We have already covered the topic of adding random posts into your WordPress theme. We also showed you how to show a list of recent comments. We will also show you how to add recent posts manually. But this method will require some manual work and that means dealing with the code. OK, if you only need to show a certain number of recent posts, you can only copy and paste the code we showed you in the article, but many don’t like messing around with the code and core files even if it’s that simple.
So, in this article, we’re about to show you how to add recent posts by using a different method. Even you haven’t read the title, you have probably already guessed it – there’s a plugin for that.
Before we show you the plugins which can help you, let’s quickly see a quicker solution.
Add a widget in sidebar:
If you are new to WordPress and haven’t snooped around too much, you should still know about the widget area. Among many great things about widgets, one of them is already ready for you. You don’t have to do much but to drag a widget to a sidebar and your recent posts will be shown on your website.
- Navigate to Appearance -> Widgets
- On the left side, find “Recent Posts” widget under Available Widgets area
- Click on it and then click “Add Widget” or simply drag the widget with your mouse on the right side where you want your recent posts to appear
- Choose a title if you want one, number of posts to be shown and choose if you want a post date to be displayed as well
- Save changes
- Check your website to see that recent post are now shown on the sidebar
As you can see, the widget works in a very simple mater, so if you want more control over it, you will definitely want a plugin.
Flexible Posts Widget
We will begin our short list with a free plugin which subtly extends the standard recent posts widget. After you install and activate this plugin, you are free to show standard posts, custom ones, and the pages. Through the options panel, you can choose a category or a taxonomy from which recent posts will be displayed. That means, for example, you can only show recent posts from your “news” category and not the entire collection of posts from your blog. The plugin lets you display a featured image next to your post and choose how big or small this image will be which is perfect for customizing the widget to go nicely with your theme. If you want even more control over the posts, Flexible Posts Widgets gives you the power of ordering posts by name, ID, date, menu order, and much more. Nothing more to describe – install the plugin and enjoy your extended widget.
Recent Posts Widget Extended
This free plugin reveals almost everything you have to know about it in its name – it extends the standard recent posts widget and gives you more control over it. The plugin lets you place your recent posts into a widget or generates a shortcode for you which you can easily input anywhere you want. With Recent Posts Widget Extended, you can set title URL, post thumbnails, and excerpts. You can choose any category and taxonomy from which posts will be extracted, create multiple widgets and even add custom CSS code to customize the widget to your needs. There are more than enough options to choose from and you can probably create a recent posts list for any site with this one.
Recent Posts Revolution
Premium plugins allow you to implement innovative ideas into your site. When we’re talking about recent posts, there is usually a list displaying few or more recent posts with a link to them. But Recent Posts Revolution gives you much more than that. Instead of a simple list, the plugin creates a gallery of posts and gives you 18 skins to choose from. Choose any number of posts from any category you want and the plugin will create a gallery by using the featured images from each post in the category. Select how the plugin will order your posts, customize it and you’re done. After you generate the gallery for the first time, the plugin continues to automatically update your recent posts list. And you can choose where to place or not to place the gallery/recent posts and forget about the plugin once and for all. Nice, isn’t it? Don’t forget to check the demo page to see how the plugin does its job.
This list of free and premium plugins which can help you with recent posts can go on forever. We have just shown you 2 great free, and 2 even better premium plugins which will probably be just enough for anyone. Some other techniques and plugins which allow you to show, for example, posts from the same author or the most popular posts, will be covered in some other articles.
We are sure we have missed some great plugins, so if you stumble upon any other great plugin which controls recent posts, free or premium, fell free to leave us a comment below.