Sort Posts With The Help Of Custom Fields

WordPress-Christmas-17Quite often, a WordPress developer likes to have posts sorted according to a custom field. If you would write a SQL-statement, it would be quite complex, since you need to JOIN two database tables (wp_posts und wp_postmeta).

But there is a much easier way, if you use the template tags provided by WordPress – in our case we use the function query_posts. Below you can see an example, which includes a custom field in the query, and also sort the posts with the help of this custom field. A short, easy to understand code with effective result:

Bildschirmfoto 2009-12-04 um 21.49.05


Guest Post

This post is written by Sergej Müller and is a post in our Advent Calendar on WP Engineer about WordPress.
Thank you very much from my part to Sergej.
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Comments are closed.


  1. Dion Hulse (dd32)

    Please Note: This methodology completely breaks with Pagination of posts. and also increases SQL usage as WordPress is forced to double-query posts.

  2. Sergej Müller

    This is not an unusual query, the core team recommends this also:

  3. sebastien

    what’s the result if 2 posts have a same meta_value ?

  4. Sergej Müller

    Then both should be considered by the query.

  5. Matt B

    Personally, this is not too difficult a concept. I have done more than once, but it is always good as a tip for reference!

  6. maurizio

    my 2 cents:
    the meta_value field is a text field so the order is alphabetic and not numeric.

    in my experience i need to digit “01”, “02”, “03”…. “10” , “11” to fix the right order.

    with regard to pagination we could add the pagination parameters…
    see here:

  7. ver

    what if you have two meta_compare { samle: if i want to query from price 100 price less 600 }

  8. aleSub

    your method is very very useful, but here’s a hard one:

    what if I need to have the posts sorted by one custom field, but ordered by another?

    I’m trying to figure that out, if I come to something useful I’ll be letting you guys know.

    great site btw!!

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