Im having a problem where for some reason, a basic loop im trying to add to a sidebar keeps....keeps looping on interior pages (single and page .php ) but not on index.php.

on index.php (home page) is fine.

for example, i wanted the loop to populate an unordered lists line items, so i went about it like this:

      <div id="sideBarMain">
            query_posts( array ( 'category_name' => 'left_sidebar', 'posts_per_page' => 4, 'orderby=menu_order' ) );
            if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
            <li><a href="<?php the_permalink();  ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>
            <?php endwhile; endif; ?>

      </div><!-- sidebar ender -->

A few things are happening. 1. the MOST problematic is that when this loop is in place, it breaks the navigation and all. i click on a page and the page loads up with one of the list line items on the header...so if i click "about us" on the main nav, a page loads with "line item title" instead.....

also happens on any item clicked.

2 - is that on the (page/single.php pages), on the sidebar, it will post the first 4 posts with the category "left_sidebar" how it should be displayed, css in place and all but after the fourth line item, it will repeat the loops one more time.

3 - My sites content area has 2 columns, the sidebar on the left, and the main content area on the middle. On the part that's being wrongfully repeated (after the loops repeats), when i checked with FireBug, on the repeated line items, its also taking the H tag properties from i assume, an h-tag thats next to it on another column. So the first 4 line-items come out fine with the styles given to them via CSS, link colors, rollovers etc, and the next buggy 4 line items come out un-styled, permalink also isnt being applied to them like the first 4 etc.

3 - i removed all html from that php loop like the divs and ul / lis etc so no css is being applied, this way only text come up from the loop but the same thing happens, Since i removed the html portion of the loop, the first 4 li's come up with the standard default blue link text etc, and the following buggy 4 come up the same as before all big with htags attached....

Troubleshooting it all, - theres only one loop on the page which stems from the sidebar. - ive properly cleared all floats - when checking on W3C for errors etc, there are none. green lights through and through. - no errors on the php side of things. (ive checked every page and have errors enabled) on local server.

im lost.

Any ideas as to what can be happening?

NOTE: thinking ahead, although there is one loop ONLY on the sidebar.php page, once imported technically theres 2 loops which i guess is the sidebar wp loop, and the page.php / single.php loops which get the content.

is there anything different as of the latest wp maybe? Ive always done it like this and now i have problems......

any ideas? im lost.

Thanks in advanced.


Add wp_reset_query(); after your loop to prevent other loops on the page (for example, the navigation) to break.

    query_posts( array ( 'category_name' => 'left_sidebar', 'posts_per_page' => 4, 'orderby=menu_order' ) );
    if ( have_posts() ) : while ( have_posts() ) : the_post();

<li><a href="<?php the_permalink();  ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>

    endwhile; endif;
    wp_reset_query(); // reset query

Does this also fix your other problems?

reference: http://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/query_posts#Usage


Don't use query_posts

query_posts() is meant for altering the main loop. It does so by replacing the query used to generate the main loop content. Once you use query_posts(), your post-related global variables and template tags will be altered. Conditional tags that are called after you call query_posts() will also be altered - this may or may not be the intended result.

Despite the Codex telling you it's only for altering the main loop, I would go further and say there's no reason to use query_posts, ever. Use pre_get_posts to alter the main loop.

For your case, creating additional loops in templates, use WP_Query:

$args = array(
    'category_name' => 'left_sidebar',
    'posts_per_page' => 4,

$sidebar_query = new WP_Query( $args );

if ( $sidebar_query->have_posts() ) :
    while ( $sidebar_query->have_posts() ) :
        <li><a href="<?php the_permalink();  ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>

  • WP_Query is the way to go for sure. – sheriffderek Apr 23 '14 at 2:13

1) Yes, this will break navigation because query_posts overwrites the main page Loop. Don't use query_posts for secondary Loops-- really I can't think of a good reason to use it ever. Use a new WP_Query object (my preference) or a function like get_posts

$myquery = new WP_Query( 
  array ( 
    'category_name' => 'left_sidebar', 
    'posts_per_page' => 4, 
if ( $myquery->have_posts() ) : 
  while ( $myquery->have_posts() ) : 
    $myquery->the_post(); ?>
    <li><a href="<?php the_permalink();  ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li><?php   

The other problems may be related but your descriptions are confusing.

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