We're working on this site: http://granthammond.staging.wpengine.com/ which will no longer be using tags, i need a way to strip / remove all the tag links in the post content, for example: any hyperlinks containing /tag/ need to go, in their entirety,

<a href="http://www.granthammond.com/tag/nashville-real-estate/">Tagged with: Nashville Real Estate</a>

i need to remove the whole <a> element. for all tags, across all posts.

as usual, any and all assistance is appreciated.

  • Do the links need to be removed in the database, or is it OK just to filter the output to remove the links before the post is shown to the user?
    – Bendoh
    Sep 11, 2012 at 19:35
  • At this point, either is good. Ideally, removing them from the database would preferred. Sep 11, 2012 at 19:42

2 Answers 2


1) For existing post content, you can add a filter to the_content to remove them from the output before they are seen by a user:

function remove_tag_links( $content ) {
    return preg_replace( '#<a [^>]*\bhref=\\\?"[^"]+(?=/tag/)[^"]+\\\?"[^>]*>(.+?)</a>#si', '$1', $content );
add_filter( 'the_content', 'remove_tag_links' );

2) For new / updating content, you can add the same filter to content_save_pre to take the links out before they are saved to the database:

add_filter( 'content_save_pre', 'remove_tag_links' );

Note that my pattern expects double-quotes (and possibly backslashed-escaped double quotes, for content_save_pre) around the href attribute value, and can handle other attributes within the tag.

The filter I provided simply removes the link markup, but leaves behind the text. If you want to remove the entire tag including its text, pass an empty string '' instead of '$1' as the second parameter to preg_replace

  • I just noticed that my pattern was greedy. I have updated it to by non-greedy by adding a ? after the + quantifier in the capture group. Be sure to incorporate this change: otherwise bad things will happen if a targeted link appears in the middle of the text, followed by another one further in the content.
    – Bendoh
    Sep 11, 2012 at 20:53

To your themes functions.php file, add the following:

add_filter( 'the_tags', 'remove_links' );
function remove_links($thelist) {
  return preg_replace('#<a.*?>([^<]*)</a>#i', '$1', $thelist);

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