Popular Posts Widget for Blogger

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


UPDATE on 13 May 08: This widget is no longer available as Spotplex has gone offline since 09 May 08. Please read the latest news about Spotplex here.


In this post, I am going to share with you how to install the popular posts widget for Blogger. This widget will display a list of your popular articles, ranked by the number of views. Please read my earlier posts on Blogger hacks to know how to install the Recent posts widget, Recent comments widget, Poll widget and Related posts widget.

Current status
List of popular posts is, by far, the most difficult widget to implement and I had seen very little work on this area for Blogger/ Blogspot. Earlier, I have used a version from AffiliateBrand, which I will discuss in another post. Now, I am going to recommend another version from Spotplex, which I found more powerful.

How to install the tracking code?
The following steps will guide you through the simple installation procedure
  1. Please click here to go to Spotplex home page.
  2. Once the home page is opened, please click on the rectangle near the top-right corner of the page with the title “Get your Spotplex code”
    PopularPosts_1
  3. Step 1: Register your blog
    • Type your blog address
    • Click on the button “Get my Spotplex code”
      PopularPosts_2
  4. Step 2: Blog information
    • The title will automatically be retrieved. If you want to change it, then do so.
    • Write a simple description for your blog
    • Select the categories, maximum of 3
    • Select your blog’s language
    • Type in your e-mail address
    • Check on the “I agree to the terms …”
    • Click on the “Submit” button
      PopularPosts_3
  5. Step 3: Get your Spotplex code
    • This is basically the credit to Spotplex. Choose whether you want to display an image or no image
    • Then, select the blogging platform. If your blog is on Blogger, then choose Blogger
    • Click the button “Install Spotplex Widget”
    • This will open the login page for Blogger. Login with your account and install the Spotplex widget.
      PopularPosts_4

You have just completed the installation of the tracking code that will track the page views on your blog. The next part is to install the Popular posts widget. Install the tracking code as explained above, otherwise the popular posts widget will not work.


How to install the Popular Posts Widget?

  1. Click on the link “Get widget” just below the header

    PopularPosts_5

  2. Scope: Choose “Specific blog” to display the popular articles of your own blog
  3. Type: Type your blog url or the Spotplex code in the text box and then select “Popular Articles”
  4. Options:
    • Choose the period for refreshing the popular articles. If you select “24 hours”, it will display your popular articles over the last 24 hours. If you select “All time”, it will display your all time popular posts
    • Choose the width and height based on your sidebar dimensions
    • Choose how many posts to display, 5, 10 or 15
    • Click on “Get this widget”
      PopularPosts_6
  5. This will display the HTML code for the widget. Copy the code to clipboard.
    PopularPosts_7
  6. Login to your Blogger account
  7. On the dashboard, Click on “Layout”
  8. On the Page elements tab, click on “Add a page element”
  9. Under the page element “HTML/Javascript”, click "Add to Blog"
  10. Paste the code from Spotplex and save the page element

That’s it. You have completed the installation. Wait for some time to let Spotplex collect the data. Then, the popular posts widget will start showing your popular articles with the number of views for each post as shown below:

PopularPosts_8


If you have any queries, feel free to leave a comment. I will respond as soon as possible. Please subscribe to my feed if you like this post

67 comments:

Cihan Ă–zdemir December 5, 2007 at 9:06 AM  

Nice tutorial. I first saw spotplex application in ur blog and like it. Then I embedded its code into my site but it took a plenty of time!
I believe your tutorial will really help bloggers who want spotplex in their sites.
P.S. I am a Turk and I use my natieve language (Turkish) in my blog but some posts dont need to know Turkish. Anyway nice to meet you.

Cihan
www.cihanozdemir.com

Admin December 5, 2007 at 7:10 PM  

Hi Cihan,

Thanks for your comments. I am very pleased to get in touch with you.

Blogging is a cooperative network and we learn from each other. The tutorials are to share what we have already spent some time on. It will help other bloggers to save some precious time.

