Function and usage of get_the_category() in wordpress


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    The get_the_category() function in WordPress is used to retrieve the categories assigned to a post. It's a useful function for theme developers or plugin authors who need to display or manipulate the categories associated with a post. Here's a detailed explanation of its usage and parameters:


    • get_the_category( int $post_id = false ): WP_Term[]


    • This function is primarily used to get the categories of a post.
    • It can be used both inside and outside The Loop. Inside The Loop, it automatically uses the current post’s ID, but you can also specify a post ID explicitly to use it outside The Loop.
    • It's important to note that get_the_category() only returns categories from the default "category" taxonomy. For custom taxonomies, you should use the get_the_terms() function.


    • $post_id (int, optional): The ID of the post you want to retrieve categories for. If not set, or if set to false, the function will use the ID of the current post in The Loop.
      • Default value: false


    • The function returns an array of WP_Term objects. Each WP_Term object represents a category assigned to the post.
    • If the post has no categories, it returns an empty array.

    Sample Usage:

    1. Inside The Loop (without specifying a post ID):

      $categories = get_the_category();
      foreach ($categories as $category) {
          echo $category->name;

      This code will loop through all categories assigned to the current post and print their names.

    2. Outside The Loop (with a specific post ID):

      $post_id = 123; // Replace with your specific post ID
      $categories = get_the_category($post_id);
      foreach ($categories as $category) {
          echo $category->name;

      Here, the function retrieves the categories for a post with the ID 123, and the code then prints the names of these categories.

    This function is widely used for displaying category information on post pages, customizing category-based output in themes, or even in plugins that need to filter or sort posts based on their categories.

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