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I want to create a loop that excludes a category and only displays a certain number of posts per page.

I have tried both have_posts and query_posts to do this, but I'm a bit stuck on the most effective method. What would you use to do this?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Just use a custom query like this:

$exclude_cats = '2,52,3';
$posts_per_page = '4';
$loop = new WP_Query("category__not_in=$exclude_cats&posts_per_page=$posts_per_page");
    while($loop->have_posts()): $loop->the_post();
        //Do stuff here the_content(), the_title() etc...
    //Do something here
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