Most And Least Read Posts Widget


“Most And Least Read Posts Widget” is a free plugin for WordPress. developed by Giuliano Polverari ( to generate lists of the most and least read posts.

The following options are customizable:

  • number of posts to show
  • exclude posts whose title contains certain words
  • show post hits after the title (style customizable via CSS class)
  • exclude posts older than XX days

The plugin starts counting hits once activated, storing them in the “custom_total_hits” custom field without the need of external accounts.

The most popular web crawlers (e.g. Googlebot) are recognized and their hits discarded; also Admin hits are discarded.

Archived post hits are shown in a column inside the backend post list.

The plugin is compatible with multi-language WPML plugin, showing most/least read posts for current language.

Optionally, the number of hits can be shown inside the post content, with:

  • a custom phrase, e.g. “This post has already been read XX times!”
  • a custom position (above the post, below the post, both)
  • a custom CSS style

If you want to show the post hits anywhere inside the template loop, you can the PHP function provided, e.g.:

echo most_and_least_read_posts_get_hits(get_the_ID());


Also, [most_read_posts] a shortcode is available. Use it like this:

[most_read_posts type="most" posts_number="5" show_thumbs="false" date_from="2016-01-01" date_to="2016-04-30"]

Shortcode attributes:

  • type: “most” or “least”
  • posts_number
  • words_excluded
  • title_max_chars
  • excerpt_max_chars
  • show_thumbs: “true” or “false”
  • add_line_break_before_thumbs: “true” or “false”
  • show_hits: “true” or “false”
  • show_hits_text (default: “views”)
  • days_ago
  • date_from and date_to: if set, overwrite the “days_ago” attribute (format: YYYY-MM-DD)


For more informations:

Do you like this plugin? Give a chance to our other works:


  • Sample Widget on site, plain wiew
  • Sample Widget on site, with post hits and thumbs
  • Options available in the Admin Widget box
  • Options available in the Admin Settings menu


Best is to install directly from WordPress. If manual installation is required, please make sure to put all of the plugin files in a folder named most_and_least_read_posts_widget (not two nested folders) in the plugin directory, then activate the plugin through the Plugins menu in WordPress.


I get an error message that says “no results available”

The plugin starts collecting hits once installed, so there are “no results available” for a short time, until the first data is stored.
It’s better to show the widget some hours (or days) after having installed it.

The same post shows up multiple times

This uncommon issue can be caused by duplicated custom fields in some posts.
To solve it, inspect the post custom fields and delete unnecessary duplicates of the “custom_total_hits” field.

Can I customize the thumbs?

Yes, you can do it editing the “mlrp_ul” class in your template style.css file.
E.g. 50×50 pixels images, floating on the right:
.mlrp_ul img { width: 50px; height: 50px; float: right; }


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Contributors & Developers

“Most And Least Read Posts Widget” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Most And Least Read Posts Widget” has been translated into 1 locale. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Most And Least Read Posts Widget” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



  • Plugin tested up WordPress 6.5
  • Fixed: SQL injection


  • Added: New “Add line break before thumb”, “Limit post titles to X chars” and “Show post excerpts” options
  • Added: internationalization
  • Added: [most_read_posts] shortcode
  • Added: Use the comma “,” for thousands digits
  • Added: Append a custom text (e.g. the word “views”) next to total hits
  • Added: WhileTrue RSS Feed
  • Changed: web spiders update
  • Changed: Avangate ads removal
  • Changed: Skip updating hits if user is admin


  • Added: option to show hits inside the post content or after the post title
  • Added: style customization of hits on widget, through the “most_and_least_read_posts_hits” CSS class
  • Added: option to exclude posts older than XX days (default: 365 days)
  • Added: Frequently Asked Questions
  • Added: archived post hits are now shown in a column inside the backend post list
  • Added: php function to retrieve and show hits inside the template loop
  • Added: show post thumbs option
  • Added: “mlrp_ul” ul class for easy CSS styling
  • Added: support for WPML plugin, showing most/least read posts for current language
  • Changed: hits on widget put out of the link


Initial release