Have you been blogging with WordPress for a while? Enough to build out a solid content base?
Great! Now, how do you get visitors to read your stuff?
One common obstacle among frequent bloggers is that new readers may not know where to begin, and can become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information. You’ll need a way to channel these potential readers to your most valuable content and gain their trust
There are multiple ways to accomplish this, but one common and effective method is by listing your most popular articles in an accessible place, like the homepage.
For example, you could add a section for your top posts of the week/month. Or, you might find that a handful of pieces bring in the majority of your traffic, and displaying these to new visitors can boost your readership.
B showcasing your best work, you direct readers straight to the best content you have to offer. Hopefully, they’ll find value in your articles, then share them with others, and maybe even convert (if that’s your goal).
While WordPress doesn’t have a “popular posts” feature out of the box, there are a handful of free WordPress plugins that can add this feature to your site. In this post, we’ll look at six of the best solutions available.
WordPress Popular Posts is a leading plugin for displaying popular posts on WordPress sites. At its most basic, this free plugin lets you display a list containing your posts with the most views or comments. But, there’s plenty of room for customization too.
WordPress Popular Posts also lets you set a date range for your popular posts, so you can show the top posts from the past day, week, month, etc. You can also customize the appearance of your list with custom CSS and post contents (e.g., featured images, authors, and view counts), and list posts by average views per day instead of view count or comment count.
This plugin supports multiple widgets placement, which means you can add more than one popular posts widget to a page. This is useful if you want to, for instance, display one list for the most popular posts of the day, and another list for the week’s top posts. You can also place lists with shortcodes.
Top 10 is another free and feature-rich plugin that lets you showcase your most popular posts, pages, and custom post types. It includes a sidebar widget to display the posts and a built-in counter, which keeps track of each posts’ view count and arranges them by popularity.
You can customize the widget in the WordPress dashboard to match your site’s look and write custom CSS for the list. Top 10 also lets you specify a date range and filter out specific content from your list. If you want to add thumbnails to your list, it uses the first image of the post by default, but you can also insert your own image as the thumbnail.
Along with widget support, the Top 10 plugin also offers two shortcodes. There’s also a built-in caching system to reduce load time for your popular post module — it works with other WordPress caching plugins too.
While it doesn’t have the catchiest name, the Trending/Popular Post Slider and Widget plugin is a simple solution for showcasing posts by view count or comment count. The plugin includes a list widget and three shortcodes for slider, carousel, and grid block views. For the widget, you’re provided a range of parameters to customize the list appearance, contents, and functionality.
You’ve probably heard of Jetpack by now — it’s an all-in-one solution to handle the most common needs of a typical WordPress website.
Jetpack comprises over 30 modules, one of which is the Top Posts & Pages Widget. This widget lets you show either your most liked posts or most viewed post in the past 48 hours. Though it’s probably not reason alone to purchase a Jetpack plan, the Top Posts & Pages Widget is a nice perk among the plugin’s many useful solutions. See our review of Jetpack for a closer look.
The free Display Posts plugin provides a piece of shortcode to list posts from your site, and you can modify the code to sort by comment count and social shares. You can’t sort by post traffic, but comment count and social shares can be reliable alternative indicators of popularity.
With additional shortcode parameters, you can set your list module to display posts in a grid format, toggle thumbnails, filter by many different post attributes, and a lot more.
While less popular than other options we’ve covered, Relevant provides comparable functionality and features. With it, you can display related posts, featured posts, and popular posts from your website using shortcode and/or widgets. Popularity is determined by either post views or comment count.
Relevant also lets you show posts related by category, tag, title, and keyword, and filter your popular lists by these properties. You’re granted a fair amount of visual customization flexibility as well.
It’s incredibly important to give your visitors a user-friendly way to explore and digest your blog content. By keeping this in mind when designing your blog, you’ll lower bounce rate, build readership, and elevate your search engine rankings and site conversions.
However, it’s also important to note that your most popular posts shouldn’t be the end goal for readers, but a jumping-off point. After directing visitors to your top posts, you’ll benefit further by directing them to related posts. This is just one of many content strategies for bloggers, but it tends to work pretty well. So well, in fact, that we use it on our blog.
Originally published Oct 20, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2020