Displaying fields

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To get custom field value in WordPress or display it in your theme, copy the following code and paste it in your theme’s template file:

$value = rwmb_meta( $field_id );
echo $value;

You can put it in the theme single.php or template-parts/content.php file, depending on your theme structure.


The helper function rwmb_meta accepts 3 arguments as below:

rwmb_meta( $field_id, $args, $post_id );
Name Description
$field_id The custom field ID. Required.
$args Extra arguments for some custom field types (image, file, etc.). Optional. Can be array or a string in format param1=value1&param2=value2. See more details in the custom field types (on the left menu, section Fields). Optional.
$post_id Post ID that custom field is get from. Optional. If not present, current post ID is used.

Returned value

  • If the custom field has a single value (not multiple nor clone), then the function returns that value.
  • If the custom field has multiple values (multiple or clone), then the function returns an array of values.

This is an example how to display date of birth (which is a date field):

echo rwmb_meta( 'dob' );

This is an example how to display list of interests (a checkbox_list field):

$interests = rwmb_meta( 'interests' );
foreach ( $interests as $interest ) {
    echo $interest;

Depends on the custom field types, the returned value can be different. See more details in custom field types (on the left menu, section Fields).

Undefined function error

If you’re using rwmb_meta in your theme, there may be a situation when an admin accidentally deactivate the Meta Box plugin and you will see error “Undefined function rwmb_meta…” and your site will be broken.

To prevent this problem, a simple fix for that is adding the following code into your theme’s functions.php file:

if ( ! function_exists( 'rwmb_meta' ) ) {
    function rwmb_meta( $key, $args = '', $post_id = null ) {
        return false;

For developers

The rwmb_meta function is just a wrapper of get_post_meta with some additions to match the way the plugin saves custom fields in the database. It also adds some additional information to the returned value (such as image info) to make it’s easier for developers.

However, you can always use get_post_meta to get the custom field value stored in the database. print_r might help you to see how the custom field value is formatted.

Helper functions

There are several helper functions that work with the custom field value. For more details, please see below:

Video tutorial

In order to understand the usage of helper functions and the difference between them, please check out the video tutorial below:


If the helper functions don’t return correct value, then please check your code that register meta boxes. Do you register meta boxes under some condition like is_admin() or inside another hook? Do you put this snippet:

add_filter( 'rwmb_meta_boxes', 'your_function' );

right in your theme’s functions.php file or in your plugin file without any condition?

If you do, then please remove all the conditions. The conditions might prevent the plugin to get the field settings in the frontend. And in that case, it fallback to just get_post_meta(), which might return unexpected value (single value for checkbox list, for example).

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