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I have the following custom query written for a page- $menu_loop = new WP_Query( array( 'post_type' => 'page', 'posts_per_page' => 50, 'post_parent' => 616, 'order_by' => 'post_title', 'order' => 'ASC' ) ); while ($menu_loop->have_posts()) : $menu_loop->the_post();

The problem is, when the content is output to the page, it is NOT in alphabetical order by post_title. This has really been mystifying me because if I manually query the DB with- SELECT * FROM wp_2_posts WHERE post_type = 'page' AND post_parent = 616 ORDER BY post_title ASC

then the results are returned correctly. Further, I print_r($menu_loop) and one of the array entries is the actual query sent to the DB and it is wrong and showing- [request] => SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_2_posts.* FROM wp_2_posts WHERE 1=1 AND wp_2_posts.post_parent = 616 AND wp_2_posts.post_type = 'page' AND (wp_2_posts.post_status = 'publish') ORDER BY wp_2_posts.post_date ASC LIMIT 0, 50

which if you look you'll see the ORDER BY statement is sorting by the post date, not the post title.

What am I doing wrong here?

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Your sorting parameter should be: 'orderby' => 'title'

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