By submitting a post for publication will be made a count of the number of words in the post and will add a div with font-size pre-set according to the number of words.

If the post contains up to 50 words, returns with font-size:18px;

<div style="font-size:18px;"><p>Text with up to 50 words.</p></div> 

If the post contains 50 to 100 words, returns with font-size:16px;

<div style="font-size:16px;"><p>Text with 50 to 100 words.</p></div>

The span will be closed after the last </p>.

<div style="font-size:16px;"><p>paragraph 1</p><p>paragraph 2</p><p>paragraph 3</p></div>

Does anyone know of any function to it? Thank you.


2 Answers 2


Filter 'the_content', count the words, and add the markup you need. You should not use str_word_count() because it has issues with numbers and utf-8.

So let’s start with a word count function:

 * Alternative for str_word_count().
 * @link http://toscho.de/2012/php-woerter-zaehlen/
 * @param string $str
 * @return int Number of words
function t5_word_count( $str )
    // We do not want to count markup
    $text = strip_tags( $str );
    // no leading and trailing white space
    $text = trim( $text );
    // take multiple white spaces as one
    // Add one space to get an almost exact match
    $word_count = preg_match_all( '~\s+~', "$text ", $m );

    return (int) $word_count;

Now the filter function:

// Hook in very late to let other filters (shortcodes and such)
// do their work first.
add_filter( 'the_content', 't5_content_word_count', 999 );

 * Add a <div> with a special class to the content.
 * @param string $content
 * @return string
function t5_content_word_count( $content )
    $words = t5_word_count( $content );
    $class = 'default';
    // max 100 words
    $words < 101 && $class = '100';
    // max 50 words
    $words < 51  && $class = '50';
    return "<div class='word-count-$class'>$content</div>";

Instead of inline styles which are very bad on mobile devices or printed pages I have chosen a class.

In your stylesheet you can now style these classes:

    font-size: 1em;
    font-size: 1.1em;
    font-size: 1.2em;

Be aware that the filter works on single pages of a post only. If you have split a post into multiple parts with <!--nextpage--> you may get different classes for different pages of that post.


To insert the div when a post is saved do not filter 'the_content', but 'wp_insert_post_data'. And you need a third function for this:

add_filter( 'wp_insert_post_data', 't5_count_words_on_insert', 999 );

 * Add the font size div on post insert.
 * @wp-hook wp_insert_post_data
 * @param   array $data
 * @return  array
function t5_count_words_on_insert( $data )
    '' !== $data['post_content']
        && FALSE === strpos(
                stripslashes( $data['post_content'] ),
                "<div class='word-count-"
        && $data['post_content'] = t5_content_word_count( $data['post_content'] );

    return $data;

See /wp-includes/post.php function wp_insert_post() for details.

I do not recommend this solution. You cannot use <!--nextpage--> now anymore because you would end up with an unclosed <div> on the first page.

  • Thank you @toscho Was researching wp_insert_post_data. Now I add a conditional: if the post is of the category x do nothing.
    – BobGCA2
    Jun 9, 2012 at 23:01

the php function for this is


Where string = (required) and specifies the string to check

return = (Optional). Specifies the return value of the str_word_count() function. Possible values: 0 - Default. Returns the number of words found, 1 - Returns an array with the words from the string, 2 - Returns an array where the key is the position of the word in the string, and value is the actual word

char = (Optional) Specifies special characters to be considered as words.

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