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Random Posts Within Date Range Widget

Widget that displays the title(w/ link), date(optional), and excerpt(optional) of random posts within a selected date range.

  1. Download, unzip, and upload the random-posts-within-date-range-widget folder along with all its files to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the 'Plugins' menu in WordPress.
  3. Go to the 'Widgets' page under 'Appearance' and drag an instance of the widget into the selected sidebar.
  4. Edit settings to meet desired effect.

A few important notes: * If you click the "Always use current date as end point" box, it will override the "End Date" settings. (I had fancy JavaScript functions to validate/disable these menus, but ran into issues when running multiple instances of the widget. It's on my to-do list for upcoming versions.) * Likewise, if you click the "Use time relative to current date" box, it will override the above date settings. * If the "Show Excerpt" box is checked and the post has a manual excerpt, WordPress will output the entire manual excerpt, regardless of what is entered in the "Excerpt Length" box. * If you check the "Show Excerpt" box and leave the "Excerpt Length" box blank or with "0" entered, it will use the default 55 words.

The CSS of the widget can be edited much like any other HTML element. The structure is as follows:

<li class="random-post-element"> 
<p class="random-post-title"><a href="#">TITLE</a></p> 
<p class="random-post-date">DATE</p> 
<span class="random-post-excerpt>EXCERPT</span>     

Example CSS (used in screenshot):

.random-post-list {font-family:Arial, sans-serif;}
.random-post-element { margin:5px;}         
.random-post-title {font-size:14px;}
.random-post-title a {color:#000;}
.random-post-title a:hover {text-decoration:none;}
.random-post-date {font-size:12px; color:#333;}
.random-post-excerpt p{font-size:12px;}

The functionality of this plugin can be accessed outside of the widget with the use of this function:


The function returns a post variable similar to that returned by WP_Query(). This allows you to use the_author(), the_content, etc. to create custom loops.

These are the values accepted for the $settings array used for the function (Sorry, it's a little complex, hope to clean this up in the future):

$settings['count']; //INTEGER - Number of posts to retrieve 

$settings['start_month']; //INTEGER - month of start date (1-12) 
$settings['start_day']; //INTEGER - day of start date (1-31 depending on # of days in month) 
$settings['start_year']; //INTEGER - year of start date (after 1970) 

$settings['no_end']; //BOOLEAN - TRUE to allow current date to always be end, FALSE to use below value as end date
$settings['end_month']; //INTEGER - month of end date (1-12) (only used if 'no_end' is FALSE)
$settings['end_day']; //INTEGER - day of end date (1-31 depending on # of days in month) (only used if 'no_end' is FALSE)
$settings['end_year']; //INTEGER - year of end date (after 1970) (only used if 'no_end' is FALSE)

$settings['use_relative']; //BOOLEAN - TRUE to use relative date (i.e. "posts from the 5 days"), this overrides the above end and start values, FALSE use start and end date values
$settings['relative_months']; //INTEGER - number of months to go back to pull posts (only used if 'use_relative' is TRUE)
$settings['relative_days']; //INTEGER - number of days to go back to pull posts (only used if 'use_relative' is TRUE)
$settings['relative_years']; //INTEGER - number of years to go back to pull posts (only used if 'use_relative' is TRUE)

$settings['use_category']; //BOOLEAN - TRUE to only grab posts from specific category, FALSE to select from all categories
$settings['category']; //INTEGER - ID of category to pull posts from (only used if 'use_category' is TRUE)

This can then be used as follows:

<?php $random_posts = random_posts_within_date_range($settings); 

while ( $random_posts->have_posts() ){
    $random_posts->the_post();  ?>

    <p><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" rel="bookmark" title="Permanent link to <?php the_title_attribute(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></p>
    <p><?php the_time("F n, Y"); ?></p>
    <p><?php the_excerpt(); ?></p>              

    <?php } ?>

Requires: 2.8.6 or higher
Compatible up to: 3.0.5
Last Updated: 7 years ago
Active Installs: 400+


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