As of right now the WordPress plugin directory holds 40,367 plugins. Finding the one you need is typically pretty easy with the hardest part choosing which one suits your needs the best.
In my particular use case, I am building a new section on a site that will be completely outside of WordPress. Even though it’s outside WordPress, I still wanted to pull in a list of the most popular posts.
Searching for most popular in the plugin directory returned 614 different plugins, but I couldn’t find any that would work in this context. A lot of them do their calculations by literally storing views for each visit. I see no reason to fill up my database with this data when an external system is already logging it. That is when I remembered WordPress has it’s own API and can be utilized directly from the Stats package.
I went on a mission to implement this and wanted to share how to do it.