Im using the pre_get_posts hook to customize my query for a custom post type archive.

Some of the posts for this custom post type have a meta key mp_micropub_accredited with the meta value of 1 and others don't have this meta key set.

I use the following code,

function micropubs_filter_posts( $query ) {
    if ( !is_admin() && $query->is_post_type_archive( 'micropubs' ) && $query->is_main_query() ) {
        $query->set( 'posts_per_page', 5 );
        $accredited = filter_input( INPUT_GET, 'orderby', FILTER_SANITIZE_STRING ); 
        if ( empty( $accredited ) )
        if ( $accredited === 'accredited' ) {
            $query->set( 'meta_key', 'mp_micropub_accredited' );
            $query->set( 'orderby', 'meta_value_num' );
add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'micropubs_filter_posts' );

So when i locate to this address in my browser it displays only the posts with the meta key set and no other posts.


How is it possible to include all the other posts that don't have the mp_micropub_accredited meta key set but are displayed after the ones that are?

Your help much appreciated. :)

1 Answer 1


I would suggest you when you are updating meta values with 1 update rest with 0. I mean set the key in all posts with 1 or 0 to avoid the complex query.

You can still do it with a simple script. It will check if key doesn't exist then update it with 0. So your current code will work like charm.


You can use compare with NOT EXISTS

$meta_query = array(
    'relation' => 'OR',
        'key' => 'mp_micropub_accredited',
        'value' => 1
        'key' => 'mp_micropub_accredited',
        'compare' => 'NOT EXISTS'
$query->set( 'meta_query', $meta_query );
$query->set( 'orderby', 'meta_value_num' );

Note: This solution will only work with WP >= 3.9 as NOT EXISTS only works with 3.5 and greater and there was a bug with NOT EXISTS which has been fixed in 3.9!

  • 1
    Brilliant! I ended up setting the rest of the posts with 0. Perfect! Thankyou :)
    – Shoebox
    Commented Apr 25, 2015 at 21:08

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