You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Content is king,” and a large content library is generally a good thing. However, the more posts you have on your site, the tougher it gets for readers to find your best work. In the worst-case scenario, they leave your site without ever seeing your ‘keystone’ content. One common solution is to provide a list of your most popular posts so visitors can easily find them. There are lots of plugins out there to help you implement this functionality on your site.
In this article, we’ll explore six of the best popular posts plugins available. However, before that, let’s discuss the concept of popular post plugins a little further, and talk about how to choose a solid option.
Let’s dive in!
An Introduction to Popular Posts Plugins
A “popular posts” plugin does what it says on the virtual tin. It’s simply a WordPress plugin designed to display a list of your most popular blog posts. The list often takes the form of a widget in a sidebar on your site, but it can also be embedded directly into pages.
The idea behind displaying your most popular posts is to make it easier for visitors to your site to find them. As your blog archives grow, it can be tough for newcomers on your site to locate your best content, and having a readily-visible list goes a long way toward solving that problem.
Now, there are a lot of plugins on the market that can display all manner of post lists. One of the most common is the “related post” list, which shows content in a similar category to what’s currently being viewed.
Compared to these types of plugins, popular posts ensure that your absolute best content is showcased on every page, which can increase the chances of a user clicking through to read it. More popular posts might offer stronger opportunities to convert readers (for example, by capturing email addresses for your mailing list).
How to Choose a Popular Posts Plugin
As mentioned, there are plenty of plugins available that can display a list of popular posts. This being the case, choosing one can be tough. To help narrow the focus, there are a few factors you’ll want to focus on:
Answering these questions will greatly narrow the list of potential plugins. In fact, these were the primary criteria we considered when selecting the plugins on this list. Speaking of which, let’s look at them in more detail now.
The 6 Best Popular Posts Plugins for WordPress
Once you know what a popular posts plugin is and how to choose one that’s a solid match, it’s time to actually make the choice. To help you out, we’ve narrowed the field down to six of the best popular posts plugins on the market. Let’s take a look!
Jetpack is a plugin that many people have strong feelings about. However, since it’s so popular and ubiquitous, it only makes sense to include it in this list – after all, it does offer a popular posts feature, and there’s a good chance you already have it installed.
The popular posts list in Jetpack is called Top Posts & Pages Widget, and it gets the job done. The feature set is relatively basic (as you might expect), but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Jetpack Is For You If…
…you value simplicity and already have the plugin installed for its other features.
Price: Free, with paid plans starting at $19.95 per month
2. WordPress Popular Posts
WordPress Popular Posts is a powerful and feature-rich plugin that also manages to be easy to use – a rare combination. It supports the use of multiple widgets, and they can be customized to display posts based on the total number of views, comments, or average views per day.
WordPress Popular Posts Is For You If…
…you want a powerful, feature-rich, and customizable popular posts plugin.
3. Top 10
Top 10 is an extremely feature-rich option for displaying popular posts. It even has a built-in caching system for the widget, as well as its own API for developers to work with. This might seem like overkill for such a simple feature, but if you need flexibility, Top 10 has it in spades.
Top 10 Is For You If…
…you want everything and the kitchen sink when it comes to promoting popular posts on your site.
4. WP Tab Widget
WP Tab Widget takes a slightly different approach to popular posts. Rather than having to choose a single list based on either page views or comments, this plugin lets you have both, along with recent posts and tags – all in one widget. Each section is separated into tabs that only load when clicked, so it doesn’t slow anything down, either.
WP Tab Widget Is For You If…
…you want to display multiple post lists without cluttering up your sidebar.
5. