get_post_meta( int $post_id, string $key = '', bool $single = false )

Retrieves a post meta field for the given post ID.

Parameters Parameters


(int) (Required) Post ID.


(string) (Optional) The meta key to retrieve. By default, returns data for all keys.

Default value: ''


(bool) (Optional) Whether to return a single value. This parameter has no effect if $key is not specified.

Default value: false

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Return Return

(mixed) An array of values if $single is false. The value of the meta field if $single is true. False for an invalid $post_id (non-numeric, zero, or negative value). An empty string if a valid but non-existing post ID is passed.

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More Information More Information

  • Please note that if a db collation is case insensitive (has with suffix _ci) then update_post_meta and delete_post_meta and get_posts() will update/delete/query the meta records with keys that are upper or lower case. However get_post_meta will apparently be case sensitive due to WordPress caching. See for more info. Be careful not to mix upper and lowercase.
  • Uses: get_metadata() to retrieve the metadata.

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Source Source

File: wp-includes/post.php

function get_post_meta( $post_id, $key = '', $single = false ) {
	return get_metadata( 'post', $post_id, $key, $single );

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Changelog Changelog

Version Description
1.5.0 Introduced.

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User Contributed Notes User Contributed Notes

  1. Skip to note 1 content
    Contributed by memuller

    Return values when no meta field is found
    If a meta field with the given $key isn’t found for the given $post_id, the return value varies:

    If $single is true, an empty string is returned.
    If $single is false, an empty array is returned.

    Since both evaluate as false, you can use get_post_meta directly in conditionals, like this:

    if( ! get_post_meta( '1', 'non-existing_meta', true ) ) {}
    if( ! get_post_meta( '1', 'non-existing_meta', false ) ) {}
    // both ifs will get run if no meta field is found; since
    // array() == false and '' == false

    What if I want to store an empty string?
    If for some reason your with to store an empty string or array into your meta field, get_post_meta will not be reliable when checking if the given meta field exists.
    In this case, you can use get_post_custom_keys to do so:

    if( ! in_array( 'given_key', get_post_custom_keys( '1' ) ) ) {} 
    // this correctly checks for the existence of the given key, 
    // even if it's empty or has a value that evaluates as false. 
  2. Skip to note 2 content
    Contributed by Ian Dunn

    The best thing about this function is that you no longer need to use it :)

    Since r21559 (v3.5), you can just call $post->foo to fetch the equivalent of get_post_meta( $post->ID, 'foo', true ).

    You can even extend that to introduce dynamically-generated fields, so you can call echo esc_html( $post->bar ) instead of $bar = some_custom_logic( get_post_meta( $post->ID, 'bar', true ) ); echo esc_html( $bar ).

    This makes code a lot cleaner and more readable.

    add_filter( 'get_post_metadata', 'add_dynamic_post_meta', 10, 4 );
     * Add dynamically-generated "post meta" to `\WP_Post` objects
     * This makes it possible to access dynamic data related to a post object by simply referencing `$post->foo`.
     * That keeps the calling code much cleaner than if it were to have to do something like
     * `$foo = some_custom_logic( get_post_meta( $post->ID, 'bar', true ) ); echo esc_html( $foo )`.
     * @param mixed  $value
     * @param int    $post_id
     * @param string $meta_key
     * @param int    $single   @todo handle the case where this is false
     * @return mixed
     *      `null` to instruct `get_metadata()` to pull the value from the database
     *      Any non-null value will be returned as if it were pulled from the database
    function add_dynamic_post_meta( $value, $post_id, $meta_key, $single ) {
    	$post = get_post( $post_id );
    	if ( 'page' != $post->post_type ) {
    		return $value;
    	switch ( $meta_key ) {
    		case 'verbose_page_template':
    			$value = "The page template is " . ( $post->_wp_page_template ?: 'not assigned' );
    	return $value;
  3. Skip to note 4 content
    Contributed by Codex

    Default Usage
    Get the meta for all keys for the current post:

    <?php $meta = get_post_meta( get_the_ID() ); ?>

    Get all meta for a single key for the current post:

    <?php $key_1_values = get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'key_1' ); ?>

    Get the first value of a meta key for the current post:

    <?php $key_1_value = get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'key_1', true ); ?>
  4. Skip to note 5 content
    Contributed by Codex

    Retrieve a Custom Field Thumbnail Url
    While you are in the WordPress Loop, you can use this code to retrieve a custom field. In this example, the thumbnail image url is in a custom field named “thumb”.

