Really Simple Plugins

Search users on username, email address, firstname and lastname

Popular articles

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

If you want to do a search in your WordPress users, or in Ultimate Member members, (which amounts to the same thing), you would think this can be easily done with a meta_query, or with the search query functionality that is built in into WordPress.

This is not the case! When creating some code doing this, I discovered that with a meta_query, a user searched by username doesn’t get found. Looking in the query that is created by WordPress, I noticed that WordPress only searches in the wp_user_meta table. The username is part of the wp_users table.

On the other hand, if you use the “search” query, WordPress only searches in the users table, so won’t find users by firstname or lastname.

To solve it, you have to combine the two. In the example below, the totalusers variable contains the list of users that matches the input $str on either username, user_nicename, user_email, firstname, or lastname. You can extend it at will of course.

//search usertable
$wp_user_query = new WP_User_Query(
    'search' => "*{$str}*",
    'search_columns' => array(

) );
 $users = $wp_user_query->get_results();

//search usermeta
 $wp_user_query2 = new WP_User_Query(
    'meta_query' => array(
    'relation' => 'OR',
        'key' => 'first_name',
        'value' => $str,
        'compare' => 'LIKE'
        'key' => 'last_name',
        'value' => $str,
        'compare' => 'LIKE'

$users2 = $wp_user_query2->get_results();

$totalusers_dup = array_merge($users,$users2);

$totalusers = array_unique($totalusers_dup, SORT_REGULAR);

Related articles