This tutorial is no longer up-to-date. Please check out A Better Voting System for WordPress for a more secure and efficient approach.

I needed to create a simple way for site members to vote on a post and the few scripts I found didn’t really work how I needed them to. So I decided to whip something together myself. I developed a pretty basic script using PHP and jQuery to allow members who are signed in to click on a simple link to add their vote to a post.

First you need to add this to your header.php file between the <head> tags. If you notice that you already have the <?php wp_head(); ?> call somewhere else in your header.php file, just delete it.

<?php wp_enqueue_script( 'jquery' ) ?>
<?php wp_head(); ?>
<script type="text/javascript">
jQuery(".vote a").click(
function() {
var some = jQuery(this);
var thepost = jQuery(this).attr("post");
var theuser = jQuery(this).attr("user");"<?php bloginfo('template_url'); ?>/vote.php", {user: theuser, post: thepost}, 
function(data) {
var votebox = ".vote"+thepost+" span";
jQuery(some).replaceWith('<span class="voted">Voted</span>');

When a member clicks on the vote link, the above code will get the post ID and the member’s user ID and send it to a file called vote.php using a post method. The vote.php file will perform everything we need to add the vote.

So let’s create a file called vote.php and add it to your theme’s directory.

$file = dirname(__FILE__);
$file = substr($file, 0, stripos($file, "wp-content") );

require( $file . "/wp-load.php");

$currentvotes = get_post_meta($_POST['post'], 'votes', true);
$currentvotes = $currentvotes + 1;

$voters = get_post_meta($_POST['post'], 'thevoters', true);
if(!$voters) $voters = $_POST['user']; else $voters = $voters.",".$_POST['user'];

update_post_meta($_POST['post'], 'votes', $currentvotes);
update_post_meta($_POST['post'], 'thevoters', $voters);

echo $currentvotes;

Once the information is posted to vote.php two custom fields are created. One to count the vote and one to add the voter to a list so that they can’t vote again.

Add the code below to your functions.php file, or create a functions.php file if your theme does not have one.

// voting function
function voting($id) {
global $user_ID;
$currentvotes = get_post_meta($id, 'votes', true);
$voters = get_post_meta($id, 'thevoters', true);
$voters = explode(",", $voters);
foreach($voters as $voter) {
	if($voter == $user_ID) $alreadyVoted = true;

if(!$currentvotes) $currentvotes = 0;
echo '<div class="vote vote'.$id.'"><span>'.$currentvotes.'</span>';
if($user_ID && !$alreadyVoted) echo '<br /><a post="'.$id.'" user="'.$user_ID.'">'.__("Vote").'</a>';
if($user_ID && $alreadyVoted) echo '<br /><span class="voted">'.__("Voted").'</span>';
echo '</div>';
if(!$user_ID) echo '<div class="signup"><p><a href="'.get_bloginfo('url').'/wp-login.php?action=register">'.__('Register').'</a> '.__('to vote').'.</p></div>';

Let’s add some CSS to style our voting box.

.vote {
	padding: 5px 0;
	background: #eee;
	border: 1px solid #ddd;
	width :50px;
	text-align: center;
	margin: 10px auto;
	.vote a, .vote span.voted {
		cursor: pointer;
		margin-top: 5px;
		padding-top: 5px;
		border-top: 1px solid #ddd;
		display: block;
	.vote span.voted {
		cursor: default;

Now all you need to do is add the following within the WordPress loop to have the voting box appear.

<?php voting($post->ID); ?>

Test it out below: