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update_metadata() WP 2.9.0

Update metadata for the specified object. If no value already exists, the metadata will be added as new metadata.

Slashing in the meta-fields values

IMPORTANT! The function waits slashed string in the $meta_key and $meta_value parameters.

Before write meta-data to the DB it passes through wp_unslash() function, so you need to be careful when the values contains backslash symbol (\).

Don't pass back-slashed values!

Wrong example:

Suppose we need to place such a JSON string in the value of meta-field: {"key":"value with \"escaped quotes\""}:

$escaped_json = '{"key":"value with \\"escaped quotes\\""}';
update_post_meta( $id, 'escaped_json', $escaped_json );
$broken = get_post_meta( $id, 'escaped_json', true );

/*
$broken parameter becomes a non-working string after stripslashes() processing:
{"key":"value with "escaped quotes""}
*/

Right example:

Adding one more slashing layer (\) with wp_slash() function, we compensate the wp_unslash() processing:

$escaped_json = '{"key":"value with \\"escaped quotes\\""}';
update_post_meta( $id, 'double_escaped_json', wp_slash($escaped_json) );
$fixed = get_post_meta( $id, 'double_escaped_json', true );
/*
$fixed parameter becomes working after stripslashes() processing:
{"key":"value with \"escaped quotes\""}
*/

Return

Int|true|false.

  • true - on successful update.
  • false - on failure or if the value passed to the function is the same as the one that is already in the database.
  • ID of the new meta field - when a field with the given key didn't exist and was therefore added.

Usage

update_metadata( $meta_type, $object_id, $meta_key, $meta_value, $prev_value );
$meta_type(string) (required)
Type of object metadata is for. Accepts 'post', 'comment', 'term', 'user', or any other object type with an associated meta table.
$object_id(int) (required)
ID of the object metadata is for.
$meta_key(string) (required)
Metadata key.
$meta_value(mixed) (required)
Metadata value. Must be serializable if non-scalar.
$prev_value(mixed)
Previous value to check before updating. If specified, only update existing metadata entries with this value. Otherwise, update all entries.
Default: ''

Examples

#1. A basic example showing how to update the post metadata.

The exact analog of the update_post_meta() function. Update the metafield with the key key_1, for the post 76 - change the values from "sad" to "cheerful":

update_metadata( 'post', 76, 'key_1', 'cheerful', 'sad' );

#2 More examples

See the wrapper functions:

Notes

  • Global. wpdb. $wpdb WordPress database abstraction object.

Changelog

Since 2.9.0 Introduced.

Code of update_metadata() WP 5.8.1

function update_metadata( $meta_type, $object_id, $meta_key, $meta_value, $prev_value = '' ) {
	global $wpdb;

	if ( ! $meta_type || ! $meta_key || ! is_numeric( $object_id ) ) {
		return false;
	}

	$object_id = absint( $object_id );
	if ( ! $object_id ) {
		return false;
	}

	$table = _get_meta_table( $meta_type );
	if ( ! $table ) {
		return false;
	}

	$meta_subtype = get_object_subtype( $meta_type, $object_id );

	$column    = sanitize_key( $meta_type . '_id' );
	$id_column = ( 'user' === $meta_type ) ? 'umeta_id' : 'meta_id';

	// expected_slashed ($meta_key)
	$raw_meta_key = $meta_key;
	$meta_key     = wp_unslash( $meta_key );
	$passed_value = $meta_value;
	$meta_value   = wp_unslash( $meta_value );
	$meta_value   = sanitize_meta( $meta_key, $meta_value, $meta_type, $meta_subtype );

	/**
	 * Short-circuits updating metadata of a specific type.
	 *
	 * The dynamic portion of the hook, `$meta_type`, refers to the meta object type
	 * (post, comment, term, user, or any other type with an associated meta table).
	 * Returning a non-null value will effectively short-circuit the function.
	 *
	 * @since 3.1.0
	 *
	 * @param null|bool $check      Whether to allow updating metadata for the given type.
	 * @param int       $object_id  ID of the object metadata is for.
	 * @param string    $meta_key   Metadata key.
	 * @param mixed     $meta_value Metadata value. Must be serializable if non-scalar.
	 * @param mixed     $prev_value Optional. Previous value to check before updating.
	 *                              If specified, only update existing metadata entries with
	 *                              this value. Otherwise, update all entries.
	 */
	$check = apply_filters( "update_{$meta_type}_metadata", null, $object_id, $meta_key, $meta_value, $prev_value );
	if ( null !== $check ) {
		return (bool) $check;
	}

