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How to Display Recent Posts in WordPress

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Do you want to show your recent posts in WordPress? Displaying recent posts helps users easily discover your new content and spend more time on your site.

You can add a list of your latest posts in your sidebar, after the end of your post content, inside your post content with a shortcode, in your footer widget area, or anywhere else you like.

In this article, we will show you how to display recent posts in WordPress using a variety of different methods.

How to display recent posts in WordPress

Why Add Recent Posts in WordPress?

If you have been running a WordPress blog or website for a long time, then you may have some older articles getting regular traffic from search engines and other sources.

Many of the visitors will check out the information they were looking for and leave. More than 75% of those visitors will never see your website again.

To keep users coming back to your website, you need to ensure that they spend more time on your website.

One way to do this is by showing them other recent posts that they should see. This helps users uncover more content on your website, which leads to them spending more time on your website.

As users view more pages, this gives you time to convince them to sign up for your email newsletter or make a purchase.

That being said, let’s take a look at how to easily display recent posts in WordPress using multiple methods. You can click on the quick links below to jump straight to different methods:

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If you’d prefer written instructions, then just keep reading.

Method 1: Use WordPress’s Latest Posts Gutenberg Block

The WordPress block (Gutenberg) editor has a built-in block for displaying your latest posts. You can easily add this to any of the posts or pages on your site.

To use this block, simply edit the post where you want to display recent posts. On the post edit screen, you need to add the ‘Latest Posts’ block to the content area.

Add latest posts block

There are lots of different ways you can configure this block. By default, it just shows the post titles, but you can easily customize it.

For example, you can toggle the post content on and off in the right-hand pane. This lets you choose to add post content or excerpt next to the title.

You can also customize the excerpt length, which defaults to 55 words, but you can pick any value between 10 and 100 words.

Show post content in recent posts

If you want, you can also display the post date and post author.

Simply enable the ‘Display post date’ and ‘Display author name’ options under Post Meta Settings.

Display post date and author

You can also choose exactly how your posts will be displayed. You can order them differently from the default ‘Newest to Oldest’, and you can show only the latest posts from a specific category.

From the settings panel, you can also choose how many posts will be displayed. By default, the block shows 5 posts, but you can display anywhere between 1 and 100 posts.

Sort and filter recent posts

You also have the option to display your recent posts in a column grid rather than a list.

Simply select the ‘Grid view’ option on the toolbar.

View latest posts in grid view

You can customize the grid using the settings on the right of the screen.

For example, you can show featured images for your posts, resize the images, and align them accordingly.

Show featured images in latest posts

Once you are finished, you can preview the post to view it on your website.

Here’s how the finished block looks live on our test site.

Latest posts preview

Method 2: Use the WordPress Recent Posts Widget Block

What if you want to show a list of your latest posts in your sidebar instead of on a page? WordPress comes with a built-in default widget to display recent posts in your site’s sidebar or any widget-ready area.

In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance » Widgets and add the ‘Latest Posts’ widget block to your sidebar.

Add latest post widget block

You can then customize the appearance of your recent posts in the sidebar.

For instance, WordPress lets you show post content, display post author and date, enable featured images, and sort your latest posts.

Customize recent posts widget block

Once you are done, click on the ‘Update’ button to store your widget settings.

Here’s the widget live on the blog, with the title ‘New Posts’ and dates enabled:

Latest posts in sidebar menu

Method 3: Use the Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails Plugin

The built-in widget we mentioned above is quite limited.

What if you want to display thumbnails and excerpts with your recent posts? What if you’d like to only show posts from a specific category in your sidebar?

Well, that’s when the Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails plugin comes in handy. It does a lot more than just thumbnails, and it’s free.

First, you’ll need to install and activate the WordPress Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails plugin.

Next, go to the Appearance » Widgets page and then add the ‘Recent Posts With Thumbnails’ widget block.

