Highlighted WordPress featured post displayed on a MacBook screen

Add Featured Posts to WordPress

If you have an abundance of posts on your WordPress site, you might face a challenge: it can be difficult for visitors to discover your most crucial content or “WordPress featured post.” Not only does this decrease visitor engagement with those particular posts, but it may also lead to a less satisfactory user experience.

The solution could be to add a featured posts section to your site. This feature displays a list of your most important content in a dedicated section or widget, enabling visitors to easily find it. You can use it to highlight major posts, a specific post with high traffic, custom post types, important news stories, or any other content you like.

In this article we’ll show you some examples of well-implemented featured posts, and then walk you through three different methods for implementing them on your site. Let’s get started!

Examples of Featured Posts

A featured posts section on your site can be an excellent way to drive traffic to particular articles. It also helps users find the main content on your site more easily, improving their experience.

Your featured posts in WordPress should ideally be “pillar content” that remains continually pertinent and encapsulates the fundamental goal of your site. Exceptions do exist, such as when you choose to highlight a notable or recent news story. Nevertheless, the primary objective should be to ensure your WordPress featured post showcases the essence of your website’s content.

A perfect example is the Torque home page, which has a grid of featured posts below the ‘most recent’ section:

Key WordPress Featured Post Tips Showcased on Torque Homepage Image

Another excellent example is the Yoast SEO blog, which features key posts from several categories at the top of the page:

Display image of a WordPress featured post using Yoast SEO

This helps ensure that users find the content Yoast considers most important right from the start.

Adding Featured Posts to WordPress Using Gutenberg

If you want to add featured posts to your own site, you have several options. The first method is to use the Gutenberg block editor. The process is fairly simple: you’ll be including links in a list or a text block. 

Step 1: Add a new block to set up a featured post in WordPress

First, head to the page you want to display your featured posts on. Click on the + button in the top-left corner of the editor screen to add a new WordPress block:

Visual guide illustrating steps to feature a post in WordPress

Alternatively, you can hover your mouse over the area of the page where you want to add the block, and select the + icon that appears.

Step 2: Add the list block and select the WordPress post you want to feature

When you engage with the + icon, an assortment of accessible blocks will be displayed. To create a WordPress featured post, you can opt for either the Paragraph block or the List block to curate how you desire your posts to be showcased. In this instance, we’ll proceed using the List function:

Guide image on setting up a featured post in WordPress

Once the block is added, you can click and drag it to the position you want. 

To add your content to the block, simply enter the names of the posts you want to feature. Then you can link the text to your blog post by selecting it and pressing Ctrl +K or Cmd + K:

Visual guide on setting up a WordPress featured post in your list block

After that, all you have to do is repeat this process for each post you want to feature.

Step 3: Reuse your featured WordPress post list (optional)

Your WordPress featured post list is now fully set up and operational. To ensure usability across multiple pages without the need to reconfigure it continually, consider conserving it as a reusable block. This WordPress functionality is an efficient approach to managing your featured post without engaging in repetitious tasks.

To do so, click inside the block, then select the three-dot menu and choose Add to Reusable Blocks from the list:

Visual guide on setting a featured post in WordPress

Assign a unique name to your reusable block and hit the ‘Save’ button. This freshly created reusable block will now be accessible whenever you wish to integrate a block onto a page. If you’re aiming to insert a WordPress featured post onto a page down the line, just select this recently instituted block from the list.

Adding Featured Posts to WordPress in the Sidebar

If you want your featured posts to appear on every page automatically, you can add the list to a sidebar using a WordPress widget. This process is very similar to using the Gutenberg block: you’ll be using a simple text widget and hyperlinks.

Remember: Not all WordPress themes incorporate a featured post section. However, if your theme lacks this, you can effortlessly incorporate a WordPress featured post into any widget area on your site to enhance visibility and user engagement.

Step 1: Add a text widget to your sidebar

First, head to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Appearance > Widgets. Select the text widget option, then choose the area where you want to place it and click on Add Widget:

Visual guide on adding a featured post in your WordPress site

A new box will appear where you can set the post title and contents of the widget. 

Step 2: Add titles for your featured posts

Next, you can add the titles for the posts you want to feature. You can opt for a plain text or list format:

Effective Methods to Highlight Featured Posts in WordPress

Go ahead and add all the titles for your posts. You can also give the widget a title if you like.

Step 3: Add links

Finally, select the text you entered and add your links:

Guide to Setting WordPress Featured Post Links

To optimize your WordPress website, an essential step is the creation of your WordPress featured post. By leveraging the Gutenberg block, this process is streamlined and simplified, letting you search using your post titles instead of manually copying and pasting URLs. By successfully implementing your featured post widget, your WordPress website can better highlight key content and improve overall user engagement.

Add Featured Posts to WordPress With a Plugin

If you want a different method and a more stylized list of featured posts, you can also use a WordPress plugin to accomplish this task. There are a number of featured post plugin options available, but we’ll use the simple Display Posts plugin, which uses WordPress shortcodes to help you place your list.

Step 1: Download the Display Posts Plugin

Setting Up a Featured Post using WordPress and Display Posts Plugin

Initially, you must download the plugin from the WordPress Plugin Repository. In your WordPress admin panel, go to Plugins > Add New. Then, look up “Display Posts”; this should be the topmost option. This simple process will aid in showcasing your WordPress featured post prominently.

Guide on setting up a featured post in WordPress: adding a new plugin from the WordPress directory

Click on Install, and then select Activate to complete the setup process.

Step 2: Add a text widget

The Display Posts plugin for WordPress leverages shortcodes to showcase a curated list of highlighted posts. If you wish to incorporate this list into a widget zone like the sidebar, a text widget will be necessary. To achieve this, go to Appearance > Widgets, pick the Text widget, and place it in the preferred spot where you’d like your WordPress featured post list to appear.

Step 3: Feature a post using the appropriate WordPress shortcode

Finally, you can insert the appropriate shortcode to display your list. The basic option is the [display-posts] code, which shows a list of your most recent posts:

Setting a featured post in WordPress with shortcode

Incorporating WordPress featured post functionality can significantly enhance the visibility of your chosen content. This feature allows you to streamline posts according to specific categories, date ranges, and much more, all by simply modifying the shortcode. For instance, inserting [display-posts category=”news”] will exclusively showcase posts from the “News” category, thereby customizing your content to your preference. This advanced filter option in WordPress not only optimizes your content presentation but also helps in attracting the right audience.

Highlighting specific content in your WordPress blog is made simple by using the ‘featured post’ function. With this unique feature, you can effortlessly tag posts as ‘featured’ and use the shortcode [display-posts tag=”featured”] to showcase them. A comprehensive list of query options is provided by WordPress to help you customize the way you display and categorize these featured posts. Take a deeper look and explore all the diverse possibilities of showcasing your WordPress featured post.”

Keep Your Site in the Spotlight With WP Engine

Having a defined selection of your premium articles is critical for any website, irrespective of its niche. Featuring your topmost content on your WordPress site not only boosts traffic and enhances page views but also elevates user satisfaction. Incorporating a WordPress featured post list is an exceptional strategy offering users easy navigation to your high-value content.

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