Displaying popular posts in WordPress

In WordPress, we often discuss two kinds of posts, Recent Posts and Popular Posts.

Recent posts refer to “recently published” posts on a blog, while Popular posts are defined as the posts that receive high traffic, views, shares, comments, and impressions.

Although popular posts on a blog compensate business growth, displaying popular posts in WordPress is a separate, yet technical routine.

There are many ways to display popular posts in WordPress, including the use of WordPress plugins. All the ways ensure displaying popular posts at different locations of a WordPress site, such as sidebars, home page, or footer. Before going through technical stuff, keep in mind that popular posts help us achieve certain milestones regarding content, such as catching more eyeballs on blog posts, engage the users, and decrease the bounce rate of a website.

Today’s article helps you learn different ways to display popular posts in a WordPress website. And of course, you – as a Blog owner, need to learn to display popular posts on your blog, in order to increase your site traffic, catch more leads, and market your products and services to relevant audience.

How to display popular posts in WordPress

Method (1): Manual

The Manual routine consists of using HTML code. To get started, you need to place a text or code widget at the sidebar and insert code that displays popular posts on your site.

However, this method requires finding popular posts on your website.

If you’ve installed Google Analytics for your WordPress website, you can see traffic metrics for blog posts, and pick the posts having high traffic stats.

Let’s get started, and cover the process in simple steps.

Step 1: From widgets list, add a Custom HTML widget to the sidebar. You can find widget’s page in Appearance menu in the Dashboard.

display popular posts wpcrib blog

Step 2: While editing the newly added widget, add the code below in body text. Make sure you edit the code and link out to popular posts of your site.

<a href=”url”>link text</a>

Step 3: Edit the code and hyperlinks. Make sure you add the full URLs in the above code. Save changes at the end.

display popular posts wpcrib blog

You can now visit your home page or posts to check your site with popular posts.

If you found it hard to find popular posts on your site, or don’t have Google Analytics installed for your site, you can pick the posts with lots of comments, shares, and impressions.

Method (2): Theme built-in option

If your theme includes widgets for popular and recent posts, you can make use of your theme’s built-in widgets for the said purpose.

Simply, you need to have a look at your theme’s widgets list.

Step 1: Under the Appearance menu, click on Widgets. The next page shows all widgets, including WordPress’ defaults and those bundled with your site theme.

Step 2: Find the one for popular posts, add it to the sidebar or footer area, and save changes at the end.

display popular posts wpcrib blog

Visit your site to see newly added widget in action. Make necessary changes like format and styles, and save changes at the end.

Method (3): Use a WordPress Plugin

Showing popular posts with a plugin is comparatively easy. You will need to install a WordPress plugin for the said purpose.

Step 1: Head over to Add New plugin page by clicking on Add New under Plugins.

Step 2: In the search box, enter WordPress popular posts and press enter. Install the first plugin that appears. Activate the plugin after installation.

display popular posts wpcrib blog

Step 3: On the Widgets page, you can find the newly added plugin for showing popular posts. Just add the (WordPress Popular Posts) widget to the sidebar, set the necessary measures and save changes at the end.

display popular posts wpcrib blog

Step 4: Visit one of your posts to see the plugin showing popular posts on your site’s sidebar.

Final thoughts

Most of the sites contain popular posts’ widgets, however if you couldn’t find one in your theme, you can configure one with highly effective ways defined in this write-up.

In Content Management Systems like WordPress, you can even play around customized ways, as we discussed in manual routine. By using manual settings, you can show popular posts without installing a plugin.

If you don’t prefer manual method, your theme’s widget list may contain widget for popular posts. It depends on your theme options while installing a plugin for popular posts provides more features.

Also, focus on displaying popular posts at different locations of your site, such as footer, in-posts, and after posts. However in most cases, popular posts are displayed at the right sidebars of websites.

As displaying popular posts increases your site’s traffic, you can maximize growth with email marketing, sponsored posts, and guest posting campaigns.

To learn more about WordPress features, head over to our WordPress Knowledge Base. Also, join conversation in the comments and let us know about your site’s popular posts.

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