I have a few people working on a website with me, and they need to create custom taxonomy terms using a very simple set of rules; however, they do not seem to understand how to do it. So, I'm trying to create a filter of some sort that will automatically replace their values with corrected ones. For instance, this is how they should look:

[name] -> UTA_1234 // type of training + _ + post id of training
[slug] -> uta_1234 // which should be automatic if left blank
[description] -> 1234 // just the post id

Seems simple, right? Well they keep making them lowercase, using dashes instead of underscores, and forgetting to add the description. :(

So here is what I am trying to do that is not working:

 * 'codes' is the taxonomy slug
add_action( 'created_codes', 'eri_created_incorrect_access_id', 10, 2 );
function eri_created_incorrect_access_id( $term_id, $tt_id ) {
    // Catch the term info
    $name = $_POST['name'];
    $slug = $_POST['slug'];
    $desc = isset($_POST['description']) ?? '';

    // Replace dashes with underscores, and make name uppercase
    $name = strtoupper(str_replace('-', '_', $name));
    $slug = str_replace('-', '_', $slug);

    // Check if there is a description
    if (!$desc || $desc == '') {

        // Then we split the name and add the post id to the description
        $split_name = explode('_', $name);
        $desc = $split_name[1];

    // Now add the items
    add_term_meta( $term_id, 'name', $name, true );
    add_term_meta( $term_id, 'slug', $slug, true );
    add_term_meta( $term_id, 'description', $desc, true );

The same concept works for additional custom fields, but not the default fields

1 Answer 1


The default fields name, slug and description are not term metadata, so you should instead use wp_update_term() to update those fields.

So just replace those three add_term_meta() with:

wp_update_term( $term_id, 'codes', [
    'name'        => $name,
    'slug'        => $slug,
    'description' => $desc,
] );

Additionally, instead of using $_POST, I would use get_term() to get the details of the term that has just been created. So for example,

$term = get_term( $term_id );

// Catch the term info
$name = $term->name;
$slug = $term->slug;
$desc = $term->description;
  • Thank you @SallyCJ. Unfortunately it's not working for me when creating a new term.
    – Michael
    Dec 20, 2021 at 15:13
  • What's the full code you used? Can you append it at the bottom in your question, or post it on Pastebin.com?
    – Sally CJ
    Dec 21, 2021 at 10:55
  • 1
    Nevermind, silly me needed to sleep on it and come back. I realized today that this does actually work perfectly. I was using it on a different site with a different taxonomy slug, so it wasn't recognizing it. I fixed it. Thanks @SallyCJ
    – Michael
    Dec 21, 2021 at 18:35

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