On my website I have a "Breaking News" section which shows the most recent 4 stories in the "Breaking News" Category.

Under this I have a featured news section which displays 5 more stories from the "Breaking News" Category. I get these posts by simply setting the offset to 4 in a WP_Query

What I want to do is make an adjustment to the featured news section. So that it still pulls in 5 of the latest stories from Breaking News, but if a story is added to a "Featured News" category, that it pulls that in.

Some pseduo code would be something like

Get the 5 latest posts from Breaking News with Offset of 4 and from Featured News with Offset 0

Seems pretty simple when it's written like that, but I can't seem to actually get it to work. I can't get WP_Query to accept an offset from one category and not the other.

I've tried this

$featuredPosts = new WP_Query( array(
'posts_per_page' => 5,
'cat' => 169,
'offset' => 4
'posts_per_page' => 5,
'cat' => 172,
'offset' => 0) );

But this only gives me the first 5 posts from cat 169 and ignores the second query array from 172.

I have also tried storing all the id's of posts already outputted in "Breaking News" and then not outputting them again so I can do an easier query (Get last 5 from breaking&featured) but the problem there is it won't always output 5 posts since it will be excluding some of the breaking news ones.

Maybe I'm completely over thinking this and there's an easier way, has anyone any ideas?

  • Why not two queries?
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 14:27
  • but how would that work? Yes I could query for posts from Breaking News with offset, then Query for posts from Featured, but how can I combine these into one new object and just get the most recent 5?
    – robobobobo
    Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 14:53
  • Well, you need (or think you need) to query by two different offsets. You can't do that. It doesn't even make sense. Your options are 1) two queries or 2) a very complicated UNION, for example.
    – s_ha_dum
    Commented Mar 30, 2014 at 15:49

1 Answer 1


I had a similar problem with a featured section and ended up doing it like this

Fist create your array variable outside the loop:

$exclude_us = array()

Then add the ID of each post in the first loop into the array (in the first loop):

if ( $query->have_posts() ) : while ( $query->have_posts() ) : $query->the_post();
    $exclude_us[] = get_the_id
    ...the rest of the loop...

And then in your second loop, if a post has that ID, skip it (continue):

if ( $query->have_posts() ) : while ( $query->have_posts() ) : $query->the_post();
    if ( in_array ( get_the_id(), $exclude_us ) ) {
    ...the rest of the loop...

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