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How to Display Child Taxonomy on Parent Taxonomy’s Archive Page

Do you want to learn how to display a child taxonomy on a parent taxonomy archive page?

You may need to do this when customizing your taxonomy archive page to make it more useful to your visitors.

In this article, we’ll show you how you can easily show your child taxonomies on your parent taxonomy archive page.

How to display child taxonomy on parent taxonomy archive page

Why Display a Child Taxonomy on the Parent Taxonomy Archive Page?

By displaying all of your child taxonomies on the parent taxonomy archive page you can make it less generic and more useful to your visitors.

For example, if you run a WordPress blog about books and have a taxonomy called ‘Subjects’, then you can add child taxonomies like ‘Fiction’, ‘Non-Fiction’, and more, so your readers can easily sort through your books.

When you have a lot of content, this not only makes it easier to stay organized, but helps your visitors find related content faster.

For more details on using taxonomies, see our guide on how to create custom taxonomies in WordPress.

That being said, let’s show you how to display child taxonomies on parent taxonomy archive pages.

Displaying Child Taxonomies on Parent Taxonomy Archive Page

This tutorial requires some basic understanding of how to add code to WordPress. For more details, see our beginner’s guide to pasting snippets from the web into WordPress.

Then, you’ll need to find your WordPress theme’s taxonomy template file. It will usually be named something like taxonomy-{taxonomyname}.php.

If you’ve created a custom taxonomy called ‘books’, then the name would be taxonomy-books.php. If you don’t have this file, then you will need to create it first.

To learn more, see our WordPress template hierarchy cheat sheet to help find the taxonomy theme template file that you need to edit.

Once you have found the right taxonomy template file, you can simply add the following code to where you want to display the list.

$term = get_term_by( 'slug', get_query_var( 'term' ), get_query_var( 'taxonomy' ) ); 
if ($term->parent == 0) {  
$args = array(
        'taxonomy' => 'subject',
        'depth'    => 1,
        'show_count' => 0,
        'title_li' => '',
        'child_of' => $term->term_id
} else {
  $args = array(
        'taxonomy' => 'subject',
        'depth'    => 1,
        'show_count' => 0,
        'title_li' => '',
        'child_of' => $term->parent

You need to replace the taxonomy subject with the name of your taxonomy.

This code will identify the current parent taxonomy based on the post ‘slug’, then it will display any of the child taxonomies that are related to that term.

Here is how the child taxonomy list will look to your visitors.

Child taxonomy list on parent taxonomy

Notice how it simply lists all of the child taxonomies of the single parent taxonomy. In this case, it shows the different book subjects present in our parent taxonomy.

For more details on customizing your taxonomy page, see our guide on how to show the current taxonomy title, URL, and more in WordPress.

We hope this article helped you learn how to display child taxonomy on parent taxonomy archive page. You may also want to see our comparison of the difference between domain name and web hosting and our expert picks of the best GoDaddy alternatives.

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Reader Interactions

8 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Hello. Thank you for the code. It works.
    But I have a question. How can I hide “title” when hovering the custom taxonomy links. At the moment, the description of each custom taxonomy is displayed in hovering title. Thank you.

  2. I’m using the plugin Taxonomy Images so I would like to include that thumbnail in this list. This is my structure:
    Custom post type= Artwork
    hierarchical taxonomy= Artist Name

    I’m looking for each artist name to up with the thumbnail as a grid list to view artwork.
    I created a taxonomy template for the single artist page, no problem but can’t figure out how to do a list of artists. This solution almost works for me. But I’m getting each artist multiple times in this list.

    Hint…Hint ;)

  3. Almost exactly what I was looking for. I however have one problem: when my Taxonomy has no children I get a single list item that says “No Categories”. What should I do to just display nothing if there are no children?

    Much appreciated!

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