Brian Dunagan

April 9 2010
Wordpress Tip: Recent, Relevant, and Random Blog Posts

12 May 2010 Update: Interestingly, Google Analytics revealed that in the month since adding the sidebar, there’s been no significant change in the average time spent on the site (54s) or pages per visit (1.3). I still like it.

Recently, I thought it would be interesting to add a sidebar to my Wordpress blog. I figured a short list of recent posts, relevant posts, and random posts would help surface information people might find useful. Here’s a quick rundown of how to add these with the PHP code below:

  • Recent Posts: one-liner with simple WP PHP call
  • Random Posts: a couple lines because I wanted random posts but sorted descending by date (not simply get_posts('numberposts=5&orderby=rand&order=desc');)
  • Relevant Posts: also called related posts, a template-based plugin worked best for me: Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) </ul>
    <div class="sidebar">
    <?php wp_get_archives('title_li=&type=postbypost&limit=5'); ?>
    <?php related_posts(); ?>
       // Get five random posts.
       $rand_posts = get_posts('numberposts=5&orderby=rand');
       // Sort them (by date).
       // Reverse them.
       $rand_posts = array_reverse($rand_posts);
       foreach( $rand_posts as $post ) :
        <li><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>
    <?php endforeach; ?>
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