I'm using this in my page template to display the 20 recent posts headlines from category number 8, 17, 23, 423

  <div id="horizontalTab">
   <ul class="resp-tabs-list">
     <li>Ice Hockey</li>
    <div class="resp-tabs-container">
     <?php $cat_array=array(23,17,8,423);
      foreach ($cat_array as $catid) {
       $args = array( 'category' =>$catid, 'numberposts' => 20 );
       $myposts = get_posts($args); ?>
         <?php foreach($myposts as $post) { ?>
         <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a><br/>
         <?php } ?>
     <?php } ?>

But this code adds more than 15 database queries. Without this code page makes 26 db queries and with it 46. Is it possible to optimize?

  • But are the queries slow? Hundred lightweight queries might be faster in total than one heavy one.
    – Rarst
    Apr 20, 2014 at 12:52
  • Do you require 20 posts from each category, or just 20 posts overall, from the four categories? Apr 20, 2014 at 12:53
  • @Rarst, how can I determine it fast or slow? Load time and memory usage are approximately the same in both cases (I mean timer_stop and memory_get_usage functions). Do you think I should not worry about the number of db queries? Sorry for my English.
    – Moskwin
    Apr 20, 2014 at 14:56
  • Profiling performance is extensive topic. :) Let's put it like this - if you cannot notice/measure significant difference (where "significant" is completely up to you) is it worth spending time on writing more elaborate code for it?
    – Rarst
    Apr 20, 2014 at 15:05
  • @Rarst All the fault of the pursuit of excellence and limited my knowledge of php :) I guess you're right :)
    – Moskwin
    Apr 20, 2014 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


Instead of looping through each category and getting the posts for each, you can do it all in one query like this:

$categories = array('8', 17, 23, 423);
$args = array( 'category__in' => $categories, 'numberposts' => 20 );
$recent_posts = get_posts($args);


  • 20 posts from all categories is not the same as 20 posts from each category however.
    – Rarst
    Apr 20, 2014 at 12:50
  • That's true but the way I interpreted the question was he wanted 20 posts overall. I will ask for clarification in the comments. Apr 20, 2014 at 12:53
  • @StevenJones I want to display the 20 recent titles of the four specific categories
    – Moskwin
    Apr 20, 2014 at 15:19

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