Show Popular Posts Without Plugins

Show Popular Posts Without Plugins: This one is a little trickier. However, if you are not too keen on installing an extra plugin to showcase popular posts (say, you have limited server memory or disk space), follow this snippet. Remember lots of plugins is not always a good thing. They don’t always play nice and can crash your site.

Paste the following in functions.php:

function count_post_visits() {
    if( is_single() ) {
        global $post;
        $views = get_post_meta( $post->ID, 'my_post_viewed', true );
        if( $views == '' ) {
            update_post_meta( $post->ID, 'my_post_viewed', '1' );   
        } else {
            $views_no = intval( $views );
            update_post_meta( $post->ID, 'my_post_viewed', ++$views_no );
add_action( 'wp_head', 'count_post_visits' );


Thereafter, paste the following wherever in the template files that you wish to display the popular posts:

$popular_posts_args = array(
 'posts_per_page' => 3,
 'meta_key' => 'my_post_viewed',
 'orderby' => 'meta_value_num',
 'order'=> 'DESC'
$popular_posts_loop = new WP_Query( $popular_posts_args );
while( $popular_posts_loop->have_posts() ):
 // Loop continues

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About the Author: Bernard Aybout

In the land of bytes and bits, a father of three sits, With a heart for tech and coding kits, in IT he never quits. At Magna's door, he took his stance, in Canada's wide expanse, At Karmax Heavy Stamping - Cosma's dance, he gave his career a chance. With a passion deep for teaching code, to the young minds he showed, The path where digital seeds are sowed, in critical thinking mode. But alas, not all was bright and fair, at Magna's lair, oh despair, Harassment, intimidation, a chilling air, made the workplace hard to bear. Management's maze and morale's dip, made our hero's spirit flip, In a demoralizing grip, his well-being began to slip. So he bid adieu to Magna's scene, from the division not so serene, Yet in tech, his interest keen, continues to inspire and convene.