This plugin hasn’t been tested with the latest 3 major releases of WordPress. It may no longer be maintained or supported and may have compatibility issues when used with more recent versions of WordPress.

Primary Categories


WordPress plugin for setting and displaying primary categories for posts and custom post types*.

This plugin creates a meta box on the post edit screen titled “Primary Category” containing a drop down menu populated with all categories associated with that post**. Selecting a primary category and updating the post saves this data into a custom field with a meta key of “primary-category”.

To display a list of all posts with a particular primary category, use the shortcode [primary-category name=”cat_name”] where cat_name is the name of the primary category you wish to display. If a name is not specified, the shortcode will default to all posts with “uncategorized” set as the primary category.

*Note: Custom post types must support both categories and custom fields.

**Note: As new categories are added to a post, the post must be updated before those new categories will be available for selection as a primary category.


  • Example of post edit screen with primary category meta box.
  • Example of shortcode being used in page.
  • Example output of shortcode.


This section describes how to install the plugin and get it working.

  1. Upload the ‘primary-categories’ directory to your ‘/wp-content/plugins/’ directory, or install the plugin through the WordPress plugins screen directly
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ screen in WordPress
  3. Select the primary category for each post via the post edit screen
  4. Place shortcode to the content of any post type or access the data via the post meta key ‘primary-category’


How can I access the primary category data?

A post’s primary category is stored in the post meta under the key ‘primary-category’.

What shortcode can I use to display posts with a particular primary category?

[primary-category name=””]

*Note: Name should reference the primary category that is to be displayed, if no name is specified, the name parameter defaults to ‘uncategorized’.

Why isn’t the category I added available as a primary category?

Users must update a post after adding a new category before that category will be available as a primary category.


June 29, 2017
The plugin does just what it says. The code is well-structured and seems very lightweight. What would make it 5 stars were: - possibility to control which post types the plugin applies to by filter - localization - (perhaps out-of-scope) allow developers to control which taxonomy is used on each post type by filter (custom post types often have custom taxonomies as well)
September 3, 2016
Thanks Jacob for this plugin, works fine and is very usefull.Keep update when need it because it,s a necesary plugin. Five Stars, thanks.
Read all 2 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Primary Categories” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


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Initial Commit