I'm trying to create a custom post query for sorting posts that have been voted "thumbs up".

I'm joining my custom "wp_post_votes" table (which stores the number of votes each post received) with the default "wp_posts" table and displaying posts WHERE votes > 1.

The WHERE cause is causing an SQL error. When I remove the posts_where filter I get no errors but all my posts are displayed regardless of their vote number.

    add_filter('posts_join', 'vote_join' );
    add_filter('posts_where', 'vote_where' );

    function vp_join( $join )

      global $wpdb;

      if (isset($_GET['vote_sort'])) { //when visitor browses voted posts
        $join .= " LEFT JOIN wp_post_votes ON " . 
           $wpdb->posts . ".ID = wp_vote_posts.vote_post_id ";

      return $join;

    function vp_where( $where )
      if (isset($_GET['vp_sort'])) {
        $where = "voted > 1";

      return $where;

//custom permalinks code follows...

The SQL error I get in index is..

WordPress database error: [] SELECT t., tt. FROM wp_terms AS t INNER JOIN wp_term_taxonomy AS tt ON tt.term_id = t.term_id INNER JOIN wp_term_relationships AS tr ON tr.term_taxonomy_id = tt.term_taxonomy_id WHERE tt.taxonomy IN ('category') AND tr.object_id IN (0) ORDER BY t.name ASC

..and in my sidebar I have a recent posts widget. In that I get via $wpdb->show_errors();

WordPress database error: [You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'voted > 1 ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 5' at line 1] SELECT SQL_CALC_FOUND_ROWS wp_posts.* FROM wp_posts LEFT JOIN wp_vote_posts ON wp_posts.ID = wp_vote_posts.vote_post_id WHERE 1=1 voted > 1 ORDER BY wp_posts.post_date DESC LIMIT 0, 5

I noticed WHERE 1=1 voted > 1.. not sure if that's causing the error and how to fix it.

  • Is there a reason you really needed a separate table? Why not use custom fields (postmeta?) Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 17:01
  • @MikeSchinkel the custom field table has too much data and will create too many rows for voting. My separate table is more clean and organized.
    – wpStudent
    Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 21:10
  • Are you logging votes, or just creating a running total? If the former, I agree another table but I'd still consider maintaining the running total in custom fields, even on a per-option basis so up to 5 custom fields per post if you are using a 1..5 rating. Or you could store in one custom field as an array, but they could could do a join across posts for all posts where vote=5, for example. Otherwise if you use SQL to count the votes each time you'll end up with a very poorly performing site (I know this from specific experience related to a voting plugin I wrote.) Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 23:36

1 Answer 1


Should be:

$where .= " AND voted > 1";

Other notes:

  • instead of hardcoding table names you should use $wpdb->prefix . 'post_votes';

  • instead of checking in global $_GET you should declare your filters as accepting two arguments and code functions accordingly, these filters pass as second argument object that contains all of query data.


add_filter('posts_where', 'vote_where', 10, 2 );

function vote_where( $where, $query ) {

    if( isset( $query->query_vars['vp_sort'] ) );
        $where .= ' AND voted > 1';

    return $where;
  • Thank you Rarst!! It works now :) I don't understand your second note. I have to check if the URL parameter exists to use the filter. How can I implement the two arguments you provided?
    – wpStudent
    Commented Nov 27, 2010 at 23:32
  • Your URL parameters are parsed and stored in query object, which you can access inside your function via passed $query variable in my example above. Just try var_dump( $query ); to see everything that it contains, your custom arguments should be in there as well if used.
    – Rarst
    Commented Nov 27, 2010 at 23:35
  • I'm very sorry Rarst, I still don't fully understand. Can you please share an example?
    – wpStudent
    Commented Nov 27, 2010 at 23:47
  • Updated answer with more written out example.
    – Rarst
    Commented Nov 27, 2010 at 23:53
  • Ooh I see. Thanks! I tried the code, no errors.. but nothing happens. All posts are displayed regardless of the URL paramater
    – wpStudent
    Commented Nov 28, 2010 at 0:06

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