I am using the technique described here Seperating Custom Post Search Results and here posts_groupby problem to seperate my search results and group them by post type. This means I have the following code.

In functions.php

add_filter('posts_orderby', 'group_by_post_type', 10, 2);
function group_by_post_type($orderby, $query) {
    global $wpdb;
    if ($query->is_search) {
        return $wpdb->posts . '.post_type DESC';
    // provide a default fallback return if the above condition is not true
    return $orderby;

In search.php

<?php $last_type="";
$typecount = 0;
while (have_posts()){
    if ($last_type != $post->post_type){
        $typecount = $typecount + 1;
        if ($typecount > 1){
            echo '</ol>'; //close type container
        // save the post type.
        $last_type = $post->post_type;
        //open type container
        switch ($post->post_type) {
            case 'post':
                echo "<h2>News Articles</h2><ol>";
            case 'page':
                echo "<h2>Pages</h2><ol>";
            case 'work':
                echo "<h2>Projects</h2><ol>";
            case 'bootlegs':
                echo "<h2>Bootlegs</h2><ol>";
            case 'directors':
                echo "<h2>Directors</h2><ol>";
            //add as many as you need.
    } ?>

This works perfectly except I have no control over the order in which the Custom Post Types are displayed. I'm guessing they are being ordered by an internal ID number, but I need to have control over them.

How can I achieve this?


  • here is another way to archive this.
    – honk31
    Commented Aug 26, 2016 at 9:40

2 Answers 2


What kind of control do you want exactly? There are, for example, plugins that provide a UI through which you can order posts by various parameters.

If you just want to order them all by one parameter that will not change, you can simply add it to your query (since you can order by multiple conditions):

if ($query->is_search) {
    return $wpdb->posts . '.post_type DESC, title DESC';

Edit: here's another question you might find useful.

  • Thanks for your response. I want to order them manually for what is best suited to the project. In this case: Directors, Projects, Bootlegs, Pages, News Articles. Is this possible? Thanks in advance!
    – Jacob
    Commented Apr 7, 2013 at 20:00

In this case the fallback (secondary) order is the title.

In functions.php:

add_filter( 'pre_get_posts', 'ordering_post_title_type');
function ordering_post_title( $query ) {

    if ( $query->is_search ) {
        $query->set('orderby','type title');

    return $query;


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