5. FAQ

Héctor Cabrera edited this page Apr 4, 2017 · 22 revisions

Frequently Asked Questions

I need help with your plugin! What should I do?

First thing to do is read all the online documentation available (Installation, Usage, Wiki, and of course this section) as they should address most of the questions you might have about this plugin (and even more info can be found via wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > FAQ).

If you're still having problems with WPP after that, try disabling all other plugins and then reenable them one at a time to check if any of them is causing a conflict. If that's not the case, try switching to a different theme for a moment and see the problem still persists. Checking the Support Forum is also a good idea as chances are that someone else has already posted something about it.

Remember: read first. It'll save you (and me) time.


-FUNCTIONALITY-

Why WordPress Popular Posts?

The idea of creating this plugin came from the need to know how many people were actually reading each post. Unfortunately, WordPress doesn't keep views count of your posts anywhere. Because of that -and since I didn't find anything that would suit my needs- I ended up creating WordPress Popular Posts: a highly customizable, easy-to-use WordPress plugin with the ability to keep track of what's popular to showcase it to the visitors!

How does the plugin count views / calculate the popularity of posts?

Since WordPress doesn't keep track of page views (only comments count), WPP will log them for you. When sorting popular posts by views, WPP will use the page views data it started caching since the moment you installed it to rank the top posts according to the settings you have configured in the plugin. WordPress Popular Posts can also rank the popularity of your posts based on comments count as well.

I'm getting "Sorry. No data so far". What's up with that?

There are a number of reasons that might explain why you are seeing this message:

  • No one has seen or commented on your posts/pages since WordPress Popular Posts activation, you should give it some time.
  • Your current theme does not have the wp_head() tag in its <head> section, required by my plugin to keep track of what your visitors are viewing on your site.
  • WordPress Popular Posts was unable to create the necessary DB tables to work, make sure your hosting has granted you permission to create / update / modify tables in the database.
  • Do you have a caching plugin installed on your site? You may need to flush/empty its cache once so WPP can insert the tracking script into the <head> section of your theme.

My current theme does not support widgets (booooo!). Can I show my most popular posts in any other way?

Yes, there are other choices: you can use the wpp shortcode, which allows you to embed your popular listing directly in the content of your posts and/or pages; or you can use the wpp_get_mostpopular() template tag. Both options are highly customizable via parameters, check them out via wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Parameters.

WordPress Popular Posts is counting my own visits, why?

By default the plugin will register every page view from all visitors, including logged-in users. If you don't want WPP to track your own page views, please go to wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Tools and change the "Log views from" option from Everyone to your preferred choice.

I'm unable to activate the "Display post thumbnail" option. Why?

Please check that either the ImageMagick or GD extension is installed and enabled by your host.

How does WordPress Popular Posts pick my posts' thumbnails?

You can tell WPP to pick the thumbnail from either of the following options (available at wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Tools):

  • Featured Image (default).
  • First image on post.
  • Custom field.

If no images are found, the default thumbnail will be displayed instead.

I'm seeing a "No thumbnail" image, where's my post thumbnail?

Make sure you have assigned one to your posts (see previous question).

Is there any way I can change that ugly "No thumbnail" image for one of my own?

Fortunately, yes. Go to wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Tools and check under Thumbnail source. Ideally, the thumbnail you're going to use should be set already with your desired width and height - however, the uploader will give you other size options as configured by your current theme.

Where can I find the list of parameters accepted by the wpp_get_mostpopular() template tag / [wpp] shortcode?

You can find it via wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Parameters.

I want to have a popular list of my custom post type. How can I do that?

Simply add your custom post type to the Post Type field in the widget (or if you're using the template tag / shortcode, use the post_type parameter).

How can I use my own HTML markup with your plugin?

If you're using the widget, simply activate the Use custom HTML markup option and set your desired configuration and Content Tags (see wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Parameters for more); or if you're using the template tag / shortcode, use the wpp_start, wpp_end and post_html parameters (see wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Parameters for more).

A more advanced way to customize the HTML markup is via WordPress filters by hooking into wpp_custom_html or wpp_post. For details, please check the Filters page on the Wiki.

I would like to clear all data gathered by WordPress Popular Posts and start over. How can I do that?

If you go to wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Tools, you'll find two buttons that should do what you need: Clear cache and Clear all data. The first one just wipes out what's in cache (Last 24 hours, Last 7 Days, Last 30 Days, etc.), keeping the historical data (All-time) intact. The latter wipes out everything from WordPress Popular Posts data tables - even the historical data. Note that this cannot be undone so proceed with caution.

