All I'm doing is creating a simple meta box for my posts that calls the existing tags, then displays them in a select drop down list for the editor to choose. I feel I'm so close in making this done...But my selected meta value is not saving when I save the post. Is there a step I need to reconsider or adjust, in order to save my data fully?

//meta box functions for adding the meta box and saving the data

function nffa_meta_box_tags() {    
add_meta_box('nffa_meta', 'Project Tag Status','nffa_meta_box','post','side','high');

function nffa_meta_box($post) {

    //GET TAGS
    $args = array(
        'orderby'    => 'name',
        'order'      => 'ASC',
        'hide_empty' => 0,
        'taxonomy'   => 'post_tag'

        foreach($categories as $category) { 
          $tags[] =  $category->name ;  

    $prefix = 'NFFA_meta_';
    $mtags = array(
        'name' => 'tags',
        'desc' => 'Project Status:',
        'subdesc' => 'Please set the status of this project',
        'id' => $prefix . 'tags',
        'type' => 'select',
        'options' => $tags

    print "<pre>";
    print "</pre>";

    //retrieve the custom meta box values
    $nffa_meta_value = get_post_meta($post->ID,$mtags['id'], true);
    //nonce for security
    //custom meta box form elements via select
    echo '<p>'.$mtags['desc'].' <select name="'. $mtags['id'].'" id="'.$mtags['id'].'">';
    foreach ($mtags['options'] as $vtag) {
        echo '<option', $nffa_meta_value == $vtag ? ' selected="selected"' : '', '>', $vtag, '</option>';
    echo '</select>';
    echo '</p>';
    echo '<p class="howto" id="new-tag-post_tag-desc">'.$mtags['subdesc'].'</p>';

//save our meta data
add_action ('save_post','nffa_save_meta_box_tags');
function nffa_save_meta_box_tags($post_id) {
    //process form data if $_POST is set
    if (isset($_POST[$mtags['id']])) {
        //if auto saving skip saving our meta box data
        if (defined('DOING_AUTOSAVE') && DOING_AUTOSAVE)

        //check nonce for security
            //save the metabox data as post meta using the post ID as a  unqiue prefix
            update_post_meta($post_id, $mtags['id'], santize_text_field($_POST[$mtags['id']]));

1 Answer 1


in nffa_save_meta_box_tags(), you use $mtags, but $mtags is not defined in that function. Manually replacing the two instances of $mtags['id'] with 'NFFA_meta_tags' makes the value save - showing that's part of the problem.

The other problem is that santize_text_field() has a typo, should be sanitize_text_field().

  • Many thanks in helping me understand the scope of how our I was processing my variable data and for the misspelling.
    – klewis
    Aug 8, 2018 at 20:49
  • This also opened my eyes in seeing how we can create a function that passes string values into other functions, which is the approach I am now taking. Thanks again!
    – klewis
    Aug 8, 2018 at 21:27

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