The recent posts widget is a must-have in a content-heavy website with regular updates, in most cases, which should be like the following example. That makes visitors understand the newly updated posts and encourages them to get something new. It is regarded as an effective method to retain visitors thereby reducing bounce rate.
If there is a need to display recent posts in your WordPress site but the current theme don’t allow this function, follow this guide to find the way to do so. This guide helps you add such a widget to your website homepage by means of a WordPress recent posts plugin, namely, Recent Posts Widget Extended.
Option 1 – Make Use of Recent Posts Widget Extended Plugin
Recent Posts Widget Extended is the most popular WordPress recent posts plugin, which has been installed over 90,000 times. This plugin is fully flexible and comes with rich features. It allows users to display recent posts via widget.
Besides that, the Recent Posts Widget Extended plugin displays the posts’ thumbnails, excerpt, category, tags, publish date, etc. That helps readers understand the main idea of a post so as to arouse their interest. First of all, search for this plugin through your WP admin. And then, install and activate it in real time.
Since everything is ready, get started to set up the recent posts widget and then display it on your website.
Display WordPress Recent Posts Widget in Website
Step1: Go to Appearance > Widgets and find the widget named as Recent Posts Extended. Drag and drop this widget to the right sidebar.
Step 2: Three columns of options for the Recent Posts Extended widget customization are expanded automatically. That should be like the following screenshot.
The first column of options allows you to set the widget title, title URL, CSS ID, CSS Class, etc. The widget title is visible to all visitors. The title URL is the link to a page that displays all recent posts together. It is completely optional for you to add a link to widget title. And then, make some changes to the rest options or leave the default settings.
The second column of options allows you to determine whether to show sticky posts in the recent posts widget. That also requires you to make a decision on which post types and post status hit the spot. Select the descending order or ascending order for displaying recent posts. If there is a need to limit the posts to certain categories or tags, check the options under “Limit to category” and “Limit to tag”.
The third column of options determines the number of posts to show or to skip. Also, you can decide whether to display a thumbnail of each post and set the size of each thumbnail. The rest options determine whether to show post excerpt, readmore button and post published date.
By the way, if you have knowledge of CSS, you can customize the CSS and override the default styles. It is optional for you. After having all settings done, click “Save” button to save changes.
Option 2 – Make Use of Advanced Recent Posts
Generally, there are two main occasions for the showcase of the latest blog post – showcasing on the homepage or on the sidebar of each webpage. The utilization of WordPress plugins simply makes it easy to achieve these two displays.
Display on Homepage using Advanced Recent Posts
First of all, you need to install this plugin to your WordPress website and activate it. After that, you can find a new tab from your WordPress admin – Advanced Recent Posts. Simply click it to enter the settings page.
Now, you can choose among the available 4 layouts. Let’s check them one by one.
After choosing the layouts, you’d better click the box before “Do not display Posts without Featured Image” if every of your blog post has an exclusive featured image.
The rest settings include the columns and dimensions, post types, author displays, tags, categories, sort and orders, image sizes, color schemes, posts excerpts, date and time showcase. You can decide based on your needs. Here, the only thing you need to pay attention is that do not check any boxes in the Category area, so that all the latest posts can be displayed.
Once everything is determined, you can click the Generate Shortcode button, and place the coding stuff in the function.php file of your current template.
Display on Sidebar using Advanced Recent Posts
Now, you can go to the Widgets section after clicking the Appearance tab. Here, you can find two options – Recent Posts Widget (Fluid Image) and Recent Posts Widget (Thumbnail Image). The former one allows you to showcase your latest posts with big fluid images while the latter one allows posts showcase with some small thumbnails. You can choose one according to your website design.
Then, you can drag it to the ideal location within your Widget area. Here, you can decide a lot of settings to better showcase your recent posts, which are more or less the same as the settings for showing recent posts on homepage.
Alternatives for Recent Posts Showcase
The above-mentioned two plugins are powerful enough to help you display recent posts in WordPress. Since WordPress developers have released a large number of plugins for the same purpose, we would like to recommend some alternatives for these plugins. Those help you display recent posts in website homepage in an easy manner.
WP Latest Posts
The main purpose of this plugin is to ensure the visually appealing showcase of the latest website contents like posts, pages, comments, custom post types and many more. The basic features of this plugin include:
- Countless recent content instances to display.
- Full customization freedom for loading images, authors, titles, text, date and many more.
- Choose the number of content elements to be loaded.
- Add custom margins
- And many more……
Recent Posts Slider
This plugin makes it simple to showcase the recent posts of your blog site either with the thumbnail images or the excerpts. The display is based on a slider, which can be customized in multiple ways, such as the height, width, post per each slider and many more.
Note that if you want to display the thumbnail but there is no featured image at all, this plugin will create a thumbnail using the first image of your content.
Flexible Posts Widget
This is a basic plugin to showcase the WordPress recent content. With it, you can display the customizable widget title, show the content by post types, taxonomies, terms and post IDs, control the number of displayed posts, select the featured image size, order the posts based on date, ID, title, menu and more.