I've recently upgraded a test site on 2.5.8 to 3.5.1.

Before the upgrade all components were updated or disabled if not useable in 3.5.1. From here I used the Joomla Upgrade to get it to the latest version and had no issue with the backend of the website.

The front end however gives the following:

Unknown column 'ordering' in 'order clause' SQL=SELECT m.* FROM #__menu AS m WHERE menutype='mainmenu' AND published = 1 AND access IN (1,1,2,6) ORDER BY ordering

Disabling the main menu and adding a new one still seems to give the error and I can't find Ordering or Order Clause within the database (It may be there, I just can't seem to find it).

2 Answers 2


Two things to try and do. In your Joomla back-end, go to:

Extensions >> Manage >> Database

If a notification appears saying there are some database structure errors, click the "Fix" button.

Once done or if there's nothing to fix, go to

Menus >> Main Menu >> Rebuild

If you have more than just 1 menu being used on your website, then try also rebuilding those menus too.


Ok having looked through the SQL changes from 2.5 to 3.x, the ordering column was dropped in Joomla 3.0.0:

ALTER TABLE `#__menu` DROP COLUMN `ordering`;

So for some reason, your system is still trying to order by this column so perhaps the update wasn't 100% successful. Try downloading a fresh copy of Joomla 3.5.1, extract ONLY the directories from the root (e.g modules, plugins, administrator, etc) and upload them to your server.

I do hope you took a backup of your Joomla 3.5 site before the update

  • Just tired both of these but same result.
    – lee murphy
    May 17, 2016 at 10:20
  • @leemurphy - see updated answer
    – Lodder
    May 17, 2016 at 10:31

Check HTML folder in your template and check menu overrides. May be some one hardcoded 'ordering' in it.

  • Using the gantry and basic joomla theme, this doesn't seem to be the case.
    – lee murphy
    May 23, 2016 at 13:32
  • Well, my best suggestion then is to copy site to local machine and go trough with total commander search text in files "menutype='mainmenu'" - so you will end up with list of files - check them and you'll find the issue.
    – Alexandr
    May 23, 2016 at 13:43

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