I have written a WP_query with a date range.

            $args = array( 
                'date_query' => array( 
                        'column' => 'post_date_gmt',
                        'after' => array('year' => $after[0], 'month' => $after[1], 'day' => $after[2])
                    array (
                        'column' => 'post_date_gmt',
                        'before' => array('year' => $before[0], 'month' => $before[1], 'day' => $before[2])
                'posts_per_page' => -1,
                'inclusive' => false,

            $posts = new WP_Query( $args ); 

which works perfectly when I output the sql and run it in phpmyadmin.

SELECT wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts WHERE 1=1 AND ( wp_posts.post_date_gmt > '2015-01-11 23:59:59' 
AND wp_posts.post_date_gmt < '2015-01-17 00:00:00' ) AND wp_posts.post_type = 'post' AND (wp_posts.post_status = 'publish' OR wp_posts.post_status = 'private') 
ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC

However the loop prints out more posts

if ( $posts->have_posts() ) : 
   while ( $posts->have_posts() ) : $posts->the_post();

I have tried using the reset loop functions but with no luck. What am I doing wrong. This is in a page template that is trying to mimic archive.



  • Try to dump the whole $posts object and see what's going on there.
    – Rarst
    Jan 28, 2015 at 21:45
  • The whole posts object shows the additional posts. davies-barnard.uk/newsletters Pick the 2015/01/17 and click go. You'll see no. of posts returned as 3 but not in posts. Jan 28, 2015 at 21:47
  • This is highly peculiar. You got 3 found_posts, but 11 posts_count, this seems plain invalid. There can't be more results than there can possibly be results. Is anything else at all possibly manipulating the $posts variable? Can you try this with plugins disabled.
    – Rarst
    Jan 28, 2015 at 21:59
  • Will do. Does it make any difference for a WP Network? (Thanks again!) Jan 28, 2015 at 22:00
  • No change - I just disabled the plugins. I'm glad you are also surprised! Would it make any difference that this is a page template pretending to be a weekly archive? Jan 28, 2015 at 22:05

1 Answer 1


Try to run your query with

"suppress_filters" => true

WP_Query allows for posts to be added after the query has run. found_posts is the actual queried amount of posts, post_count is updated after running the filters.

If this fixes it search your code (Any active code, check network activated plugins as well) for the_posts or posts_results filter and check if that is causing it.

Another reason for this could be sticky posts as we discovered in the comments, these can be disabled using

"ignore_sticky_posts" => true

By default WP_Query adds sticky posts to the first page of archives where is_home() is true.

  • Hi, thanks for the response. I have added both suppress filters ... and outputted the post count, which is 3 vs 11. Sadly it has NOT fixed the problem :( Jan 28, 2015 at 22:54
  • The posts it is adding are all those stickies from the homepage. Is it adding these to every query? Jan 28, 2015 at 22:55
  • 1
    Oh yeah, sticky posts, never use them ;). You can remove them using ignore_sticky_posts => true Jan 28, 2015 at 22:56
  • You are a LEGEND!!! Love stickies except when they waste an evening of my life that could have been spent with my wife. BIG THANKS! Jan 28, 2015 at 22:58
  • I'll add it to my answer. Jan 28, 2015 at 22:59

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