The Post Slug

While within The Loop, WordPress provides many functions to quickly access the properties of the Post – but it doesn’t include a built-in function to get the slug for the current Post (although, admittedly, you could simply use $post->post_name).  This functionality can be easily included by adding the following two mini-functions within the functions.php file.

function get_the_slug() {
	global $post;
	return $post->post_name;

function the_slug() {
	echo get_the_slug();

Update (26 August 2012)

To be absolutely correct, to avoid possible conflicts with other core WordPress or third-party functions, the two sample functions should really be prefixed with a unique identifier, e.g. cornflowerdesign_get_the_post(). I would also recommend wrapping the functions with a function_exists() check, like so.

if ( !function_exists( 'cornflowerdesign_get_the_slug' ) ) {
	function cornflowerdesign_get_the_slug() {
		global $post;
		return $post->post_name;

Numeric Position of Post

Just a quickie… within a WordPress loop you can easily determine the current post position via $wp_query->current_post.

while ( have_posts() ): the_post();
echo $wp_query->current_post;

Selecting Randon Users

Unlike the get_posts() and get_pages() functions within WordPress, get_users() doesn’t provide a way to return a random selection of users (the results can only be sorted by ‘nicename’, ’email’, ‘url’, ‘registered’, ‘display_name’, or ‘post_count’). For several projects, usually for sidebar widgets, theres been a need to return a randomly sorted sub-set of users, so I wrote the following custom function:

if ( !function_exists( 'get_random_users' ) ) {
	function get_random_users( $args = array() ) {
		$random_users = array();
		$number = 10;

		$defaults = array( 'number' => $number, 'exclude_administrators' => FALSE );
		$args = wp_parse_args( $args, $defaults );
		$number = $args['number'];

		unset( $args['number'] );

		if ( $args['exclude_administrators'] == TRUE ) {
			$administrators = get_users( array( 'role' => 'administrator' ) );

			if ( $administrators && !is_wp_error( $administrators ) ) {
				$exclude = array();

				foreach( $administrators as $user ) {
					$exclude[] = $user->ID;

				$args['exclude'] = $exclude;


		$users = get_users( $args );

		if ( $users && !is_wp_error( $users ) ) {
			$total_users = count( $users );
			$number = ( $total_users > $number ) ? $number: $total_users;

			if ( $total_users == 1 ) {
				$random_users = $users;
			} elseif ( $total_users > 1 ) {
				shuffle( $users );
				$random_users = array_slice( $users, 0, $number );


		return $random_users;

Essentially it works and accepts the same parameters as get_users(), but I have included an option that allows you to exclude Administrators from the returned array. I’m sure the code can be improved – and I probably will do when I get the chance, but for now it does the job.

Alternatively, the following two lines of code, added into the wp-includes/user.php file at line 446, would remove the need for the above function and allow ‘rand’ to be a valid value for the ‘orderby’ parameter.

} elseif ( 'rand' == $qv['orderby'] ) {
	$orderby = 'RAND()';

But I would never condone editing the core WordPress files.


Querying WordPress Taxonomies

To produce a mega-menu for a recent WordPress project, I had a requirement to show all the terms within one taxonomy that were associated with Posts that a specific term from a second taxonomy was also associated with. Tricky. It took a little while to get my head around the problem, but I came up with a solution that did just what was needed.

if ( !function_exists( 'get_associated_terms' ) ) {
	function get_associated_terms( $taxonomy_slug, $term_id = 0, $post_type = 'post' ) {
		global $wpdb;

		$sql = "SELECT DISTINCT $wpdb->terms.term_id, $wpdb->, $wpdb->terms.slug, $wpdb->terms.term_group, $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_taxonomy_id, $wpdb->term_taxonomy.taxonomy, $wpdb->term_taxonomy.description, $wpdb->term_taxonomy.parent, $wpdb->term_taxonomy.count
			FROM $wpdb->terms
			INNER JOIN $wpdb->term_taxonomy ON $wpdb->terms.term_id = $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_id
			INNER JOIN $wpdb->term_relationships ON $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_taxonomy_id = $wpdb->term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id
			INNER JOIN $wpdb->posts ON $wpdb->term_relationships.object_id = $wpdb->posts.ID
			INNER JOIN $wpdb->term_relationships tr2 ON $wpdb->posts.ID = tr2.object_id
			INNER JOIN $wpdb->term_taxonomy tt2 ON tr2.term_taxonomy_id = tt2.term_taxonomy_id
			WHERE $wpdb->posts.post_status = 'publish' AND $wpdb->posts.post_type = %s AND $wpdb->term_taxonomy.taxonomy = %s AND tt2.term_id = %d
			ORDER BY $wpdb->";

		$safe_sql = $wpdb->prepare( $sql, $post_type, $taxonomy_slug, $term_id );
		$results = $wpdb->get_results( $safe_sql, OBJECT );

		return $results;

Once added to the WordPress theme functions.php file or a plugin, its used in the same way you’d use one of the built-in functions, like get_terms(), except my function accepts fewer parameters. It returns an Object that can be looped through in the normal way.

$terms = get_associated_terms( 'tax1', 256 );

foreach($terms as $term) {
	echo '<a href="/tax1/' . $term->slug . '" class="' . $term->taxonomy . '">' . $term->name . '</a>';

The first parameter in the function is the name of the taxonomy you wish to return. The second parameter is the ID of a term within your starting taxonomy. Running my example would return an Object containing all terms within the ‘tax1’ taxonomy which are assigned to Posts that also have term 256 assigned to them.


Getting a list of all files

I do like PowerShell. Something that used to take 10-20 lines of VBS code, such as generating a report of all files stored within a folder, can now be reduced to a single line.

Get-ChildItem "X:\Software" -recurse | Select-Object Name, Extension, Length, CreationTime, LastWriteTime, Fullname | Export-CSV "D:\File Report.csv"


How to Make Disqus Notify the Post Author When a New Comment Is Posted?

This is an interesting one. A new client is using the Disqus service to replace the default WordPress commenting system within their website. They noticed that post authors weren’t receiving notification emails when a new comment was added to their post.

After a bit of searching, I found the following blog post which confirms the issue and provides a simple workaround for it. Normally I’d never alter the code within a plugin (as it makes future updates a nightmare) but in this case, the pros outweigh the cons.

Update: 30 July 2014

As jeremyclarke pointed out, these days, rather than editing the Disqus plugin itself (which is a cardinal sin and should never be done) I would simply create a snippet, that hooks into the wp_insert_comment action or similar, and add it into my functions.php file or a custom plugin. Something along the lines of…

add_action( 'wp_insert_comment', 'disqus_notify_postauthor', 99, 2);

function disqus_notify_postauthor( $comment_id, $comment_object ) {
	wp_notify_postauthor( $comment_id );

Rounding to nearest X

An interesting forumla to remember for rounding numbers to the nearest X.

Int32 value = 43.7;
Int32 toNearest = 5;
Int32 result = Math.Round(value / toNearest) * toNearest;


Adding Metadata Progmattically

Dim meta As HtmlMeta = New HtmlMeta()
meta.HttpEquiv = "refresh"
meta.Content = "600"


19 ffmpeg commands for all needs

This post, from Cats Who Code, lists 19 very useful commands for ffmpeg.


Looping through a SubSonic collection

ArticleCollection articles = new ArticleCollection();
articles.Where("IssueID", 10);

if (articles.Count > 0)
foreach (Article a in articles)
Response.Write(a.Headline + ", ");