1

I'm looking to display a single featured post from my latest 3 posts at random. I've managed to get it up and running picking any post at random just fine, but I want to filter it down to only the latest 3.

<?php

$args = array(
    'post_type' => 'post',
    'orderby' => 'rand',
    'posts_per_page' => 1,
    'post_status'   => 'publish'
    );

$rand_query = new WP_Query( $args );

if ( $rand_query->have_posts() ) :
    while ( $rand_query->have_posts() ) : $rand_query->the_post();
?> 

// DIV FOR SINGLE FEATURED POST HERE // etc... 

Obviously, if I change the posts_per_page to 3 I then get 3 divs containing featured post previews. I only want the one post that is picked at random from those last 3. A date query won't work as the posts aren't regular.

  • 2
    you can use "posts_per_page = 3" to retrieve the last 3 posts and then use secure.php.net/array_rand to select 1 of these 3. – mmm Jul 13 '18 at 10:48
  • Note that ordering by rand is extremely expensive, it's one of the slowest things you can do in WP_Query, you don't want to make the DB do the random bit – Tom J Nowell Jul 13 '18 at 10:59
  • @mmm please write your answer as an answer not a comment – Tom J Nowell Jul 13 '18 at 11:01
  • @TomJNowell Any tips on avoiding ordering by rand? Does Krzysiek's answer below using shuffle avoid this issue? – adamdanw Jul 13 '18 at 11:13
  • Yes because he does the shuffling in PHP, not in the DB query – Tom J Nowell Jul 13 '18 at 11:16
5

Here's my approach...

First you have to select 3 latest posts, then you have to pick random one of them...

But it's easier to shuffle selected posts than picking only one of them - that way you can still use normal loop:

<?php
    $args = array(
        'post_type' => 'post',
        'posts_per_page' => 3,
        'post_status'   => 'publish'
    );    
    $rand_query = new WP_Query( $args );

    shuffle( $rand_query->posts );

    if ( $rand_query->have_posts() ) :
        while ( $rand_query->have_posts() ) : $rand_query->the_post();
?>

    // HERE GOES THE DIV WITH POST

<?php
            break;  // we want only one post to be shown, so we break the loop
        endwhile;
    endif;
?> 
  • This was a very quick fix and solved my problem immediately - I wasn't aware of the shuffle function. – adamdanw Jul 13 '18 at 11:11
  • @adamdanw simplest solutions are the best :) – Krzysiek Dróżdż Jul 13 '18 at 11:12

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