Popular Posts


Unfortunately, due to ill-health, this plugin has not been developed or supported properly for some years. It works with the latest versions of WordPress (including on this website) but could possibly conflict with any WordPress features added after 2008 — e.g. custom post types — if you use them.


This plugin displays a list of the posts from your blog which have been viewed the most.

This is version download latest version. It is compatible with WordPress 1.5–2.6.2

Popular Posts lets you show off the posts that have attracted the most viewings.

The plugin has an settings page which lets you change how the output is generated and displayed.

Installation Instructions

  1. If upgrading from a previous version, first deactivate the plugin via the Plugins page and delete the plugin folder from your server.
  2. Upload the plugin folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory. You will also need to install the Post-Plugin Library.
  3. Go to your admin Plugins page and activate Popular Posts.
  4. Put<!--?php popular_posts(); ?--> at the place in your theme files where you want the list of popular posts to appear. Lorelle on WordPress has a good guide to modifying themes for plugins. If you are using a widget-ready theme the plugin can be placed from the widget admin page.
  5. Use the admin Settings|Popular Posts pages to set all the available options. Alternatively, the options can be overridden by passing a parameter to the random_posts template tag.

Usage and Options

The configuration page will help you to set up the plugin to your satisfaction.


  • 1. Michael Benson  |  September 9th, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Hey thanks for the awesome plugin! I am already using your Recent Comments, Recent Posts, Similar Posts and POC plugins which are fantastic 🙂 However I would love to see this plugin have the capacity to show an items viewcount in the Output area for Popular Posts.

    At the moment I am having to use the popular_posts_views function when calling the view count for use in ./theloop.php – but when I want to call a list of the 5 most viewed posts it would be nice to be able to include their viewcount as well.

    Or maybe this is already possible and I have completely missed the option somewhere! Thanks.

  • 2. Michael Benson  |  September 9th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Nevermind! I’ve found the {postviews} tag which can be used in the Output template which does the job I needed. I guess with all the plugins the Post Options page is a little hard to navigate 😉

  • 3. Rob  |  September 10th, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Michael Benson: Glad you found your solution! Do you have any suggestions for making the options easier to navigate?

  • 4. OCD  |  September 28th, 2008 at 1:05 am

    Hi I am after a tab like plugin/widget display of the most-read, most`-commented and most-emailed posts. Does your most popular plugin allow fore this ctegorisation/filtering?

    thanks in advance

  • 5. Rob  |  September 28th, 2008 at 8:16 am

    OCD: Right now the plugin counts popularity by post views only.

  • 6. OCD  |  September 29th, 2008 at 5:56 am

    Any plans to add the other options? Would be great if it could be in a tab like display format. Most newspaper sites have this`feature.

  • 7. Rob  |  September 29th, 2008 at 9:41 am

    OCD: The option to rank popularity by number of comments might well be included as an option but ranking by email frequency is too dependant on how individual posts are sent on. That is where a theme has more control than a plugin. The same goes for tabbed output. All the post plugins let you generate output the way you wish but how that output is displayed is up to your theme and its CSS. There are a number of plugins and widgets out there to make the job easy.

  • 8. N0K  |  October 1st, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Thank for the plugin, i was searching it from long time ago.
    I have a problem with the “Sort Output By” in output setting configuration.
    When i order it by {postviews} descending, it take the first number like the biggest, not the total. A example (first number: order number, second numbers: posts views, third: post title):
    1. 6 Sincronizar hora
    2. 46 MySQL Backup y Restauración
    3. 45 Midiendo la latencia y rendimiento en un servidor Web
    4. 40 MySQL Crear usuario
    5. 31 Servidores Dedicados Abansys
    6. 28 MySQL Restaurar una sola tabla de un dump completo
    7. 28 Como cambiar el nombre del sistema
    8. 26 MySQL Borrar usuario
    9. 22 Nuevo paquete Linux 2.6.24 corrige varias vulnerabilidades
    10. 19 Autenticación en lighttpd.

    As you can see, the first in the sort is “6” postsview, this should be the last, not the first.
    Any idea for fix it ?

    Thanks and regards.

  • 9. morrisjfwong  |  October 2nd, 2008 at 7:35 am

    I applied some of your works in my blogs. Really good! Thank you for these efforts and all clear/good guides here.
    Thank you again !!

  • 10. Rob  |  October 4th, 2008 at 11:04 am

    N0K : What is happening is that {postviews} is being treated alphabetically rather than numerically. I’ll get that fixed.

