Get a "Popular Posts" widget for your blog!
Nowadays, blogs are primarily hosted on static content-generators in order to serve as many pageviews as possible from as few physical server computers as possible. However, this approach (while more scalable) also prevents dynamic content from being generated on-the-fly by the server computer that's serving it. Things like hit counters, guestbooks, and live commenting at one point often relied on this layer to support their dynamic properties.
One particularly tricky feature to implement nowadays is a “popular posts” list for a blog that updates automatically and displays what is being read the most on your site. — Many big news sites now feature this, yet adding this feature to a smaller site may not seem as being worth the added technical complexity. Having it operate and update on a “static” website presents a small challenge, as this requires some sort of backend service.
To solve this, I decided to build this simple online service called “Popular Posts” over the last few days. I'm selling lifetime access to it for blogs and simple websites. Nothing else like it currently exists, and it works by simply funneling select data from your Google Analytics profile (free to setup) to offer an embeddable widget that updates automatically and will display a formatted list of the most popular pages on your site. It's supported by Jekyll, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, and other platforms, too!
There are even several customization options for things such as removing a common prefix or suffix from each page's title when it's displayed, and the ability to display dynamic pageview counts in the list, for example.