ベン・ギルド (Ben Guild)


Get a “popular posts” widget for your blog

UPDATE 2018/03/09: This service has been discontinued for 2018.

Nowadays, blogs are primarily hosted on static content-generators in order to serve as many page-views from as few servers as possible. — However, this approach (while more scalable) also prevents dynamic content from being generated on-the-fly by the servers serving it.

Things like hit counters, guest books, and live commenting at one point often relied on this layer to prepare 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 nowadays feature something like this, yet adding this feature to a smaller site may present a technical challenge or incompatibility due to its static nature. It'd require some sort of separate backend service.

Screenshot of the “Popular Posts” widget homepage.
Screenshot of the “Popular Posts” widget homepage.

To solve this, I decided to build a simple online service called “Popular Posts” over the past few days, and I'm selling tiered plans for access to it for blogs and simple websites. — Nothing else like it currently exists as far as I can tell, and it works by simply funneling select data from your Google Analytics profile (which is free to setup and add to any website) into a temporary database in order to serve the list, until a new list is received to replace it the next day/week.

It's supported by virtually all popular blogging platforms that can embed Google Analytics and that follow a predictable permalink structure, such as:

There are several customization options as well, such as removing a common prefix or suffix from each page's title when generating the list, and the ability to include a dynamic page-view count for each item.

The end result is a simple, Google-hosted, JavaScript-embeddable plugin for your blog or website. It works just the way that you'd expect it to, and it's cheap! — If you're a blogger, try it out. 👍🏻