I'm requesting posts with the WP REST API and need to sort them according to an ACF field. It's value represents a date (numeric, jQuery date format yymmdd). I know how to do it with a normal WP_Query and tried to do the same using the rest api:


In fact I'm using a custom post type that's registered with the rest api and everything else is working perfectly, so I think its not a cpt specific issue?

But the posts show up in default order (their creation date, latest to oldest). What am I missing? Is this orderby parameter not supported by the rest api? If so, how can I implement it myself?

Any other workarounds, suggestions? Really looking for a solution! Thankful for any hints!

2 Answers 2


I'm guessing you haven't exposed meta_key and meta_value to the REST API with the rest_query_vars filter, so this should do it:

function my_add_meta_vars ($current_vars) {
    $current_vars = array_merge ($current_vars, array ('meta_key', 'meta_value'));
    return $current_vars;
add_filter ('rest_query_vars', 'my_add_meta_vars');

Then you can refer to meta_key and meta_value in your query.

Be aware that this obviously exposes all your post metadata to the API, which has potential security implications; I believe that's why it's not activated by default.

  • Thanks a lot, this is looking good. I will try it out. There might be a way to expose only certain meta_data? Anyways, this is the right direction. I was already debating sorting it myself after making the request. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 20:01
  • 1
    Might be; unsure beyond what I posted in my answer! Let me know what you find out.
    – iguanarama
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 20:12
  • Just applied your suggestion and it works. Thank you! Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 9:35
  • rest_query_vars is no longer a filter in current Wordpress.
    – Slavic
    Commented Nov 23, 2018 at 12:49
add_filter( 'rest_post_query', function (  $args, $request ) {
    if ( isset( $request['meta_key']) && !empty($request['meta_key'] ) ) {
        $args['meta_key'] = $request['meta_key'];
    return $args;
}, 10, 2);

add_filter( "rest_post_collection_params", function($query_params, $post_type){

    array_push($query_params['orderby']['enum'],'meta_value' );

    return $query_params;
}, 10, 2);
  • 1
    Thanks - does this do the same job as the existing answer? Can you explain why this is better than the accepted answer please?
    – Rup
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 16:36

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