Featured posts are typically the handpicked or most popular or most recently added posts in your blog. These selections can be helpful for the visitors to explore your best posts. So displaying the featured posts on your website is a good practice.
If you have been blogging for a long time then you know there are some posts that get a lot of attention from your readers. These posts essentially become the pillar content of your blog. So it’s a great idea to show your featured posts on your blog. In this way, your new readers will understand what your blog is about and what to expect.
In this post, we’ll learn how to show featured posts in WordPress. We will also understand the importance of showing featured posts and what are the best places to display your featured posts. So let’s get started.
Importance of displaying featured posts
As we mentioned in the beginning, featured posts are the most popular/important or highly rated posts of your blog. These posts may be considered the heart of your website. So naturally, you would want your readers to check out those posts. This becomes very useful, especially for your new readers and they are able to understand what your blog is about.
It doesn’t have to be the most popular posts, because you can select which posts you want to display in the featured posts section. So if you think that a post is very important then, you can add it to your featured posts.
Displaying a featured post section on your blog could have many benefits. Such as:
- Increased traffic: With featured posts in a sidebar, your readers can easily access your best posts. This increases traffic and improves overall user engagement.
- More subscribers: Since the readers can read your best posts, they’ll consider subscribing to your blog.
So as you can see, displaying your featured posts in a sidebar has its benefits. It not only gives your readers a quicker way to access your best posts, but it also improves overall user engagement. Your readers can also understand what your website is all about. This in turn will also result in higher traffic!
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How to add featured posts in WordPress?
Fortunately, there are various ways in which you can add a featured posts section to your WordPress website. You can add a featured posts section in the following ways:
- Using Gutenberg blocks or plugins like PostX
- Using a theme that already has a featured post section
If you are looking for a new theme for your blog and you want a featured section as well, then it’s probably best to choose the theme that already has a featured post section. Using this method, you don’t have to manually display your Featured posts. But also make sure that the featured post section is responsive and customizable.
The reason why customization is important is because, in the future, as your blog gains more popularity, you might want to have a more personalized look for your website. In that case, having plugins like PostX could be beneficial for you as it provides a wide variety of customization options.
So we will see how to add a featured post section on your website using various methods. Let’s first take a look at a simple approach:
Method 1: Displaying featured posts using reusable blocks in Gutenberg
Gutenberg is the default page builder for WordPress. This page builder is designed to give users a simplified way of building pages. You can simply take a section, and then populate the section with various blocks. You can also drag and drop any blocks and then customize them.
Using Gutenberg you can create a featured posts section on a page of your website. There are a couple of ways of doing this, but let’s see an easy method:
- First, create a page. To do that go, from your WordPress dashboard go to Pages > Add New.
- Now give your page a name and then open Gutenberg blocks then add the “List” block and write the name of your most popular posts that you want to include in the featured post section.
- Now copy the URLs of those posts and add the posts that you just wrote
Now you can publish the page and you can link this page to display your featured posts. You can also make this block reusable and then include it on a page where you want to display the related posts. To do this simply do the following:
- Open settings: Select the block and then click on the 3 dots. This will bring up the Gutenberg settings.
- Add to reusable block: You’ll find an option called “Add to reusable block”. Click on this option and this block will be reusable.
Add reusable block: Now you can use this block in any place on your website. Just simply open up Gutenberg editor and then select the reusable block. Then find the block that you just created and select it. Then the featured posts block will be added to your page.
Note: You can also use widgets to add featured images but this is possible with some themes. If the theme you use has that feature, then simply go to “Widgets” from your WordPress dashboard. Then customize the widget to display your most popular posts.
In this method, you can’t customize the featured image of the posts. There are also certain design limitations, but at least it serves your purpose of displaying the featured posts section. There is another method by which you can display the featured posts section using Gutenberg.
Method 2: Displaying featured posts using Gutenberg List Post block
In this method, you have to find the posts that you want to display and give them a unique tag. Then use the Gutenberg “Post List” block and filter those posts with the tag you gave your posts. Let’s go through step by step:
- Add a special tag to your posts: First select the posts that you want to display in the featured posts section. Go to WordPress dashboard > Posts and then click on “Quick Edit”. Then give those posts the tag name Post List.
- Use Post List block: Go to the page where you want to display your posts, then click on the ‘+’ button to add the “Post List” block.
- Choose a display style: After you add the post list block, click on the “Choose” button and select a grid layout for your posts.
- Select Query Loop block: In order to access the filter settings, you need to select the Query Loop block. To select it, first, click on the List View button, then expand the column and then select the Query Loop Block.
