Support » Fixing WordPress » Code too complicated for random post displaying custom meta?

  • Resolved alexleonard


    Hi there,

    I’ve been playing around with displaying a random post from a single category on a website and have, to my surprise, managed to cobble together code that gets things working right.

    As I’m not very strong on PHP coding and mySQL query writing I thought I’d post up my code here to see if I’ve gone about things in a very roundabout way.

    Please note this is working, so it’s not a support query as such, but I’d love to hear feedback on my method anyway.


    Display a single random post from a specific category in the website sidebar where the single post displays:

    1. Post Title
    2. Thumbnail image as defined in custom meta field in each post in this category
    3. Link to the post


    <li class="widget"><h2><span>Recent</span> Clients</h2>
    $querystr = "SELECT * FROM $wpdb->posts
    LEFT JOIN $wpdb->postmeta ON($wpdb->posts.ID = $wpdb->postmeta.post_id)
    LEFT JOIN $wpdb->term_relationships ON($wpdb->posts.ID = $wpdb->term_relationships.object_id)
    LEFT JOIN $wpdb->term_taxonomy ON($wpdb->term_relationships.term_taxonomy_id = $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_taxonomy_id)
    WHERE $wpdb->term_taxonomy.term_id = 3 AND $wpdb->term_taxonomy.taxonomy = 'category'
    AND $wpdb->posts.post_status = 'publish'
    AND $wpdb->postmeta.meta_key = 'client-logo'
    $pageposts = $wpdb->get_results($querystr, OBJECT);
    <?php if ($pageposts): ?>
    <?php foreach ($pageposts as $post): ?>
    <?php setup_postdata($post); ?>
        <h3><?php the_title(); ?></h3>
        <?php $clientlogo = get_post_meta($post->ID, 'client-logo', true); if (!empty($clientlogo)) {echo '<img src="' . $clientlogo . '" width="138" alt="Client Logo" />
        <a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>" rel="bookmark">View profile</a>
    <?php endforeach; ?>
    <?php else : ?>
        <li><h3>Sidebar Error</h3>
        Error message
    <?php endif; ?>

    I really wasn’t expecting it to work straight off, but with code borrowed from the following Codex pages and support topics, it did.

    I absolutely wanted to avoid modifying the core as suggested by Otto42 here:

    Whilst it looks like it will work fine, I’m bound to mess it up with a future WP update. I’m looking forward to &order_by=RAND becoming a standard part of the query_posts function though. Hopefully we’ll see this in 2.4.

    If I’ve got this right, hopefully it will be of some assistance to someone else.


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