  • 11. Aw Guo  |  October 8th, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Hey Rob.

    I finally came to this great plugin.

    I just have a very stupid question: How do you know which posts are popular? Judged by the comment numbers or ?

    I used it and the usage is very great and graceful, but it just picked some ordinary posts from my blog 🙂


  • 12. Alex  |  October 15th, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I would also be interested to learn – how is popularity determined? I’m guessing post views and if so – how are the number of posts views determined?

    I have seen a requirement for the library to be loaded, perhaps that is what generates the view stats?

    Sorry about all the dumb questions but right now I’m using Popularity Contest plugin, which is no longer supported by its author and looking for a replacement that doesn’t loose the previous info.


  • 13. Ken  |  October 27th, 2008 at 3:03 am

    Does it count comment numbers? looks it only count “click” counts.

  • 14. George Ingraham  |  October 27th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I am curious..

    What is the purpose to keeping older posts on the forefront of our blog pages?

    Is this somehow related to content, and keeping the most relevant content on the main page of our blogs?

    When a blog entry is moved to the forefront are subscribers to the blog going to be responding to view a previously posted blog entry?


  • 15. Robert@PNG  |  October 31st, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Hi Rob,

    I logged an issue with you the other day (through the plugin config panel). The issue is resolved – I disabled a conflicting plugin and PP worked fine. For anyone interested the conflicting plugin it was WordPress.com Popular Posts.

    I’m trying to do the following with your plugin and I’m going to use an example to demonstrate. I would like to display most read/popular posts over the last month based on a selection of all of my posts. PP only allows me to select most read/popular from posts written in the past month.

    By the way Rob… your plugins are top notch and your contribution to the WP community is tmuch appreciated.


  • 16. teraSEOdactyl  |  November 6th, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    How do I change the plugin from saying Popular Posts:
    for example, I would like it to say Popular Articles:
    above the list. Thanks! great plug-in I was searching for months for one that worked with 2.6.x

  • 17. Brian  |  November 9th, 2008 at 12:37 am


    This one blows Alex King’s popularity contest out of the water! I’ve been killing myself all day getting that one to work, with no success.

    Then I found this one, and it’s up and running perfectly in less than 5 minutes.

    Very straitforward, awesome custom options.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    did I mention this is a GREAT plugin??

  • 18. Patrick Daly  |  November 13th, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Is there a way to reset the counts?

  • 19. Rahul  |  November 18th, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    Also, are the post views reset after each day, or are the popularity rankings determined by an overall number of counts since the plugin was activated?


  • 20. morrisjfwong  |  November 19th, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Thanks Sir, I tried this works and really good ! Continue testing and will feedback if any ideas….

  • 21. Josh Cohen  |  December 7th, 2008 at 1:13 am

    Hey – Having problems with compatibility on this for WordPress 2.5. Get this error message when trying to access the config panel:

    – Cannot load popular-posts.php.

    Any ideas? Thanks! – Josh

  • 22. bily  |  December 27th, 2008 at 4:22 am

    how are the Popular posts determined? it certainly doesn’t line up with my blog stats.

    it seemed to line up right before 2.7 but not so anymore.

    was working great. great plugin! hope to have whatever kinks figured out.

  • 23. David Leonard Freelance Web Design  |  January 2nd, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Very important to have a “hot topics” or “popular posts” category on any wordpress I give this 5 of 5.

  • 24. Laurence Flynn  |  January 2nd, 2009 at 7:10 am

    The options page wants to call:


    So I moved teh plugin out of its folder into the main plugin folder and now I get a “Fatal error: Cannot redeclare popular_posts() (previously declared in” error.

  • 25. Michael S  |  January 7th, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Wow, I’m impressed.. many good plugins and I am trying to master them all… great work!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Question: for some reason, everytime I look at a post, the postviews is incremented by 2… for example…

    Lets say I look at the popular posts plugin and a post entitled “ABC” shows postviews=10. If I click on that post, then click the broswer “back” button (so now I’m on the popular post plugin page, and then reload the page, instead of 11 (which it should be) it jumps to 12 ????? Any idea?


  • 26. YoU  |  January 10th, 2009 at 5:13 am

    Very nice plugins and I use some of them in my blog ^^

    I’m wondering whether it is possible that the Popular Posts plugin can display how many times each post was viewed (I’m sure the plugin can do this) in every single page since I’ve already used WP-PostViews which has an identical feature and I’m now want to replace it with yours. Any ideas? Thanks in advance ^^

  • 27. Mike Salway  |  January 19th, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Your plugins are great, but there doesn’t appear to be any follow-up to some of the comments posted here – so not sure if it’s still active?

