I wrote a simple SQL statement that counts the number of category IDs in a table. Problem is, its returning NULL.

$db = JFactory::getDbo();
$query = $db->getQuery(true);
$results = $db->loadObjectList(); 

When I remove COUNT(*) the select statement is working normally. What did I write incorrectly?

1 Answer 1


You need to remove quoteName from your select clause, so it will then look like this:


Using $db->quoteName() on an array will wrap all array values in backticks when the query is rendered.

category_id is okay to wrap in backticks via $db->quoteName() because it is a column name.

COUNT(*) is a MySQL function. It loses its meaning if wrapped in backticks.

Your original query was seeking a column called COUNT(*) -- which of course isn't correct (or available).

  • So that's is correct : $query->select((array($db->quoteName('category_id'),'COUNT(*)')); ?? Oct 23, 2022 at 16:13

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