What is the optimal method for getting the number of posts by an author in a category? I'm not looking to get the posts themselves, just a count of them.

count_user_posts returns a count of all the posts of a user in a post type, but there is no option to filter by category. Any ideas would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • In one specific category or every category the author has written a post under?
    – Cedon
    Mar 24, 2017 at 23:05
  • In one specific category.
    – Tom
    Mar 24, 2017 at 23:06
  • How are you identifying the category? By ID? Slug? etc. Same with Author
    – Cedon
    Mar 24, 2017 at 23:08
  • Identifying both by ID
    – Tom
    Mar 24, 2017 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


You could do this by creating a custom WP_Query and then counting it.

$args = array( 
   'author' => 1,
   'cat'    => 5,

$my_query = new WP_Query( $args );
$my_count = $my_query->post_count;

Just change 1 and 5 to the Author ID and Category ID respectively.

Alternatively you can use the category slug or author's nice name (NOT name!) as well:

$args = array(
   'author_name'   => 'bob',
   'category_name' => 'editorial',

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