I’ve installed the plug-in WordPress Popular Post a long time ago on my design inspiration blog: HautStyle. I found that the plug-in was great for my needs, easy to use, flexible in terms on design; basically it ticked all the boxes. As you can see on the screenshot below (under “your favourites”), the design is quite different from the default one and you can display daily, weekly, monthly.
It was all great until I notice WordPress Popular Posts issue with W3TC and to some extend with Google Analytics. I mention Google Analytics here as this is how I discovered the issue. The most popular posts shown on the website weren’t matching the most seen pages on my Google Analytics so I decided to investigate and found out that there was a caching issue between WordPress Popular Posts and W3 Total Cache (W3TC).
WordPress Popular Posts issue with W3TC
So WPP was using the cached results from W3TC building up the results of the same posts over time. It’s because the plug-in is/was using php which was cached. On the latest version of WPP (Version 2.3.7) there is an option to use Ajax instead of php that resolves the problem.
How to fix the WPP caching issue with W3TC?
Login to your admin and make sure your plug-in is up to date (if not, remember to back things up before upgrading). At the time of writing the latest version is 2.3.7
Go to Settings > WordPress Popular Posts
On the following screen, at the top, click on the “tools” link.
On the next screen, near the bottom, look for Data Tools
Enable “Ajaxify widget“, then Apply.
You can also Empty Cache and/or Clear all data if you wish to.
That’s it, the plug-in should now display the “real” results of your popular posts.