For the 'view all' screens which list posts (edit-post) and pages (edit-page) how can I add an extra admin column with the word count of individual posts/pages?

Having previously used the 'admin columns' plugin, and aware of alternatives, I'm wondering if there's a simpler filter/function?


1 Answer 1


It is not really difficult. Manage columns in posts list you can with 2 hooks: manage_posts_columns, manage_posts_custom_column

add_filter('manage_posts_columns', 'wordcount_column');
function wordcount_column($columns) {
    $columns['wordcount'] = 'Word count';
    return $columns;

add_action('manage_posts_custom_column',  'show_wordcount');
function show_wordcount($name) 
    global $post;
    switch ($name) 
        case 'wordcount':
            $wordcount = YOUR_WORD_COUNT_VALUE
            echo $wordcount;

Then you only need calc word count after save_post to post_meta and show counts in columns.

add_action('save_post', function($post_id, $post, $update) {
    $word_count = str_word_count( strip_tags( strip_shortcodes($post->post_content) ) );

    update_post_meta($post_id, '_wordcount', $word_count);
}, 10, 3);

Related gist

Another way is to calc words count on-the-fly.

function post_word_count($post_id) {
    $content = get_post_field( 'post_content', $post_id );
    $word_count = str_word_count( strip_tags( strip_shortcodes($content) ) );
    return $word_count;

Related gist

But I suggest to calc words only once on save_post hook. Note that better save it in post_meta starting with underscore

For example: _wordcount

  • Thanks. If I understand correctly, your suggestion of 'calc words only once on save_post hook' differs from the on-the-fly code. I don't know enough to do this, so if you've more info I'll be grateful. (And if you don't have more info, that's of course ok - thanks again for helping.)
    – glvr
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 8:03
  • I've updated the post. Feed free to ask questions Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 9:30
  • thanks, again. With increasing brain-fade (at this rate I'll probably soon struggle to read/write/understand my own name), I'm not smart enough to understand how to use the revised code ('YOUR_WORD_COUNT_VALUE' has me immediately perplexed).
    – glvr
    Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 15:27
  • I've made the gist with final solution for you gist.github.com/antonlukin/dd22530f180300e67385025568521081 Commented Aug 24, 2017 at 15:54
  • Thanks. Hugely appreciated. I re-saved all posts to add the count.
    – glvr
    Commented Aug 25, 2017 at 15:18

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