custom field

Sort Posts on Multiple Custom Fields

This code is in response to a request to sort posts on 6 Custom Fields, but the approach should apply to any number of Custom Fields.

Adding 6 joins to the query would result in significant overhead to the query, so an alternate method was developed which adds no additional joins or queries.

The meta_keys are named in an array. The first key is used to select posts, so all posts must have at least this Custom Field.

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List Post Titles Sorted on Custom Fields

The sample code here shows how to sort on the values of two Custom Fields, ‘Business Category’, and ‘Subcategory’, to produce a listing like this:


Auto Accessories

  • Acme Auto
  • Bleppo Auto Specialties

Auto Parts

  • Speedy Auto
  • Z’s Auto Parts

The approach is to use a custom query to select the posts and the two custom fields and specify the correct sort order.  The current category and subcategory are used to create control breaks for the proper styling.


// List posts by Business Category, Subcategory
$sql = "
SELECT p.*,m1.meta_value as category, m2.meta_value as subcategory
FROM $wpdb->posts p
JOIN $wpdb->postmeta m1 ON (p.ID = m1.post_id AND m1.meta_key = 'Business Category')
JOIN $wpdb->postmeta m2 ON (p.ID = m2.post_id AND m2.meta_key = 'Subcategory')
WHERE p.post_type = 'post'
   AND p.post_status = 'publish'
ORDER BY m1.meta_value, m2.meta_value, p.post_title
$all_posts = $wpdb->get_results($sql);
$curr_cat = '';
$curr_subcat = '';
$in_list = false;
foreach ($all_posts as $post) {
   $this_cat = $post->category;
   $this_subcat = $post->subcategory;
   if ($this_cat != $curr_cat) {
      $curr_cat = $this_cat;
      if ($in_list) {
         echo "</ul>\n";
         $in_list = false;
      echo "<h2>$curr_cat</h2>\n";
      $curr_subcat = '';
   if ($this_subcat != $curr_subcat) {
      $curr_subcat = $this_subcat;
      if ($in_list) {
         echo "</ul>\n";
      echo "<h3>$curr_subcat</h3>\n";
      echo "<ul>\n";
      $in_list = true;
   } ?>
   <li><a href="<?php echo get_permalink($postid); ?>" title="<?php the_title(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>
<?php }
if ($in_list) echo "</ul>\n";


Select meta_value between limits

This code was written for a user to select posts based on the value of a Custom Field between min and max limits. Continue reading

Posts from Custom Query

This Codex article has a detailed explanation of how to create a template using a Custom Query: