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The WordPress hook the_terms is used to display the terms associated with a specific taxonomy in a post or a custom post type. It allows developers to modify or customize the output of the terms before they are displayed.

When a post or custom post type has one or more taxonomy terms assigned to it, the the_terms hook is triggered. Developers can use this hook to modify the output of the terms, such as adding custom HTML markup, changing the order of the terms, or even excluding specific terms from being displayed.

The the_terms hook provides two parameters: $term_list and $taxonomy. The $term_list parameter contains the formatted HTML output of the terms, while $taxonomy represents the taxonomy associated with the terms. Developers can use these parameters to manipulate the output as per their requirements.

Example Usage:

function custom_terms_output( $term_list, $taxonomy ) {
    // Add custom CSS class to the term list container
    $term_list = str_replace( '<ul class="', '<ul class="custom-class ', $term_list );

    // Exclude certain terms from being displayed
    if ( $taxonomy === 'category' ) {
        $term_list = str_replace( 'exclude-term', '', $term_list );

    return $term_list;
add_filter( 'the_terms', 'custom_terms_output', 10, 2 );

In the above example, we have defined a custom function custom_terms_output that modifies the output of the terms. It adds a custom CSS class to the term list container by using the str_replace function. Additionally, it excludes any terms with the CSS class exclude-term from being displayed when the taxonomy is set to ‘category’. Finally, we add the filter add_filter( 'the_terms', 'custom_terms_output', 10, 2 ); to apply our custom function to the the_terms hook.

By utilizing the the_terms hook and customizing the output, developers can have more control over how the terms associated with a post or custom post type are displayed on their WordPress website.

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WordPress snippets using the the_terms hook

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