I've got three loops set up via jQuery UI tabs as seen in my code below. All works good but i'd like to be able to display the "count" of each loop in the tab label. I obviously can't just echo it because it's before the loop is even called and outside of it.

Any suggestions? Maybe call the loops before and put each one into a variable or something? Not even sure if that can be done... Thanks

        <div id="tabs">
                <li><a href="#loop1"><span>loop 1 (loopcount)</span></a></li>
                <li><a href="#loop2"><span>loop 2 (loopcount)</span></a></li>
                <li><a href="#loop3"><span>loop 3 (loopcount)</span></a></li>
            <section id="loop1"> 
                <?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/include/loop1.php'); ?> 
            <section id="loop2" class="ui-tabs-hide"> 
                <?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/include/loop2.php'); ?> 
            <section id="loop3" class="ui-tabs-hide"> 
                <?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/include/loop3.php'); ?>  
  • What are you trying to count? The amount of posts in each loop?
    – Jared
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:36
  • Yes, sorry the loop "count"
    – Carpy
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:45

1 Answer 1


You would have to perform the query for each respective tab. If you are using WP_Query then you can perform the query and then use $found_posts to return the total number of posts matching that query. For instance,

$query_tab_1 = new WP_Query($args); //Where $args is some arguments for your query
$tab_1_count = $query_tab_1->found_posts;

The $query_tab_1 object will have all the returned posts, so inside the appropriate 'section' you could just loop through that:

      while ($query_tab_1->have_posts() ) : $query_tab_1->the_post();
        //Display tab 1's loop here

See the Codex on the WP_Query object. If you aren't using the WordPress API, then you could use a MYSQL COUNT query to return the number of hits for each query..

Dislaimer: I haven't tested this - but it should work.


There appears to be some people experiencing issues with this method - it seems to a php bug (but some have managed to fix it, see link). As alternative (and assuming you don't want pagination - you could try get_posts which returns an array of posts, and then use php's count. It's not as elegant but hopefully the related link will help solve the issue...

  • Thanks, the loop works using your method but i don't understand the found_posts part. I tried to simply echo $tab_1_count in the Tab label area but it just displays 0
    – Carpy
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:58
  • found_posts is a variable of the particular instance of your WP_Query object (in this case $query_tab_1). It should return the number of posts. After doing some research, some people have been experiencing issues. I shall update my answer... Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 14:20
  • Thanks again, the get_posts method works but it means i'll have to double up on the queries. Is this the only way around this? :/
    – Carpy
    Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 15:07
  • If pagination isn't an issue you could use a foreach loop to go through the array... Did you see the link in my answer? - it seems some people have found a way round the bug. Commented Jan 21, 2012 at 12:36
  • I did, trouble is i'm on shared hosting and have no access to apache.
    – Carpy
    Commented Jan 23, 2012 at 16:56

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