Python – How to Create a Category in WordPress if it Doesn’t Already Exist?

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To create a new category in WordPress using Python, you can use the WordPress REST API. Here’s a basic function that checks if a category already exists and creates it if it doesn’t:

import requests
import json

# Your WordPress site URL
site_url = 'http://your-site-url'

# Your WordPress username
username = 'your-username'

# The application password you generated
password = 'your-application-password'

def create_category(category_name):
    # Check if the category already exists
    url = f'{site_url}/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?search={category_name}'
    response = requests.get(url, auth=(username, password))
    if response.status_code == 200:
        categories = json.loads(response.text)
        for category in categories:
            if category['name'].lower() == category_name.lower():
                print(f"Category '{category_name}' already exists")
                return category['id']
    # The category doesn't exist, so create it
    url = f'{site_url}/wp-json/wp/v2/categories'
    data = {
        'name': category_name
    response =, auth=(username, password), json=data)
    if response.status_code == 201:
        category = json.loads(response.text)
        print(f"Category '{category_name}' created successfully")
        return category['id']
        print(f"Failed to create category '{category_name}': {response.text}")
        return None

# Test the function
category_id = create_category('My New Category')

In this code, replace 'http://your-site-url', 'your-username', and 'your-application-password' with your WordPress site URL, your WordPress username, and the application password you generated.

This function first sends a GET request to search for categories with the specified name. If it finds a match, it prints a message and returns the ID of the existing category.

If it doesn’t find a match, it sends a POST request to create a new category with the specified name, then prints a message and returns the ID of the new category.

You can then use the returned category ID when creating a post to assign the post to the category.

Here’s an example:

data = {
    'title': 'My New Post',
    'content': 'This is the content of my new post.',
    'categories': [category_id],  # Assign the post to the category
    'status': 'publish'
response ='{site_url}/wp-json/wp/v2/posts', auth=(username, password), json=data)

Note: You should only use Basic Auth over HTTPS in a production environment. For a more secure method, you should look into using a more secure authentication method such as OAuth.

When I tried this, I got the following error:

{"code":"rest_cannot_create","message":"Sorry, you are not allowed to create terms in this taxonomy.","data":{"status":403}}

In this case, you need to set your role to “Editor” or “Administrator” because only those two roles have the right to set categories in WordPress:

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