I need help. I need to get a user ID or email (email is can do but ID is better) based on their phone number, outside of WordPress. I already have their phone number in a variable and billing_phone is custom metadata in the wp_users table. This is what I am using to load wp

`$parse_uri = explode( 'wp-content', $_SERVER['SCRIPT_FILENAME'] ); require_once( $parse_uri[0] . 'wp-load.php' );`    

and how I am fetching the email.

    `$email = $wpdb->get_var("SELECT user_email FROM wp_users WHERE billing_phone = $phone_number ");`

Thank you all in advance. Any help is appreciated.

  • Locating wp-load.php that way looks like you are loading it from within a plugin. This is generally not a good idea. What are you trying to do? Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 20:12
  • There is no meta data in wp_users table. And you don't need wp-load.php to query the database. Use plain mySQL query from your external script.
    – Max Yudin
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 20:20
  • @Steve I was planning to put it in a plugin at first that is why I load it that way.
    – J. F. Bond
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 20:29
  • @Max lol I just noticed that i was doing that. My brain is fried. Thank for pointing that out.
    – J. F. Bond
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 20:32
  • If you are placing it in a plugin for wordpress why are you acting like it isn't within wordpress? Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 20:44

1 Answer 1


If you have billing_phone as user meta, which is the preferred way, that query would be incorrect. The advantage of utilizing custom user meta and adding a field for billing_phone would allow you to use get_users().

$user = get_users('meta_key' => 'billing_phone', 'meta_value' => $phone_number, 'fields' => 'ID');

The above would give you an array of User IDs that have the matching billing_phone meta value.

  • I've tried using get_users in a few different ways and it never works. The only wp function I can get to work is email_exists. I am soooo stuck on this.
    – J. F. Bond
    Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 20:58
  • Based on your query in the question I wouldn't expect get_users to work. Get users function calling a meta key and value will only work if the user meta is registered the wordpress way and appears within the usermeta table. Commented Feb 19, 2013 at 21:06

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