I am searching for a solution to display a grid for a custom post type with a specific taxonomy that display latest 4 posts on a page (it could be a template page in my custom child theme) then on another page template the next 4 posts are shown.

I need 4 separate distinct pages to display 16 posts, each page containing 4 posts. First page = latest 4 posts, second page next 4 posts, third page next 4 posts from page 2 and the 4th page display the next 4 posts from page 3.

I did manage to display the latest 4 posts, but I'm stuck at how to display the next 4 posts on another page.

Using this code created a paged version of this listing, is there any way to duplicate the same template for page 2 and display the page directly from pagination second step ? My goal is to make 4 distinct pages. If there is another way I thank anyone who can point me in the right direction to learn how to do this.

Many thanks, don't hesitate to ask for explanations if the question is ambiguous.

 * Template Name: Custom Query page 01
 * The custom page template file

<?php get_header(); ?>

<h2>List the first 4 posts</h2>


  $paged = ( get_query_var('paged') ) ? get_query_var('paged') : 1;

  $custom_args = array(
      'post_type' => 'listings',
      'tax_query' => array(
            'taxonomy' => 'custom_taxonomy',
            'field' => 'slug',
            'terms' => $custom_term->slug,
      'posts_per_page' => 4,
      'paged' => $paged

  $custom_query = new WP_Query( $custom_args ); ?>

  <?php if ( $custom_query->have_posts() ) : ?>

    <!-- the loop -->
    <?php while ( $custom_query->have_posts() ) : $custom_query->the_post(); ?>
      <article class="loop">
        <h3><?php the_title(); ?></h3>
        <div class="content">
          <?php the_excerpt(); ?>
    <?php endwhile; ?>
    <!-- end of the loop -->

    <!-- pagination here -->
      if (function_exists(custom_pagination)) {

  <?php wp_reset_postdata(); ?>

  <?php else:  ?>
    <p><?php _e( 'Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.' ); ?></p>
  <?php endif; ?>

<?php get_footer(); ?>

The function that do the pagination (that I added to functions.php):

function custom_pagination($numpages = '', $pagerange = '', $paged='') {

  if (empty($pagerange)) {
    $pagerange = 4 ;

  global $paged;
  if (empty($paged)) {
    $paged = 1;
  if ($numpages == '') {
    global $wp_query;
    $numpages = $wp_query->max_num_pages;
    if(!$numpages) {
        $numpages = 1;

  * Construct of the pagination arguments to enter into paginate_links       */
  $pagination_args = array(
    'base'            => get_pagenum_link(1) . '%_%',
    'format'          => 'page/%#%',
    'total'           => $numpages,
    'current'         => $paged,
    'show_all'        => False,
    'end_size'        => 1,
    'mid_size'        => $pagerange,
    'prev_next'       => True,
    'prev_text'       => __('&laquo;'),
    'next_text'       => __('&raquo;'),
    'type'            => 'plain',
    'add_args'        => false,
    'add_fragment'    => ''

  $paginate_links = paginate_links($pagination_args);

  if ($paginate_links) {
    echo "<nav class='custom-pagination'>";
      echo "<span class='page-numbers page-num'>Page " . $paged . " of " . $numpages . "</span> ";
      echo $paginate_links;
    echo "</nav>";
  • Is this the only place you're listing the CPTs from this taxonomy, or is it in addition to their normal archive?
    – Chris Cox
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 18:13
  • Hello, this is a simple custom page template, I use it on a blank page where I use this template file as page template. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 18:23
  • I can see that it's a custum page template, but do you also use the normal archive template for the taxonomy?
    – Chris Cox
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 18:25
  • No, I didn't alter the default archive.php that reside in main theme, I use a child theme. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 18:28
  • Could you not just use the built in archive at /custom_taxonomy/ and the taxonomy-custom_taxonomy.php template? Then it'd be a standard post loop with normal pagination
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


I frequently see Page templates like this when someone's trying to create a custom loop - possibly inspired by the built-in functionality of creating a Page as a stub for Posts when another Page is set as the front page for the site. That's a special case, and not what people should be doing.

Instead of using a Page template and running a second query in place of the content, what you should be doing is creating taxonomy-custom_taxonomy.php and altering the default WP_Query before it's sent to the DB by hooking pre_get_posts to get the result you want. Here's the sort of function you'd want in your child theme's functions.php:

add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'wpse281501_taxonomy_query' );

function wpse281501_taxonomy_query($query) {
    if($query->is_main_query() && $query->is_tax( 'custom_taxonomy' ) {
        $query->set( 'posts_per_page', 4 );

Taxonomy archives support pagination by default, whereas a Page template requires kludging support in because Pages aren't paginated.

If you're only looking to apply this layout to a specific term within the taxonomy you'd need to call your template taxonomy-custom_taxonomy-custom_term.php and pass the term as the second argument to is_tax() in your hooked function:

if($query->is_main_query() && $query->is_tax( 'custom_taxonomy', 'custom_term' )
  • Using the method you just write, how can I create 4 distinct pages to display the posts ? I don't only want the latest 4 posts, I want the 4 latest on first page then next 4 on second and so till page 4 (total of 16 posts). I was wondering in creating one array with all the ids of the query (custom post & taxonomy) and use one loop / page with array[0], array[1], array[2], array[3] for page 1 where array[0] is the first ID, using this valor for post ID. Many thanks for the answer I will try to make it this way. I will come back with my result, once again thank you. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 19:05
  • As I mentioned, archives support pagination by default so appending /page/2 to the URL should take you to the next 4 posts because the posts_per_page argument is set to 4 by the hooked function.
    – Chris Cox
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 19:17
  • Omg ! Didn’t make the parallel with the pagination permalink! I’l give it a try and come back with the result ! Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 19:21
  • Thank you very much @Chris Cox for your time and the answer.Your solution works like a charm, I was able to dispay the posts by group of 4 in a listing style, now I have to study some boostrap 2x2 grid to display them in a grid but that's another story. Each page has 4 posts as I wanted, using /page/2 , page/3 and pages/4 after the custom url display the posts. Thank you for opening my eyes. Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 22:01
  • No problem. It's always best to work with a platform instead of against it, and WP's templating engine is pretty good.
    – Chris Cox
    Commented Sep 29, 2017 at 23:50

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