For my other blog (Code Quality Code) I’m referring a lot of times a other post as they are all connected to each other. Of course I wanted to automate things and not manually link every time I mention another blog post. To accomplish that I’ve made a small peace of code that will automatically link every reference in the content that is the same as the post title.

Automatically link post titles to their pages

To get started I created a function to get all the post titles. I’ve not done any particular testing for this specific function, but it seemed like a nice optimization to save them as a transient instead of getting them directly from the _posts table every time. This saves the post titles in the _options table so there’s only one more simpler query done to retrieve the value.

A couple notes about the used code;

  1. Only posts will get from this example, you may also want to add pages for example
  2. Only published posts will be linked, no auto drafts nor draft posts
  3. It will only link posts with post titles longer than 5 characters (in case you ever write a ultra-simple post title that is too generic it may link wrong content)
  4. It saves the post titles for a week

Link post titles in the content

Next I created a function that looks for post titles in the post content (case insensitive) and replaces them with a link. The code snippet below shows how its done. I’ve added multiple comments the code to explain what it exactly does.

To optimize things a bit I already pulled the post IDs from in the code above so that won’t need any additional calls to get the post ID later on when searching/replacing.

This should already be enough to get things working on your site.

Clear cache

One important part you don’t want to forget is to clear the cache (transient) when you add/modify a post. The following code snippet re-creates the transient with the latest post titles every time you save a post.

Closing words

Thats it! It will now automatically link any references in the content you make to post titles. Do keep in mind that these are dynamic links, so whenever you change a post title and not change your content it may no longer link automatically.

The full script is available here;

I would love to hear from you if this was useful in any way, have feedback, missing something that you’d love to see or just a Thank you 🙂

Jeroen Sormani

I'm a professional WordPress plugin developer on a mission to create the best plugins for my clients. I'm specialised in developing general WordPress, WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads plugins.

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4 thoughts on “Automatically link Post Titles to their pages (in the content)

Barry Kooij October 29, 2015 at 12:07 am

Hey Jeroen,

I suggest you find links to post upon post save and replace them with links instead of doing so upon every page load. This should boost the performance and solves the issues of links not working anymore after you’ve changed a post title.

Kind Regards,

Barry Kooij

jeroen October 29, 2015 at 9:36 am

Thanks for the ideas Barry! 🙂

This is kind of an idea and experiment, its working well on Code Quality Code so far (which has very little posts at the moment, but tested with more and still lightning fast). Any thoughts on how to handle future posts / permalink changes? It is possible to go through all of them when publishing a post for example, but thats a bit beyond a code snippet IMO.


Pierre January 7, 2017 at 5:39 pm

Hey Jeroen,

thanks for the code. I put the whole code (without “<?php") in the functions.php of my WordPress, but it did not work.

Can you help me and tell me, what I did wrong? Can you explain how to insert the code into WordPress?


Sue Denning June 20, 2017 at 7:16 pm

This is great! Just started fiddling with this – how would you adapt it to work for custom post types?

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