I have a custom loop that is displaying a "most popular" posts section. It first creates a linked container (<a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"> ... </a>), and then stores data from the current post in the loop within that container.

If the post has a thumbnail, it displays the image (if ( has_post_thumbnail() ) { the_post_thumbnail(); }). Otherwise, it executes the_content(); in the else { } part, wherein it can grab an iframe and display that instead.

For some reason, if it goes into the else { } part, it will close the opening <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>"> statement with a closing </a> tag first. This results in <div class="most-popular-article"></div> and its contents coming after the <a></a> container rather than inside of it.

Does anyone know what exactly is happening here, or how to prevent it from happening?

        <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">
            <div class="most-popular-article">
                <?php if ( has_post_thumbnail() ) {
                else {
                } ?>
                <h3><?php the_title(); ?></h3>
  • Does the posts content have links in it? You can’t have links inside links. – Jacob Peattie Dec 8 '17 at 1:41
  • The post is not composed with any links in it, but it renders with the permalink in the <div class="most-popular-article"></div>, which I'm guessing gets pulled out from the_content(); – coffeebot Dec 8 '17 at 1:45
  • There's most likely a problem with the iframe part. You shouldn't render an iframe inside an anchor. Try putting some normal text as content, and see if the problem persists. – Jack Johansson Dec 8 '17 at 7:20

the_content() is probably rendering a link ( or maybe your browser may be auto formatting one ).

You can test if this is so by instead of using the_content();


// Get the Content of the post 
$postContent = get_the_content();
// Escape all the HTML
$postContent =  htmlentities($postContent);
// Print it to screen and verify if any links are inside.

if you have links in the content or expect them try simply replacing them like

// Get the Content of the post 
$postContent = get_the_content();
// some simple regex 
$postContent = preg_replace('/<a.+?>/','<strike>',$postContent);
// some more simple regex 
$postContent = preg_replace('/<\/a>/','</strike>',$postContent);
echo $postContent;

The above code will render all the links as strike through text you could replace this with underlines or even with a span that with the clever use of capture groups could be used to bind click events to said spans and you could still have functional links.

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