Difference between WordPress Options and WordPress Postmeta

What are WordPress options settings?

These are global settings. You can access these options outside of the post loop and without the need for a post id. The important thing to note is that these can be overwritten by other plugins so make sure to name your options something that is unlikely to be overwritten if you’re relying on them for your plugin.

How do I get options settings?

Getting WordPress options is super simple using the get_option function. If you add the second parameter it will be the default value should the option not exist in the database.

$option_value = get_option( 'option_name', 'default_value' );

How do I set options settings?

In order to set a WordPress option setting, you just use the update_option function. The last parameter, $autoload, identifies whether you should load the option when WordPress starts.

update_option( $option, $new_value, $autoload );

What are WordPress postmeta settings?

These are settings specific to each post, in other words, they are settings tied to a specific post. You need a post id to access a postmeta setting. It’s important to note that these can also be overwritten by other plugins, so make sure the name of your postmeta setting won’t be replaced by another plugin.

How do I get postmeta settings?

$key_1_value = get_post_meta( $post_id, 'key_1' );

If you add true for the third parameter, it will only get the first value for the specified meta key

$key_1_value = get_post_meta( $post_id, 'key_1', true );

If you are within a post loop, you can use get_the_ID() function to get the current post id.

$key_1_value = get_post_meta( get_the_ID(), 'key_1' );

How do I set postmeta settings?

I prefer to use the update_post_meta function over add_post_meta because it will automatically check if the post_meta key already exists and if it doesn’t then it will add it and if it does then it will update it.

 update_post_meta( $post_id, 'my_key', 'Steve' );

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