Add recent posts with thumbnails widget block

The Recent Posts With Thumbnails widget comes with a lot of options. It gives you full control over how you want to display recent posts on your WordPress site.

You can also show excerpts, show posts from specific categories, ignore sticky posts, choose the number of posts to show, display authors, and more.

Customize recent posts with thumbnails

Once you are done, don’t forget to click on the ‘Update’ button to store your settings.

You can now visit your website to see your recent posts with thumbnails.

Recent posts widget with thumbnails preview

Method 4: Display Recent Posts Using a Shortcode

Using the ‘Latest Posts’ block is definitely the easiest way to display recent posts in WordPress posts and pages. However, if you choose to disable Gutenberg and keep the Classic editor, then you can use shortcodes instead.

First, install and activate the Relevant plugin. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

It’s one of the most popular post plugins for WordPress. You get multiple options to customize the appearance of your latest posts, like editing the title, the number of posts, selecting whether you’d like to display a featured image, excerpt, post date, and more.

Change relevant settings

Next, simply edit a post or page where you want to display your recent posts and then use the shortcode [bws_latest_posts].

Here’s how our list of recent posts looked, using those instructions:

Display recent posts shortcode

Method 5: Display Recent Posts Manually in WordPress

More advanced WordPress users may want to add recent posts directly to their WordPress theme files. Of course, you should use a child theme for this so that when you update your theme, you don’t lose your changes.

It’s always a good idea to create a backup before you edit your theme files. If anything does go wrong, you might want to take a look at our list of the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

The easiest way to manually display recent posts is to use the built-in WP_Query class. Simply add this code where you want to display the recent posts:

// Define our WP Query Parameters
$the_query = new WP_Query( 'posts_per_page=5' ); ?>
// Start our WP Query
while ($the_query -> have_posts()) : $the_query -> the_post();
// Display the Post Title with Hyperlink
<li><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title(); ?></a></li>
// Display the Post Excerpt
the_excerpt(__('(more…)')); ?></li>
// Repeat the process and reset once it hits the limit

This code displays the five most recent posts with their titles and excerpts. The WP_Query class has tons of parameters that allow you to customize it in any way that you like. For more information, please refer to the WordPress developer documentation.

Expert Guides on Recommending Posts in WordPress

Now that you know how to display recent posts in WordPress, you may like to see some other articles related to promoting content to your readers.

We hope that this article helped you learn how to display recent posts in WordPress. You might also be interested in our guide on how to create a separate page for blog posts in WordPress and our expert pick of the best drag-and-drop WordPress page builder plugins.

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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

141 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
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  2. Jiří Vaněk says

    I would like to post these recents at the end of each article. But there are already more than 1000 of them. It doesn’t make sense to do it manually. Is it possible to take the php code, insert it into WPCode and use the embed code at the end of each article? Will it work like this?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      There are some options in the plugin settings to limit the categories but at the moment the plugin does not have a modifier like that for the shortcode.


  3. Bernie says

    Thanks for lots of great advice!

    I have been spending days so far, to solve a challange here:

    Im using the Twenty Twenty-Three template.

    Using Gutenberg.

    Created a 2nd column where i would like to place a list of the latest posts by CURRENT author, incl. thumbnail, except etc.

    I can only find this solution in plugins with widgets, and as far as I understand this Gutenberg thing, widgets cant be used here.

    Any idea how to solve this?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      If you are manually adding it to each post, there is a latest posts block that gives the option to limit the posts listed by author and a few other sorting options that you can use as well!


  4. Matt says

    How to enable a link to more pages/posts? The widget only says up to 100, but how to paginate etc if there are 1000 or more?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      We do not recommend having more than 100 posts in a widget due to that being difficult for most users to read through for its space. If you are displaying that many posts we would recommend displaying it on a page or something similar.


