There is probably a much easier way to do this. After much trial and error trying to get a postid from a url, I've opted to add the id to the permalink. However I have no idea how the custom value should be updated without a page refresh.


     $("a").attr( "target", "_blank" );

jQuery(document).ready(function($) {
$('.external').click(function(event) {
      // had to add the post id to the permalink in loop as url to postid didn't work
      var currentID = $(this).attr('id'); 
      var data = {
        action: 'my_action',
        whatever: currentID
    // since 2.8 ajaxurl is always defined in the admin header and points to admin-ajax.php
    jQuery.post(ajaxurl, data, function(response) {
           //update the custom field value without a page refresh


add_action('wp_ajax_my_action', 'my_action_callback');

function my_action_callback() {
    global $wpdb; // this is how you get access to the database
       $whatever = intval( $_POST['whatever'] );
       // get number of views if we have any
       $views = get_post_meta($whatever, views, true); 
       // update or add post meta
if(!update_post_meta($whatever, 'views', ($views+1))) {
            add_post_meta($whatever, 'views', 1, true);
    die(); // this is required to return a proper result


<a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" id="<?php the_ID(); ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a>
    <?php echo get_post_meta($post->ID, 'views', true) ?>
    // update the view ?
  • Note: the update_post_meta() function will automatically insert the meta value if the meta key doesn't exist yet. No need to call add_post_meta() manually.
    – Geert
    Nov 29, 2011 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


First, you need to output a response in your my_action_callback() function. That response will be available inside your jQuery success callback: function(response){}. At that point it is just a matter of updating the HTML of the page with the new views count.


function my_action_callback()
    // ...
    echo $views;


jQuery.post(ajaxurl, data, function(response) {
    // $(this) refers to the clicked link.
    // You may use another selector too if needed.
  • getting nothing with
    – steen
    Nov 29, 2011 at 14:02
  • Could you be a bit more descriptive? Show some code? Any error messages?
    – Geert
    Nov 29, 2011 at 14:35
  • Thanks Geert. I've didn't have much luck with $(this).text(response); the only thing I've been able to get to work is $('.external').text(response); trying to get $(div.currentId).text(response); do I need to add the id somehow to the function event for it to work? Response is working by the way in alert.
    – steen
    Nov 29, 2011 at 14:36
  • $(this).text(response); no errors just nothing is happening
    – steen
    Nov 29, 2011 at 14:39
  • If the response is working, all you need to figure out is the selector for the view count. Showing us the HTML may help.
    – Geert
    Nov 29, 2011 at 14:43

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