The WordPress gallery shortcode now looks like this:

[gallery ids="3439,3440,3444,3443,3445,3453,3457,3458,3456,3461,3452,3468"]

My problem is I have a summary page grabbing the first image of every child page. The code is something like this:

$args        = array(
    'post_type'     => 'attachment',
    'post_parent'   => $page->ID,
    'orderby'       => 'menu_order ID',
    'order'         => 'asc',
    'numberposts'   => 1,
$attachments = get_posts( $args ); 

This now doesn't work (I'm guessing because gallery order is now based on the ID's) Any way to fix it?

1 Answer 1


I had the same issue and was previously using get_children() to retrieve the top 4 images from a gallery for a given page.

Here's the solution I came up with:

// helper function to return first regex match
function get_match( $regex, $content ) {
    preg_match($regex, $content, $matches);
    return $matches[1];

// Extract the shortcode arguments from the $page or $post
$shortcode_args = shortcode_parse_atts(get_match('/\[gallery\s(.*)\]/isU', $post->post_content));

// get the attachments specified in the "ids" shortcode argument
$attachments = get_posts(
        'include' => $shortcode_args["ids"], 
        'post_status' => 'inherit', 
        'post_type' => 'attachment', 
        'post_mime_type' => 'image', 
        'order' => 'menu_order ID', 
        'orderby' => 'post__in', //this forces the order to be based on the order of the "include" param
        'numberposts' => 1,

Now, 'numberposts' => 1 above doesn't seem to work when you specify more than one id in the include parameter. So, you have a couple of choices:

  1. Explode the "ids" argument and grab only the first ID for use in your get_posts call
  2. Grab only the first attachment returned from get_posts (but you'll still be retrieving all attachments in the gallery). Not ideal, but will work.

Hope that helps!

  • Glad that worked! If that answers your question, would you mind marking it as "answer" in addition to the plus one? Thanks!
    – anderly
    Mar 9, 2013 at 22:21
  • One quick question, I've managed to make this work (grabbing one image from each post) however it's the last image in the list of ID's instead of the first?
    – chael
    Mar 11, 2013 at 10:36
  • So, using the sample above, are you saying that $attachments[0] above is the last image in the list of IDs?
    – anderly
    Mar 12, 2013 at 3:45
  • Another option would be to explode the list of IDs like this: $ids = explode(',', $shortcode_args["ids"]); Then, you can use $ids[0] in the call get_posts instead of passing in all the IDs with $shortcode_args["ids"].
    – anderly
    Mar 12, 2013 at 3:46
  • Thanks so much - it works perfectly. Turns out my $shortcode_args wasn't working because I needed $page->post_content instead of $post->post_content, resulting in a random image from the pages gallery.
    – chael
    Mar 14, 2013 at 12:58

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