I have a list of events on a clients website that show in a sidebar. When viewing the homepage you see one event and if you're anywhere else on the site you see two events in the sidebar. I am currently ordering them by using a meta_query compare that checks if the event is today or in the future.

What I would like to do is have the events show by closest to the current date first, then proceed up the chain until it finds one. Currently it appears to show events by furthest into the future instead. So if I have an event January 27th, 2012 and an event August 15th, 2012 it seems to show the August event.

The code I currently have is the following. I'd appreciate some advice on how to tweak it to get it to work the way I want. Please provide a little explanation with any code you post if possible, I'd like this to be a learning experience.

$totalPosts = 2;

    $args = array(
        'post_type'        => 'upcoming_courses',
        'order'            => 'ASC',
        'orderby'          => 'meta_value',
        'suppress_filters' => true,
        'posts_per_page'   => $totalPosts,
        'numberposts'      => $totalPosts,
        'meta_query' => array(
            'key' => 'course_date',
            'value' => date('Y-m-d'),
            'compare' => '>=',
            'type' => 'NUMERIC'

    $my_query  = new WP_Query( $args );

2 Answers 2


This is just a shot in the dark but I would try ordering the events in descending order instead of ascending. 'order' => 'DESC'

  • Wow, just wow. I am an idiot, this was exactly what was needed. I was too engrossed in getting this site done that I got tunnel vision and didn't actually realise it's ordering them incorrectly. Thank you and welcome to the site Nickiler. Jan 18, 2012 at 2:17
  • No problem, Dwayne. That's the nature of this business. Some things are simple to fix but not always obvious at first glance. Thanks for the welcome glad to be here.
    – Nickiler
    Jan 19, 2012 at 11:33

I know this is old, but ordering by DESC does not make sense for this case.

You select DATEs >= CURRENT_DATE, now you want to display first the one closest to today, let's say tomorrow and then day after tomorrow...

What is greater date? Tomorrow or day after tomorrow? I don't know about you, but I would bet that tomorrow < day after tomorrow, therefore, ordering DESC would mean you would first get day after tomorrow, because it is greater.

I think your real problem is your typing (I assume you store your dates in Y-m-d format too...

Tell WP_Query: "I am working with DATEs":

1. Say the ordering should be done with typing to DATE

'meta_type' => 'DATE',

2. Say the comparsion should be done with typing to DATE

'meta_query' => [
    'key' => 'course_date',
    'value' => date('Y-m-d'),
    'compare' => '>=',
    'type' => 'DATE' //!important!

...then simple:

'orderby' => 'meta_value',
'order' => 'ASC',

...should work just fine :)

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