How To Make Sticky Posts Even Stickier In WordPress

Some ambivalent sticky things

As WordPress becomes more of a content management API and framework there are times when some of its legacy features are too mired in the context of “blog” to really be useful when it’s in use as a full content management system. Sticky posts are a great example. They only work on the index page (or custom blog page if you set your site up that way). ‘Stickiness’ isn’t just useful for the home page of a WordPress site but useful on individual category lists or archive pages, and even in the admin area.

If you want sticky posts to stick everywhere then adding the following code snippet to your functions.php file will work for you:

You can always add some extra conditional logic into the sticky_posts_query() function to restrict stickiness to the admin only, or to a certain category or archive. Go forth and play.

Image credit: pineapple9995

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  • Emil Ellerbek 30 / Jul / 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Works great – but is there a way to make this work for custom post types? :)

    • Robert O'Rourke
      Robert O'Rourke 30 / Jul / 2012 at 12:58 pm

      The filter doesn’t care what post type something is so it should work for custom ones too. Is that not the case for you?

      • Emil Ellerbek 30 / Jul / 2012 at 1:04 pm

        No, it only shows up in posts. Is there a way of register it in register_post_type?

        Thanks for the fast reply! :)

        • Robert O'Rourke
          Robert O'Rourke 30 / Jul / 2012 at 2:08 pm

          Is your post type added by a plugin or is it code that’s part of your theme? Just wondering if there might be some code that’s setting the ‘orderby’ part of the query.

          • Emil Ellerbek 31 / Jul / 2012 at 8:54 pm

            It’s a part of my theme.
            Looks like this:

          • Emil Ellerbek 1 / Aug / 2012 at 12:40 pm

            Just tried with the “Custom Post Type UI” plugin and it still didn’t work :/

          • Robert O'Rourke
            Rob 1 / Aug / 2012 at 2:25 pm

            I’ll do some more testing here and see if I can work it out. Might be worth putting a var_dump() or print_r() in the pre_get_posts filter t see if it’s actually running on your post type list. Sorry it’s not working for you :/

          • Emil Ellerbek 4 / Aug / 2012 at 8:12 am

            Nothing happens :/

  • Anton 15 / May / 2012 at 9:02 am

    one “}” missing to close the fix_sticky_posts function.

    I pasted the code as I wanted to make sure sticky posts are at the top of their own category page but it doesn’t work yet. Maybe it wasn’t the purpose. thx for your work though !

    • Robert O'Rourke
      Robert O'Rourke 15 / May / 2012 at 11:21 am

      Hey Anton,

      Thanks, there was a typo in the gist that I’ve fixed now. You should see the ordering take effect as soon as you’ve put the code in, and then made a post sticky/unsticky. Definitely should work on category pages etc… too.

  • Simon Fransson 30 / Jan / 2012 at 3:44 pm

    Great solution! I’ve run in to this problem of a number of occasions and haven’t this is by far the best way to solve it IMO.

    I noticed how ever that posts are still sticky (i.e. menu_order = -1) even after I make them un-sticky. To account for this I made a slight modification to you function, checking which posts are missing from the new list of sticky posts and resetting the menu_order of these posts.

    function fix_sticky_posts( $stickies ) {
        $old_stickies = array_diff(get_option( 'sticky_posts' ), $stickies);
    	foreach( $stickies as $sticky ) {
    		wp_update_post( array( 'ID' => $sticky, 'menu_order' => -1 ) );
    	foreach ($old_stickies as $sticky) {
    		wp_update_post( array( 'ID' => $sticky, 'menu_order' => 0) );
    	return $stickies;
    add_filter('pre_update_option_sticky_posts', 'fix_sticky_posts');
    • Robert O'Rourke
      Robert O'Rourke 30 / Jan / 2012 at 3:48 pm

      D’oh! Great catch – thought I’d tested that… oops :/

      I’ll update the code, thanks Simon.

  • Adam 30 / Jan / 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Where in functions.php?

    • Robert O'Rourke
      Robert O'Rourke 30 / Jan / 2012 at 3:38 pm

      Anywhere really, for simplicities sake just paste it in at the bottom of the file before the ‘?>’