I'm trying to do this in a news site homepage.

news site homepage

The part I'm struggling with is the Facebook share link text. It should:

  • count the share/link of the specific post
  • hide the number is it's 0
  • write "share!" if it has 0 share
  • write "shared 1 time" if it has 1 share
  • write "n shares" if it has more than 1 shares.

The text is arbitrary, I would like to be able to control it.

I found this code to get the likes count:

function get_likes($url) {
 $json_string = file_get_contents('http://graph.facebook.com/?ids=' . $url);
 $json = json_decode($json_string, true);
 return intval( $json[$url]['shares'] );

And I managed to use it to get the actual share count:

<a href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=<?php the_permalink();?>&t=<?php the_title(); ?>">
 <?php $url = get_permalink( $post_id ); echo get_likes("$url"); ?> shares</a>

Now the difficult part would be how to control the text the same way it's controlled in "comments_number":

comments_number( 'no responses', 'one response', '% responses' );

Any hint?

  • This is almost the same question: wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/47220/…
    – kraftner
    Feb 20, 2014 at 12:26
  • Uhm, I could be wrong but it seems that question address how to count Wordpress stored values and not external one, isn't it? I imagine the solution would involve some sort of calculation in the get_likes($url) function.
    – molokom
    Feb 20, 2014 at 15:01
  • get_likes only returns a number. So returning the appropriate text is all that is missing and that is covered in the answer I linked to. Unless I got something wrong...
    – kraftner
    Feb 20, 2014 at 15:03
  • I found a different answer that did the trick! stackoverflow.com/questions/8286964/…
    – molokom
    Feb 20, 2014 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


I found a simple solution thanks to this answer: How do I change the singular/plural on “comment” to “comments” on Facebook's number of comments?

Here is how I solved without the tag, using the code I was already working for, this goes into function.php

function get_likes($url) {
   $json_string = file_get_contents('http://graph.facebook.com/?ids=' . $url);
   $json = json_decode($json_string, true);
   $count = intval( $json[$url]['shares'] );
   if ($count == 0) {
     echo "share!";
   } elseif ($count == 1) {
     echo "shared 1 time";
   } else {
   echo "$count shares";

and this in the template

<?php $url = get_permalink( $post_id ); echo get_likes($url); ?>

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