Support » Plugins » Hacks » Display random recent post custom field

  • Resolved AndySpeed



    I am looking to display, in a random order, a custom field from any one of the five most recent posts which:

    1) have something in the custom field
    2) fall within the specified category

    What I have come up with is the following:

    <?php query_posts('showposts=5&cat=129,131,318&offset=0&order=rand'); ?><?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?><?php $mykey_values = get_post_custom_values('Quote'); foreach ( $mykey_values as $key => $value ) { echo "$value"; } ?><?php endwhile; ?><?php endif; ?>

    However this isn’t working. The random code isn’t working. Can anyone advise as to what I may be doing wrong and what can be amended to produce the desired result?

    Essentially the custom field ‘Quote’ contains a line of text from an article. I’d like to have this code randomly select a ‘Quote’ custom field from any one of the five most recent articles which have this field populated. It’s key that only one quote gets displayed at a time – not all five.



Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Michael


    Forum Moderator


    <?php $last_five = get_posts(array('posts_per_page' => 5, 'category__in' => array(129,131,318), 'orderby' => 'rand', 'meta_key' => 'Quote'));
    if($last_five) {
      $random = rand(0,count($last_five)-1);
      $random_id = $last_five[ $random ]->ID;
      $mykey_values = get_post_custom_values('Quote', $random_id);
      if( $mykey_values ) foreach ( $mykey_values as $key => $value ) { echo "$value"; }
    } ?>


    That’s worked really well thanks. It’s almost there.

    One last thing – how can we encase the content of that custom field (‘Quote’) in the URL of the post that it is part of?



    Forum Moderator

    encase the content of that custom field (‘Quote’) in the URL of the post that it is part of?

    change from:

    { echo "$value"; }


    { echo '<a href="' . get_permalink($random_id) . '>' . $value . '</a>'; }

    Perfect! Thank you very much.

    Vielen Dank für Ihre Hilfe.

    Hi Guys,

    I have been trying to make my posts random, i’m still a newbiee coder, where do I implement that code, does it make all my feature content random?


    Moderator bcworkz


    @dimoas – next time, please start a new topic for your question. More people will see it and it is the preferred practice on WP support forums.

    The above code only displays a custom field from random posts, not the entire post, a somewhat different approach is needed in your case.

    There’s a number of ways to make posts random, they mostly all involve making a mySQL query that includes orderby RAND() in the query string. Alternately, one could use the PHP shuffle() function to randomize the array returned by the query. The following example modifies the main query, assigning the ‘rand’ value to the ‘orderby’ query variable. The query object transforms this into the orderby RAND() string in the actual query. This is only done for your home page. If you were to alter or remove the if(){} structure, the random feature could be applied to different pages, or to all pages if removed.

    function dim_random( $query ) {
        if ( $query->is_home() && $query->is_main_query() ) {
            $query->set( 'orderby', 'rand' );
    add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'dim_random' );

    Of the various ways to do this, this is one of the more efficient ways. You can add other restrictions by setting other query vars in addition to ‘orderby’. You can set anything outlined in the WP_Query class reference.

    This code can be added to your theme functions.php file or made into a simple plugin. If you are changing theme files, you should do so using a child theme so your changes can persist through theme updates. More information on all of this can be found by searching the Codex.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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