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Custom filtering and sticky posts

From: WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP

Video: Custom filtering and sticky posts

Calling the get_post method of the WP_Query class will essentially just get you the same data that's on the main page of your blog. However, there's a lot more customization you can do, in terms of applying filters to the data you get back. You can filter by category or title or author. You can get sticky posts or a specific page or any number of other queries. This can be done on a default loop using a special method called query_post, and this is a function that's built into WordPress. The same parameters are used when we call on our own WP_Query class, so if you look in the Codex you can see the parameters that it will take.

Custom filtering and sticky posts

Calling the get_post method of the WP_Query class will essentially just get you the same data that's on the main page of your blog. However, there's a lot more customization you can do, in terms of applying filters to the data you get back. You can filter by category or title or author. You can get sticky posts or a specific page or any number of other queries. This can be done on a default loop using a special method called query_post, and this is a function that's built into WordPress. The same parameters are used when we call on our own WP_Query class, so if you look in the Codex you can see the parameters that it will take.

If you are going to use the query method, you can call it on your object instead of get_post, and you can pass to it a special query parsing object, and inside of it, it is going to have what looks like a URL parameter, and that URL parameter will have the data you want to filter by. So you start with an ampersand and you say posts_per_page, which is one option. And again, these options are listed on the query post, referenced in the Codex. So a posts_per_page we will set equal to five, and then separate each one with an ampersand, and we'll say we want to orderby=comment_count, and then we want to order in descending order.

So before I save it, let's take a look at our original query. So you can see it's in the order of what comes first. So I have this "Restaurant View," "Update Today," and "Hello World!" However, none of these have comments, and really, if I want to make this about displaying comments, the ones that are the most active, then I am going to want to order by comments. So that's what I added into here by ordering it in descending order by comment count. So when I save this and go back and refresh it, you will see that Hello World! comes up top because this one is the most commented on.

So we can actually change the title of this. Instead of saying Posts on page, we can change this to say Top Posts, because now it's accurately reflecting the top posts. An even easier way is instead of writing your options in the query method, when you create your WP_Query object, you can pass them in as an array of associative objects. So we will say array and we'll say, posts_per_page=5, then I like to keep them lined up in this way, and we will say 'orderby' => 'comment_count', and the order is descending.

So now we don't have to call the query method at all. When I initialize this WP_Query object, it will actually populate our query based on these parameters. When I refresh, it doesn't change, although our title changed because we change that. But the order is the same because it's applying that filter. The other option is sticky posts. Sometimes you want to mark a post as sticky, and a lot of theme supports sticky posts to highlight them as if they are headlines, or things like that. They allow you to have some posts that are treated specially.

In order to make them sticky, the easiest way is to go into the main Posts page, in the Quick Edit, there's an option to make the post sticky. When you update it, you'll see on your post that this is a sticky one, so you can quickly review. If I want to filter by it, I simply add another parameter. There is a special parameter called 'post__in' which says I want to get all the posts that are in a specific list. We are going to get a list of IDs using the sticky posts option, and it's stored in the option database.

So we use the get_option method to call on it, and the name of it is sticky_posts. We will now save it. It will now only report those items that are sticky. So when we see it, you can see I now only get "Hello World!" because that was the only sticky one that I had. So as you can see, the WP_Query class gives us a lot of options for filtering our loop data. We can control how many posts we are going to get, we can control the order, and we can filter by category, author, title, or sticky posts, as well as a number of other options.

The way that we set this up is we can either pass our query data into the WP_Query constructor or into the query method. We can pass them as an associative array of elements, or we can also pass them as a URL variable string. However we do it, this provides us with a lot of flexibility in how we output our posts.

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This video is part of

Image for WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP
 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 23m 29s
    1. WordPress overview
      2m 32s
    2. Installing WPI for Windows
      3m 42s
    3. Installing MAMP for the Mac
      3m 25s
    4. Installing and configuring WordPress
      5m 51s
    5. Comparing WordPress 3.0 with previous versions
      2m 57s
    6. Setting up a PHP/WordPress development environment
      5m 2s
  3. 14m 47s
    1. Exploring WordPress plugins
      3m 42s
    2. Administering plugins from the WordPress admin
      5m 23s
    3. Exploring where plugins reside
      2m 51s
    4. Introduction to hooks
      2m 51s
  4. 39m 28s
    1. Creating the plugin PHP file(s)
      3m 12s
    2. More on hooks: Actions and filters
      3m 15s
    3. Installation and activation
      4m 6s
    4. Writing activation code
      3m 45s
    5. Writing an action
      5m 12s
    6. Writing a filter
      4m 15s
    7. About pluggable functions
      2m 1s
    8. Writing a pluggable function
      5m 30s
    9. Using template tags
      2m 46s
    10. Introducing shortcode
      5m 26s
  5. 26m 2s
    1. Widgets and the WordPress Widgets SubPanel
      2m 54s
    2. Comparing widgets and plugins
      1m 8s
    3. Using and customizing built-in widgets
      3m 18s
    4. Creating a new widget
      7m 21s
    5. Writing the constructor and registering widgets
      5m 20s
    6. Enabling configuration of widgets
      6m 1s
  6. 44m 59s
    1. Creating an admin interface
      5m 25s
    2. Saving data to the database
      5m 39s
    3. Securing form submission with nonces
      2m 25s
    4. Options editing post-WordPress 2.7
      4m 8s
    5. Integrating with the WordPress admin menus
      3m 34s
    6. WordPress admin dashboard API
      4m 5s
    7. Using existing options and option editing pages in WordPress
      5m 19s
    8. Using jQuery and AJAX for administration
      14m 24s
  7. 27m 13s
    1. Accessing the WordPress database
      5m 45s
    2. Using the built-in schema
      2m 21s
    3. Accessing data using $wpdb
      5m 15s
    4. Creating new tables
      7m 18s
    5. Inserting data
      6m 34s
  8. 26m 27s
    1. Introducing the Loop
      6m 22s
    2. Using WP_Query()
      3m 11s
    3. Custom filtering and sticky posts
      4m 58s
    4. Using jQuery and AJAX for posts and pages
      11m 56s
  9. 12m 9s
    1. Registering and promoting plugins
      2m 28s
    2. Creating an uninstall function
      5m 53s
    3. Backward compatibility issues
      3m 48s
  10. 15m 3s
    1. Understanding security issues
      11m 20s
    2. Internationalizing your plugin
      3m 43s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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