  5. Jack Yasgar says

    When I use the WordPress Latest Posts Gutenberg Block, it displays all the texts of the posts. In the preview when I add it to the page, it looks fine, with the “Read More”, but when you actually preview or publish the page, all the text is displayed and it looks terrible. This is on Version 5.9.1. Any suggestions or is it just a bug?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to check the settings for your widget as that should be where you can customize how your widget is displayed. If it is not following those settings then you would likely want to reach out to the support for your theme in case it is overriding your settings.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      The simplest method would be to add a category to your menu and that would link to a category page that would list your most recent posts in that category.


  6. Sean says

    I’m using ‘Display Posts’ and love it. I run a gardening website so if a post is called ‘How to Grow Beetroot’, is there any way by using Display Posts that the only part of the title that is displayed is ‘Beetroot’?

    Thank you

    • WPBeginner Support says

      The plugin by default does not change your post titles. You would want to reach out to the plugin’s support if you wanted that functionality


  7. Lucy says

    I can’t seem to get the Read More to appear in the published version. It appears in the editor but when I publish, it is gone. I’m using Astra theme.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to check for if you need to enable excerpts with your specific theme for it to display how you are wanting.


  8. Hamza says

    Hi, When I click on the “Read more..” on a post on Recent Posts, it does not to go to that specific post page rather it loads the home page.

    Appreciate if you can help on this.


    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would depend on what method you are using for possible issues and solutions.


  9. Julian says

    This was really helpful thanks. Just a correction to note, in the last code snippet the comments are using // but they’re not actually in the php so they will show up if you use this code as-is.

  10. Michael Robinson says

    Hi, I”m still lost. My posts still don’t show up on my homepage, I have content blocks set up on my homepage and using Guterberg to set up the content. When I publish the post. It does not show up on my Homepage feature posts grid. There is something I am not getting.

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You may want to clear any caching on your site to ensure your caching is not preventing the changes from being seen.


  11. Venkat says

    My blog shows bulleted post, how do I stop it from being an unordered list, and make it in grid?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You can use the new latest post block and use the built-in grid option in the block’s options


    • WPBeginner Support says

      It would depend on why you want to do that. If you want the entire content of a post to be visible to a user it would normally be best to link to the post you want to show so your users can read from the source.


  12. Miracle Lawrence says

    My blog shows bulleted post, how do I stop it from being an unordered list, and make it in grid?

  13. Sarah says

    Hello – I am trying to figure out why the Recent Posts widget (the basic one) is excluding my most recent post. I would like that to show. Is there custom CSS I could add to make it show? or can I edit the code?

  14. Ata says

    Thank you for the useful post.
    I have a question. What if I want to display recent posts on front page categories wise. Like recent posts should appear on the front page under a particular category.
    Is it possible?

  15. Arif says

    Awesome as always. When I found wpbeginner is sharing on this topic I was like . But my question is placing post widget on homepage is beneficial or it’s just easy to navigate? Can it help with seo perspective? Can it help with the ranking? Your response highly appreciated

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Making your site easier to navigate can improve your SEO as well as making it easier for your users to continue navigating through your site.


  16. Rajiv Dave says

    Thanks for recent post articles. I was trying so much but now its so easy to work just adding adding it. Thanks for sharing

  17. Trang says

    When I tried to edit the page that’s supposed to display blog posts, the editor disappears wit this notice: “You are currently editing the page that shows your latest posts”. Does anyone have this same problem as me?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      The Blog page is automatically generated by your theme so you will not have the option to edit it directly unless you have a theme specific setting to edit it.


  18. Nikos Tzortzis says

    HI…..i just started using WP and i need some help! i want to publish articles from 3 different categories to 3 different can i make a page point to an article category?

  19. Rob says

    Is there a way to customize the way post titles are displayed? I don’t want to display the full title of the post or page, just the keywords… much like you shorten the slug for your url. Actually this is exactly what I’m looking for, to display the slug as a link, and not the entire page title. Ideas?

  20. Bryan Free says

    Great article, When I use the Recent post widget and set it to only display a category my sticky posts do not work. Have you encountered this before or know of a solution?

