numberposts? showposts? posts_per_page?

So the documentation on the Codex is pretty clear that showposts is deprecated. But that same documentation mentions nothing of numberposts. Instead, posts_per_page is listed.

But if we turn to the Codex docs for get_posts we see no mention of posts_per_page, instead citing numberposts.

In post.php we see what’s happening: numberposts is set up as a default (5), but then copied to posts_per_page (unless posts_per_page is set in the args).

So my question is really quite pedantic, but I’m looking to update Codex so I wanted to ask you guys – is there a reason why we wouldn’t want to just encourage posts_per_page across the board, eventually deprecating numberposts? Or am I missing some critical insight here?


In my opinion, deprecating numberposts would not make sense, as numberposts is used to query x amount of posts, whilst posts_per_page is used to denote how many posts per page are being shown during pagination. If you were to deprecate numberposts in favor of simply posts_per_page, then pagination would not exist.


"numberposts" => 50, "posts_per_page" => 10

a total of 50 posts to query, 10 posts per page, giving 5 pages of 10 posts each.

removal of numberposts:

"posts_per_page" => 50

a total of 50 posts to query, 50 posts per page (since it copies the value of numberposts to posts_per_page), giving 1 page of 50 posts and no pagination.

Let me know if I’m just reiterating what you’re already aware of, and I’m just slightly confused by the question.

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