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I'm looking to insert this serialized value into a meta_value in the wp_postmeta table

a:1:{s:8:"quantity";s:1:"2";}

I've tried numerous things

Such as creating the associative array manually.

$defaultquantityarray =  array('quantity' => '2');
$defaultquantity = serialize($defaultquantityarray);

update_post_meta( $post_id, '_default_attributes', $defaultquantity);

I've also referenced the update_post_meta documentation and found reference to something like this

$escaped_json = 'a:1:{s:8:"quantity";s:1:"2";}';

update_post_meta( $post_id, '_default_attributes', wp_slash( $escaped_json ));

and additionally with a:1:.

Both result in this insert into my meta_value row

s:29:"a:1:{s:8:"quantity";s:1:"2";}";

This is all being performed in a WP_Query loop.

How do I insert a meta_value of a:1:{s:8:"quantity";s:1:"2";} into my _default_attributes meta_key?

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Wow okay, so after posting this I almost immediately came up with the solution.

It was a combination of the two things I tried.

$defaultquantityarray =  array(
 'quantity' => '2'
);

update_post_meta( $post_id, '_default_attributes', $defaultquantityarray);

Apparently WordPress automatically serializes data in some meta_values, and I was essentially serializing them twice hence the s:29: prefix.

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  • arrays and objects get automatically serialized/unserialized because they are php data types being stored as strings by MySQL. – Milo Jan 5 '18 at 4:10
  • Actually really interesting, and makes sense. Thanks for the insight – bbruman Jan 5 '18 at 4:14
  • You should sanitize the input data before sending it to database. Please, refer to the link for details about WordPress sensitization methods codex.wordpress.org/… – BlueSuiter Jan 5 '18 at 4:19

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