I have a custom field for view counts that are stored as numbers. I added a Views column, and made it sortable, but they are not sorting properly.

The results when I click on the Views column are something like this:


Here is my code:

 * Add view counts to admin columns
add_filter( 'manage_posts_columns', 'eri_posts_column_views' );
function eri_posts_column_views( $columns ) {
    $columns['post_views'] = 'Views';
    return $columns;
add_action( 'manage_posts_custom_column', 'eri_posts_custom_column_views' );
function eri_posts_custom_column_views( $column ) {
    if ( $column === 'post_views') {
        $post_id = get_the_ID();
        $meta_key = 'eri_post_view_count';
        $count = 0;
        if (get_post_meta( $post_id, $meta_key, true ) && get_post_meta( $post_id, $meta_key, true ) != '') {
            $count = get_post_meta( $post_id, $meta_key, true );
        echo $count;

 * Make admin columns sortable
add_filter('manage_edit-post_sortable_columns', 'eri_view_count_sortable_column');
function eri_view_count_sortable_column($columns){
    $columns['post_views'] = 'post_views';
    return $columns;
add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'eri_view_count_custom_orderby' );
function eri_view_count_custom_orderby( $query ) {
    if( ! is_admin() )

    $orderby = $query->get( 'orderby');

    if( 'post_views' == $orderby ) {

I've tried changing meta_value_num to meta_value... not working.

  • Can't reproduce the issue using the code you provided. Everything works for me. The only problem: when you order by View Count then all posts having no eri_post_view_count key disappears from the list until you order posts by something different.
    – Max Yudin
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 11:54
  • Hmm.. I wonder why it's not working for me. I printed the $query and it shows what I set in the array, but I'm wondering if something else is overriding it. Also, all posts have the meta key; when a new post is created it starts with 0. I appreciate the response, though.
    – Michael
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 15:07
  • @MaxYudin, I just tried my code on a different site and it works fine. Something is messing with it on the site I need it on. :( Any suggestions on where to look?
    – Michael
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


I figured it out after adding the same code to a different site I run. It was working fine on that site with the same theme and mostly the same plugins. I narrowed it down to another function I made (thankfully it wasn't another plugin). The other function was sorting something on the front end, so all I had to do was add if (!is_admin()) to that function. So the moral of the story is, I screwed up in a completely different area. :(


Can you please set query as per below code?

$query->set('orderby','meta_value meta_value_num');

or below:

  • I mentioned in my post that I already tried that and it didn't work. Thanks, though.
    – Michael
    Commented Nov 11, 2021 at 15:04

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