How to Display Custom Taxonomy Terms in WordPress Sidebar Widgets


WordPress has come a long way from being a simple blogging platform. With additions of custom post types and custom taxonomies, it is being used as a true content management system (CMS). In response from our article on how to create custom taxonomies in WordPress, some of our readers asked us how to display custom taxonomy terms in sidebar widgets. In this article we will show you how to display custom taxonomy terms in WordPress sidebar widgets.

We will show you how to display custom taxonomy terms in sidebar widgets using two different methods. The first method is by installing a plugin which is simpler and easier. We recommend using this method for majority of our audience. The second method involves creating your own shortcode. This method is for those who like to know how things work and have more control over the output.

Adding Custom Taxonomy Terms in a Widget (Plugin)

To display custom taxonomy terms in sidebar or other widget areas using a plugin, the first thing you need to do is install and activate Custom Taxonomies Menu Widget plugin. Upon activation, it adds a custom taxonomies menu widget under Appearance » Widgets. Drag and drop the widget to your sidebar. The widget configuration options allow you to choose the taxonomies you want to display or exclude. It also allows you to exclude terms inside a taxonomy.

Showing Custom Taxonomies in Sidebar using Widget

Adding Custom Taxonomy Terms with Shortcode

Custom Taxonomies Menu Widget plugin allows you to easily display terms from any custom taxonomy, without worrying about the code. However some users would want to learn how to do it manually, so that they could have more control on how terms for their custom taxonomy appears in their widgets. Furthermore, using the shortcode method allows you to display taxonomy terms within your post content should you need to.

First we need to create a shortcode that displays a list of terms and accepts parameters. The only parameter we need is the name of the taxonomy. Add this code in a site-specific plugin:

    // First we create a function  function list_terms_custom_taxonomy( $atts ) {    // Inside the function we extract custom taxonomy parameter of our shortcode    	extract( shortcode_atts( array(  		'custom_taxonomy' => '',  	), $atts ) );    // arguments for function wp_list_categories  $args = array(   taxonomy => $custom_taxonomy,  title_li => ''  );    // We wrap it in unordered list   echo '<ul>';   echo wp_list_categories($args);  echo '</ul>';  }    // Add a shortcode that executes our function  add_shortcode( 'ct_terms', 'list_terms_custom_taxonomy' );    //Allow Text widgets to execute shortcodes    add_filter('widget_text', 'do_shortcode');  

The code above creates a shortcode ct_terms that requires one parameter custom_taxonomy. To use this shortcode drag and drop a Text widget into your sidebar. Add this shortcode in your Widget and save.

[ct_terms custom_taxonomy=customtaxonomyname]

Replace customtaxonomyname with the name of the taxonomy you want to list.

We hope that you find this article useful in displaying custom taxonomy terms in your sidebar or other widget area. Let us know how you prefer to list terms of a custom taxonomy in the comments below.

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