Manas kabiraj December 7, 2007 at 2:18 AM  

Hey sorry for the late reply.You may check this link I am giving you.Its may not work proper at your comments page perhaps.then you have to copy the link .Ok try this..http://dc.kontera.com
You can mail them at support@kontera.com
yes perhaps they have simplified some rules for getting approval.I didnt find any difficulty.So check now and let me inform.Thanks.anything else?Fell free to mail me at manaskabiraj28@yahoo.com
Thanks again.

Admin December 7, 2007 at 2:51 AM  

Hi Kabiraj,

Thanks for the response. I will try that.

mymytri December 16, 2007 at 5:59 AM  

Nice blog admin...good tutorial too.i heard affiliatebrand.com for popular posts widget till now and this widget also looking cool...

Manick December 16, 2007 at 5:05 PM  

Hi mymytri,

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment here. I personally feel that the Spotplex version is better than the one from AffiliateBrand.

mymytri December 16, 2007 at 11:14 PM  

Hi Manik,
Is that so?I haven't tested.Your fevicon resembles jackbook.Why dont you change it?It confused me in the beginning and thought it was owned by jack..Pls dont mind and glad to meet a blogger of our country.Smiles

Manick December 17, 2007 at 1:15 AM  

Hi Mymytri,

Yes, I feel that Spotplex is faster in loading time compared to AffiliateBrand. I also don't like the logo that occupies the bottom portion. Spotplex looks much more professional in look and also easy to configure. AffiliateBrand is powerful in the sense you can control the appearance by CSS. But, my vote goes for Spotplex.

My template is from Jackbook and I didn't change the favicon since adopting the template. May be I will change it soon as you said its confusing.

I am glad too to meet you Mymytri. Keep in touch.

Jonathan December 21, 2007 at 9:10 AM  

I followed your steps - they are clear and seemed simple to do so; but the widget is not appearing on my blog, but rather a blank space the size that the widget should be.
Are there any particular 'sticky/tricky' points I should know of?
I've read in your post and in the comments that it 'takes a bit of time for the widget to take'; I guess I'm wondering how long?

Thank you,

Jonathan

Jonathan December 21, 2007 at 9:33 AM  

It's Jonathan again,

As it turns out, I had never logged out of Blogger and given the widget any 'time to take'. Thank you for this post and you 'passive help' - it's exactly what I needed to learn.

Kindness,

Jonathan

Manick December 21, 2007 at 11:43 PM  

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for visiting my blog. Its unfortunate that I cannot reply to your comments immediately. I just came online. Sorry about that.

I just visited your blog and noticed that the popular posts widget is working properly and collecting data already. So, I hope everything is fine. Thanks.

recephilmi January 6, 2008 at 1:06 AM  

I have a problem like Jonathan?

I've read in your post and in the comments that it 'takes a bit of time for the widget to take'; I guess I'm wondering how long?

Manick January 6, 2008 at 4:40 AM  

You just need to wait for sometime. I cannot tell you exactly the time in quantitative terms. Should be less than an hour. I visited your blog and found the widget is working properly.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Finally Woken February 4, 2008 at 9:28 AM  

Hello, your tutorial is like the answer of my prayers. It's very easy since you show it on detailed sequence.

After waiting for several hours, my popular post box appears on my blog, but it only can be placed on the middle of sidebar downwards. I tried to put it on the spot I like (below table of contents) but it leaves me with the white blank canvas. I moved it to the top of the sidebar, and it shows nothing too up to now. Any idea how to fix this? Thanks a lot!

Manick February 5, 2008 at 12:38 AM  

I am not sure what causes this problem. I have tried on my blog various positions for the widget and I do not face any problem. May be, the problem lies with your template. Thanks.

webweaver March 1, 2008 at 12:49 AM  

Nice tutorial!

Especially useful as the Spotplex homepage really gives no hints on how to install the widget (particularly the fact that it's a multi-step process requiring you to click on two completely different buttons on the homepage).

