I'd like to exclude posts on the homepage which are closed for comments. This works thanks to this: Show only posts which can be commented

Now I'd like to add the possibility for exceptions – to show certain posts for which the comments are closed nevertheless. They are marked with a custom field "show_always".

I tried:

function wpjj_filter_sticky( $query ) { 
  $meta_query = array( 
    'relation' => 'OR', 
      'key' => 'show_aways', 
      'value' => 'yes',
      'compare' => 'EXISTS' 
     array ( 
       'comment_status' => 'open'
   $query->set( 'meta_query', $meta_query ); 
add_filter( 'pre_get_posts', 'wpjj_filter_sticky' ); 

But it will only show the posts with the meta, not the open posts.

1 Answer 1


Lets try the following:

By default, all posts are returned regardless of comment_status, so lets run the main query as normal, that is, query all posts regardless of comment_status.

We will also run a small, but very lean secondary query where we will get all posts which have

  • a comment_status of closed

  • which have a meta value of not yes

The returned ID's will then be passed as post__not_in to the main query to exclude these posts

I think this is a better approach because handling SQL which involves meta queries yourself can get really messy, specially when you start adding complicated nested meta queries. Let WP_Query handle the meta_query part for us.

We will still use the comment_status parameter which is supported by the custom filter by @TheDeadMedic in your linked question

add_action( 'pre_get_posts', function ( $q )
    if (    $q->is_home()
         && $q->is_main_query()
    ) {
        // Run our secondary query to get the posts to exclude
        $args = [
            'posts_per_page'   => -1,
            'comment_status'   => 'closed',
            'meta_query'       => [
                'relation'     => 'OR',
                [ // Compensate for posts which have the custom field set but not set to yes
                    'key'      => 'show_always',
                    'value'    => 'yes',
                    'compare'  => 'NOT IN' // Get posts which value is not yes
                [ // Compensate for posts which does not have the custom fields
                    'key'      => 'show_always',
                    'compare'  => 'NOT EXISTS' // Get posts which value is not yes
            'fields'           => 'ids', // Return only post ID's
            'suppress_filters' => false, // Allow the comment_status filter
            // Any other parameters
        $exclude_ids = get_posts( $args );

        // Now we can exclude the ID's we just queried
        $q->set( 'post__not_in', $exclude_ids );


The above code is now tested and working as expected

EDIT from comments

@birgire has filed a new trac ticket (trac ticket #35601) to enquire why comment_status is not available in WP_Query by default. Lets hope that we will see this incorporated into core in the near future. As soon as that happens, the custom filter will not be needed anymore

  • I'm not sure why comment_status isn't avialable in WP_Query, so I created a ticket here to hopefully shine some light on that.
    – birgire
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 16:44
  • @birgire it is quite strange as comment_status already is in the wp_posts table. I hope something like this gets accepted into core. Holding thumbs ;-) Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 16:48
  • That was quick, committed to core in only few hours after the ticket was created, thanks to Boone Gorges.
    – birgire
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 7:09
  • @birgire I've been following the trac ;-). See that implementation is set for 4.5. That was really quick. Congrats, that will save a lot of custom coding and extra filters Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 7:11
  • 1
    You guys are amazing!! Pieter, thank you so much for your solution—works perfectly! @birgire Thanks for the ticket—this was lightning fast! Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 17:34

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