I am trying to make a custom Category Display on my side bar and for that I need some way to get both, the category list and the child list in 2 different arrays or something alike...

First, I tried the function get_categories, but it does not allow me to gather top-level categories only:

$args=array('orderby' => 'name', 'order' => 'ASC');

Then, I moved to wp_list_categories which does what I want. However, the return does not give me an array of data that I can query. It gives me a simple HTML-formatted list ready to print out:

  • Is there a way to gather the top level categories list in a way I can personalize it as I wish ?

    For Example:

    foreach($category_list as $category) {
        echo ' <li>';
        echo '  <a title="' . sprintf( __( "View all posts in %s" ), $category->cat_name ) . '" href="' . get_category_link($category->cat_ID) . '">' . $category->cat_name . ' (' . $category->cat_ID .') </a>';
        echo '  <a onclick="s_toggleDisplay(document.getElementById(\'CHILD CATS\'), this, \'▼\', \'▲\');" href="javascript:void(null);">▼</a>';
        echo ' </li>';

Why do I want the top-level only ? Because, I wanted to make a show/hide function for the children of the top-level category. If you have another way to accomplish this or suggestion, let me know.


You can skip categories that have parent in your loop:

foreach($category_list as $category) {

if( '0' != $category->parent )

I've looked through the source, but it seems depth is only taken in account in wp_list_categories() and you will probably need to extend Walker_Category class to custom walker there to make changes to output.

Actually, this might be a good idea if you need a really complex categories output format.

  • AWESOME you hitted the nail guess will check the source more often because the documents don't tell about the parent field being returned. thanks.
    – Prix
    Oct 22 '10 at 10:38

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