I am building a plugin which sets up a custom post type with some meta information.

I'd like that information to show up in the loop (in particular the one on the main page).

How can I modify the post-template without writing a theme.

I was looking at home_template but it is deprecated for 3.3

  • 1
    i believe you can do it with the pre_get_posts hook. but i had some trouble myself with tweaking a tax query in this manner, so i'm interested to see what the answer will be for a meta query. Mar 28, 2012 at 17:29
  • I use add_action('get_template_part_content','add_stuff'); that way I can at least insert the new fields, though not rewrite the entire template
    – Cilvic
    Mar 29, 2012 at 19:35
  • interesting. didn't know about the get_template_part_content hook. i prefer pre_get_posts for modifying the query, b/c then you only run the query 1 time, instead of running a new query later on.... seems more efficient. but again i'm not sure about adding the meta values. Mar 29, 2012 at 20:19

2 Answers 2


for a simple meta query you can do this:

function wpa_47150( &$query ) {
    set_query_var('meta_key', 'test_field');

i wasn't sure it was going to work, but apparently you can set the whole meta_query object this way too

function wpa_47150( &$query ) { 

    if(!is_admin() && is_post_type_archive( 'test_post_type' )){    
        $metaq = ( array ( array(
            'key' => 'test_field',
            'value' => array( 10, 50 ),
            'type' => 'numeric',
            'compare' => 'BETWEEN'
        set_query_var('meta_query', $metaq );


need to adjust the conditionals to your specific case

  • Thanks, looks like this will get me in the right direction. Thing is I am not really using the fields as conditionals. All I want is to display their values. Will this work for me?
    – Cilvic
    Mar 31, 2012 at 12:07
  • i misunderstood your question i think. you should edit it to be more clear. i thought you wanted to do a meta query, but it sounds like you just want to display meta values. check cilvic's answer then. Apr 2, 2012 at 13:20
  • thx, can you help answer the issue? How can one add (not filter) the custom fields to the original query so that they can be displayed without re-querying?
    – Cilvic
    Apr 2, 2012 at 13:22

To just display the fields set a content filter, only issue might be that custom fields are loaded with one separate query for each post:

function muvice_custom_content($content) {
    if ( 'line' == get_post_type() ) { 
        wp_enqueue_style( 'muvice_stylesheet',plugin_dir_url(__FILE__).'muvice.css' );

        $custom_fields = get_post_custom(get_the_ID());

        $newcontent = '<div class ="part_wrapper">';
        $newcontent .='<div class="part1">'.$custom_fields['part1'][0].'</div>';
        $newcontent .='</div><!-- .part_wrapper -->';

        $original = $content;
        $content = $original.$newcontent;

    return $content;
add_filter('the_content', 'muvice_custom_content',1);
  • i didn't realize you had answered your own question. i don't get what the problem is... does this not work? Apr 2, 2012 at 14:30
  • @helgatheviking yes that works, the problem is what you described, this will probably send one extra query for each post, while technically it would be enough to just include the custom columns in the wp_query
    – Cilvic
    Apr 3, 2012 at 10:24
  • that's just how get_post_custom() and get_post_meta() work. i doubt they are expensive "queries". Apr 4, 2012 at 14:38

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