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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:

Video Tutorial

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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.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

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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?
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  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. Farhad says

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

  7. 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?


  8. 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.


  9. Nick NEvsky says

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

  10. 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?

  11. andrea says

    Hi, my issue is to display the latest post full content in a static home page… and i was thinking that the last snippet was what i needed… but unfortunately it does not works properly. In effects it shows title but not the content. could u help me please

  12. Tushar says

    Hi I am new on wordpress, I want to show Client Testimonial using post….How should I do it..? any suggestions please ?

  13. WPBeginner Staff says

    Here is an easier way. Install Display Posts Shortcode plugin. Create a blank page and add the shortcode as described in plugins documentation. Publish the page. Go to Settings > Reading and select the page you just created as your static page. Redit the static page and add the slider just before the display posts shortcode. Hope this helps you.

  14. Emily says

    Hi, I am wanting to add a slider to the top of my homepage, but it will only allow me to do so if I use a static page. Right now when you go directly to my website, it is my latest posts in full length. If I change my homepage to a static page so that I can include the slider, will this work to add the recent posts below, just as it appears now? Where would I be posting this code? Into the static homepage?

    Note– I recently tried messing with my php and broke my code and had some major issues.. so I’m pretty nervous messing with php.

  15. Subrata says

    hi!…can anyone tell me how to display top rated blog posts (only 5) in increasing order (numeric order) by using PHP codes?

  16. Oliver says

    Hi there. I am a designer so I’ve never been good at PHP. At least I can read and change it for my conditions most of the time. This time I’d like to call for the nine latest posts excluding the very last one inside my slideshow container.

    For now I just set the first post on display none. This works fine; however the slideshow still counts to ten. That’s why you find the last page empty.
    Is there any way to exclude the very last post when calling for recent posts? Thank you so much in advance!

  17. KalanaDe says

    Hi, I want to display blog posts only from a category called ‘Blog’ only. (I want to exclude all other posts from other categories.) What should I add to this code.?

  18. Bucur says

    showposts is deprecated. However, posts_per_page is perfect for use with query_posts(), or even more particularly, WP_Query::query().

    numberposts may be the equivalent argument for get_posts().

  19. Art says

    Good article.

    One piece of info that would increase it’s usefulness though, is how to (or a plugin that can) include an offset.

    For example, I want my two most recent posts to be full text — got that.
    But what if I want the next 10 to be excerpts, and maybe the next 10 older to be headlines only — the list?

    So — how can you include an offset?


  20. Ryan says

    Hi there,

    I want my latest 4 posts to display inline across the screen, how would I do this?

    Currently they only display down the page.



    • Mike says

      Sounds like you need to create a container with the height/width you want the posts to appear as. Then allow them to wrap over.. make sure that the last piece of your “Post” code doesn’t have a line break.

  21. Wilko says

    Great post! Thanks!

    Just one question. Is it possible to hide the latest post out of 5? I mean on my website I display the latest post already with full content, so I would like to hide the first.

  22. Jeremy says

    Finally a quick and to the point tutorial on this topic. Other posts on calling in the recent blog posts were not as quick and too the point. Thanks :D

  23. Ellery Davies says

    Hi Syed,

    I use the WordPress Twenty-Eleven theme and have always displayed recent posts using the widget in Jetpack. But I want this list to show in the individual posts as well. Is there a way to do this? If it involves pasting code, into which file do I paste?

      • Ellery Davies says

        The home page of AWildDuck -d0t- com, shows recent posts along the right side, along with subscribe and a tag cloud. But this appears only on the home page. If I send you a link to any individual post (or if you click on the title of any post), the right frame disappears. My visitors can no longer see a list of recent posts. I am very frustrated by this, and I want to know how to get that list of recent posts to appear on all pages. (Not just the home page).

        • Ellery Davies says

          Hi Syed,
          Indeed, this is my current setting. It has always been my setting. Twenty Eleven with “Content on left”.

        • Ellery Davies says

          I don’t understand… Do you see Recent Posts on the right, even when you are looking at an individual post? If you do, are you using JetPack/Recent Posts?

