Open Ended and Ring Spanner Wrenches by wallyir at

Hacking Popular Posts for Arras

The Arras theme continues to be my preferred theme, although there are enough things I don’t care for about it that I periodically try other themes.  It’s a bit heavy feeling and I find myself restyling many elements.  One of the areas that was not styled in a way I wanted was the WordPress Popular Posts widget when thumbnails were enabled.

I was able to tweak the widget but, because the underlying HTML is an unordered (<ul>) list with unclassed list items (<li>), it meant that some changes I made to the overall popular post item would impact other widgets or elements on the site.

To get around this, I ended up adding a simple paragraph tag to the /wp-content/plugins/wordpress-popular-posts/wordpress-popular-posts.php file within the <li> … </li>.  The plugin has custom HTML support but I was not able to get it to do what I wanted.  In the end, I edited the Custom HTML else section of the plugin file to read

‘<li><p class=”poppostthumb”>’ ….. ‘</p></li>’

I didn’t make any other changes to the line.  Now, when I want to theme the entire popular post thumbnail section, I can do it distinctly from the other list items in other widgets.  The only downside is that I need to add this back in each time the plugin upgrades.

And it just did and now I don’t seem to be able to control the thumbnail size any longer, which is disappointing.  I have mine at 55px high, so I have changed the user.css file for Arras to enable that to display at larger than the 15px default for the plugin:

li.widgetcontainer ul li img.wpp-thumbnail {
float: left;
vertical-align: text-top;
margin-right: .25em;
height: 55px;
width: 55px;

The widget style I am trying to emulate is the default in the free Dimes theme from  bigger thumbnails, better distinction between items.

David Whelan

I improve information access and lead information teams. My books on finding information and managing it and practicing law using cloud computing reflect my interest in information management, technology, law practice, and legal research. I've been a library director in Canada and the US, as well as directing the American Bar Association's Legal Technology Resource Center. I speak and write frequently on information, technology, law library, and law practice issues.