When coming out all your blog posts, you may write carefully and publish with the best format and proper images. However, due to the topic selection, the point of views, readers’ interests and many other reasons, some of your posts might be popular among your readers while others may hardly arouse people’s interests.
In this case, in addition to displaying the recent blog posts to inform people of your latest activity, you’d better also present some popular ones with a lot of page views. After all, these hot articles are exactly what your readers are looking for.
In the following, we have listed some steps about how to showcase WordPress popular posts with ease.
How to Showcase WordPress Popular Posts
By default, WordPress does not have the feature to track the views of each post. Therefore, you need to leverage the plugins for the tracking purpose. When searching on the web, we have found a lot of useful plugins that can achieve this goal effectively and can show the popular posts using both shortcode and widget. Among them, the Top 10 plugin is highly recommended by a lot of WordPress users. You can check the below part to know how to use this plugin easily.
Step 1 – Set Up the General Options
After installing the Top 10 plugin in your website admin, you need to click the Top 10 Settings button from the newly added Top 10 tab to set up some configurations. Here, let’s begin with the General Options.
In this part, you can enable this plugin to track both of the total visits and the daily visits for each blog post, to use the transients API for caching your popular posts for one hour, to start the counting activity in the midnight, to show the meta box in the editing page of your posts and to display this special box to the site admin only. Here, we need to note that this meta box allows you to change the visit count of a specific article manually.
All settings are easy to understand, so you just need to decide them based on your preference.
Step 2 – Decide the Counter and Tracker Settings
In this part, you need to decide some settings about how to track your blog posts and count for the most popular ones.
- Decide whether to display the number of views on posts, pages, homepage, tag and category archives and feeds.
- Decide whether to display the latest counts for your posts all the times.
- Decide whether to stop the author visits, admin visits and editor visits from being tracked.
- Decide whether to add three columns to showcase the Views, Today’s Views and Total Views to All Pages and All Posts of the admin panel.
- Decide whether only website admin can check the number of views of each post and page.
Step 3 – Configure the Displayed Options of Your Popular Posts
This part simply decides how to showcase these popular posts in your sidebar or the homepage. First of all, you need to determine the maximum number of posts that can be displayed as the popular ones, along with the displayed post types among blog posts, pages, attachments, events and locations.
Besides, you can only showcase the posts that are published within a specific time range. Personally, we recommend you to enter 0 to set no restriction for this aspect.
It is possible that you want to exclude some posts from being showcased in your popular list, such as the coupon recommendations and some discount articles. For this, you can offer the corresponding post IDs or even the category IDs to prevent these posts to be displayed.
Next, you need to decide what can be showed in your popular post list, including the post excerpts, post authors, publishing dates and view counts. Even, you can determine the title length of the listed posts and whether to open these posts in a new window after the clicks.
Step 4 – Decide Thumbnail Options
The display of thumbnail adds great diversity for your list of popular posts. Therefore, this plugin enables the thumbnail showcase by default, and what you need to do is to decide the image location and size based on your webpage design.
It is possible that some of your posts do not have the thumbnails. Here, you have two options.
- Allow to extract the first image in your post as the thumbnail.
- Upload a default thumbnail image that can be displayed when there are no existing thumbnails available.
Step 5 – Determine the Style for Listing the Popular Posts
As for this aspect, you have three choices. Firstly, if you have the CSS knowledge, you can choose the No Style option and add the custom CSS codes to achieve the customized display of your popular posts.
If you are just a common WordPress user, we recommend you to choose the default style allowed by this plugin. Check the example in the following.
The last option is only to showcase the text content, such as the post titles and authors, with no thumbnail images at all.
Step 6 – Showcase the Popular Posts in Webpage or Sidebar
As all the settings are configured properly, you now can showcase your hot posts. For this, you can use either shortcode or the Popular Post widget.
If you choose to use the shortcode, it is recommended to add it to your homepage, so you can get the result as the following screenshot shows. Note that the shortcode is [tptn_list].
If you want to use the widget to have the hot articles showcased in the sidebar, this plugin offers a default widget named as Popular Posts [Top 10]. Here, you simply need to drag it to your preferred location and decide some settings such as the title of this special area and the number of posts to be displayed. After that, you can click the Save button and check your popular recommendations in the front-end.