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Ok - so using a WP_Query to count votes by a user. But now there are 23,000 votes and its using up lots of memory.

Is there a way i can make this WP_Query more efficient?

$args = array(
    'post_type' => 'vote',

$the_query = new WP_Query( $args );

any help appreciated! dc any help appreciated!

share|improve this question
I would look to store the results in a transient. Depending on how often you need to recalc the data it could be a solution? – Cristian Feb 13 '13 at 12:34
Yes, as WP_Queryalready returns count in the $post_countvariable, I just would cache the result and update it when a user post a new vote. – Simon Feb 14 '13 at 13:10
yeh that's true. Just wondering if its lighter using sql? Also the below suggestion suggests disabling the cache? – daniel Crabbe Feb 14 '13 at 15:18

you can try some of these extra parameters:

 'update_post_term_cache' => false,
 'update_post_meta_cache' => false, 
 'no_found_rows' => true, 

ps: you can measure the speed of your query when you are testing it with microtime()



Here is a another way:

function count_votes($user_id=1, $question_id=1, $post_type='vote', $meta_key='comp_question'){
    global $wpdb;

    $sql = "SELECT count(*) FROM {$wpdb->posts} INNER JOIN {$wpdb->postmeta} ON ( {$wpdb->posts}.ID = {$wpdb->postmeta}.post_id) WHERE ({$wpdb->posts}.post_author = %d) AND ({$wpdb->posts}.post_type = %s) AND ({$wpdb->posts}.post_status = 'publish' ) AND ({$wpdb->postmeta}.meta_key = %s) AND ({$wpdb->postmeta}.meta_value = %d)"; 

    // uncomment if you need to group it
    //$sql .= "  GROUP BY {$wpdb->posts}.ID"; 

    $count = $wpdb->get_var($wpdb->prepare($sql,$user_id,$post_type,$meta_key,$question_id));

    return $count;

and you can use it like this:


echo "votes: " . count_votes($user_id, $question_id, $post_type, $meta_key);

Edit 2:

Here is a function that returns an array of votes ids:

function get_votes($user_id=1, $question_id=1, $post_type='vote', $meta_key='comp_question'){
    global $wpdb;

    $sql = "SELECT {$wpdb->posts}.ID FROM {$wpdb->posts} INNER JOIN {$wpdb->postmeta} ON ( {$wpdb->posts}.ID = {$wpdb->postmeta}.post_id) WHERE ({$wpdb->posts}.post_author = %d) AND ({$wpdb->posts}.post_type = %s) AND ({$wpdb->posts}.post_status = 'publish' ) AND ({$wpdb->postmeta}.meta_key = %s) AND ({$wpdb->postmeta}.meta_value = %d)"; 

    // uncomment if you need to group it
    //$sql .= "  GROUP BY {$wpdb->posts}.ID"; 

    $ids = $wpdb->get_col($wpdb->prepare($sql,$user_id,$post_type,$meta_key,$question_id));

    return $ids;

you can use it like this:

$ids=get_votes($user_id, $question_id, $post_type, $meta_key);
share|improve this answer
cheers - though these seem to break the query... these work 'cache_results'=>false, 'posts_per_page'=>1, and looking to see if they reduce load. – daniel Crabbe Feb 13 '13 at 18:09
how are you counting the votes? is your query returning 23k posts that you are counting with php? If so I would use custom sql with count(*) instead to get it. – birgire Feb 13 '13 at 18:16
i'm not returning 23k votes but that's how many it has to search through. I'm only looking for 1 which tells me there must be a better way to do it. – daniel Crabbe Feb 14 '13 at 10:13
I updated the answer above with custom sql. – birgire Feb 14 '13 at 11:01
ps: changed it into a custom function that returns the count. – birgire Feb 14 '13 at 11:22

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