Execute function when post is published

I try to use this function i have created when a post is published for the first time.

function a_new_post($post){
  $post_id = $post->ID;

  if ( !get_post_meta( $post_id, 'firstpublish', $single = true ) ) {
      // ...run code once
      update_post_meta( $post_id, 'firstpublish', true );
add_action( 'draft_to_published', 'a_new_post' );

I can’t see anything wrong with it, but when i try to create some sample posts i check the database and the field “firstpublished” has not been created.

Does anyone see anything wrong?

Solutions Collecting From Web of "Execute function when post is published"

The correct action is 'draft_to_publish'.

To be sure you used the correct status try to get a list of all registered post statuses (including custom statuses) with:

<pre><?php print '- ' . implode( "\n- ", array_keys( get_post_stati() ) );?></pre>

On a vanilla installation you should get:

  • publish
  • future
  • draft
  • pending
  • private
  • trash
  • auto-draft
  • inherit

Note that publish_post is called each time you edit a published post.

Note also get_post_stati() is one of these unpredictable names in WordPress: it is plain wrong. The plural of the noun status is statuses in English and statūs in Latin. 😀

You could also hook into 'transition_post_status', depending on your needs. You get the new and the old status as arguments, the third argument is the post object. It will catch future_to_publish too, and also posts that were trashed once and republished now (trash_to_publish).


add_action( 'transition_post_status', 'a_new_post', 10, 3 );

function a_new_post( $new_status, $old_status, $post )
    if ( 'publish' !== $new_status or 'publish' === $old_status )

    if ( 'post' !== $post->post_type )
        return; // restrict the filter to a specific post type

    // do something awesome