          If the answer to both questions is “Yes”, would you please send me your phone number. You already have my email address. -Or call me: Area code “Five-Oh-EIght”, 485 ..695O.

          Thanks, –Ellery

      • darknote says

        thank you, yes, but I ask not only for me but thinking of other visitors, it can be more useful in your article, give an example of recent articles with thumbnails.

      • Kylie says

        Thanks so much for this tutorial! I used the code to display recent posts with a summary on my website’s homepage.

        When adding the_post_thumbnail(); code could you please tell me what file and where in the file to add it? I tried looking it up and experimented by adding it to several files on my own and was not able to get the thumbnails to show up.

        Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

        Thank you,


        • WPBeginner Support says

          In your Post Edit area, post thumbnails are called featured image. If you can not see a featured image meta box, then click on Screen Options button on the top right corner of your post edit screen and check Featured image.

  24. vajrasar says

    Nice Post.
    How can I achieve – Recent Posts in Menu. Like I have my category “Crime” on top-menu. Now whenever a user hover it, I want to show 5 recent posts from category “Crime” with their thumbnails?

  25. muhabas says

    Spent a lot of time to find out this information which works for me 100%. Its very easy and to the point. Thanks…… God bless you.

  26. broghanreilly says

    I have tried to use this code and it doesn’t seem to work? I am a beginner and am using a standard theme and not hosting. Therefore I can’t upload anything I can only use HTML.

  27. Panoz says

    My WP homepage has a footer displaying the titles of my 4 latest posts (Recent Posts). This makes no sense, as these posts are already displayed above.

    My question is how can my footer display the range between 5th and 8th post ??

    The code its currently using is

    <?php wp_get_archives('type=postbypost&limit=5');

    Many thanx in advance for your help

      • Panoz says

        Thank you very much for your kind reply. Can you please let me know how I can do that? I know very few stuff and i definately need to have this done by the day after tomorrow that I’m launching my site.

  28. Phelan says

    I’ve been looking for this code for a few days now. I can’t believe it’s not more readily available in the Template Tags pages or any other blogs.

    I changed the code to include tags and tags instead of the tags like the following:

    <a href="”>

    Thanks for posting!

  29. Katie says

    One problem with the above code is when you call that function in your sidebar which is called before the start of the loop in single.php. Your single.php file will list down all the articles of your blog post irrespective of the one which is called.

    In such cases, you can also use

    Otherwise, calling query_posts(‘showposts=10’); function is fine.

    Both of them will list down latest 10 posts in ul, li format. This is bit easier.

  30. Mike says

    Hi, is it possible to show the date before the linked post title when using:
    <?php get_archives('postbypost', '10', 'custom', '’, ”); ?>


  31. ali says

    Hi Guys

    I seem to be having some issues with this code. It works great on my index.php page but when I try adding it to either the page.php or single.php it prevents other content showing. For example when I click the ‘about us’ page it will display the latest article!

    Hope this makes sense and any help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated.


  32. ravi says

    i want to display posts in order of post date.. recent one first with pagination i am able to do the pagination but the posts are displaying on each page in random order somebody please help………….:(

  33. Mark says

    I want to know how to display rcenet posts with thimthumb thumbnial.

    Unfortunately Google is being Google as usual and not giving me the results I want.


    • Editorial Staff says

      You can simply add timthumb codes anywhere in these codes, and it should work. The query will be run the exact same way. If you are looking for a step by step guide, we haven’t written one. Although we might write one in the future.


  34. DaveK says

    I am so glad I found this, I have been trying to do this for days and I couldnt find exactly how to do this on the wordpress codex !!! the only sollution they seemed to offer screwed up the custom homepage I built, but this works perfect.

    Thanks very much.

  35. Justin says

    Good info!

    I’m trying to display the latest 5 posts using the last method you described, but I can’t figure out how to get page numbers. For example, the faux blog page displays the last five posts, but there is no way to go back in time from there.

    I have not been able to find a solution for this. Any suggestions?


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