I was also using the AffiliateBrand widget until very recently, but reluctantly had to get rid of it due to the ridiculous amount of time my blog was taking to load. A victim of its own popularity, I guess.

I'll be keeping a close eye on my new widget - hopefully it will display some results soon :) - I've blogged about it - and have linked to your post because your instructions are so clear and well-explained.

Thanks heaps!

widgetsforfree.blogspot.com March 2, 2008 at 2:01 PM  

I put put this on my site.
Very useful!

Manick March 2, 2008 at 5:28 PM  

Hi Webweaver,

Thanks for your nice comments. I read your post too. Thanks for giving me a link back. Appreciate that. The loading time of the Spotplex widget seems to be OK. As you have mentioned in your post, I find the look and feel of the widget as suitable for most blogs and looks OK without customization.

Manick March 2, 2008 at 5:28 PM  

Hi WidgetsForFree,

Thanks for your comments. I am happy that it is useful.

Lisa Braithwaite March 4, 2008 at 12:54 PM  

Any thoughts on why my widget has yet to start showing results? I set it up probably three hours ago. Am I just being impatient?

It's at the bottom of the sidebar, for the moment:

http://coachlisab.blogspot.com/

Moh Algohary March 4, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

thanks for this good widget
and i m trying it now

Manick March 4, 2008 at 5:17 PM  

Lisa: I just visited your blog and the widget is working fine. It just takes some time to collect the data. Thanks.

Moh: Thanks for your comment. I hope you like it.

Lisa Braithwaite March 4, 2008 at 11:04 PM  

Manick, thanks for stopping by my blog to check the widget. I guess I was impatient. :-)

Yes, National Grammar Day was "celebrated" in the US today, but it's the first time, so most people in the US probably haven't heard of it!

Manick March 7, 2008 at 1:20 AM  

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for that useful information. I am also happy to know that the widget is OK.

kashif March 21, 2008 at 8:49 AM  

This is indeed a great hack . Thanks I really liked it and have already pointed a link to this post from my blog which you have already noticed :)

Manick March 23, 2008 at 12:30 AM  

Hi Kashif,

Thanks for your link and comments here. Appreciate that.

martinact420 April 19, 2008 at 9:31 PM  

Thank you for the info as I also blog on blogger.

Shabrainiac April 20, 2008 at 9:24 AM  

Hey,I followed your intructions perfectly and I tried to add the popular posts widget to my blog but I keep getting the same error:

Fatal error: Uncaught exception 'SQLException' with message 'You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near '://shabrainiac01.blogspot.com/)' at line 1' in /opt/lampp/htdocs/inc/inc.safe_mysqli.php:96 Stack trace: #0 /opt/lampp/htdocs/inc/inc.dbstub.php(203): safe_mysqli->call('call sp_blog_ge...') #1 /opt/lampp/htdocs/controller/widget_app.php.inc(197): SpotplexDb->sp_blog_get_info('http://shabrain...') #2 /opt/lampp/htdocs/controller/widget_app.php.inc(182): WidgetApp->generate_page_title() #3 /opt/lampp/htdocs/widget/widget.php(14): WidgetApp->output_formatter(NULL, Object(SpotplexResultset)) #4 {main} thrown in /opt/lampp/htdocs/inc/inc.safe_mysqli.php on line 96

Even when I try to preview it I always get this error. I was able to install the first spotplex widget perfectly but this one does not work for some reason. I was wondering if you had any idea what the problem might be.

thanks.

Curious May 7, 2008 at 9:17 AM  

its too bad spotplex is going under may 9th....

anyoe have any replacements?

Manick May 7, 2008 at 5:42 PM  

Hi Curious,

Thanks for the information. I didn’t know about this so far. But, you are right. It seems they are closing down with effect from May 9, 2008. I have been very happy with Spotplex so far. It is unfortunate that they have to close down.

