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Sorting posts by Date Picker field not working as expected

  • I have created a custom Date Picker field for my posts and I am trying to generate a WP_Query to display the posts in ascending order by date(both month and year). However, I am not getting the expected result. Currently I have one post assigned with a November 2019 date, two with December 2019 and one with January 2020. Here is my loop:

    $today = date('Ymd');
    $the_query = new WP_Query( array(
      'post_type'   => 'post',
      'post_status' => 'publish',
      'meta_query' => array(
          'key' => 'event_date',
          'value' => $today,
          'type' => 'DATE',
          'compare' => '>='
      'meta_key' => 'event_date',
      'order_by' => 'meta_value_num',
      'order' => 'ASC',
      'posts_per_page' => -1
    # This will hold what group we're in
    $current_header = '';
    # The Loop
    while ( $the_query->have_posts() ) :
        # get the datum for this post
        $date = strtotime(get_field('event_date'));
        $month = date('M', $date);
        $year = date('Y', $date);
        echo $month . ' ' . $year . '<h2>' . get_the_title() . '</h2>';

    However, the posts are being returned in this order:
    1. Nov 2019
    2. Jan 2020
    3. Dec 2019
    4. Dec 2019

    Any ideas as to why the January 2020 post is in the 2nd position instead of last?

  • Well, I realized the issue, supposed to be orderby instead of order_by. /facepalm

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