WordPress get_the_terms() Function [Tutorial]

WordPress get_the_terms Function

WordPress provides a wide range of functions that help simplify the organization and retrieval of content data. One notable function is get_the_terms(), which is particularly useful for retrieving the terms linked to a particular post. This guide will delve into the features of get_the_terms(), including its syntax, parameters, and real-world uses, enabling developers to effectively manage taxonomy terms in WordPress.

Understanding get_the_terms() Function

Taxonomies like categories and tags are essential for organizing and categorizing content in WordPress. The get_the_terms() function allows developers to retrieve the terms assigned to a specific post, granting access to important metadata linked to the post. By enabling dynamic content filtering, navigation, and presentation based on taxonomy terms, this function enhances the user experience of WordPress websites.

The get_the_terms() Function

The syntax of get_the_terms() is straightforward:


get_the_terms($post_id, $taxonomy);

Here, $post_id represents the ID of the post for which terms are retrieved, and $taxonomy specifies the taxonomy from which terms are fetched. This function returns an array of term objects or false if no terms are found, providing developers with flexibility in handling the retrieved data.

  1. $post_id (int): ID of the post
  2. $taxonomy (string) – Taxonomy name

Practical Applications

Let’s explore some practical applications of get_the_terms():

1. Displaying Post Categories:


$post_categories = get_the_terms( get_the_ID(), 'category' );
if ( $post_categories && ! is_wp_error( $post_categories ) ) {
    echo '<ul>';
    foreach ( $post_categories as $category ) {
        echo '<li><a href="' . esc_url( get_term_link( $category ) ) . '">' . $category->name . '</a></li>';
    echo '</ul>';

This example retrieves and displays the categories associated with the current post, generating HTML links for each category, allowing users to explore related content seamlessly.

2. Accessing Term Metadata:


$post_terms = get_the_terms( get_the_ID(), 'taxonomy' );

if ( $post_terms ) {
    foreach ( $post_terms as $term ) {
        $term_meta = get_term_meta( $term->term_id, 'meta_key', true );
        // Access and manipulate term metadata as needed

Developers can access and manipulate term metadata using get_term_meta(), enabling advanced customization and functionality based on taxonomy terms.

Functions Similar To get_the_terms()

  • get_terms(array|string $args = array(), array|string $deprecated = ”) – the get_terms function retrieves a meta value for a given post.
  • get_term_by($field, $value, $taxonomy, $output, $filter) – gets all term data from database by term field and data
  • get_term($term, $taxonomy, $output, $filter) – get_term function gets all Term data from database by Term ID.


The get_the_terms() function in WordPress provides developers with a powerful tool for accessing and manipulating taxonomy terms associated with posts. By understanding its syntax, parameters, and practical applications, developers can leverage get_the_terms() to enhance content navigation, filtering, and presentation within WordPress websites. Whether it’s displaying post categories, customizing term queries, or accessing term metadata, get_the_terms() empowers developers to create dynamic and engaging user experiences, enriching the functionality and usability of WordPress websites.

About The Author

Andriy Haydash

Andriy Haydash

Andriy Haydash is a WordPress Expert who helps people build and launch successful WordPress membership and e-learning websites.

Note: Not all of the articles are written directly by me.
Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links in the post may be my affiliate links

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