- Input your post tags in the filter option: From the settings option on the right-hand side, scroll down and you’ll find the Filter options. From there use the tag name of the posts you want to display.
And that’s it! You now have your featured posts section and in this way, you can also have your featured image beside your posts. But there are certain design limitations with this method. So if you want an easier and more customizable approach, you can use the PostX plugin.
Some issues with using Gutenberg for displaying featured posts
While using Gutenberg is fine, there are various drawbacks to this method. You might have already guessed it but still, let’s elaborate:
- Time-consuming: As you’ve seen, you have to manually create the page, then write the names of your featured posts, then copy its links, and finally save it. Then you have to include this page where you want to display your featured posts. This is a very time-consuming process.
- Limited design options: Although Gutenberg is now very modern and provides some really great options to customize your block designs, in the case of featured posts, the design options are very limited.
- Unable to add featured Image: You might have also noticed, that you cannot add a featured image to your posts unless you’re using a widget. But that is only available for some specific themes. However, if you try the 2nd method, you can add your image, but your design customization is very limited.
You probably want to use Gutenberg and it’s fine, it is outfitted with so many features now. But it is also important that the presentation of your featured posts section should be great. If you add featured images and design that section, it will give your readers a much better experience. In order to do that, you can use a plugin.
Adding featured posts using PostX
PostX is a Gutenberg blocks plugin that is an amazing tool to display your blog content in a stylish manner. Not just for the featured post section, with PostX you can give your blog a whole new look.
PostX has numerous customization options which you can use to design your featured posts section. You will also have access to the PostX Library which consists of several readymade block designs. So you don’t have to create your featured posts section manually from scratch. And it’s not just featured posts, using PostX you can also display related posts section as well.
PostX is an amazing plugin to have. It gives you a large library of readymade blocks and starter packs. You can import these with one click and it will be added to your website super fast. There is a vast number of customization options for you to make your blog truly unique.
With the free version, you will have access to a handful of starter packs and block designs. But with the pro package, you’ll have access to all of these features. So make sure you check it out!
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How to add featured Posts using PostX Gutenberg post blocks
PostX helps you display your posts more beautifully. It also has a large collection of readymade blocks that are fully responsive. In the case of displaying featured posts, you can simply pick a readymade block and then customize it to display certain posts, or the popular posts.
What you can also do is, go to your home page and import a starter pack. The starter packs are fully designed for home pages and it only takes a few seconds to unpack. Then find the sidebar with the popular section, and then include your selected articles.
So let’s see both of these methods and how you can display featured posts using the PostX plugin. Remember to install the PostX plugin before you start.
Method 1: Using a readymade block
- First, go to the page where you want to display your featured posts.
- Then click on the PostX Library located at the top of the page.
- Then select a readymade block you like. For our project, we’ve selected Post Grid #1.
- Now from the settings option on the right, select Query > Sources > Specific Posts. Now a new box will appear below, select your specific posts from here by title and you’ll have your own featured posts section.
That’s it! As you can see, it’s a lot easier than using the basic Gutenberg blocks. You can just simply take any post grid style and then tweak your Query settings to display any kind of posts you want! You can also style this section, but that is optional.
PostX has a large number of customization options that you can explore. You can also add modern features such as displaying a reading progress bar, super dynamic post sliders, read more functionality, and much more!
Method 2: Using a starter pack
Another method you can use to display your featured posts is using the starter packs. You can also use these starter packs as your home page as well. Then customize various parts of the template to decorate your blog the way you want.
Let’s see how you can display featured posts using a starter pack.
- Choose a starter pack: Like before, go to the page where you want to use the starter pack. Then select the PostX Library, then select a starter pack.
Tip: Try to select a starter pack that has a sidebar displaying the popular posts, recent posts, etc. So that you can easily customize it into featured posts.
- Find a sidebar for the featured posts: Find a section of the starter site where you want to display your featured posts. We’ve selected the Blog starter pack for this demonstration.
- Filter featured posts: After selection, click on that block and like before go to Query > Source, then select Specific Posts. Then in the “Select specific posts” choose your posts by title.
And that is how you can display featured posts using a starter pack. That was easy, wasn’t it? There are various customization options that you can check out so take your time and explore what design resonates with your style.
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When you are working on a blog, it’s easy to lose track of which posts are being more important. Displaying featured posts will make your blog more user-friendly. It gives your readers a chance to check out your exclusively selected posts. It doesn’t even have to be your most popular posts, you can select any post to display in your featured posts section. This also helps summarize what your blog is all about.
So, do you have a featured posts section for your website? If so, then what method do you prefer when displaying featured posts? Let us know in the comment section!
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