Spotplex has been one of the best popular posts widget for Blogger. But, there are alternatives. You can try the Affiliatebrand version, even though it slows down the loading of your page. Another alternative is provided by Feedjit, I have not tried this widget so far yet.

Curious May 8, 2008 at 7:00 AM  

Yeah i think neither of them are any good....

Manick May 8, 2008 at 7:59 PM  

Hi Curious,

You can also try the version from BloggerBuster. It is not based on the number of visits to the post. It is sorted according to the number of comments received per post. This widget is good if you regularly get comments for your posts.

Amit May 12, 2008 at 9:33 AM  

hi party peoples.
spotplex is offline now.
don't use it further.

--
Regards
toolnext.com

Rahul August 16, 2008 at 4:02 AM  

Hey All

Spotplex has gone offline.
Sorry to say but the articles is now useless

Manick August 17, 2008 at 8:06 PM  

Hi Rahul,

Thanks for your comments. I have already indicated on top of the article that Spotplex has gone offline and this widget cannot be used any more.

Singapore Property Investor August 27, 2008 at 2:44 AM  

Very easy to follow installation guide. I've just placed the widget on my site. Many Thanks.

Singapore Property Investor August 27, 2008 at 2:44 AM  

Very easy to follow installation guide. I've just placed the widget on my site. Many Thanks.

ang ang September 25, 2008 at 10:14 PM  

Oh...too bad. Spotplex is going offline.

Manick September 26, 2008 at 4:22 AM  

Hi Ang Ang,

Yes, it is unfortunate that Spotplex is not offering this service any more. You can try Outbrain instead. I will be writing an article on Outbrain soon. Thanks.

Tony September 28, 2008 at 7:10 AM  

Good Job! :)

Takumi86 October 25, 2008 at 11:02 AM  

Yes Spotflex is Offline and i would like to grab this widget on your next article

Manick October 27, 2008 at 8:21 PM  

Hi Takumi86,

Thanks for your comments.

Irtiza November 19, 2008 at 6:26 AM  

spotplex is ofline...wat to do?

Manick November 19, 2008 at 5:09 PM  

Hi Irtiza,

Spotplex is offline. So, you can try other versions of popular posts like Feedjit, AffiliateBrand or Outbrain. You can also try the version from BloggerBuster, which is based on the number of comments received. Thanks.

Classy But Cheap December 7, 2008 at 7:02 PM  

I like the looks of Affiliate Brand. I'm going to add that to my blog. Thanks Manick!

Manick December 7, 2008 at 8:23 PM  

Hi "Classy but Cheap",

AffiliateBrand widget looks good. You can use CSS to customize the widget too. When I checked sometime ago, the speed of loading was the only major problem. If you have no problems with loading the page, then AffiliateBrand should be fine. Thanks.

arun February 4, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

i like this post but i don't like to put number of hits on that ariticle that's what i feel..

www.hacking2all.blogspot.com

fairyhedgehog April 5, 2009 at 12:37 AM  

Sadly, Spotplex is no more. Is there any other way to do thia?

Manick April 5, 2009 at 5:39 PM  

Arun: This is one way to drive traffic to your best articles.

Fairyhedgehog: Yes, unfortunately, Spotplex is not available any more. Why don't you try other services like PostRank, Feedjit or Outbrain? These are some of the good widgets I have tried.

Znipers June 25, 2009 at 9:30 AM  

I think the spotlex is underconstruction, what a pity...

Manick July 5, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

Hi Znipers,

Spotplex is no longer available. They have closed down their service. Thanks.

phellixs November 13, 2009 at 7:35 PM  

Nice blog ..good tutorial too..

Manick November 14, 2009 at 4:02 AM  

Hi phellixs,

Thanks for your comments.

sanjiv June 26, 2010 at 4:25 AM  

When i click postplex site it tells the site is under construction.

Klustter July 4, 2010 at 1:40 PM  

thanks for this

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Trying to add Feedburner or other widget to my WordPress blog so people can sign up for update notifications?

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