Check if Post Title exists, Insert post if doesn't, Add Incremental # to Meta if does

I already have a function where a user submits a form and creates a custom post…

<?php $postTitle = $_POST['post_title'];
$submit = $_POST['submit'];

if(isset($submit)){

    global $user_ID;

    $new_post = array(
        'post_title' => $postTitle,
        'post_content' => '',
        'post_status' => 'publish',
        'post_date' => date('Y-m-d H:i:s'),
        'post_author' => '',
        'post_type' => 'stuff',
        'post_category' => array(0)
    );

    $post_id = wp_insert_post($new_post);
add_post_meta($post_id, 'times', '1');

}

I want to check if the custom-post title exists, then if it does NOT, to go ahead and create the post with a #1 in the meta field, and if it does exist, to simply add 1 to the meta field

Solutions Collecting From Web of "Check if Post Title exists, Insert post if doesn't, Add Incremental # to Meta if does"

This would need a query.

So building on your code:

<?php
$postTitle = $_POST['post_title'];
$submit = $_POST['submit'];

if(isset($submit)){

    global $user_ID, $wpdb;

    $query = $wpdb->prepare(
        'SELECT ID FROM ' . $wpdb->posts . '
        WHERE post_title = %s
        AND post_type = \'stuff\'',
        $postTitle
    );
    $wpdb->query( $query );

    if ( $wpdb->num_rows ) {
        $post_id = $wpdb->get_var( $query );
        $meta = get_post_meta( $post_id, 'times', TRUE );
        $meta++;
        update_post_meta( $post_id, 'times', $meta );
    } else {
        $new_post = array(
            'post_title' => $postTitle,
            'post_content' => '',
            'post_status' => 'publish',
            'post_date' => date('Y-m-d H:i:s'),
            'post_author' => '',
            'post_type' => 'stuff',
            'post_category' => array(0)
        );

        $post_id = wp_insert_post($new_post);
        add_post_meta($post_id, 'times', '1');
    }
}

Should do it

WordPress check if post exist by title

function wp_exist_post_by_title( $title ) {
    global $wpdb;
    $return = $wpdb->get_row( "SELECT ID FROM wp_posts WHERE post_title = '" . $title . "' && post_status = 'publish' && post_type = 'post' ", 'ARRAY_N' );
    if( empty( $return ) ) {
        return false;
    } else {
        return true;
    }
}

// usage
if( wp_exist_post_by_title( $post->name ) ) {
// post exist
} else { 
// post does not exist
}

You can use the get_page_by_title() function of WordPress:

<?php $postTitle = $_POST['post_title'];
$submit = $_POST['submit'];


if(isset($submit)){
    $customPost = get_page_by_title($postTitle, OBJECT, 'stuff');

    if(!is_null($customPost)) {
       $meta = get_post_meta($customPost->ID, 'times', true);
       $meta++;
       update_post_meta($customPost->ID, 'times', $meta);

       return
    }

    global $user_ID;

    $new_post = array(
        'post_title' => $postTitle,
        'post_content' => '',
        'post_status' => 'publish',
        'post_date' => date('Y-m-d H:i:s'),
        'post_author' => '',
        'post_type' => 'stuff',
        'post_category' => array(0)
    );

    $post_id = wp_insert_post($new_post);
    add_post_meta($post_id, 'times', '1');

}

A more updated method may use the post_exists() function like so:

if( isset( $_POST['submit'] ) ){

   $post_title = sanitize_title( $_POST['post_title'] );

   $new_post = array(
       'post_title' => $post_title,
       'post_content' => '',
       'post_status' => 'publish',
       'post_date' => date('Y-m-d H:i:s'),
       'post_author' => '',
       'post_type' => 'stuff',
       'post_category' => array(0)
   );

   $post_id = post_exists( $post_title ) or wp_insert_post( $new_post );

   update_post_meta( $post_id, 'times', '1' );

}