Client wants to show how many images await the reader in a post. I say: easy peazy. Now I realize: I lied.

The system only uses galleries, even for single pictures.

$images = get_children(array(
    "post_parent" => $post->ID, // $post->ID gives the right ID.
    "post_status" => "any",
    "post_type" => "attachment",
    "post_mime_type" => "image"

count($images); // only post with id 12 shows correctly 14 entries

In one post (ID 12, an eaaarly test entry) $images is filled with the correct amount of entries. In every other post I tested $images is wrongfully empty.

I even copied the exact same text (from the "Text"-Tab of TinyMCE, not "Visual") to post with ID 298. Still empty $images. Same custom fields. Both have a thumbnail (even if I delete it, no change) – Same taxonomy-settings..


The get_children function retrieves posts (an upoaded image is also a post) that are dependent on the post with a certain ID. An image becomes a child of a post when it is uploaded while editing that post. It does not become a child of a post when it is reused.

So if you are writing post A and upload image B, B will become a child of A. If you then write post C and include image B in a gallery, B will not become a child of C. If you use get_children on C, you will find nothing.

What you are looking for is get_post_galleries.

  • Okay, that clarifies it. Thank you. I'm curious: Can you provide an example where this behavior is benefitial? And why the hell is such an important concept nowhere to be found in the Wordpress Docs? Back2Topic: just to make sure we're on the same page: You suggest to get_post_galleries($post->ID, false) data and manually go through each index and add the IDs string to a $toCount var, to then explode and count it? And: How can I add single images without galleries to the count, if I some day decide to support them? – kater louis Dec 4 '17 at 16:35
  • If you want to be really sure you get all the images, you would have to make a filter for the_content and count all occurences of <img. – cjbj Dec 4 '17 at 16:37
  • So the only way, you say, is going through the contents rendered html .. Not so cool when I want the option to ignore duplicates. Wow. Wouldn't have thought counting a posts number of images is so exotic, that Wordpress doesn't have a native solution for it.. Is there a less performance demanding way then Regex to count <imgs? – kater louis Dec 4 '17 at 16:46
  • 1
    You can use get_the_content and apply do_shortcode to the result to get the html with shortcodes expanded. – cjbj Dec 4 '17 at 17:21
  • 1
    And two answer your previous comment: since you can type anything you like in the content field, WP would have no other option but to apply regex to the content in order to find img-tags. Actually, that is what it does to find shortcode-tags. – cjbj Dec 4 '17 at 17:23

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