I have a custom type, which uses custom taxonomy to create categories. I can add 'products' and assign them to the category structure that I have created.

There is a top level menu which displays the parent categories, clicking each takes the user into the category hierarchy.

If there are no products in any sub-category of a parent category, then that listitem shouldn't display in the top level nav.

If I set hide_empty=1 all the parent categories disappear, not just the one with no products. Can anyone advise?

  • What function do you use to list products (custom taxonomy)?
    – Mamaduka
    Aug 24, 2011 at 13:43
  • get_terms() I tried pasting code in this comment but it came out looking scrambled! Aug 26, 2011 at 11:29
  • Paste the code, then hit the {} button in the editor. Otherwise, you need a blank line before the codebit, and 4 (or more) spaces before each line of code to manually add it. Jan 21, 2014 at 21:50
  • I also suggest using 'pad_counts' => true. This will allow empty top level terms to appear if child terms have items. Jan 21, 2014 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


Try setting 'hierarchical' to true if its not already.

From source documentation:

  • hierarchical - Whether to include terms that have non-empty descendants
  • (even if 'hide_empty' is set to true).

I think its usually set to trie by default, so I'm thinking you might have intentionally set it to fale for your purposes.

  • I think you are right - thanks for the reminder. hierarchical should be true by default and I'm not setting it Aug 26, 2011 at 11:34

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