I want to update post meta when the user registers based on the Ultimate Member plugin field in the register form. Here is the code which is working fine if I run directly on the template (loading page) but not working with the hook.

Note: As I mention the code is working as expected if I run on template file (refreshing page) but not with the hook.

function gs_add_user_to_group($user_id)
    // get the user group by profile
    $groupItem = get_post(um_user('team'));

    // check if post is exists and is a group post type
    if ($groupItem && $groupItem->post_type == Group_Shop_Admin::get_cpt_group()) {

        // get group post meta
        $meta         = gs_get_group_meta_key('users');
        $old_user_ids = get_post_meta($groupItem->ID, $meta, TRUE);

        // check if empty
        if ( ! $old_user_ids) {
            $user_ids = [];
        } else {
            $user_ids = $old_user_ids;

        // push newly register user id
        array_push($user_ids, $user_id);

        if ( ! $old_user_ids) {
            // add new record if not exits
            add_post_meta($groupItem->ID, $meta, $user_ids);
        } else {
            // update and add newly register user id to record
            update_post_meta($groupItem->ID, $meta, $user_ids, $old_user_ids);

add_action('user_register', 'gs_add_user_to_group', 10, 1);
/* End of  gs_add_user_to_group hook */
  • 1
    Usermeta doesn't exist in the database yet when user_register runs. wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/155566/…
    – WebElaine
    Mar 9, 2020 at 16:22
  • @WebElaine that is what I thought. So is there any alternatives? Mar 10, 2020 at 1:14
  • By "run directly", did you mean you manually called gs_add_user_to_group() in your template? And how did you (or what steps you took which let you) know it doesn't work with the hook - and by that, you mean your function isn't getting called or that the post meta is not being added or updated? And I actually tried wp_insert_user() and your code worked fine.
    – Sally CJ
    Mar 10, 2020 at 6:15
  • I have directly checked into the database. So when running on template it is updating the record but through the action hook. Mar 10, 2020 at 6:40
  • 1
    I see it now. um_user() retrieves a user meta/data. So perhaps the answer can help? :)
    – Sally CJ
    Mar 10, 2020 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


The part that does not work in your code is not adding or updating the post meta, but getting the user meta named team which you're retrieving via um_user().

And that's because as @WebElaine pointed, by the time the user_register hook is fired, the custom field team has not yet added to the database (neither by WordPress nor UM), hence um_user( 'team' ) returns nothing/false.

But if you want to use the user_register hook to add/update the post meta, you can use the $_POST['team'] value submitted via the form. So replace this:

$groupItem = get_post(um_user('team'));

with this:

if ( $post_id = um_user( 'team' ) ) {
    $groupItem = get_post( $post_id );
// I'm just doing a basic validation, but you should try to make it better!
} elseif ( ! empty( $_POST['team'] ) ) {
    $groupItem = get_post( absint( $_POST['team'] ) );

Or since you're relying upon the team meta which came from user input submitted via the UM's registration form, then it might better to use um_registration_complete hook to add/update the post meta:

  1. First, call um_fetch_user() before you call um_user():

    um_fetch_user( $user_id ); // set the user
    $groupItem = get_post( um_user( 'team' ) );

    Alternatively, you can use get_user_meta():

    $post_id = get_user_meta( $user_id, 'team', true );
    $groupItem = get_post( $post_id );
  2. And replace the add_action('user_register', 'gs_add_user_to_group', 10, 1); with this:

    add_action( 'um_registration_complete', 'gs_add_user_to_group', 10, 2 );

Tried & tested working on WordPress 5.3.2 with UM 2.1.4.

  • 1
    Amazing help. Thanks a lot. That's the hook I was looking some hours ago and going to give it a try. Before that, I read your answer and found even if I tried, I would miss um_fetch_user( $user_id ); :) thanks once again. (y) Mar 10, 2020 at 12:31
  • 1
    You're welcome, and I also actually almost missed that um_fetch_user() thing. :) Also, you don't need to use the 10, 2 in the add_action() call.. I use the 2 when checking the $args passed via that hook. :)
    – Sally CJ
    Mar 10, 2020 at 16:54
  • 1
    Cool, thanks to a lot. That will help too. Mar 11, 2020 at 3:26

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