Recent Blog Posts Plugin WordPress

Do you want to show your recent posts in WordPress? Displaying recent posts helps users easily discover your new content and spend more time on your site.

You can add a list of your latest posts in your sidebar, after the end of your post content, inside your post content with a shortcode, in your footer widget area, or anywhere else you like.

In this article, we will show you how to display recent posts in WordPress using a variety of different methods.

Why Add Recent Posts in WordPress?

If you have been running a WordPress blog or website for a long time, then you may have some older articles getting regular traffic from search engines and other sources.

Many of these users will check out the information they were looking for and leave. More than 75% of those visitors will never see your website again.

To keep users coming back to your website, you need to ensure that they spend more time on your website.

One way to do this is by showing them other recent posts that they should see. This helps users uncover more content on your website, which leads to them spending more time on your website.

As users view more pages, this gives you time to convince them to sign up for your email newsletter or make a purchase.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily display recent posts in WordPress using multiple methods. Click on the quick links to jump straight to that method:

Method 1. Use WordPress’s Latest Posts Gutenberg Block

The WordPress block (Gutenberg) editor has a built-in block for displaying your latest posts. You can easily add this to any of the posts or pages on your site.

To use this block, simply edit the post where you want to display recent posts. On the post edit screen, you need to add the ‘Latest Posts’ block to the content area.

Add latest posts block

There are lots of different ways you can configure this block. By default, it just shows the post titles, but you can easily customize it.

For example, you can toggle the post content on and off in the right-hand pane. This lets you choose to add post content or excerpt next to the title.

You can also customize excerpt length which defaults to 55 words, but you can pick any value between 10 and 100 words.

Show post content in recent posts

If you want, you can also display the post date and post author.

Simply enable the ‘Display post date’ and ‘Display author name’ options under Post Meta Settings.

Display post date and author

You can also choose exactly how your posts will display. You can order them differently from the default ‘Newest to Oldest’, and you can show only the latest posts from a specific category.

From the settings panel, you can also choose how many posts will display. By default, the block shows 5 posts, but you can display anywhere between 1 and 100 posts.

Sort and filter recent posts

You also have the option to display your recent posts in a column grid rather than a list.

View latest posts in grid view

You can customize the grid to show featured images for your posts, resize the image, and align them accordingly:

Show featured images in latest posts

Here’s how the finished block looks live on the website:

Latest posts preview

Method 2. Use the WordPress Recent Posts Widget Block

What if you want to show a list of your latest posts in your sidebar instead of on a page? WordPress comes with a built-in default widget to display recent posts in your site’s sidebar or any widget-ready area.

In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance » Widgets and add the ‘Latest Posts’ widget block to your sidebar.

Add latest post widget block

You can then customize the appearance of your recent posts in the sidebar.

For instance, WordPress lets you show post content, display post author and date, enable featured images, and sort your latest posts.

Customize recent posts widget block

Once you’re done, click on the ‘Update’ button to store your widget settings.

Here’s the widget live on the blog, with the title ‘New Posts’ and dates enabled:

Latest posts in sidebar menu

Method 3. Use the Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails Plugin

The built-in widget we mentioned above is quite limited.

What if you want to display thumbnails and excerpts with your recent posts? What if you’d like to only show posts from a specific category in your sidebar?

Well, that’s when the Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails plugin comes in handy. It does a lot more than just thumbnails, and it’s free.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the WordPress Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails plugin.

Next, go to the Appearance » Widgets page and then add the ‘Recent Posts With Thumbnails’ widget block.

Add recent posts with thumbnails widget block

The Recent Posts With Thumbnails widget comes with a lot of options. It gives you full control over how you want to display recent posts on your WordPress site.

You can also show excerpts, show posts from specific categories, ignore sticky posts, choose the number of posts to show, display authors, and more.

Customize recent posts with thumbnails

Once you are done, don’t forget to click on the ‘Update’ button to store your settings.

You can now visit your website to see your recent posts with thumbnails.

Recent posts widget with thumbnails preview

Method 4. Display Recent Posts Using a Shortcode

Using the ‘Latest Posts’ block is definitely the easiest way to display recent posts in WordPress posts and pages. However, if you choose to disable Gutenberg and keep the Classic editor, you can use shortcodes instead.

First, install and activate the Relevant plugin. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

It’s one of the best popular post plugins for WordPress. You get multiple options to customize the appearance of your latest posts, like editing the title, the number of posts, selecting whether you’d like to display a featured image, excerpt, post date, and more.

Change relevant settings

Next, simply edit a post or page where you want to display your recent posts and then use the shortcode [bws_latest_posts].

Here’s how our list of recent posts looked, using those instructions:

Display recent posts shortcode

Method 5. Display Recent Posts Manually in WordPress

More advanced WordPress users may want to add recent posts directly in their WordPress theme files. Of course, you should use a child theme for this so that when you update your theme, you don’t lose your changes.

It’s always a good idea to create a backup before you edit your theme files. If anything does go wrong, you might want to take a look at our list of the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

The easiest way to manually display recent posts to use the built-in WP_Query class. Simply add this code where you want to display the recent posts.

123456789101112131415161718192021222324<ul>  <?php// Define our WP Query Parameters$the_query = new WP_Query( 'posts_per_page=5' ); ?>  <?php// Start our WP Querywhile ($the_query -> have_posts()) : $the_query -> the_post();// Display the Post Title with Hyperlink?>  <li><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>  <li><?php// Display the Post Excerptthe_excerpt(__('(more…)')); ?></li>  <?php// Repeat the process and reset once it hits the limitendwhile;wp_reset_postdata();?></ul>

This code displays the five most recent posts with their title and excerpt. The WP_Query class has tons of parameters that allow you to customize it any way that you like. For more information please refer to the WordPress developer documentation.

Summary

We hope that this article helped you learn how to display recent posts in WordPress. You might also be interested in our article on how to create a separate page for blog posts in WordPress, and our comparison of the best drag and drop WordPress page builder plugins.

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