I want to show plain text tag names above each post on a page that displays posts for a given category. Each post only has one tag.

I've set up an array to grab posts from the category I want and made my WP_Query query. The posts display in nice div's, with their titles, content, etc.. My problem is those darn tags!

I can display each post's tag name using this:

echo the_tags('');

But this serves up

<a href="[link to tag page]" rel="tag">[My Tag Name]</a>

I've tried variations of strip_tags and several functions in the Wordpress Codex on the_tags() to remove the html - all to no avail.

I am able to strip out the html using the next method (displaying plain text, hooray!), but unfortunately every post adds tag names to the short array $term_names[] and the list of tags displayed next to each post grows with every post.

$terms = wp_get_post_tags( $post->ID );
foreach( $terms as $term )
$term_names[] = $term->name;
echo implode( ', ', $term_names );

Is there something I am missing? Clearly there must be.

  • the_tags() echos, not returns. You can do get_the_tags() instead codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/get_the_tags — also you’re not defining/resetting $term_names , that’s why it keeps growing. Do $term_names = array(); before the foreach loop Jan 31, 2018 at 2:40
  • Gah! Thank you! I have been going crazy wondering what basic thing I was missing. I spent way too much time on this today. I added $term_names = array(); and everything works now. echo get_the_tags('') was producing the same output I was having problems with, FWIW. THANK YOU! Jan 31, 2018 at 2:53

1 Answer 1


Well, you can use the DOM object to change/remove tags and their parameters. See here for all the details https://stackoverflow.com/questions/3820666/grabbing-the-href-attribute-of-an-a-element

Code would be something like this: (this sample changes the class of all H1 elements to be 'a_new_class', removing any existing classes)

$html = "<h1 class='the_old_class'>A Heading</h1>";
$dom = new DOMDocument;
libxml_use_internal_errors(false); // supress errors
$dom->loadHTML($html, LIBXML_NOERROR);  // supress errors
foreach ($dom->getElementsByTagName('h1') as $node) {
    $dom->saveHtml($node) ;
$html = $dom->saveHTML();   // saves the object (all of the html) so we can return it

Although the other answer works; I add this to show an alternative method of changing elements that doesn't rely on regex trickery.

  • nice alternative to the usual usage of str_replace and its like, but seems like a little overwhelming in this case ;) Jan 31, 2018 at 6:04
  • True, Mark. Just put it here for future searchers. Worked real well on very large documents that I needed to process. Thanks. Jan 31, 2018 at 6:49

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