Can WordPress Popular Posts run on WordPress Multisite?

Starting from version 3.0.0, WPP checks for WordPress Multisite. While I have not tested it, WPP should work just fine (and if it doesn't, please let me know).

Can WordPress Popular Posts work with caching plugins (such as WP Super Cache)?

Yes, however you will need to enable the Ajaxify widget feature (wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Tools, under Data) to keep the WPP widget from being cached. You'll also need to flush the cache of your caching plugin after installing or upgrading WPP.

Note that -as obvious as this might sound- this feature is only available for the widget, it doesn't work with the wpp shortcode nor the wpp_get_mostpopular() template tag.


-CSS AND STYLESHEETS-

Does your plugin include any CSS stylesheets?

Yes, WPP includes a stylesheet called wpp.css located at wp-content/plugins/wordpress-popular-posts/style. However, it doesn't include any predefined styles (well, almost).

Each time WordPress Popular Posts is updated the wpp.css stylesheet gets reset and I lose all changes I made to it. How can I keep my custom CSS?

Copying your modified wpp.css file into your theme's folder will prevent future plugin updates from overwriting it with the default wpp.css file.

How can I style my list to look like [insert your desired look here]?

Since this plugin does not include any predefined designs, it's up to you to style your most popular posts list as you like.

If you don't know HTML/CSS -or if don't feel like styling the list yourself-, you should consider hiring someone to do the job for you (I'm also available for hire, just in case you're wondering).

I want to remove WPP's stylesheet. How can I do that?

You can disable the stylesheet via wp-admin > Settings > WordPress Popular Posts > Tools.


-WIDGET SPECIFIC FAQS-

What does "Title" do?

It allows you to show a heading for your most popular posts listing. If left empty, no heading will be displayed at all.

What is "Post type" for?

This filter allows you to decide which post types to show on the listing. By default, it will retrieve only posts and pages (which should be fine for most cases).

What is "Category ID(s)" for?

This filter allows you to select which categories should be included or excluded from the listing. A negative sign in front of the category ID number will exclude posts belonging to it from the list, for example. You can specify more than one ID with a comma separated list.

You can use a plugin like Reveal IDs to see the IDs of your categories in the Categories Screen of your dashboard.

What is "Author ID(s)" for?

Just like the Category filter, this one lets you filter posts by author ID. You can specify more than one ID with a comma separated list.

You can use a plugin like Reveal IDs to see the IDs of your users in the Users Screen of your dashboard.

What does "Display post rating" do?

If checked, WordPress Popular Posts will show how your readers are rating your most popular posts. This feature requires having WP-PostRatings plugin installed and enabled on your blog for it to work.

What does "Use custom HTML Markup" do?

If checked, you will be able to customize the HTML markup of your popular posts listing. For example, you can decide whether to wrap your posts in an unordered list, an ordered list, a div, etc. If you know xHTML/CSS, this is for you!


-OTHER STUFF THAT YOU (PROBABLY) WANT TO KNOW-

Does WordPress Popular Posts support other languages than english?

Yes, check the Other Notes section at wordpress.org for more information.

I want to translate your plugin into my language / help you update a translation. What do I need to do?

First thing you need to do is get a gettext editor like Poedit to translate all texts into your language. You'll find several .PO files bundled with the plugin under the lang folder. Check this handy guide for more details.

If you're interested in sharing your translation with others (or just helped update an existing translation), please let me know (a pull request is welcome, too).

I want your plugin to have X or Y functionality. Can it be done?

If it fits the nature of my plugin and it sounds like something others would like to have, there's a pretty good chance that I will implement it (and if you can provide some sample code with useful comments, much better).

Your plugin seems to conflict with my current Theme / this other Plugin. Can you please help me?

If the theme/plugin you're talking about is a free one that can be downloaded from somewhere, sure I can try and take a look into it. Premium themes/plugins are out of discussion though, unless you're willing to grant me access to your site (or get me a copy of this theme/plugin) so I can check it out.

ETA for your next release?

Updates will come depending on my work projects (I'm a full-time web developer) and the amount of time I have on my hands. Quick releases will happen only when/if critical bugs are spotted.

I posted a question at the Support Forum and got no answer from the developer. Why is that?

Chances are that your question has been already answered either at the Support Forum, the Installation section or here in the FAQ section, so I've decided not to answer. It could also happen that I'm just busy at the moment and haven't been able to read your post yet, so please be patient.

Is there any other way to contact you?

The Support Forum is usually the best way to get in touch with me since I'm checking it constantly.