagArea = get_query_var('area');
$TagPersons = get_query_var('persons');

The new vars I would like to use in my foreach query

$rand_posts = get_posts("tag={$TagArea+$TagPersons}");

And not getting this to work. If I replace {$TagArea+$TagPersons} into South+8 (hardcoded) I get perfect results. Anyone that can help me get the vars into the query the right way? Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    This is a simple PHP problem: Single ' quotes do not expand the variables, but treat it as simple string. Use " double quotes instead: "tag={$TagArea}". Also care about properly validating input, sanitizing output and escaping data before you hand it over to the database.
    – kaiser
    Jan 12, 2017 at 22:25
  • sorry if it is offtopic, but since I'm trying to get values into the tag section of the wordpress query I thought it should be ok to post it here. Thank you for the direction, but I'm not getting it fixed by changing single into double quotes. I tried to echo the values instead but that is making the mess a lot bigger. Also tried to use the { } but also no luck. I'm not sure if the get_query_var is the right way and maybe just use $_GET['Area'] instead.
    – AKNL
    Jan 12, 2017 at 23:24
  • Your problem is that you get nothing from the query var function? Edit your question and ahow a full example please.
    – kaiser
    Jan 12, 2017 at 23:29
  • 1
    edited, hopefully better this way.
    – AKNL
    Jan 13, 2017 at 8:09
  • Got it after a few other tries. $area = $_GET[‘area’]; $persons = $_GET['persons’]; $query = new WP_Query( array( 'tag' => "$area+$persons” ) );
    – AKNL
    Jan 13, 2017 at 13:08

1 Answer 1


Changed the query and with the direction kaiser gave I got it working.

$area = $_GET['area'];
$persons = $_GET['persons'];
$query = new WP_Query( array( 'tag' => "$area+$persons" ) );
  • 1
    Quick not: Sanitize the data before you send it to the DB. Else even a request from a browser can be used to hack your database.
    – kaiser
    Jan 13, 2017 at 14:55
  • Thanks kaiser for the notice. I'm not using user input but predefined drop down menus. Also checking if an option is selected and using $_POST instead of $_GET. Is this enough or do I need to include htmlspecialchars or something? Any tips/advice?
    – AKNL
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:11
  • 1
    Never trust any input - it could have been modified. Use filter_var() and filter_input() and friends (see: php.net). Hope that helps.
    – kaiser
    Jan 13, 2017 at 19:22
  • Ok just to be sure :) Using POST instead of GET, before using the var in my query I'm using valid_options to check if any incoming input is in the list, after that I'm using filter_var($area, FILTER_SANITIZE_STRING); and put it into another new var and that one I'm using in my query. Also checking if it's not empty (-1 in this case), because then I'm not using the var at all. Anything else that I might consider? htmlspecialchars? or is that not necessary with the valid_options check?
    – AKNL
    Jan 13, 2017 at 21:55

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