So I have this from Query Monitor:

AND (((zp_posts.post_title LIKE '%mercedes%')
OR (zp_posts.post_excerpt LIKE '%mercedes%')
OR (zp_posts.post_content LIKE '%mercedes%'))) 
AND zp_posts.post_type IN ('post', 'page', 'attachment')
AND (zp_posts.post_status = 'publish'
OR zp_posts.post_author = 1
AND zp_posts.post_status = 'private') 
ORDER BY zp_posts.post_title LIKE '%mercedes%' DESC, zp_posts.post_date DESC

I would like the searches queries to target only post_title and post_content, exclude all others parts. Any idea in achieving that?

  • what is that? there is no wordpress core API that will generate such a query. Sep 24, 2017 at 13:24
  • what is what? I was asking how to exclude everything else, except posts, from search results.
    – Ciprian
    Sep 24, 2017 at 23:21
  • your query can not be fast. if this is a query you written on your own, whatever you are trying to do is wrong. If this is a plugin you use... well without the actual code it will be impossible to help you change it Sep 25, 2017 at 1:46
  • Query Monitor gives me a very similar query on a search page /?s. I don't have any plugins or custom functions that would affect search. The caller is WP_Query->get_posts
    – Slam
    Feb 13, 2018 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


You should be able to use pre_get_posts to change the query. I'd suggest creating a custom plugin, so that if you ever change your theme your modifications will still apply.

To get you started, here's how you can set the post types being searched:

function search_filter($query) {
  if ( !is_admin() && $query->is_main_query() ) {
    if ($query->is_search) {
      $query->set('post_type', array( 'post' ) );


You would continue to add $query->set statements inside the conditionals to further customize what fields to search.

One other option would be to write a completely custom query and call that from your search rather than using WP's built-in query. You might want to benchmark that solution to see whether it is any faster than the pre_get_posts way.

  • if ( !is_admin() ?
    – Ciprian
    Sep 25, 2017 at 14:11
  • Queries run in wp-admin too. This prevents it from causing issues in admin, restricting it to the main query only on the front end.
    – WebElaine
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:05
  • @WebElaine or @Ciprian, can you post the code that limits the search to only specified fields like post_content? Thanks!
    – Slam
    Feb 13, 2018 at 22:34

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