Customize WordPress pagination system

Since WordPress started as a simple blogging platform, one of the oldest functions it featured is the WordPress pagination system. While just the word “pagination” might sound confusing, the entire paradigm is quite simple. To split pages which load posts into multiple ones, this function breaks the loop at one point and shows the rest of the posts on another page. The function creates simple links usually found on the bottom of a page which lead to older, i.e. newer articles.

You’ve seen this already; if you have opened any WordPress site with more than ten posts, you already witnessed the result of the post pagination function. First ten posts were most likely displayed in descending order, and WordPress added a link to older posts at the bottom of the page.

By default, WordPress features a very simple pagination function. Instead of showing the number of pages which would allow you to navigate more easily, the popular CMS only shows links to one page before, and one page after the one you have loaded. While it is easy to change how many posts you want to show on one page, things might get more complicated if you wanted to change the entire system. First things first; this is how you can quickly alter the number of posts per one page:

  1. Navigate to Settings -> Reading
  2. Find the “Blog pages show at most”
  3. Change the number to any number you want
  4. Save changes

While you can modify the function and customize it for your site, this task would require you to know how to code in WordPress. Instead of teaching you how to add the function manually, we’re about to show you some of the best free WordPress plugins which will do the job for you. All you will have to do is to play around with plugins’ settings in order to create a customized pagination system

WP-Pagenavi

PRICE: Free

One of the most popular plugins for this job would be WP-Pagenavi. This free plugin can be downloaded from WordPress plugin repository, and it has a fascinating audience of more than 1 million active users! The plugin is simple. After you install and activate it, you will be able to set up several settings which will customize the text shown on pages that use pagination system.

The plugin will create a numbered pagination system which will show the first, the last and several pages in between. This system makes navigation much easier for any WordPress site that counts hundreds if not thousands of posts. The plugin allows you to customize the style of the pagination system via custom CSS so you can make sure that it will look good on your site.

WordPress Pagination by BestWebSoft

PRICE: Free

Once you install and activate this free plugin, it will automatically insert a pagination block for you. The new block will appear in blog, search, archive, category, tags and author pages. Still, you can choose the position of the pagination block, and you can style it to your likings. The plugin allows you to choose if you want to show all the numbered pages in the block, or you can opt to show a shorthand version which will be more compact.

Alphabetic Pagination

PRICE: Free

Who said a WordPress pagination system has to be numbered? Instead of showing numbers of existing pages, you can easily split your posts into pages depending on the first letter in their name. Alphabetic Pagination is an excellent plugin for the job. It will allow you to filter your posts and WooCommerce items with alphabets.

The plugin allows you to choose categories on which it will work, there are several styles included, and you even get shortcodes if you decide to upgrade the plugin.


Similarly, you can split each post into several pages. It is only required that you use one simple tag, but this WordPress feature is still unknown to many users.

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