	// Compare existing value to new value if no prev value given and the key exists only once.
	if ( empty( $prev_value ) ) {
		$old_value = get_metadata_raw( $meta_type, $object_id, $meta_key );
		if ( is_countable( $old_value ) && count( $old_value ) === 1 ) {
			if ( $old_value[0] === $meta_value ) {
				return false;
			}
		}
	}

	$meta_ids = $wpdb->get_col( $wpdb->prepare( "SELECT $id_column FROM $table WHERE meta_key = %s AND $column = %d", $meta_key, $object_id ) );
	if ( empty( $meta_ids ) ) {
		return add_metadata( $meta_type, $object_id, $raw_meta_key, $passed_value );
	}

	$_meta_value = $meta_value;
	$meta_value  = maybe_serialize( $meta_value );

	$data  = compact( 'meta_value' );
	$where = array(
		$column    => $object_id,
		'meta_key' => $meta_key,
	);

	if ( ! empty( $prev_value ) ) {
		$prev_value          = maybe_serialize( $prev_value );
		$where['meta_value'] = $prev_value;
	}

	foreach ( $meta_ids as $meta_id ) {
		/**
		 * Fires immediately before updating metadata of a specific type.
		 *
		 * The dynamic portion of the hook, `$meta_type`, refers to the meta object type
		 * (post, comment, term, user, or any other type with an associated meta table).
		 *
		 * @since 2.9.0
		 *
		 * @param int    $meta_id     ID of the metadata entry to update.
		 * @param int    $object_id   ID of the object metadata is for.
		 * @param string $meta_key    Metadata key.
		 * @param mixed  $_meta_value Metadata value. Serialized if non-scalar.
		 */
		do_action( "update_{$meta_type}_meta", $meta_id, $object_id, $meta_key, $_meta_value );

		if ( 'post' === $meta_type ) {
			/**
			 * Fires immediately before updating a post's metadata.
			 *
			 * @since 2.9.0
			 *
			 * @param int    $meta_id    ID of metadata entry to update.
			 * @param int    $object_id  Post ID.
			 * @param string $meta_key   Metadata key.
			 * @param mixed  $meta_value Metadata value. This will be a PHP-serialized string representation of the value
			 *                           if the value is an array, an object, or itself a PHP-serialized string.
			 */
			do_action( 'update_postmeta', $meta_id, $object_id, $meta_key, $meta_value );
		}
	}

	$result = $wpdb->update( $table, $data, $where );
	if ( ! $result ) {
		return false;
	}

	wp_cache_delete( $object_id, $meta_type . '_meta' );

	foreach ( $meta_ids as $meta_id ) {
		/**
		 * Fires immediately after updating metadata of a specific type.
		 *
		 * The dynamic portion of the hook, `$meta_type`, refers to the meta object type
		 * (post, comment, term, user, or any other type with an associated meta table).
		 *
		 * @since 2.9.0
		 *
		 * @param int    $meta_id     ID of updated metadata entry.
		 * @param int    $object_id   ID of the object metadata is for.
		 * @param string $meta_key    Metadata key.
		 * @param mixed  $_meta_value Metadata value. Serialized if non-scalar.
		 */
		do_action( "updated_{$meta_type}_meta", $meta_id, $object_id, $meta_key, $_meta_value );

		if ( 'post' === $meta_type ) {
			/**
			 * Fires immediately after updating a post's metadata.
			 *
			 * @since 2.9.0
			 *
			 * @param int    $meta_id    ID of updated metadata entry.
			 * @param int    $object_id  Post ID.
			 * @param string $meta_key   Metadata key.
			 * @param mixed  $meta_value Metadata value. This will be a PHP-serialized string representation of the value
			 *                           if the value is an array, an object, or itself a PHP-serialized string.
			 */
			do_action( 'updated_postmeta', $meta_id, $object_id, $meta_key, $meta_value );
		}
	}

	return true;
}

Metadatas (any)

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