Now this is an issue I encountered while designing some WordPress themes: posts and specifically pages don’t display in real date order. I still can’t precisely tell why this is happening, but it does, and it actually bothers me a bit since most of my websites use a precise page hierarchy. So here we go, short analyse and my personal solution.

Classic WordPress usage

WordPress provides simple functions to get pages/posts, and an easy way to order them by passing parameters through the functions. You can use get_posts or, in my case, get_pages; get_posts uses orderby (all available values here), get_pages uses sort_column (all available values here). You’d expect the following example to list you all your published pages ordered by date, latest first:

$pages = get_pages( array( 'post_type' => 'page',
                           'post_status' => 'publish',
                           'sort_column' => 'post_date',
                           'sort_order' => 'DESC' ) );

Well, that works great for me, as long as I don’t ever modify again one single page after I published it. If I edit a page, then post_modified is set to a new date, and that page will appear as the latest published… Which can be quite annoying.

I spent a couple of hours browsing the web, reading docs and trying to find why this is happening, not a clue up to now, be welcome to enlighten me if you have one! Still, I ended with a homemade solution: a little custom function to reorder my pages properly.

function sort_pages_by_realdate()

We just have to add this to our theme’s functions.php:

function sort_date( $a, $b ) {

    $a_date = strtotime( $a->post_date );
    $b_date = strtotime( $b->post_date );
    if ( $a_date == $b_date ) return 0;
    return ( $a_date < $b_date ) ? -1 : 1;

function sort_pages_by_realdate( $pages ) {
    usort( $pages, 'sort_date' );
    krsort( $pages);

    return $pages;

Our first example now become:

$pages = get_pages( array( 'post_type' => 'page',
                           'post_status' => 'publish',
                           'sort_column' => 'post_date',
                           'sort_order' => 'DESC' ) );

$pages = sort_pages_by_date( $pages );

That’s it 🙂 The important point is to use the posts’ timestamps to compare, not merely post_date. Also note that using krsort() is not an obligation; it depends of the pages order you want. usort will leave you a table ordered from the most ancient pages to the most recent; I use krsort() to reverse the array because I want the latest page by date to be the first listed, so don’t use it if you don’t want that specific order.

Post-it activity during Designing Creative Technology Playgrounds for Families: What are hackerspaces? #mozfest by ricarose

Publié par Charlie

Être humain depuis 1986, développeur web, designer et photographe, je code pour le Web depuis 2000 et pour WordPress depuis 2008. Aventure, Histoire, sciences, musique, café ou personnages forts en caractère et dotés d'un nez en tout point remarquable sont parmi mes passions les plus dévorantes. Indépendant depuis 2010 je travaille avec des gens formidables dans le monde entier, de la Californie à l'Europe en passant par l'Australie et l'Asie. D'autres détails croustillants ?

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