While browsing the web, you’ve probably come across websites that have popular articles section. Displaying popular posts help your website visitors find your best content and boost your page views. If you want to add a popular posts section on your site, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we will show you the best popular posts plugins for WordPress.
Showing Popular Posts on Your WordPress Site
Before you pick up a plugin to show off your most popular content, you may want to look around and see how other successful websites are doing it.
For example, some site owners stick to the all-time most popular articles. Other popular blogs show articles that are trending that day, week, or month. This allows them to skip their old popular articles and get more page views for their recently trending articles.
A few websites combine popular, recent, and most discussed articles in a tabbed widget or a featured content slider.
You also need to decide where do you want to show the popular posts on your website. You can show it on the front page, single articles, or every page on your website. Testing different placements will help you find out what works best for your website.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best popular posts plugins for WordPress.
1. WordPress Popular Posts
With over 200,000 active installs, WordPress Popular Posts plugin is one of the most downloaded popular posts plugin in the market. It allows you to show popular posts with many different conditions. You can show recently trending articles by selecting a date range. You can also show most commented or most viewed articles.
It is multi-widget capable which means you can add the same widget multiple times into the same or different sidebar. You can apply your own custom CSS, show post thumbnails, excerpts, author, comment count, number of views, and more.
Pros: WordPress popular post is a powerful plugin with all the options that you would need to display your popular posts. Support for custom post types and the ability to add the widget multiple times allows you create the different set of popular views, e.g. Popular Posts, Popular Reviews, etc.
Cons: The plugin creates two extra tables in the database to store popular posts data and cache. While some people might argue that it is a better approach to keep this data out of default WordPress tables, other may find it database intensive.
2. Top 10 – Popular posts plugin for WordPress
Top 10 popular posts plugin for WordPress is another strong candidate on our list of the best popular posts plugins. As far as the features are concerned, it matches WordPress Popular Posts and even adds some more features. Top 10 also comes with a highly configurable widget and shortcodes.
Despite the name, the plugin actually allows you to display any number of popular posts. It allows you to select a date range to choose from. You can show post views, author, post summary or excerpt, and post thumbnails in the popular posts list.
Top 10 comes with a built-in caching system to make it less resource intensive. It also plays along nicely with WordPress caching plugins like W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.
Pros: Top 10 Popular Posts Plugin is feature rich, flexible, and easy to set up. It has aggressive caching to reduce the server load, and it works nicely with WordPress caching plugins.
Cons: Plugin settings page have way too many options and beginners may find it a bit complicated.
Would you like your popular posts plugin to also show your featured articles, related content, and latest posts? Relevant allows you to do that. It comes with multiple widgets including one for popular posts and a neat settings page.
You can display popular posts through comments or by page views. It also allows you to display post thumbnail, author, excerpt, and post date.
Don’t want to use the widget? Relevant also comes with shortcodes and template tags that you can use to display popular posts anywhere on your website. You can also enable post blocks before or after post content.
Pros: It combines featured, latest, and related posts functionality into one convenient package.
Cons: The popular posts feature does not allow you to show popular posts in a particular date range.
Want to show the most highly rated posts on your website? WP-PostRatings helps you to do that. It allows your users to rate articles on your website.
You can choose the rating icons, and who can vote on articles (all users vs only logged in users). It supports rich snippets, and it is highly customizable through filters and template tags.
The best part about the plugin is its rating widget which shows the top rated posts on your website. This allows you to show popular posts by user votes. The plugin also works with WordPress Popular Posts plugin.
For detailed instructions, see our guide on how to add post rating system in WordPress
Pros: You can show popular posts based on user rating instead of page views or comments.
Cons: To implement the plugin, you will need to add template tags in your WordPress theme files. If you haven’t done this before, then check out our guide on how to copy and paste the code in WordPress.
5. Trending/Popular Post Slider and Widget
As the name suggests, this plugin allows you to show popular posts in a slider, a grid block, or as a plain list. This way you can show your best content in more engaging ways than just a list of links in your sidebar.
It comes with a simple settings page where you can choose the time range. This allows you to show posts trending during a particular year, month, or week.
The plugin comes with easy to use shortcodes that you can add to your posts or pages. You can also use the shortcode in your page builder plugin modules.
If you want to implement it directly into your theme, then you can use template tags to do that.
Pros: Ability to add popular posts sliders, carousels, and grid blocks and show them anywhere on your site.
Cons: Limited features than other popular posts plugin. The slider, carousel, and grid blocks only work with shortcode. The widget is basically a list of links with post thumbnails, excerpt, and some metadata.
We hope this article helped you find the best popular posts plugin for WordPress.