    My questions:
    1) How do I change the “hover” (alt) text that is displayed? I’m using Popular Posts and hovering over the link shows the date. I want to change this.

    2) How can I include Pages? I’ve set the “show pages and posts”, and i’ve even specifically included the post id’s of some pages, and i’ve tried using custom fields “popular = 1” to get it to show pages, but it just won’t show them.


  • 28. Hans Christian Andersen  |  January 30th, 2009 at 7:59 am


    Thanks for the very nice plugin. I wold like to be able to display 3 lists of popular posts at the same time, on the front page.
    One list with the most read last 7 days, one list with most read last month and one list with most read overall.

    Is that posible ?

    Thanks in advance.

  • 29. coco  |  February 20th, 2009 at 2:01 am

    it works very well for me and seems to be great for SEO.
    thanks for sharing it.

  • 30. John  |  March 6th, 2009 at 11:56 am

    I am using this for one of my sites, is there any way this plugin can be used to show how many times a post has been displayed, it must know how many time a post has been displayed to find the most popular post so is there some php code that i can put in my single.php page to display how many time that page has been shown?

  • 31. Florida Insurance Quotes  |  March 27th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Awesome plugin! (I think I’m using like 4 of your plugins alone right now!) Thank you for this!

  • 32. JEff  |  April 16th, 2009 at 5:52 am

    how can i get more than one widget

  • 33. DanDan  |  April 17th, 2009 at 8:46 am

    THANK YOU! for this plugin! Seriously!

    I grappled with “WordPress Popular Posts” for hours trying to get it to do what I wanted, yours worked exactly how I wanted it to right out of the box.

    The output template feature is so flexible and robust that I was able to custom form the widget’s output to my blog in minutes. Also, the function that simply outputs the number of a post’s views was a life saver.

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  • 34. Nate @ Money Young  |  May 6th, 2009 at 12:57 am

    I’m having trouble with this plugin. It’s not displaying my most popular posts. Not sure where it gets the count from.

    I was wondering if anyone else had this issue?


  • 35. mrrssy  |  May 26th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    sorry, same error with josh cohen when trying to open setings page;

    cant loading popular-posts.php


  • 36. Tom  |  June 10th, 2009 at 7:34 am

    Great plugin but how to set up the plugin to show for example most popular posts during LAST 90 days or 30 days or a year (I do not want to exclude any posts) ?

    Thank you for help.

  • 37. Daniel  |  June 11th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I installed Hyper Cache plugin these days and two of my last posts, with a huge number of access, are not showing in the box of “10 most read from the last 40 days”.

    might it be that with Hyper Cache, or any cache, the data requires extra time to be updated?…

  • 38. Subir Ghosh  |  June 18th, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Currently I am using this on a test server. And everything displays fine. I have tried quite a few variaitons, and so far all have worked.

    But how do I display the current post’s views?

    I would like to display something like:

    This page has been viewed {postviews} times.


  • 39. Slave To The Internet  |  July 9th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    Love the plugin, however how can I reset the stats?

    Ideally, I would like to reset them once a month.

    Can you advise at all?


  • 40. Ed  |  July 6th, 2011 at 4:20 pm


    I love your plugins, I’m using recent comments, recent posts and popular posts. They’re certainly the best out of all of the other similar ones.

    Just wondered if you help me out with limiting the amount of characters allowed in the title.

    My code at the moment is that, but I would like to limit the “link” to a max of e.g. 25 characters.

    {link}{commentcount} Comments | Posted on {date}.


  • 41. oldwaver  |  September 16th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Love the plugin. Much better looking/functioning than any other I’ve seen.

    Just one issue… the top 5 posts shown don’t match the actual stats for page views. I’m not sure where the plugin is pulling numbers from. Can you advise?


  • 42. oldwaver  |  September 16th, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    disregard that last post. sorry.

  • 43. Alex  |  September 19th, 2011 at 5:07 pm


    Is there a way to display popular posts by average views of last 5 days ?
    Thansk in adavance for your answers !



  • 44. oldwaver  |  June 14th, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    So I just auto-updated the plugin and now the thumbnails in the widget are messed up. All of the images are of the most recently published post.

    Thoughts on how to fix this?