Ok so i've got categories like setup like this.

   Category A
       Sub Category 1
       Sub Category 2
   Category B
   Category C

What i need is to have the Products category page showing the main Categories (A,B,C).

The main Category pages (A,B,C) showing their sub Categories (1,2).

Then the Sub Categories (1,2) showing my custom post type i.e the actual products.

I want to avoid using a category-slug.php template because when someone adds a new category i want it to show automatically on the correct page, based on what the parent is.

I thought about using a category.php template but i don't know if this is possible from one template or what code i would need.

The first category pages (Products) will only display the main Categories (A,B,C). It won't be showing any posts just a list of category links in the main section. So i can style them so they are like big buttons on the page. The same will be for Category A,B,C. Show the sub categories.

The last category page (sub category 1,2) will show my custom post type (the actual products) in some sort of list. This page won't show any other categories just the Products in the main section.

Any help on how i can achieve this would be appreciated.


UPDATE: I've managed to get the category template to show the right categories. It seems to be working but i've not tested it properly yet.

The problem i now have is displaying my custom post types on the deepest level categories. So it will show things like the custom post type title, thumbnail, maybe an excerpt.

Here's the code i'm using.

<?php // list child categories
$cat_id = get_query_var('cat');

$catlist = wp_list_categories('depth=1&hide_empty=0&echo=0&orderby=id&title_li=&child_of=' . $cat_id);

if ($catlist) {
echo $catlist;
} else {
echo "Please don't print No categories";
} ?>

Currently on the deepest level category page it just displays 'No Categories'. I need to get that page showing my custom post types that belong to that category.

  • 1
    What do you mean by "showing... categories"? Do you mean as post meta? As a general category list? As category links? Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 14:47
  • What i meant was showing links to the categories. So it will say the category name i.e. 'Category A'. As a link so i click on it and it will take me to that category show sub categories. If i can get them showing a list of links to the categories i can then style them using css to make them look good.
    – Corbula
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 15:01
  • 1
    But, are these links in the sidebar? Are they replacing the Loop on the category archive index page? Something else? Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 15:26
  • They will just be in the main section of the page, not the sidebar. Each link linking to another category page. I don't understand what you mean by replacing the loop. The template i'm using doesn't have a category.php file if that's what your thinking. That's what i think i need to create.
    – Corbula
    Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 15:39
  • 1
    By "replacing the Loop", I mean: do you intend to show posts along with this category list, or will the category list replace the list of posts normally output on a category archive index page? Commented Oct 24, 2011 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


I managed to do something like you are describing, but for a custom taxonomy.. with a little snippet of extra code. No doubt there is a much better way to write the code, and on top of that there is most likely a much more efficient way to accomplish this.

But this worked, and is working on an active website. I will describe what I did and you can modify the code for your own needs:

My problem: Like you, I wanted a universal page that would show whatever taxonomy term I sent to it, instead of having to create a taxonomy-slug.php file for every new term in my taxonomy. To clarify: my Custom Post Type is Videos, and my custom taxonomy is Video Types

My solution I managed to grab the taxonomy term from the listing of that taxonomy(grabs when someone clicks on that term) and then sends it to an archive page for that particular custom post type. It reads that term and then just shows the post type using that taxo0nmy term

My Code Found this on the web somewhere. It gets pasted into the functions file:

/*add a filter to pass queries to pages
can be sent like so: <?= add_query_arg('t', 'argument', home_url( '/videos/' )); ?>
can be called like so:  $qvar = get_query_var('t');
add_filter('query_vars', 'p_query');

    function p_query($qvars) {
        $qvars[] = 't';
        return $qvars;

On the home-page, I list all of the different "Video Types" as clickable links using a wp-query to show the latest post for each of the different terms in the taxonomy.

The Query

    'orderby' => 'menu_order',
    'order' => 'DESC'
$terms = get_terms($taxonomy,$term_args);
if ($terms) {
  foreach( $terms as $term ) {
      'post_type' => 'videos',
      'video_types' =>  $term->name ,
      'post_status' => 'publish',
      'posts_per_page' => 1,
      'caller_get_posts'=> 1
    $my_query = null;
    $my_query = new WP_Query($args); 
    if( $my_query->have_posts() ) {  ?>
       <div class="thumb">
        <h3 class="darken"><?php echo $term->name;?></h3>

      while ($my_query->have_posts()) : $my_query->the_post(); ?>

The Links I then make each term in the loop a link like so:

<a href="<?= add_query_arg('t', strtolower($term->name), home_url( '/videos/' )); ?>">
 <h3><?php echo $term->name;?></h3>

which then sends that term name along with the URL to the archives-video.php page. The link ends up looking like this:


And then the code on the archives-videos.php page looks like this:

The Archives page


    $taxonomy = 'video_types';
    $qvar = get_query_var('t');
    $orderby      = 'name';
    $show_count   = 0;      // 1 for yes, 0 for no
    $pad_counts   = 0;      // 1 for yes, 0 for no
    $hierarchical = 1;      // 1 for yes, 0 for no
    $title        = '';
    $empty        = 0;

    $term = get_term_by('name', $qvar, $taxonomy);

    'taxonomy'     => $taxonomy, 
    'video_types'  => $qvar,
    'orderby'      => $orderby,
    'show_count'   => $show_count,
    'pad_counts'   => $pad_counts,
    'hierarchical' => $hierarchical,
    'title_li'     => $title,
    'hide_empty'   => $empty,
    'posts_per_page' => 8,

        query_posts( $args); ?>

       <div class="vdescription">
        <h3 class="pagetitle"><?php echo $term->name;?></h3>

            $termDiscription = $term->description;
                if($termDiscription != '') : ?>
                    <p><?php echo $termDiscription; ?></p>
                <?php endif; ?>
        </div>  <!--.vdescription -->

and below that I can list all of the videos in that particular taxonomy-term:

<?php while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>

    <?php the_post_thumbnail(); ?>

<?php endwhile;?>

So that gives me a universal page that will show whatever video-type I send to it..which allows the website owner to create whatever new video-type they want, which will automatically display on the home-page as a link.

Again, I think someone with a better working knowledge of PHP could write this in a better way (which I would love to see) but the idea is there and working.

  • Thanks for the answer. I'm a little confused by it, mainly where code goes. Where you've got My Code, that goes into the functions file. Where does the query and the links code go? Have you got a link to the website where this is live so i can see what it's actually doing?
    – Corbula
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 13:48

After searching the internet for some time I've finally got it working.

This goes in the functions.php

function category_has_children() {
global $wpdb;
$term = get_queried_object();
$category_children_check = $wpdb->get_results(" SELECT * FROM wp_term_taxonomy WHERE parent = '$term->term_id' ");
     if ($category_children_check) {
          return true;
     } else {
          return false;

This goes into the category.php template


if (!category_has_children()) {?>
<?php foreach(get_the_category() as $category) {
$cat = $category->cat_ID; }?>
<?php query_posts('post_type=Product&cat=' .$cat .'&order=ASC'); ?>
            <?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
            <p><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></p>
                    <?php endwhile;?>
        <?php endif; ?> 
<?php get_template_part('loop', 'index');
} else {?>

$cat_id = get_query_var('cat');
$catlist = get_categories('child_of=' . $cat_id);
if ($catlist) {
wp_list_categories('depth=1&hide_empty=0&echo=1&orderby=id&title_li=&child_of=' . $cat_id);

This code will display sub categories if a category has one, if it doesn't have a sub category it will display post for that category, in my case products. If a category doesn't have any sub categories and doesn't have any posts it won't display anything.

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