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Fix: Nothing Showing For Popular Posts Widget

I recently ran into an issue with the WordPress Popular Posts plugin where it showed the bullet points for the number of popular posts I wanted to show – but no content.

Empty Popular Posts

Debugging the issue

  • I made sure I had JetPack installed
  • I had plenty of stats – but could not get any data to show. Stats were showing as expected with the JetPack plugin stats view
  • I deactivated/re-activated the WordPress Popular Posts plugin.
  • I turned off caching
  • I tried a number of different configuration options in the widget

I still was not seeing any content though. This then made me think I needed to try something different with the way the list item was formatted. At this point I then noticed that format field was blank. Since I could not remember if that was the default – I looked at the plugin readme file and added in the default (see below).

Default format setting that needed to be re-input
<a href='%post_permalink%' title='%post_title%' >%post_title%</a>

After that was in place and the widget settings were saved – the popular posts once again saved. If you notice something similar – and you are having issues getting content to show AND you know it is not a statistics issue – they the same configuration change I mentioned above. I hope it helps!