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I have a custom category page with the following query:

$args = array(  
   'cat'  => $portfolioCategories,   
   'posts_per_page'     => $itemsPerPage,  
   'orderby'            => 'menu_order date',   
   'order'              => 'DESC',   
   'paged'              => $paged   
query_posts( $args );

So 'orderby' => 'menu_order' works just fine. 'orderby' => 'date' works just fine.

But 'orderby' => 'menu_order date' does not work - I get some weird completely random order.

What have I done wrong?

PS: Yes, I have enabled page attributes (ie, menu order) for posts in my functions file
PPS: I get the same results whether I use query_posts($args) or new WP_Query($args)

EDIT: The SQL generated looks like this:

  FROM wp_rk2ukj_posts 
 INNER JOIN wp_rk2ukj_term_relationships ON (wp_rk2ukj_posts.ID = wp_rk2ukj_term_relationships.object_id) 
 WHERE 1=1  
   AND ( wp_rk2ukj_term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id IN (89,93,94,95,96,106) ) 
   AND wp_rk2ukj_posts.post_type = 'post' 
   AND (wp_rk2ukj_posts.post_status = 'publish' OR wp_rk2ukj_posts.post_status = 'private') 
 GROUP BY wp_rk2ukj_posts.ID
 ORDER BY wp_rk2ukj_posts.menu_order,wp_rk2ukj_posts.post_date DESC
 LIMIT 0, 9
share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

This should help:

You can use multiple fields in orderby argument. Codex shows you how to do it (and you do it correctly):

$query = new WP_Query( array( 'post_type' => 'page', 'orderby' => 'menu_order date', 'order' => 'ASC' ) );

And it should solve your problem. (It should, but if you want to sort DESC it probably won't, because of this WordPress bug: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/17065)

Of course you always can use posts_orderby filter to create your own ORDER BY part of query.

function my_posts_orderby($orderby_statement) {
    $orderby_statement = "YOUR ORDER BY STATEMENT";
    return $orderby_statement;
add_filter('posts_orderby', 'my_posts_orderby');

Just add this filter just before you call your query and remove it after.

share|improve this answer
Even if I use new WP_Query instead of query_posts, it still doesn't work. I do want both parameters ordered DESC (so independent sorting is not an issue). I'm wondering if it isn't the GROUPBY clause being returned in the SQL? – Amanda Aug 7 '13 at 9:39
Read carefully pls. It's a bug in WordPress code. Multiple orderby won't work, if you use DESC order. The only way to do it now is to use posts_orderby filter. – Krzysiek Dróżdż Aug 7 '13 at 9:43

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