Over the last month or so, the Popular Posts plugin I use for one of my sites stopped refreshing. For that particular site, I have been utilizing Jetpack’s WordPress Top Posts and Pages widget for many years and rarely ever had an issue. I appreciated the simplicity of the widget to display the top ten pieces of content on the sidebar of my site and Jetpack is owned by WordPress’ parent company Automattic so I wasn’t concerned about the security or it no longer being supported.
However, as mentioned above I began to notice that when I looked at my site’s top posts, I kept seeing the same posts and articles in what seemed to be the same order over the last several days. How did I know? My aforementioned website is focused on basketball, so the recent unexpected death of Kobe Bryant provided an easy (but unfortunate) test to see whether the widget was updating.
Once I confirmed the issue, I did what most would do: I searched for an answer and found that I wasn’t the only one experiencing the same problem with the widget not updating. And all the issues were popping up in the last several weeks, so that told me that the issue wasn’t a mis-configuration or a user error.
After trouble shooting and taking the recommendations from these threads to no avail, I decided to look at another plugin that could solve the problem. Luckily I have another site (this one!) that has been using a different “popular posts” WordPress plugin that not only provided the look and feel I wanted, but offered more features.
From Jetpack’s Top Posts to WordPress Popular Posts
The plugin is called WordPress Popular Posts and you can customize the style of your widget as you would with the faulty plugin, but this WPP not only gives you the option to adjust the image thumbnail size, but has the ability to display view count, author, date, and category info too.
I would usually hold off on recommending a new plugin so I can ensure that it works, but because I’ve been using WordPress Popular Posts successfully on this site for years, I can confidently say that if your Jetpack widget isn’t refreshing, this is a fantastic (and more powerful) alternative that will make you forget all about your Jetpack top posts issues.