How to add estimated reading time for your articles

If you browse the web and read articles, you have probably come across websites which show you the average reading time for the given article. Maybe you’ve wondered if authors just guessed the number or if it is somehow calculated and you might be interested in adding a similar function to your site.

If so, here’s a quick explanation. No, authors (usually) don’t just guess and put a random number to their articles. According to some studies, an average person reads 200-250 words per minute. If you take that in the consideration, it’s relatively easy to calculate the average reading time of any of your articles – count the words.

Of course, you’re not going to count the words by yourself or do the task manually. You can easily let a plugin do the hard work or you can modify the code yourself.

In this article, we’re about to show you the easier option – use plugins:

Estimated Post Reading Time

  1. Navigate to Plugins -> Add New
  2. Find ‘ Estimated Post Reading Time’, install it and activate
  3. Go to Settings -> Post Reading Time

Once there, you can adjust few settings for the plugin. Enter words per minute for the calculation and choose if you want to show the plugin on homepage. If you want, it will be shown in pages/articles, simply put [est_time] shortcode where you want the time to show or place the shortcode in your template files so it can be shown automatically for every post.

Reading Time

With this plugin, you can easily add estimated reading time in your articles. All you have to do is install Reading Time – you will get your time displayed even without setting up any options. But let’s see what you got with the plugin:

  1. Go to Plugins -> Add New
  2. Find ‘Reading Time’, install it and activate
  3. In Settings -> Reading time, set up your plugin

Here you can enter desired text to be shown next to estimated reading time label which can be entered in minutes or seconds. You can input a number of words which are read per minute while 200 words are set as default. In addition, you can enable a progress bar and choose any color you want for it.

There are numerous plugins which will basically do the same thing so feel free to browse for more like Reading Time WP, Guerrilla’s Estimated Reading Time, Insert Estimated Reading Time, etc.

If you want to avoid another plugin, here’s how you can install the feature by copy/pasting your own code.

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