WordPress Tip: How To Order By Multiple Custom Fields

When you do WP_Query in WordPress, orderby is your friend to get things in order. It’s the argument passed on to tell MySQL server which column to sort on when it’s creating the Order By clause.

It’s pretty straightforward to get only one column sorted but things will get a bit complicate when there are multiple ones to take care of.

To sort by multiple columns with WP_Query, you can pass an array to the query as the value for orderby. For example,

$q = new WP_Query(
 array(
 'orderby' => array( 
 'title' => 'DESC', 
 'menu_order' => 'ASC' 
 )
 )
);

But that’s not enough, you will need to make a Meta_Query to describe the columns that you need to put them in order. The whole thing would look like this:

$q = new WP_Query( array(
 'meta_query' => array(
 'relation' => 'AND',
 'title_clause' => array(
 'key' => 'title',
 'compare' => 'EXISTS'
 ),
 'menu_order_clause' => array(
 'key' => 'menu_order',
 'compare' => 'EXISTS'
 ),
 array(
 'orderby' => array( 
 'title' => 'DESC', 
 'menu_order' => 'ASC' 
 )
 )
 )
);

 

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