How to only display posts whose meta_value field is not empty?

Three people have already tried to solve this, and we’re coming up nil. I want to show only posts that have a value in the meta_key ‘featured_image’.

So… if ‘featured_image’ is not empty, show the post. Here’s the code:

      <ul>
      <?php
      $args = array(
        'showposts' => 5,
        'meta_query' => array(
          array(
            'key' => 'featured_image',
            'value' => '',
            'compare' => '!='
            )
          )
      );
      $ft_pagination = new WP_Query( $args );
      ?>
      <?php while ($ft_pagination->have_posts()) : $ft_pagination->the_post(); ?>
        <?php $ftimage = get_post_meta(get_the_id(), 'featured_image', TRUE); ?>
        <li>
          <article>
            <a href="">
            <?php if ($ftimage): ?>
              <img src="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/timthumb.php?src=<?php echo $ftimage; ?>&w=84&h=60" alt="" />
            <?php else: ?>
              <img src="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/timthumb.php?src=/wp-content/themes/ssv/images/review-default.gif&w=84&h=60" alt="" />
            <?php endif; ?>
            </a>
          </article>
        </li>
      <?php
      endwhile;

      wp_reset_query();
      ?>
      </ul>

We have tried literally every combination we can think of, the deprecated meta_* options, query_posts, get_posts, instead of WP_Query… Nothing. Printed the select statement, no meta value field is showing. It exists – for the posts (for every post) and it exists in the db.

We’ve seen every post out there on the topic right now, including these:

query_posts and only show results if a custom field is not empty

http://scribu.net/wordpress/advanced-metadata-queries.html

Zilch. Please help…

Here is Solutions:

We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first solution because it is tested & true solution that will 100% work for you.

Solution 1

Hi @Rob:

The reason you can’t figure out how to do it is because it’s not possible, at least not without resorting to SQL. Try adding the following to your theme’s functions.php file:

add_filter('posts_where','yoursite_posts_where',10,2);
function yoursite_posts_where($where,$query) {
  global $wpdb;
  $new_where = " TRIM(IFNULL({$wpdb->postmeta}.meta_value,''))<>'' ";
  if (empty($where))
    $where = $new_where;
  else
    $where = "{$where} AND {$new_where}";
  return $where;
}

If you have custom 'featured_image' fields with empty values the above will filter them out. If you problem is something else, we’ll have to see what your data looks like to solve it.

One thing I’m curious about; how did you get empty values for 'featured_image'? The admin UI in WordPress 3.1 does its best to keep you from entering empty values.
Hope this helps.

Solution 2

This seems to work for getting the value into the query, not sure about whether it pulls valid results though..

'meta_query' => array(
    array(
        'key' => 'some_key',
        'value'   => array(''),
        'compare' => 'NOT IN'
    )
)

Not had time to create fields to test the results, but i’ve been watching queries i’ve worked with today and noticed NOT IN will happily take an empty array.

Solution 3

This is an old question, but it seems WordPress has fixed this “missing feature”: now, according to WordPress Codex is possible to check for existence (or non-existence) of the meta key, like this

'meta_query' => array(
    array(
        'key' => 'featured_image',
        'compare' => 'EXISTS', //or "NOT EXISTS", for non-existance of this key
    )
)

This is available as of WP >= 3.5.

Solution 4

This is the query that worked for me. Very similar to the comparison in t31os’s answer from 2011, but because the meta key/value is just a simple textstring, it doesn’t need to be a meta_query array.

$args = array(
    'posts_per_page' => 5,//replaced 'showposts' in version 2.1
    'meta_key' => 'featured_image',
    'meta_value' => array(''),
    'meta_compare' => 'NOT IN'
);

For whatever reason, using 'meta_value' => '' and 'meta_compare' => '!=' or 'meta_compare' => 'NOT LIKE' still pulled all posts for me, but it probably has something to do with the fact that I created my meta value using the Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) plugin.

Read more about custom field parameters in the codex.

Solution 5

If you want the meta value to exist and have some value other than an empty string:

      'meta_query' => [
        'relation' => 'AND',
        [
          'key' => 'some_key',
          'compare' => 'EXISTS',
        ],
        [
          'key' => 'some_key',
          'compare' => '!=',
          'value' => ''
        ]
      ]

Solution 6

This is fixed in WP 3.2-alpha:

http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/15292

Solution 7

Am i missing something?

<?php 
    $args = array(
        'post_type' => 'post',
        'posts_per_page' => -1,
        'meta_key' => "featured_image"
    );
    $the_query = new WP_Query( $args ); 

?>

Won’t that do it?

Solution 8

Hopefully this may help. You could always use the ‘EMPTY’ or ‘NOT EMPTY’ comparator like so:

       'meta_query' => [
        'relation' => 'AND',
        [
          'key' => 'your_key',
          'compare' => 'NOT EMPTY',
        ],
     
      ]

Use this with one of my checkbox ACF fields which seems to work really well. In my case, I was doing the opposite of yourself and some of the posts I was querying didn’t have an entry for this meta field so I simply added the NOT EXISTS option as a second comparison.

Querying posts that either did not contain the meta field or contained an empty field:

 'meta_query' => [
        'relation' => 'AND',
        [
          'key' => 'your_key',
          'compare' => 'NOT EXIST',
        ],
        [
          'key' => 'your_key',
          'compare' => 'EMPTY',
        ],
     
      ]

Solution 9

So I had this problem specifically when using ACF & when using a field that held a multiple select that had previously had been populated and now was empty.

I had the issue that:

    'relation' => 'AND',
    array(
       'key' => 'field_name',
       'compare' => 'EXISTS'
    ),    
    array(
      'key' => 'field_name',
      'value' => '',
      'compare' => '!='
    ),

Was returning all the posts whether the meta was empty or not?

So instead I looked to see if the field contained a double quote:

    'key' => 'field_name',
    'value' => '"',
    'compare' => 'LIKE'

As ACF uses double quotes in an array structure for multi selects stored in the DB.

Hope this helps someone who has fallen into the same trap as I 🙂

Solution 10

!has_featured_image();

one liner ftw.

Note: Use and implement solution 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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