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4 Best Ways to Add Featured Posts in WordPress

4 Best Ways to Add Featured Posts in WordPress

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Are you looking to add featured posts in WordPress?

If your website has a lot of posts, you may have encountered an issue where people find it difficult to locate the most crucial information. This reduces user experience and negatively affects traffic to certain pages.

The answer might be to provide a featured posts section to your WordPress site. This feature makes it simple for users to identify your most important content by displaying a list of it in a special section or widget. It can highlight significant blog posts, significant news items, or any other information you choose.

You can add featured posts in WordPress with the help of a plugin, add them to the sidebar using menus, or add a list widget to the WordPress sidebar.

In this post, we’ll explain featured posts and why you should add them to your site. Further, we’ll also show various methods to add featured posts in WordPress. So without further ado, let’s get started.

1 Why Do You Need to Add Featured Posts?

In general, featured posts serve as the pillar content for your website. These postings not only benefit users but also provide a clear summary of your website and how it will assist visitors in finding the best solution.

You want visitors to learn something new about you and your products from these posts. Therefore, it makes sense that you would want to attract more users to that particular content.

And that’s the main reason your WordPress website needs a section for featured posts. This helps increase traffic to these specific posts and lets viewers understand the website’s goal.

1.1 Should You Add Featured Posts Section to the Sidebar? 

Users typically display their advertisements, social media links, and newsletter subscriptions on the sidebars of their websites. This makes sense from a usability perspective, as users can explore these options to their liking.

Therefore, it is wise and efficient to designate a separate place in the sidebar for your featured posts. It improves the likelihood that more people will visit these essential posts. It also helps your users discover your best content without looking for it.

A perfect example is the MyThemeShop blog page, which lists featured posts in the sidebar. This sidebar widget appears on all posts on the website.

Featured posts in WordPress example

With that said, let’s look at how to add featured posts in WordPress to boost traffic and user engagement.

2 How to Add Featured Posts in WordPress?

Below we will highlight different methods you can use to add featured posts in WordPress. So without further ado, let’s get started.

2.1 Add Featured Posts in WordPress Sidebar Without a Plugin

This method is simple and you need not install any plugin to add featured posts to your site.

Navigate to Appearance → Widgets from your WordPress dashboard and add a List widget to your WordPress sidebar using drag and drop, as shown below.

Add Featured Posts In Sidebar Without A Plugin

A visual editor with a few formatting buttons is included with this widget. The post titles you want to feature can be added as a bullet list.

To add your featured posts as list items, select the post title and click the link button to add a link to the blog post, as shown below.

add a link to posts

Once you’ve made the changes click on the Update button to save them. You can now visit your website to check your featured posts in action.

featured posts added

This approach will give you more control over your content but will require a little more work. Instead of making a list, we’ll create a navigation menu to add to the sidebar.

With this approach, you can add new posts without altering the widget and rearrange the list using a drag-and-drop interface. Additionally, you won’t need to make a new list whenever you want to use the menu on your website.

To do so, navigate to Appearance → Menus from your WordPress dashboard and click the create a new menu link.

create a menu

Next, you’ll have to enter a name for your menu that helps to easily identify it whenever you want to add it to your site. Once you’ve added a name, click on the Create Menu button as shown below.

Add Menu Name

WordPress will now create a new blank menu for you. Now click on the Posts tab and select the posts you want to feature. Click on Add to menu button as shown below.

featured posts added

Your postings will now appear in the right column, and you can edit them by clicking on each title. Additionally, you can reposition them by dragging them up or down. Once you’ve made the changes, click on the Save Menu button.

Now it’s time to add this menu to your page. To do so, navigate to Appearance → Widgets from your WordPress dashboard. Click on the ‘+’ sign and add a Navigation Menu widget using drag and drop.

Once you’ve dragged the Navigation Menu widget to the sidebar, you’ll have two fields: Title and Select Menu.

The Featured Posts menu you created earlier is in the Select Menu box. In the Title box, enter the actual title for the visitors. Once done, click on the Update button to save your changes.

Add navigation menu

You can visit your site to see the featured posts menu added to your site.

featured posts added using the menu

2.3 Add Featured Posts Using Blocks

Maybe you would not like to place your featured posts on the sidebar. If that’s the case, you can also place the featured section directly on posts and pages.

To do so, you can use the Gutenberg block editor, which is already integrated with WordPress.

Edit a WordPress post or page where you want to position your featured posts. In the post-editing screen, click on the add new block button (+) at the top and add the List block as shown below.

add list block

You need to add the title of each blog post you want to feature as an item on the list. Then select the text and click on the link button in the toolbar to create a link to the article.

Add a link to featured posts

Once you’re done, save your changes and update/publish the post. And there you have it; your featured posts list is now ready to go. It is one of the simpler methods to add a list of featured posts in WordPress.

Quick Tip: One great feature of the block editor is that you can save a block as a reusable block and add the same block to any posts or pages you want.

All you have to do is click on the three-dot menu icon and then click on Add to Reusable blocks. Give a name to your block and save it. Once done, you can use this block elsewhere on your WordPress website. 

add reusable block

2.4 Add Featured Posts with a Plugin

You can also use a WordPress plugin if you prefer a more aesthetically pleasing list of featured posts. There are various plugins available, but we’ll use the Display Posts plugin, which uses shortcodes to add featured posts in WordPress.

To begin, install and activate the Display Posts plugin by navigating to Plugins → Add New section of your WordPress dashboard. Look for the plugin in the search bar, install and activate it as shown below.

install and activate the Display Posts plugin

The below-mentioned steps can be used to edit a page, a post, or a text widget. You will only see the code placeholder in the editor when you add the code. But you’ll see the shortcode’s outcome once you publish your page.

In the post-editing screen, click the ‘+’ icon and add the Shortcode block. Add the shortcode [display-posts] as shown below. Once done, publish or update your page/post.

Add shortcode to post/page

You can then visit your site to see the featured posts in action.

Featured posts using a plugin

3 Conclusion

Having featured posts in WordPress improves the user experience. Visitors can navigate to the most important information faster – and you can promote your content easily.

You can use the above-mentioned methods to display some of the best-performing blogs as featured posts that help you drive more conversions and sales.  If you like this post, let us know by Tweeting @rankmathseo.

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