How to order and group custom WordPress posts by their custom taxonomies

Working on a project for a client, I needed to group an archive of custom post types by their categories. To complicate things further the categories were implemented as a custom taxonomy. On top of this the taxonomies had to be ordered alphabetically.

After a lot of experimenting with loops and different configurations of arguments, I came up with this solution.

Group and order custom posts by custom taxonomy

Change the following two lines to allow for your custom
taxonomy and the post type that uses it
$taxonomy = array( "name" => "country" , "slug" => "country");
$custom_post_type = "pjuk_project";

if ( have_posts() )

// Query your specified taxonomy to get, in order, each category
$categories = get_terms($customTaxonomy[‘name’], ‘orderby=title’);
foreach( $categories as $category ) {

<div id="content" class="<?php echo strtolower($category->name); ?>">

<!– Output the category name as a H1, linking to its specified URL –>
<h1 class="page-title"><span>
<a href=’/<?php echo $taxonomy[‘slug’]; ?>/<?php echo $category->slug; ?>’>
<?php echo $category->name; ?>

// Setup query to return each custom post within this taxonomy category
$o_queried_posts = get_posts(array(
‘nopaging’ => true,
‘post_type’ => $custom_post_type,
‘taxonomy’ => $category->taxonomy,
‘term’ => $category->slug,

<div id=’archive-content’>

// Loop through each custom post type
foreach($o_queried_posts as $o_post) {
setup_postdata($o_post); // Helps to format custom query results for using Template tags. See links in article for further explanation

<div id="post-<?php the_ID(); ?>" <?php post_class($custom_post_type); ?>>

<!– Layout the post type excerpt as you see fit by modifying the next block –>
<h2 class="entry-title"><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" title="<?php printf( esc_attr( ‘Permalink to %s’ ), the_title_attribute( ‘echo=0’ ) ); ?>" rel="bookmark"><?php the_title(); ?></a></h2>
<div class="archive-excerpt">
<?php the_excerpt(); ?>
</div><!– .archive-excerpt –>

</div><!– #post –>
<?php } // foreach($o_queried_posts as $o_post) ?>
</div> <!– archive-content –>
</div> <!– #content –>
<?php } // foreach( $categories as $category ) ?>[/code]

Ideally you would try to combine the queries into each other, so you weren’t looping through and hitting the database for each iteration of the loop. Therefore I’m not 100% confident how this solution would scale for huge data sets, but I only had a handful of taxonomies options, each with only a few projects in each.

Here are a bunch of useful pages I used to build this query if you care to delve deeper into the internal workings: Querying and Ordering WordPress posts, setup_postdata() function and similar problem by another WP engineer.

Hope it helps,

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