Posted on — Last updated on September 29, 2023

WordPress Popular Posts 6.2: Shortcode is now page caching friendly, other minor fixes

This release includes a new feature where the [wpp] shortcode can now be loaded via AJAX, improving compatibility with caching plugins

It’s the turn for the [wpp] shortcode to get some love. It now loads via AJAX!

This release is a small one, although that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a punch!

The [wpp] shortcode can now be loaded via AJAX

AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It’s a mashup of different web technologies that allow web applications to communicate with a web server asynchronously.

For a long time now the WordPress Popular Posts widget and recently the WordPress Popular Posts block as well have relied on AJAX to load your popular posts list(s) dynamically which if you’re using a page cache plugin like WP Super Cache for example it’s great because it’ll prevent said caching plugin from caching your popular posts list.

This ability to load itself via AJAX was limited to the WordPress Popular Posts widget and the WordPress Popular Posts block only. The [wpp] shortcode didn’t take advantage of this technology for various reasons, and now that has changed: the [wpp] shortcode can now use AJAX as well!

6.1.4 and character encoding issues

Version 6.1.4 fixed a long standing issue where the [wpp] shortcode would under certain conditions output empty tags due to the way how WordPress itself parses shortcodes.

This unfortunately introduced a new issue: sites under certain server configurations were seeing garbled output (accented characters being converted to weird characters). Version 6.2.0 addresses this problem so if you’re affected by it please update as soon as possible.

DOMDocument and HTML5

Similarly to the previous issue, 6.1.4 started generating some PHP notices for some users due to the usage of HTML 5 tags with their popular posts list.

This release should take care of said PHP notices so if you’re affected by this please upgrade as soon as you can.