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Pulling custom fields from outside the loop

In the last post “Creating a custom widget” I showed you how to create a custom widget. Well in this post I will show you how I used my custom widget to display all post with a certain custom field from outside the WordPress loop.

In the last post I used this tag:

<?php include(TEMPLATEPATH . '/includes/showcase.php'); ?>

Now I will show you what the file showcase.php has:

global $wpdb;

$sql = "SELECT wposts.*
	FROM $wpdb->posts wposts, $wpdb->postmeta wpostmeta
	WHERE wposts.ID = wpostmeta.post_id
	AND wpostmeta.meta_key = 'gallery-url'
	AND wposts.post_status = 'publish'
	AND wposts.post_type = 'post'
	ORDER BY wposts.post_date DESC LIMIT 8";

$pageposts = $wpdb->get_results($sql, OBJECT);
$output = $pre_HTML;

foreach ($pageposts as $post) : setup_postdata($post);  ?>

<li><a href="<?php echo get_post_meta($post->ID, "gallery-url", $single = true); ?>" title="Link to <?php the_title(); ?>">
<img src="<?php echo get_post_meta($post->ID, "image", $single = true); ?>" alt="<?php the_title(); ?>" /></a></li>

<?php endforeach; ?>


That’s it! The most important item you may want to change for your own custom field is the line : AND wpostmeta.meta_key = 'gallery-url'. Where you would change the text in bold to match your own custom field value.


Check out Austin from PressedWords comment below.

With his great advise I was able to figure out why all my attempts to use the query_post weren’t working. it came down to this line of code: <?php echo get_post_meta($post->ID, "gallery-url", $single = true); ?>, that was what I had in my code, and the $post->ID is the reason my code would not echo or print the custom field’s value. Solution? replace $post->ID with get_the_ID(). HA, so simple.



  1. Austin

    January 17, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    No need to query the database directly. You can use the WordPress API to accomplish the same thing:

    'meta_key' => 'gallery-url',
    'showposts' => 8,
    while( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>

    <li><a href="<?php echo get_post_meta(get_the_ID(), "gallery-url", $single = true); ?>" title="<?php echo attribute_escape(sprintf('Link to %s', get_the_title())); ?>">
    <img src="<?php echo get_post_meta(get_the_ID(), "image", $single = true); ?>" alt="<?php echo attribute_escape(get_the_title()); ?>" /></a></li>

    <?php endwhile; ?>


    If you can, it’s usually better to use the WordPress API, because your code won’t have to change if the underlying database structure in WordPress changes (as it has before), you get the benefits of the built-in object caching (or caching plugins, if they’re being used), and it tends to allow better compatibility with other plugins.

    Austin’s last blog post..WordPress Use Declines Among Top 100 Bloggers

  2. frosty

    January 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Thanks for that, I will give that code a shot. I tried so many variations, and it wouldn’t show the custom fields, just the html code I input.


    P.S. If that works I will write a post based on your recommended code!

  3. Pingback: Weekend Links - Jan 23, 2009 | OMNINOGGIN

  4. Guennadi M

    June 14, 2009 at 8:56 am

    To display custom field outside the loop, you need to make the post ID available outside the loop, as per

    Guennadi M

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