  21. eyllan8547 says

    Hi, thanks for this complete article.

    I have a doubt, if I have my wordpress integrated with Magento, can I use magento within the short code to put the last entries in my magento house?

  22. Mankirat Deep Kaur says

    The short code to display recent posts with thumbnails does not work… only shows the posts title not the thumbnails… how to fix this.??? please reply…:(

  23. Kevin says


    I am intending on adding the latest posts on my homepage, but I want a different section for the latest post to display on it’s own;

    and another section under this designed differently for the latest posts that range from 2-5. (The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th post).

    What is the shortcode php for this to add to my theme template.

    Many thanks.

  24. James Gielow says


    I have post shortcode on my page:

    I’ve tweaked it a little bit as follows:

    [display-posts posts_per_page=”100″ include_excerpt=”false” image_size=”large” wrapper=”div” orderby=”comment_count”]

    I’m noticing that the spacing in between the posts is cutting off the titles and it makes the page look sloppy. What code can I add to add a little space after each post preview?

    thanks in advance!

  25. Adam says

    Love the idea, the only thing I don’t like is the display.

    So it’s great how it has the thumbnail, title, excerpt, etc but the way the title and excerpt are positioned…I think they should be inline with the thumbnail, not at the bottom of it…it looks awkward and unappealing…any way to make it inline?

  26. Kenneth says

    Please help me with this
    How to display recently post in a post on phone version?
    Reply please… Thanks

  27. sai says

    If I am using 2 database. 1 for main site and 2nd for blog then how to add recent post on home page ?

  28. djafa says

    Hi, I put [display-posts posts_per_page=”5″ post_type=”page”] on my post, but not working, can you help how to find the problem?

  29. Kev says

    Great writeup. I want to display the recent post on a page. awahere am I suppose to paste the code?

  30. Louise says

    Thank you for this post. Really helped a lot.
    But then I have a problem. When I click on one of the recent posts – it directed me to the static page and not the post itself. Kindly help me resolved this issue. Thank you.

  31. Ellen Allard (Gluten Free Diva) says

    So glad to have found you!

    I’m confused – I can’t seem to get my most recent blog post to appear on my blog page. Can you advise please? Thank you so much!

    best, Ellen Allard, Gluten Free Diva

  32. Tim Zeman says

    So I was able to get the 5 latest post to show in the right sidebar but when I click on a post to read it I get the following error on Home Page Oops something went wrong

    How do I get the selected post to display?

  33. Val Archer says

    Hi – thanks million for this manual method, very grateful. Please can you tell me how to add a thumbnail image to it? I’m referring to the method starting:

    // Define our WP Query Parameters

    • Andrew Wilkerson says

      Hi Val, Hope your doing well, I was just scrolling through this article and saw your name and thought straight away I know that name! It’s a small world.
      I made one of your sprouters in the late 90’s I think it would have been.
      Funny thing is I was just thinking about building another one a few days ago!

      Crazy how things happen sometimes!
      Weird that I then just stumbled across your comment on here today in 2018 while I’m working on my website for something totally unrelated.

      I remember I really enjoyed reading about your life and the move to Sth Africa, your cures for tooth aces etc. I’ll have to have another look into it all again soon when I have time, anyway just thought I’d say Hi.

  34. Farhad says

    Hello, I used the same shortcut in my site but it not show my recent posts at all, what is the probelm?

  35. Joe says


    On my recent posts on the sidebar, when I click a specific post it brings me to the latest post and then displays everything. How do I get it so that when I click a specific post it only shows that post?


  36. Sally says

    Is there a code I can add to activate pagination using the Recent Posts Extended widget?

    Currently I have my home page widgetized so I’m using the widget.


  37. Nick NEvsky says

    Hi! Great plugin, thank you!
    Is it possible to have the author listed, instead of the post name?

  38. Jason says

    The version I downloaded does not include the ability to display thumbnails…cant see the option anywhere. I am using version 0.9.9

    Any clues?

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