Make Your Own Post Rank Text Widget

The Top Posts widget from does a fantastic job of calculating your most popular posts. But I have two problems with it:

  • In real time, using a javascript on another server, it’s too slow and is prone to hanging or not displaying the list. This does not help your page’s loading time.
  • The orange background for the rank number is glaring — doesn’t fit most designs, not even close. This is one element you can not customize.
  • well, maybe three problems. It takes up quite a bit of valuable sidebar real estate.

Alternative – Use PostRank as your source, updating your list periodically. 

This may not be a real solution for many bloggers but I find my top posts don’t change that often. They may jockey for position but the top 6 or so are pretty much the same ‘usual suspects.’ So I decided to obtain the information every few weeks and create my own text widget.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to the customization page on their website to generate your top posts by keying in your url and number of posts you want.
  2. The preview shows your top posts exactly as the widget would generate on your sidebar. This is where you copy the list for your own text block, starting with the first orange rank down to the last post title.
  3. Create (or edit) a text widget and paste the list of posts. Then if you want, you can delete the orange blocks with the numbers.
  4.  Of course you have to give credit with a linkback to the post rank site. So add a line and link to their site. e.g. “source:, Sept 2009.”  Take a look at my version on the sidebar.

    I used html styling to add a border at the bottom and to reduce the size of the credit line to 85%.

    <div style=”border-bottom: 5px double rgb(73, 0, 152); font-size: 85%;”>
    as of Sept 2009 according to <a href=””></a></div>

Having the ‘as of date’ reminds me to update the list. I hope this is ethical since the source is credited. What do you think?

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