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«Return to Blog List Filter Custom Post Type with Dropdown Menu using Custom Taxonomy

A couple of years ago (but only a few posts back; yes, I’m terrible about posting) I posted Filter Custom Post Types with Dropdown Menu Using Custom Field Values. That technique used custom fields to filter posts. With a new project I’m working on, I need to make sure site editors can add categories as needed, then automatically allow visitors to use those categories to filter posts on the front end. That meant a custom taxonomy was the only way to go, because I don’t want my client to have to call me every time they need to add a new category.

Once again, I was unable to find a complete solution anywhere. I started with my afore-mentioned filtering solution, but custom taxonomies are a lot more complex to work with than custom fields. For starters, I needed to create a dynamic select menu, and it had to make the selected option “selected.” I tried several versions before modifying a fairly common piece of code that allows us to get taxonomy terms. While it took a while to put all the pieces together, I’m pleased with its simplicity.

<h4>Filter News by Category</h4>
<form id="newslist" action="" method="GET"> <!--build the dynamic form-->
<select id="news" name="newscat" onchange="submit();">
    <option value="" <?php echo ($_GET['newscat'] == '' ) ? ' selected="selected" ' : ''; ?>>Show all news</option> 
    <?php $categories = get_categories('taxonomy=news-category&post_type=news'); 
    foreach ($categories as $category) : 
        echo '<option value="'.$category->name.'"'; 
        echo ($_GET['newscat'] == ''.$category->name.'') ? ' selected="selected"' : ''; 
        echo '>'.$category->name.'</option>'; 

<?php // let the queries begin 
$paged = ( get_query_var('paged') ) ? get_query_var('paged') : 1; 
if( !isset($_GET['newscat']) || '' == $_GET['newscat']) { // if nothing selected or 'show all' selected 
$newslist = new WP_Query( array( 
    'post_type' => 'news', 
    'posts_per_page' => 8, 
    'orderby' => 'DATE', 
    'paged' => $paged 
) ); 

} else { //if select value exists, the query that compares $_GET value and taxonomy term (name) 
$newscategory = $_GET['newscat']; //get filter value 
$newslist = new WP_Query( array( 
    'post_type' => 'news', 
    'posts_per_page' => 8, 
    'orderby' => 'DATE', 
    'paged' => $paged, 
    'tax_query' => array( //the taxonomy query 
        'taxonomy' => 'news-category', 
        'field' => 'name', 
        'terms' => $newscategory 

if ($newslist->have_posts()) : while ( $newslist->have_posts() ) : 


<?php endwhile; 
else : 
echo '<p>There are no news items in that category.</p>'; 
<?php wp_pagenavi( array( 'query' => $newslist ) ); ?> 
<? wp_reset_query(); ?>

Let me hear from you if you have comments or questions.


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