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How to Show Limited Number of Tags after Posts in your WordPress Theme

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Recently we were asked how to display a limited number of tags after each post in your WordPress theme. Normally, you use a function the_tags() to display a link to the tags a post belongs to. However that function does not have a parameter to limit the number of tags displayed. So if your post has 12 tags, and your theme only has space for 5, then it might not look so good in the design. A lot of folks just limit the usage of tags, or don’t even include it in the templates. But in this article, we will show you how you can limit the number of tags after posts in your WordPress theme without limiting the number of tags you add to each post.

Edit: Apparently after writing this article, the most awesome Otto (@otto42) replied on my Google+ account to let me know that there is a simpler way of accomplishing this.

First you need to open your theme’s functions.php file and add this function:

function limit_to_five_tags($terms) {
return array_slice($terms,0,5,true);

You can change the 5 number to maximum count you want.

Then open your loop.php, single.php, index.php, or wherever you want to add these post tags (must be inside a post loop), then paste the following code:

<?php the_tags() ?>

This is definitely a lot simpler than what I had come up with which I will leave in this post for those who care.

Old Complicated Method

All you need to do is paste the following code in your theme file (inside the post loop):

$posttags = get_the_tags();
$count=0; $sep='';
if ($posttags) {
	echo 'Tags: ';
	foreach($posttags as $tag) {
		echo $sep . '<a href="'.get_tag_link($tag->term_id).'">'.$tag->name.'</a>';
$sep = ', ';
		if( $count > 5 ) break; //change the number to adjust the count

The code above will display 6 tags in the theme. If you want to show less tags or more tags, simply adjust the $count > 5 line with the number you want. Remember, even though the count number says greater than 5, we see 6 tags. That is because the count is starting at 0. So if you want to show only 4 tags, then the number would need to be 3.

If you want to change the separator, then you need to change line 9. The current code will separate by commas. You can also customize the styling by adding divs, list elements, or anything else that you like.

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Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

20 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
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  2. Jilaan says

    Hi Dear Sir,

    sir i want to show randomly tags in widget how can i do that can you give a code which i can added on my function.php file so its showing randomly tags with limit of tags number.


  3. C. Dee says

    This code snippet works great.

    But I need one modification: I need to only show the first three tags that I enter for each blog post. It’s now showing three tags, which is a good step.

    However, I specifically need the first three in the order I specify. This is because of the purpose my website serves and how research data is presented. For example:

    Jennifer Weaver, Case #4455883, New Mexico

    That’s how I’m entering tags: Name, case number, location — and then I have some additional tags. But I only want the first three to display in the entry meta.

    Any suggestions how to do this? The code you shared chooses any order it wants. If my tags are entered like this — one, two, three, four, five — it chooses its own arrangement, such as:

    five, four, one

    Thanks for any help you can offer with this!!

  4. mahmood dabestani says

    this post was very useful.
    But I’m going to create a single page like contact page that it has descriptions about one of my products.
    how can I add my favorite tags about that descriptions in my page?
    in other word how can I add my favorite tags in a single page?
    thank you so much.

  5. joni says

    How for showing random tags?
    example: in my posting blog have 20 tags,
    And i want showing tags number 1, tag number 6, tag number 5,
    and another post have 20 some tags,
    and i want showing tags number 7, 17, 3.

  6. Hector P says


    How can I do this “limit the usage of tags”. I want only 3 tags per post/product. And if I select a 4, the number is erased.

    Thank you!

  7. Gabrielle says

    Hi, how can i add if is statement to this function?

    I want to show 5 tags on my main Blog Page(Static page with id=99),
    and then show all tags in single-post page
    Is it possible to combine this function, to work with post category?
    Like Above, i want 5 categories and 5 tags on main page, and full list on single-post…
    Sorry for my English ;/

    • WPBeginner Support says

      For that you will have to edit your theme or child theme’s template file. For tags you can try this code:

      $posttags = get_the_tags();
      if ($posttags) {
      	$output = '';
      	foreach($posttags as $tag) {
      		$output .= $tag->name . ' ';
      		if( $count >5 ) break;
      echo $output;


  8. Andrew says

    Great info. I came to this site though google search looking for an answer to another problem I need the tag pages to display their tag names as a heading for their individual tag pages. Is there any theme that does this? I am currently using the Divi theme and that feature is not available.

  9. Mehmet Çağatay says

    How to print the labels at random?
    For example, 5 out of 10 have a label that is shown on a random

  10. Jill says

    Just FYI…when I pasted those 4 lines in my functions file…my entire site went blank. I about had a panic attack. My hosting company was able to get me back up.

  11. ata says

    What about duplicate content (after Panda update) using tags as same article will be on the post and tag pages.

    Also, i read on wp forum regarding the negative impact of using excessive tags (more than 10 tags) for each post.

    • wpbeginner says

      @ata People should not use Tags for SEO. Tags are built-in to WordPress to improve the usability of your site. You can have 500 tags for one post for all that matters. What is crucial is that you follow, noindex the tags pages. So search engines go to those pages and follow all the links, but don’t index those pages. That will solve the SEO problem. There are too many self-proclaimed SEO experts who don’t know what the heck they are doing. Putting generic statements like the ones you mentioned above are totally wrong as long as you follow what we are saying.

      • ata says

        Actually tags does increase traffic for some sites. You can find proof on Google. Especially long tail keywords attached to a post.

        Not sure how the search engine can find your tag links if it is set as ‘noindex’. Maybe the post url but not the tag links as it doesn’t make sense.

        The ‘generic statement’ was not a all. If you read my comment, it is more of a query/question so there is no need to bite my head off.

        • wpbeginner says

          @ata First of all let me be clear. I am not biting your head off. The frustration was expressed toward those experts that go along making generic claims like that. WordPress allows for many ways of indexation. Most folks use category as their primary method of archives. In order to prevent duplicate content, you can only use ONE primary method of archive that is indexable. All secondary methods need to be no-index in order to prevent duplicate content.

          We use Categories as our main method of archiving. If you want you can use tags as a primary source of archiving. We find that categories tend to perform better for our blogs. If you want to use tags as a primary source of archiving, then no-index categories, and date based archives. If you are the only author on the site, then you might as well no-index author archives because that will just produce duplicate content as well.Will not argue SEO theories any further in this article because this is a tutorial for design not SEO.

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