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WP_Query and custom field of custom type

  • I have created a new custom field type named ‘expertise’. It is a hierarchical taxonomy, with custom from ends with nice icons and some javascript to use a ‘tick’ icon when an entry is selected.

    I am using V4 at this stage.

    My new custom post type ‘projects’ has several fields – the relevant ones are:
    1) field of field type ‘expertise’ (field name ‘expertise’) – my custom field type
    2) field of field type ‘Taxonomy’, field name ‘prj_region’. This uses the taxonomy named ‘regions’

    I want to filter by either one or both of these taxonomies in the archive view.

    I understand that WP_Query has two distinct methods for filtering by taxonomy fields vs text fields. Taxonomy fields use the ‘tax_query’, and text fields just use ‘meta_query’ elements of the argument array.

    In my theme directory , I created ‘archive-projects.php’ with this code:

     * Template Name: Page of Projects
      'post_type' => 'projects',
      'posts_per_page' => -1,
       'tax_query' => array(
      /* SEE BELOW FOR TWO CASES OF INITIALISATION OF $args['tax_query'][] -- either:
          'taxonomy' => 'regions',        //OR 'taxonomy' => 'expertise',
          'terms'    => array(733,1196),  //OR 'terms'    => array(1222,1223),
    $my_query = null;
    $my_query = new WP_Query ();
    if ($my_query->have_posts ()) {
      while ( $my_query->have_posts() ) {
        $my_query->the_post ();
        $custom_fields = get_fields();
        ?><h3><?php the_title();?></h3>
        <p><?php echo $custom_fields['prj_details'];?></p>
        <? if (is_array($custom_fields['prj_region'])) {?>
          <p><strong>Region(s):</strong><?php echo implode("; ",$custom_fields['prj_region']);?></p> <?php
        if (is_array($custom_fields['prj_region'])) { ?>
          <p><strong>Expertise:</strong><?php echo implode("; ",$custom_fields['expertise']);?></p> <?php
      } else {
        ?><p>No projects found.</p><?php
      wp_reset_query ();

    When I use the following $args, I get the following output:

    'tax_query' => array(
          'taxonomy' => 'regions',
          'terms'    => array(733,1196),


    New 2016-02-03
    Details of third project
    Online Store Development
    We want to sell something online, and we have a marketing plan - but we just need someone to help out with the technololgy.
    Expertise:1222; 1223

    however, when I try to filter by the field which is a custom field type I get nothing:

    $args[‘tax_query’] of:

    'tax_query' => array(
          'taxonomy' => 'expertise',
          'terms'    => array(1222,1223),


    No projects found.

    It is demonstrated by the output above that some of the records so have expertise values of 1222 and 1223.

    I looked at the wp_postmeta table and found the data stored in the same way for expertise AND prj_region:

    meta_id post_id meta_key   meta_value	
    32335   5457    expertise  a:1:{i:0;s:4:"1222";}
    31770   5403    expertise  a:2:{i:0;s:4:"1222";i:1;s:4:"1223";}
    32333   5457    prj_region a:1:{i:0;s:4:"1196";}

    and the term ids are stored in the same place:
    SELECT * FROM wp_terms;

    term_id	name	                slug	term_group	
    1223    Website Development     website-development 0
    1222    Website Design          website-design      0
    1196    Australia Wide	        australia-wide      0
    733     Melbourne               melbourne           0

    and both ‘regions’ and ‘expertise’ are in the wp_term_taxonomy tables.

    I also tried the ‘normal’ (non-taxonomy) method with ‘meta_query’=>array(…) as one of the $arg elements, but it did not work either.

    My custom field definition looks like this:

    What method should I use to filter by a custom field of a custom field type?

  • I’m not sure how you’re custom field type works, is it actually updated the post terms the way the ACF Taxonomy field does? In ACF4 this in done on line 238 of core/fields/taxonomy.php

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