    <?php if ( get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'thumb', true ) ) : ?>
    	<a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark">
    		<img class="thumb" src="<?php echo esc_url( get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'thumb', true ) ); ?>" alt="<?php the_title_attribute(); ?>" />
    <?php endif; ?>
  5. Skip to note 7 content
    Contributed by stijnjanmaat

    When you don’t specify a $key (”) and set $single to true in get_post_meta, it will return all keys still with an array of values.

    $meta = get_post_meta(get_the_ID(), '', true);
    //Array ( [key_1] => Array ( [0] => value_1 ), [key_2] => Array ( [0] => value_2 ) )
  6. Skip to note 8 content

    When we calling for all post meta, it will returned array value:

    $post_metas = get_post_meta(get_the_ID());

    sample output:

    array(2) {
      array(1) {
        [0]=> "value1"
      array(1) {
        [0]=> "val2"

    We can make it into string, array_column will resulting default array value into string, for sure we need array combine to re-form array key:

    $post_metas = get_post_meta(get_the_ID());
    $post_metas = array_combine(array_keys($post_metas), array_column($post_metas, '0'));

    now output will be like here:

    array(2) {
      string(6) "value1"
      string(4) "val2"
  7. Skip to note 11 content
    Contributed by Nadav Rotchild

    If the value of the $key parameter is falsy get_post_meta will return the entire post meta array, even if $single is set to true. for example:

    get_post_meta( $post_id, FALSE, TRUE); //Returns all the post meta fields as an array.
    get_post_meta( $post_id, '0', TRUE); //Will also return all the post meta fields as an array. 
  8. Skip to note 12 content
    Contributed by heshamadel

    Function The Retrieve a Number views in post

     Pass in function
    	1: PostID                      =>     use get_the_ID();
    	2: Meta Key Name               =>   'you can called anythings'
    	3: Get The Post Meta Field     =>   get_post_meta();
    	4: The Number Start Count      =>    add anyNumber ( 0,1,100,1000 or 2000 )
    	5: Count +1
    	6: Called Function in anypage  =>  <?php echo relationscode_save_post_views( ) ?>
     but you should remove (adjacent_posts_rel_link_wp_head)
    	function relationscode_post_views( ) {
           $postID = get_the_ID();
    	   $metaKey = 'relationscode_post_views';
    	   $views = get_post_meta( $postID, $metaKey, true );
    	   $count_start_num = 0;
    	   $count = ( empty( $views ) ? $count_start_num : $views );
           if(is_single()) {
        	  update_post_meta( $postID, $metaKey, $count );
        	  echo $count;
           } else {
        	   echo $views;
       remove_action( 'wp_head', 'adjacent_posts_rel_link_wp_head', 10, 0 );

  9. Skip to note 14 content
    Contributed by Koen Reus

    Here’s a pitfall to steer clear of…

    register_post_meta() allows you to define a default value for a meta field. If the default value evaluates to true, you’ll be scratching your head why get_post_meta() returns true when you haven’t yet set a value, or just used delete_post_meta().

    Obviously get_post_meta() will return the default value defined in register_post_meta().

    register_meta( 'post', 'sample_field',[
    	'single'	=> true,
    	'type'		=> 'boolean',
    	'default'	=> true,
    if(!get_post_meta($post_id, 'sample_field', true)){
    	//This will now always execute unless you manually update the sample_field meta to false
  10. Skip to note 15 content
    Contributed by Mario Valney

    False if post ID isn’t absint or is 0

    Passing $post_id == 0 (or anything not a absint) will return false no matter $single.

    $meta = get_post_meta( 0, 'key', true );
    var_dump( $meta ); // bool(false)
    $meta = get_post_meta( 0, 'key', false );
    var_dump( $meta ); // bool(false)
  11. Skip to note 16 content
    Contributed by sltmunky69

    When I had tons of meta keys to work with to display some custom content for custom post types, instead of making several dozen calls to the get_post_meta function to grab the keys I wanted, I wrote this function instead. Basically it gets all of the meta keys and filters out all of the arrays with single values while maintaining any arrays that actually do have multiple values and returns an associative array of the results. If you have lots of single values to get, it saves you from having to iterate over every result to get your $k=>$v pairs so you can just access them by $mk[‘my_custom_meta_key’].
    function array_push_assoc($array, $key, $value){
    $array[$key] = $value;
    return $array;

    function filter_gpm($array){
    $mk = array();
    foreach($array as $k => $v){
    if(is_array($v) && count($v) == 1){
    $mk = array_push_assoc($mk, $k, $v[0]);
    } else {
    $mk = array_push_assoc($mk, $k, $v);
    return $mk;

    Call it like so
    $mk = filter_gpm( get_post_meta( get_the_ID() ) );

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