Support » Themes and Templates » Pre populating Custom Post Type Taxonomies

  • Hi There,

    I am creating a theme with a custom post type, and I’d like to be able to pre-populate the custom taxonomies.

    At the moment I am playing around with wp_insert_term() inside the function I create the custom taxonomy, but creating a large hierarchal taxonomy gets very bloated, very quickly. I have a feeling there is a better way.

    Any suggestions?

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Nick-

    I don’t have an answer, but would you be willing to share the code you have thus far?
    I need to do the same thing.


    This was the code I was playing around with. I included an option that is set after this is run, and then wrapped it in an if statement to check if the option was set or not. Running this more than once seemed to give some issues.

    wp_insert_term('Arts and Entertainment', 'place-types', array('','arts-and-entertainment',''));
    		$parent_term = term_exists( 'arts-and-entertainment', 'place-types' );
    		$parent_term_id = $parent_term['term_id'];
    		wp_insert_term('Arcades', 'place-types', array('slug' => 'arcades','parent'=> $parent_term_id));;
    		wp_insert_term('Art Galleries', 'place-types', array('slug' => 'art-galleries','parent'=> $parent_term_id));
    	wp_insert_term('Food', 'place-types', array('slug' => 'food'));
    		$parent_term = term_exists( 'food', 'place-types' );
    		$parent_term_id = $parent_term['term_id'];
    		wp_insert_term('African Restaurants', 'place-types', array('slug' => 'african-restaurants','parent'=> $parent_term_id));;
    	wp_insert_term('Nightlife', 'place-types', array('slug' => 'nightlife'));
    	wp_insert_term('Shops', 'place-types', array('slug' => 'shops'));
    	wp_insert_term('The Great Outdoors', 'place-types', array('slug' => 'outdoors'));
    	wp_insert_term('Travel Spots', 'place-types', array('slug' => 'travel-spots'));

    I personally wouldn’t recommend doing it this way, I feel a pre-populated mysql dump would be better.

    PS. I used variables so I didn’t need to re-write the actual parent element each time, I could reuse the same code.

    Then it’s worth mentioning I was trying to replicate, to some extent, foursquares categories. This might add clarity to what I was trying.

    Interesting. Thanks.

    I’m working on an ePortfolio tagging system. For example, I built the extracurriculars array:

    $extracurriculars = array(
        'Library Job',
        'Non-library Related Job',
        'SLIS Volunteer Activity',
        'State Association Activity',
        'National Association Activity',
        'Other Volunteer Activity',

    And then included this when I built the taxonomy:

    global $extracurriculars;											//Get the $extracurriculars array built in eportfolios.php
    		foreach ( (array) $extracurriculars as $extracurricular) {
    			wp_insert_term($extracurricular, 'extracurriculars_tax');		//Insert the pre-poulated terms built in eportfolios.php whenever the taxonomy is initiated

    My problem now is that I’d like to add descriptions and slugs to the terms, but I’m stuck on how to modify both parts.

    Any ideas there?
    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Hey Bud,

    You can add descriptions as far as I am aware. I haven’t taken the time to pick apart your array and loop though.

    The documentation is here:

    You add the description along with the wp insert terms array

      'Apple', // the term
      'product', // the taxonomy
        'description'=> 'A yummy apple.',
        'slug' => 'apple',
        'parent'=> $parent_term_id

    So in real terms that would like like
    wp_insert_term('Arts and Entertainment', 'place-types', array('enter the description here','arts-and-entertainment','if there is a parent id, you would put it in here'));

    I hope that helps mate.

    Hey Nick-

    Just wanted to follow up – thanks for all your help. This is what I ended up doing:

    1. Create a variable with the terms and other information (here I skip description and parent information):
    2. Insert the terms into the taxonomy:

    These two files are packaged into a plugin which is required by ALL blogs. Two problems present themselves:

    1. When a term needs to be edited, the edits made to the pre-populated tags will not simply edit, they will add a new term. The database doesn’t recognize that it is a simply edit.
    2. wp_delete_term requires the ID – which could be different from blog to blog, so I can’t, I don’t think, delete a term programatically when needed.

    Any ideas?


    My institution has decided to pony up some cash to make this a more robust solution via a plugin. If you know of anyone whom you trust to do such work, please pass on a name and a URL.


    Moderator cubecolour



    This is not the place to hire people for payment.

    You can post a job at

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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