I'm trying to add a custom field of event_month when a post is published or saved. I'm using the save_post action and getting the contents of a custom field containing the date and trying to store this in a separate custom field with just the month. This works perfectly when saving a post that has already been created. I've shown my code below.

add_action('save_post', 'update_event_date');

function update_event_date($post_id){

    $post_type = get_post_type($post_id);
    $event_datee = get_post_meta($post_id, '_EventStartDate', true);

    if ($post_type == 'tribe_events'){

        $month = date("m",strtotime($event_datee));
        update_post_meta($post_id, 'event_month', $month);



The problem arises when creating a new post. I think this is because the action fires before the _EventStartDate meta has been created and therefore the month can't be taken from this.

The hook is firing correctly and as intended when saving/updating a post but doesn't correctly get the month from the meta when creating a new post.

I'd really appreciate it if someone could provide me with some guidance.

  • save_post is an action triggered whenever a post or page is created or updated Aug 24 '17 at 9:07
  • Possible duplicate of Custom post type save_post action not firing Aug 24 '17 at 9:09
  • I don't think I understand your problem... From my understanding, it seems like you try to get a post meta from a post that has not been created yet... Therefore, that would be normal you don't get its meta? Or your problem is it that you don't get the meta box in the posts you're creating? Or is that it doesn't save the meta box value when you're creating a new post?
    – ClemC
    Aug 24 '17 at 12:32

You can hook into post_updated action, if you want to access the post's data after it's been published. This hook passes the post's ID, inundated post object, and updated post object.

add_action( 'post_updated', 'update_event_date', 10, 3 );
function update_event_date( $post_id, $post_after, $post_before ){

    $post_type = get_post_type( $post_id );
    $event_datee = get_post_meta( $post_id, '_EventStartDate', true );

    if ( $post_type == 'tribe_events' ) {

        $month = date( "m",strtotime( $event_datee ) );
        update_post_meta( $post_id, 'event_month', $month );


  • 1
    Thanks Jack. I found a solution before I read this using $_POST to grab the value I needed, but I'll be sure to try this method again.
    – Neil K
    Aug 24 '17 at 15:11

Use pre_post_update instead of save_post

Full explanation here

  • I'm still getting the same issue. It works perfectly when saving or updating a post, but when creating a new event. It just sets the event_date as 01, rather than the actual month of the event. However, when I then hit update post, it sets the event_month correctly
    – Neil K
    Aug 24 '17 at 9:17
  • Check if your pre_post_update hook fires first. For example, put global $post->ID to any rewritable file on your filesystem. Aug 24 '17 at 9:24

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