Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

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

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

One of the best ways to improve the browsing experience of your website is to use taxonomies to categorize your content. However, we’ve found that on complex sites with child taxonomies, website visitors may be unsure of how to explore related content.

One solution is to show your child taxonomies on the parent taxonomy archive pages. You can achieve this by customizing your taxonomy archive pages with a code snippet.

In this article, we will show you how you can easily display your child taxonomies on your parent taxonomy archive pages to enhance user engagement and navigation.

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 will 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.

Expert Guides on Custom Taxonomies in WordPress

Now that you know how to display a child taxonomy on a parent taxonomy archive page, you may like to see some other guides related to custom taxonomies:

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

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

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.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

11 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. kzain says

    This is a valuable solution for websites with multi-level taxonomies! The code snippet approach seems straightforward for displaying child taxonomies on parent archive pages. For someone unfamiliar with code, are there any alternative plugins that might achieve this functionality without needing to edit theme files?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We will be sure to take a look and if there is one we recommend we will update this article and share! :)


  3. Zulya says

    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.

  4. Susan Clifton says

    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 ;)

  5. Jake says

    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!

Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.