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WooCommerce: Show In Stock Products First @ Shop

We’ve already seen how to add a custom “Product Sorting” option to the “Default Sorting” dropdown in the Shop page.

The task I was presented with, however, was to display items based on a custom “meta key”. Now, if you have no idea what a “meta key” is, don’t worry too much. For example, “stock status” is one of these keys, and therefore you can sort products by that.

Anyway, let’s abandon the Japanese for now (hey, unless you speak Japanese!) and get into the coding – as usual, simply copy/paste this little plugin in your functions.php and you’ll get the wanted result ๐Ÿ™‚

WooCommerce: sort products by stock (or any other custom meta key)

PHP Snippet 1: Sort Products by Stock Status @ WooCommerce Shop

 * @snippet       Sort Products By Stock Status - WooCommerce Shop
 * @how-to        Watch tutorial @
 * @sourcecode
 * @author        Rodolfo Melogli
 * @compatible    WooCommerce 3.5.1
 * @donate $9

add_action( 'woocommerce_product_query', 'bbloomer_sort_by_stock_status_then_alpha', 999 );

function bbloomer_sort_by_stock_status_then_alpha( $query ) {
    if ( is_admin() ) return;
    $query->set( 'meta_key', '_stock_status' );
    $query->set( 'orderby', array( 'meta_value' => 'ASC' ) );

PHP Snippet 2: Sort Products SHORTCODE by Stock Status

 * @snippet       Sort Products Shortcode By Stock Status
 * @how-to        Watch tutorial @
 * @sourcecode
 * @author        Rodolfo Melogli
 * @compatible    WooCommerce 3.5.1
 * @donate $9

// Note: products shortcode docs
// In order for the snippet to work, you must add the parameter orderby = "stock" to the shortcode
// You can add more parameters to it of course e.g. limit, paginate, etc. It's all in the docs

add_filter('woocommerce_shortcode_products_query', 'bbloomer_sort_by_stock_status_shortcode', 999, 3);

function bbloomer_sort_by_stock_status_shortcode( $args, $atts, $type ) {
    if ( $atts['orderby'] == "stock" ) {
        $args['orderby']  = array( 'meta_value' => 'ASC' );
        $args['meta_key'] = '_stock_status';
    return $args;

Where to add this code?

You can place PHP snippets at the bottom of your child theme functions.php file (before "?>" if you have it). CSS, on the other hand, goes in your child theme style.css file. Make sure you know what you are doing when editing such delicate files - if you need more guidance, please take a look at my free WooCommerce Customization video tutorial.

Does this snippet still work?

Please let me know in the comments if everything worked as expected. I would be happy to revise the snippet if you report otherwise (please provide screenshots). I have tested this code with Storefront theme, the WooCommerce version listed above and a WordPress-friendly hosting on PHP 7.

If you think this code saved you time & money, please join other Business Bloomer supporters and avail of 365 days of WooCommerce benefits. Thank you in advance :)

Need Help with WooCommerce?

Check out these free videos, tutorials and tips!

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  • woocommerce-customize-checkout-page-PHP
  • woocommerce-email-customization
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Rodolfo Melogli

Author, WooCommerce expert, WordCamp speaker and Internet marketer, Rodolfo Melogli has worked as a WooCommerce freelancer since 2011. He helps entrepreneurs and developers overcome their WooCommerce nightmares :) Rodolfo is the organiser of WordCamp Dublin, the Dublin WooCommerce Meetup, the Dublin Ecommerce Meetup and the Dublin WordPress Meetup. He enjoys interacting with people, travelling and chasing tennis & soccer balls. Of course, he loves pizza too.

6 thoughts on “WooCommerce: Show In Stock Products First @ Shop

  1. Hello,
    Is this possible to make the code work on single product page in Related products section?

    I mean – now my Related products section show often out of stock products and I would like to get rid of them or shift them to the end of the list (if there are only a few related products).


    1. Hello Domin, thanks so much for your comment! Yes, this is possible – but unfortunately this is custom work and I cannot provide a complementary solution here via the blog comments. Thanks a lot for your understanding! ~R

  2. Kinda works, but then you lose the alphanumeric sorting, so the “in stock” items are all at top, but no longer listed alphabetically. This outcome is on current WP & Woo as of November 2018.

    1. Hey Matt, thanks for your comment! I guess you can add an “orderby” array element and make that happen – let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi.
    How can I show products by two model:
    first: Stock Ascending
    second: publish date Descending

    1. Hello Ushina, thanks so much for your comment! Yes, this is possible – but unfortunately this is custom work and I cannot provide a complementary solution here via the blog comments. Thanks a lot for your understanding! ~R

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