For Posts you can have a preset category where all Posts fall if not specified otherwise (settings → writing).

Can this be done for custom post types that have a custom taxonomy?

The register_taxonomy does not seem to offer parameters for that.

Thanks again :)

  • Hi any_h, please take a look at your questions, comment where it's necessary and mark stuff as solution that actually was/is one. – kaiser Sep 23 '12 at 10:44

Try hooking into the save_post action to check the custom terms when a post gets saved:

add_action( 'save_post', 'set_default_category' );
function set_default_category( $post_id ) {

    // Get the terms
    $terms = wp_get_post_terms( $post_id, 'your_custom_taxonomy');

    // Only set default if no terms are set yet
    if (!$terms) {
        // Assign the default category
        $default_term = get_term_by('slug', 'your_term_slug', 'your_custom_taxonomy');
        $taxonomy = 'your_custom_taxonomy';
        wp_set_post_terms( $post_id, $default_term, $taxonomy );

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