Alan Bellows Alan Bellows - 5 months ago 27
PHP Question

How to programmatically fetch posts matching a search query in WordPress?

In my plugin code I would like to perform a

(or similar) which returns all posts matching a given query string, as if the user typed that same string into the WordPress search form. Perhaps I'm just being dense, but I cannot seem to find a way to do so. I would expect to have a special parameter for
, such as
, but I see no evidence of one.

I'll start going through the WordPress codebase to see how it's done internally, and I'll post the answer here if I find it. I just thought someone might happen to know offhand.


Passing a query variable of "s" to WP_Query with a search term will filter post results by search term:

$query_args = array( 's' => 'disquiet' );
$query = new WP_Query( $query_args );

The corresponding SQL WHERE clause generated by this query looks like this:

AND (((wp_posts.post_title LIKE '%disquiet%') OR (wp_posts.post_content LIKE '%disquiet%')))

Default search includes the wildcards as shown above, which is most likely what you're looking for. If you want an exact search, you can also pass a query var of "exact" => true.

For the details see the get_posts method of WP_Query in wp-includes/query.php.