How to Add Featured Posts in WordPress Sidebar

Featured Posts in WordPress

Want to add featured post section in the sidebar of your website?

In this article, we will show how you can easily add featured posts in WordPress sidebar with various methods.

Showcasing your top content as featured posts in the sidebar can help you get more traffic to your main articles.

Why add Featured Posts in WordPress Sidebar?

Sidebars are the non-content area of your site. Maximum of the users use this space by adding social media buttons, email newsletter form, and displaying banner ads.

Another means you can use this sidebar is by showing your top articles as featured posts. This assists in getting more traffic to those articles and your users are capable of discovering the best content without searching for it.

Being said that let’s see how you can add featured posts in WordPress sidebar to increase your page views and user engagement.

In case, if you have not installed WordPress then you can read this blog post “Download and Install WordPress in 5 Easy Steps

Featuring Posts in WordPress Sidebar

This technique is quite straightforward and does not need to install any plugin on your site.

Just navigate to Appearance » Widgets page and add a text widget to your WordPress sidebar.

This Widget brings out a visual editor included with some formatting buttons at the top. You can easily add titles of the posts you need to feature as a plain text or bulleted list.

After that, choose the post title and click on the link button to add a link to the post.

Also read: How to Easily Add Anchor Links in WordPress

Once completed, click on the Save button to store the changes made. Now visit the site to view the featured posts live.

Add Featured Posts in WordPress Using Menus

This method is a little complicated but gives you the capability to handle and manage your featured posts more efficiently.

Rather than adding the featured post list in a Text Widget, we will make a navigation menu and show it in the sidebar.

The benefit of this technique is that you can very simply add fresh posts without altering the widget, and you can rearrange the list with a drag & drop interface.

For this, you are required to visit the Appearance » Menus page and click on the ‘create a new menu’ link.

Next, you are required to type a name for your menu that assists you in simply recognize it whenever you want to add it somewhere. After that click on the “create menu” button to proceed.

WordPress will now make a new vacant menu for you.

Now you are required to click on the ‘Posts’ tab from the left column to enlarge it. From here you require to pick the posts you want to feature. You can locate them below Recent, All, or utilize the search option to locate and pick them.

Once you pick the posts that you need to add, click on the ‘Add to Menu’ button. Your posts will immediately be displayed in the right column and you can edit each of the post titles by clicking on it. You can also reposition them by just dragging them up or down.

Once you are contented, click on the ‘Save Menu’ button to store the changes done by you. Your menu is now ready to be used.

Adding Featured Posts Menu in Sidebar

Just navigate to the Appearance » Widgets page and add the ‘Navigation Menu’ widget to your sidebar.

Next, you are required to give a title for your sidebar menu widget and choose the featured posts menu you made previous from the dropdown menu.

Once completed, click on the Save button to store the changes made. Now visit the site to view the featured posts live.

Show Featured Posts in WordPress with Thumbnails

A mere plain list of links might go undiscovered by users. Showing thumbnails with your featured posts would help users observe them more simply.

To do so we will be utilizing a plugin to get and present a record of our featured posts beside thumbnails.

First of all, you require to install and initiate the Display Posts plugin.

This plugin enables you to pick and show any WordPress posts you need anywhere on your website. It utilizes shortcodes and enables you to create a custom query utilizing various kinds of parameters.

For example, we’ll be utilizing it to get and show the list of your featured posts beside thumbnail and description.

Go to Appearance » Widgets page and add a ‘Text’ widget to your sidebar. In the text area of the widget, just add the below shortcode.

1[display-posts id="1,1178,1177,1176,1174,1173,1016,1011," image_size="thumbnail" include_excerpt="true" excerpt_length="10"]

Next, replace (supersede) the id values to match the IDs of posts that you need to feature. Then click on the ‘save’ button to store your widget settings.

Now visit the site to view the featured posts live. But it may not look good hence we need to add CSS to beautify.

Navigate to the Appearance  » Customize page to begin theme customizer. From here click on the Additional CSS tab and you will notice a box where you can add your custom CSS.

Now, you need to copy and paste the CSS to the Custom CSS box on your website.

ul.display-posts-listing img {
ul.display-posts-listing li {

You will now get a preview of the changes you made on your WordPress blog. Don’t hesitate to make changes in the CSS to meet your needs.

Once is finished, click on the publish button at the top to save your custom CSS.

Now visit the site to view the featured posts with thumbnail and description.

I hope this article helped you learn how to easily add featured posts in WordPress sidebar. You may also want to read our guide on Simple Tips For WordPress Optimization and Tips to Improve Landing Page Performance of WordPress Site to boost your WordPress traffic.

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