I have a list of products, each with a price in a custom field stored as text such as "2.50" or "5.00" and I am displaying them on the page with a custom query that sorts by the price:

    if(!$wp_query) {
        global $wp_query;

    $args = array(
        'meta_key' => 'price',
        'orderby' => 'meta_value_num',
        'order' => 'ASC'

    query_posts( array_merge( $args , $wp_query->query ) );

This works fine for the prices, but some prices are "POA" and I would like to show them last, however the above orders in such a way that "POA" is shown first.

Is there any way to alter this, or a quick hack I could use to sort the array afterwards and put any "POA" prices last?

  • try changing 'orderby' => 'meta_value_num', to 'orderby' => 'meta_value_num meta_value', – Bainternet Mar 13 '12 at 11:51
  • Thanks but that does not work :( – Shaun Mar 13 '12 at 13:23
  • Aha! But the other way around does work, meta_value meta_value_num ! Thanks! Do you want to write up an answer so I can vote it up? – Shaun Mar 13 '12 at 13:24
  • 1
    posted as an answer for people who don't read comments. – Bainternet Mar 13 '12 at 13:26
  • POA means "price on asking" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_on_application – sudip Mar 7 '18 at 8:46

The OrderBy argument can take more then one parameter so the solution was to change :

'orderby' => 'meta_value_num',


'orderby' => 'meta_value meta_value_num',
  • 3
    This just sorts alphabetically, as the second parameter is a no-op, sorting on the same field to no effect. To do this so that the numbers sort numerically and the alphas alphabetically you'd have to use a filter to customize the orderby to use some sort of SQL casing, eg ORDER BY CASE WHEN wp_postmeta.meta_value RLIKE '^[0-9]' THEN '' ELSE wp_postmeta.meta_value END ASC, wp_postmeta.meta_value+0 ASC – bonger Nov 5 '14 at 9:04
  • @bonger Thank you! Your solution is complete solution for this problem. And here is rest of the code where your query is placed. I am going to post it as answer for new visitors. – Gangesh Aug 19 '16 at 12:43

I found this solution by combining code by @bonger and https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18084199/wordpress-query-order-by-case-when

And it works well.


function filter_case($orderby = '') {
  $orderby .= "CASE WHEN wp_postmeta.meta_value RLIKE '^[0-9]' THEN '' ELSE wp_postmeta.meta_value END ASC, wp_postmeta.meta_value+0 ASC";
  return $orderby;

Before Query

add_filter( 'posts_orderby', 'filter_case' );

$wp_query = new WP_Query($args);

remove_filter( 'posts_orderby', 'filter_case' );

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