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How to Show Recent Posts with Thumbnails in WordPress Sidebar

Imtiaz Rayhan

Recent Post on Sidebar
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Generally, your readers can find your recent posts on Homepage. But search engine visitors land on any page of your blog and they don’t really see the recent posts immediately.

So, it would be easier for them to find the recent posts if you place a widget in your sidebar. Plus this can help you to keep them longer in your blog which reduces the bounce rate. You can check my sidebar, you can see recent posts with thumbnails.

There are hundred of widgets to get this task done. But not all of them are good and useful. You can not just hope people to check out your widget and read those posts. You gotta make it appealing and attention graving. You can also make it a sticky widget.

Placing recent posts with thumbnails is a good idea to capture visitors’ attention. So here on this post I will write on how to show recent posts with thumbnails.

How to Show Recent Posts with Thumbnails

WordPress Plugins gives you the power to do almost everything with your WordPress blog. We will use a plugin to do our task.

This plugin is called Recent Posts Widget ExtendedDownload it and install the plugin. Now go to your Widgets section from “Appearance” menu.

You’ll see a widget “» Recent Posts Widget Extended”. Drag it to your sidebar widgets section. You’ve added the widget. Now it’s time for the configuration.

This is what the Widget Options looks like. You can change the title to anything you want. widget CSS ID is not necessary you don’t want to change the whole look off the widget.

One amazing thing about this widget is you can set the “Cache Life” for this widget. That means this will serve the visitors a cached widget, so your site speed won’t be harmed.

Other things you can set with the options are –

  • You can select the number of posts to show.
  • You can select whether the widgets shows date or not.
  • You can show excerpt of your posts and set the excerpt length.
  • You can select to show thumbnails and you should. You can also set thumbnail width and height.
  • You can select any specific category. I suggest to leave it as is.
  • If you use custom post types you can also filter them.
  • You can change the appearance of the widget using Custom CSS.

Now set those according to your needs and Click on the save button. Check your blog. You can see a nice and attractive recent posts list with thumbnails.

Bonus Tip : As you already have the recent posts in your Homepage, you should hide this widget from the Homepage. Read my tutorial on How to Show or Hide any WordPress Widget on Certain Pages.

Also if you don’t want to use the plugin and yet have the same results you can check out this post.

Let us know if you use any other plugin to do the same. Also let us know if you face any difficulties, configuring the plugin.

written by

Imtiaz Rayhan

WordPress Enthusiast, PHP Developer. Music Addict, Led Zeppelin Fan. Conncect with me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.


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  1. thank you, sir, for sharing this trick to show recent posts with thumbnails in a sidebar. Please, sir, can you help me to show featured post slider on my home page, is there any best free plugin?

  2. Very useful post especially for the people who are new to WordPress which surely one of the best CMS tools of the world right now!!

  3. Nice Post… i like the information you offered through this post. Your efforts for this post are appreciable as it helped me to increase my CTR.

  4. Recent Posts Widget Extended has now become my favorite plugin it helps to make blog more attractive and easy to navigate… thanks for sharing

  5. A very informative article. It really works as my bounce rate decrease by 150%.
    Thanxx for sharing.

  6. I have tried with all dimensions of thumbnail but it is not working at all. thumbnail is not being shown.

  7. this plugin looks very cool but my theme already providing this features so i do not need to install this plugin but anyway thanks for the info, may need it later

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