I'd really like to take all of my old posts, and automatically use the meta descriptions we have written – currently done for each post using All In One SEO Pack – and copy them to also be our post excerpts.

The custom field used by AIO SEO description is _aioseop_description.

Would anyone have any idea how to accomplish this?

  • 1
    Add the name of that custom field to your question.
    – fuxia
    Oct 31, 2012 at 0:58
  • 1
    To find the custom field name, I've searched for one specific word of a AOISEOP description in PHPMyAdmin.
    – brasofilo
    Oct 31, 2012 at 1:20

2 Answers 2


Please, backup your database before running this.

The code is pretty straight forward and tested in a local WordPress.
The advice is just for precaution sake, as I suppose you're dealing with a live site.

Copy the code into a PHP file, upload it to the plugins folder and activate.

  1. On activation, it will iterate through all the posts post type and check if it has an excerpt.
  2. If not, check if there is an All In One description.
  3. If there is, fill the excerpt with this info.

    Plugin Name: AIOSEOP to Excerpt
    Plugin URI: http://wordpress.stackexchange.com/q/70990/12615
register_activation_hook( __FILE__, 'wpse_70990_activation_run' );

function wpse_70990_activation_run()
    $args = array( 
        'post_type'   => 'post'
    ,   'numberposts' => -1
    ,   'post_status' => published 
    $posts = get_posts( $args );
    foreach ( $posts as $post )
        if( '' == $post->post_excerpt )
            $aioseop = get_post_meta( $post->ID, '_aioseop_description' ,true);
            if( '' != $aioseop )
                $po = array();
                $po = get_post( $post->ID, 'ARRAY_A' );
                $po['post_excerpt'] = $aioseop;

Documentation: register_activation_hook, get_posts, get_post, wp_update_post.

  • Wow sounds neat! I will test it out and get back to you. Thanks for taking this on. :)
    – Drewdavid
    Nov 1, 2012 at 20:02
  • Hi and thanks for this, it's working perfectly. Is there a way to modify this so that it continues to perform this action, post after post? I have had to deactivate and reactivate it after publishing each post to keep up. Wondering if there's a way to automate it or if you'd recommend a different solution. Thanks :)
    – Drewdavid
    Dec 6, 2012 at 21:03
  • Hi, look at this results and search for those hooks usage. Or open a new Question :)
    – brasofilo
    Dec 6, 2012 at 21:14
  • @Drewdavid please mark this answer as correct if it's working perfectly.
    – pendjer
    Dec 10, 2013 at 14:06

I couldn't find the answer for this, so I developed a plugin that will add the description from the All in One SEO Pack and save it as a description for all the posts in your WordPress blog.

You can download it from here. Be sure to backup your database first.

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