Support » Fixing WordPress » only asc comment-list ordering option works.

  • To put it most simply, it seems that if we have our comments broken into pages and want the newest comments first, all we can get is last page leftovers, not a first page of the most recent comments.
    In the admin area page settings >> discussion there are options to break comments into pages, to set the first or last page, and to set the order within a page. however there is no option to order the list in “desc” order so that the newest comments are first … with the first page having the newest comments. Also, the one place which seems to have such an option does not work: the “wp_list_comments( array(“, in the Twenty Fourteen theme’s comments.php program (which provides a ‘reverse_top_level’=> ‘true’ option – mentioned in the codex documentation page): it did not change it to descending for me. It is still ascending with the newest comments at the end – on the last page.
    (for the above testing on my test copy, I had turned off all plugins and set the theme to Twenty Fourteen.)
    What am I missing?
    Thank you
    Greg Smith

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    Seems to work okay for me if I select the “newer” option on the Settings->Discussion screen. But, note that it only counts the top-level for these, threaded comments mean that replies go under their particular thread.

    This is on a test setup with no plugins or anything else interfering, running Twenty Thirteen.

    how many comments did you have set for each page and how many showed up on the first page vs. the last page?

    example: If I have 23 comments on a post, (no nesting) and set 10 comments per page, “last page displayed by default” and “newer comments at the top of each page”.
    I get 3, 10, and 10.
    if I change newer to “older comments at the top of each page”. it changes the order of the last 3, but it is still only the last 3 of the most recent comments.
    if I change last to “first page displayed by default” then I get the oldest comments, not the newest. Again, choosing older or “newer comments at the top of each page”
    only changes the order of the 10 oldest comments. either way they are the 10 oldest comments.

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    The “older” or “newer” changes the sort order of comments pulled from the system. The setting for first or last page displayed, changes which end it displays from. They are separate settings, really.

    So if you wanted newest first, you’d pick Newer and First.

    note that the first page is always the oldest comments and
    last page is always the newest comments and
    newer vs. older only changes the order within that first or last page … etc.

    I have taken a clean copy of the latest version (wp3.9) added nothing to it and kept the 2013 theme active and the included plugins inactive. I pointed it to my website wp-database and confirmed that it is not possible to list comments in desc order: the most recent first. {“first page displayed by default” and “newer comments at the top of each page”} – broken up into pages, with the newest comments showing up first and the oldest last.

    Example: if there are 22 (top level?) comments on a post with 10 per page, the last page should have the 2 oldest comments at the end – but it does not – it has the first 2 newest!.
    Find a post with a small number of left over comments on the last page of comments and see the problem.

    Whatever you want-choose for the number of comments per page, you can’t get it with the most recent comments up front – you will get left-overs. … telling wp to display the last page first.

    The code should be there to “select” and display comments in either order, desc or asc, and start with a full page either way, using options in settings >> discussion, but it is not currently possible.

    Moderator Samuel Wood (Otto)

    (@otto42) Admin

    Okay, after looking at this and trying some things out, yes, you are correct. There is no way to show newest comments on the first comments-page while also doing paged comments.

    Comments are oldest-first in terms of paging, always. The newer/older setting only affects the order of the comments displayed on the individual page.

    It would be great if this could be brought to the attention of somebody very involved with WordPress development because it is a flaw. Thanks ggsmith, glad I’m not the only one who has noticed this frustrating design problem.


    Anyone have any solution for this? This really doesn’t work how it should out of the box. You either have to have your readers sift through pages of comments to get to the newest ones, or oddly have it show only a few comments on a page despite having say hundreds of comments.

    There is a section here

    Display Comments for a Specific Page/Post
    ‘reverse_top_level’ => false //Show the latest comments at the top of the list

    Also, there is another function:
    function get_approved_comments( $post_id, $args = array() ) {
    $defaults = array(
    ‘status’ => 1,
    ‘post_id’ => $post_id,
    ‘order’ => ‘ASC’,

    You can reverse the order for a specific post and use the return $comments array to wp_list_comments and check.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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