I am trying to perform the following query, which originates by the fact the post's 'date' and 'time' are entered as separate custom fields.

$args = array(
      'post_type' => 'some_kind_of_posts',
      'posts_per_page' => 3,
      'orderby' => 'meta_value_num',
      'meta_key' => strtotime('date'. ' ' .'time'),
      'order' => 'DESC',
      'meta_query' => array(
                'key' => strtotime('date'. ' ' .'time'),
                'value' => strtotime(date('H:i',time() + 3600*2))
                'compare' => '<',
$query = new WP_Query( $args );

In other words, I need to first combine 'date' and 'time', in order to select posts which are older than the current time. The latter is converted into Unix epoch timestamp (is this a good option ?).

I have elsewhere checked strtotime(get_field('date'). ' ' .get_field('time')) and strtotime(date('H:i',time() + 3600*2)) by echoing them, and obtained the expected Unix epoch time in seconds.

However, key-value comparison fails: I do not manage to select posts which are older than current time.

Many thanks for any hint on how to tackle the problem.

  • you have 2 custom fields, one for the date and other for the time?
    – Tomás Cot
    Sep 14, 2014 at 21:22
  • Yes, indeed, they are separated.
    – mannaia
    Sep 15, 2014 at 5:21
  • I apologize if I'm misunderstanding: can you not just use WP_Query's date_query arg, or is this for an event post type? codex.wordpress.org/Class_Reference/WP_Query#Date_Parameters
    – Caleb
    Sep 17, 2014 at 2:46
  • @Caleb I have managed to use meta_query with key='date' and value='Ymd'. That works. However, I'd need to go further, by doing comparisons that take into account also 'time'and not only 'date'.
    – mannaia
    Sep 17, 2014 at 10:34
  • if the date and time stored in the post meta is the published date and time, then you can use WP_Query entirely; the date_query parameter includes time as well. take a look at the link above to the Codex... or am I misunderstanding what you're storing in the post meta?
    – Caleb
    Sep 17, 2014 at 16:56

2 Answers 2


This piece of code should solve your problem:

function filter_where($where = '') {
    $where .= " AND post_date < '" . date('Y-m-d') . "'";
    return $where;

add_filter('posts_where', 'filter_where');
$query = new WP_Query(array('posts_per_page' => 3));
remove_filter('posts_where', 'filter_where');

you are trying to compare the combined date and time custom fields with the current time to filter out posts that are older than the current time.

Replace combined_date_time with the actual meta key name where you store the combined 'date' and 'time'.

Use current_time('timestamp') to get the current time in Unix timestamp format.

Add 'type' => 'NUMERIC' to the meta query to ensure proper numeric comparison

$args = array(
    'post_type'      => 'some_kind_of_posts',
    'posts_per_page' => 3,
    'orderby'        => 'meta_value_num',
    'meta_key'       => 'combined_date_time', // Replace 'combined_date_time' with the actual meta key name
    'order'          => 'DESC',
    'meta_query'     => array(
            'key'     => 'combined_date_time', // Replace 'combined_date_time' with the actual meta key name
            'value'   => current_time('timestamp'), // Get the current time in Unix timestamp
            'compare' => '<',
            'type'    => 'NUMERIC' // Specify the type as numeric for proper comparison
$query = new WP_Query($args);

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