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How to Order Posts by Custom Meta Fields

How to Order Posts by Custom Meta Fields

Find out how to query items with Query Builder depending on two meta fields created with the JetEngine plugin.

Before you start, check the tutorial requirements:

  • Elementor (Free version) or Block editor (Gutenberg)

  • JetEngine plugin installed and activated with Post Type built, Listing created for the post type item, and two meta fields attached to the needed post type.

In this tutorial, we will learn how to set the query depending on the two JetEngine meta fields data entered in the posts. We will achieve posts queried depending on the numeric data of the team member’s experience and text value — the team member’s name. 

The number value will have priority over the text one. However, the text field parameter will work if the team member’s years of experience are the same as the other’s team member.

Add New Query

Begin by proceeding to WordPress Dashboard > JetEngine > Query Builder. Press the “Add New” button to create a new query.

queries list

In the General Settings tab, give a Name to the query and select the “Posts Query” option as Query Type.

new team member query

In the proceeding Meta Query tab, click the “Add new” button to adjust a new meta clause.

add new meta query clause button

Let’s look at the values you should put in the fields.

In the Field key/name field, complete the meta field key, you created earlier for the post type items. For instance, we complete this field with the “name” value which is the meta field of the “Team” post type. That means we will query the listing depending on the team member’s name.

Select the “Exists” option as the Compare operator. It displays all posts that contain the Field key/name, so we don’t need to put the following Value; we’ll leave the field empty.

As the member’s name contains only characters, we pick the “Char” Type, and don’t forget to type in the Clause name that will be used later in the Order by section.

meta query character type clause

Then let’s adjust one more clause by pushing the “Add new” button again. This one will include years of experience.

Mind that now we select the “Numeric” Type, as the “experience” meta field is set to be the “Number” Field.

meta query numeric type clause

You can add more clauses if needed. Now we move on to the General tab and select the required Post Type.

Then proceed to Order & Order By section. Hit the “Add new sorting parameter” button.

general query settings add new sorting parameter button

Once clicked, you will see fields for further customizations. Choose the “Order by meta clause” Order By parameter and define the needed Meta Clause — right here, we need to select one of the clause names you came up with earlier. We begin with the “team member experience” one to make it a bigger priority.


Mind that the first clause created will have more priority, then comes the second, the third, etc.

Then we pick whether we went the order to be descending or ascending. In the exact case, we will query by descending years of experience (“From highest to lowest”).

Click the “Add new sorting parameter” button to create one more order by team member name.

order by team member experience

We repeat the same steps with the “team members name” clause; however, this time, selecting “From lowest to highest” Order.

That’s it for the query customization; press the “Add Query” button.

order by team member name

Set Order for Listing

Head to the page where you want to place the Listing Grid. It can be any page you need; now, we will proceed to WordPress Dashboard > Pages and edit the existing one.

Place listing In Elementor

Place the Listing Grid widget on the page. Select the needed Listing you have created beforehand. Sett all the parameters in the General tab to get the desired result.

team member listing on the elementor page

As you can see, the “Experience” Meta Field is displayed not only with a number but also with a “years” value. It refers to the Customize field output setting available during Listing editing. You can configure an additional custom output here if needed.

customize field output toggle in the listing

The next step is to go to the Custom Query tab. Here enable the Use Custom Query toggle and specify the Custom Query by selecting the one you have just created.

As you can see, all team members are now located depending on their experience. And, not less important, if several members have the same “Experience” values, they are placed depending on their names (ascending character order).

team member custom query in elementor

Adjust listing In Gutenberg

You can repeat the same steps if you work with the Block Editor. Proceed to the page you want to edit and add the Listing Grid block. 

Pick the needed Listing and adjust the following General settings fields.

team member listing on the gutenberg page

Moving to the Custom Query tab, activate the Use Custom Query toggle and pick the needed item in the Custom Query filter to achieve the result.

team member custom query in gutenberg

Other Meta Clause Order

Let’s check what will happen if the meta clause order is changed. Now we will use the “name”, “experience”, and “rating” meta fields to see the difference.

The result you observe in the following picture is two options you can set.

The first table is set to be filtered initially by ascending “experience” and the second one by descending “rating”; now, look at the result.


To achieve the desired view, make sure you set the right order of the fields (i.e. from the first table Meta Clause #1 — is "Experience" field, then follows Meta Clause #2 — "Rating" field in the Query Builder settings) in the Order & Order By section.

order by two meta fields

Now everything is set up. Mind altering some values to get the exact result you need with the Query Builder functionality from the JetEngine plugin.

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