WordPress get_user_meta() Function [Tutorial]

WordPress get_user_meta function

WordPress, the widely used content management system, provides developers with a comprehensive range of features for interacting with user data. Among these valuable tools is the get_user_meta() function. In this informative piece, we will delve into the complexities of get_user_meta(), examining its syntax, practical applications, and the advantages it brings to tailoring user-centric functionalities.

The get_user_meta() Function

Let’s take a look at the get_user_meta() function:


get_user_meta(int $user_id, string $key = '', bool $single = false)

Let’s take a look at the function parameters:

  1. $user_id (int): ID of the user that we’re querying the data for.
  2. $key (string): Optional. The meta key to retrieve. By default, returns data for all keys.
  3. $single (boolean): Optional. Whether to return a single value. This parameter has no effect if `$key` is not specified. Default false.

Practical Applications

Now that we understand the syntax and parameters of get_terms(), let’s explore some practical applications.

1. Retrieving a Single User Meta Value


// Get id of the current user
$user_id = get_current_user_id();
$user_email = get_user_meta($user_id, 'user_email', true);

echo 'User Email: ' . $user_email;

This example retrieves the email address of the currently logged-in user using the ‘user_email’ meta key.

2. Custom Queries with Additional Parameters


$user_id = 123; // Replace with the target user's ID
$custom_data = get_user_meta($user_id, 'custom_data_key', true);

Developers can store custom data for users using unique meta keys, allowing for the retrieval of specific information tailored to their application’s needs.

3. Fetching Multiple User Meta Values


$user_id = 456; // Replace with the target user's ID
$all_meta = get_user_meta( $user_id );

Retrieving all metadata for a user provides an array of key-value pairs, offering a comprehensive view of the user’s stored information.

Similar Functions

  • update_user_meta(int $user_id, string $meta_key, mixed $meta_value, mixed $prev_value = ”)
  •  – the update_user_meta function retrieves a meta value for a given user
  • add_user_meta( int $user_id, string $meta_key, mixed $meta_value, bool $unique = false ) – Add
  • delete_user_meta(int $user_id, string $meta_key, mixed $meta_value = ”) – Removes metadata matching criteria from a user.


The utilization of the get_user_meta() function in WordPress is an influential resource that enhances the functionalities of user data administration. Whether one is constructing customized user profiles, integrating personalized features, or preserving supplementary information through plugins, comprehending and utilizing get_user_meta() is imperative. By harnessing the extensive range of user metadata, developers can fabricate more vibrant and individualized user encounters within the WordPress ecosystem.

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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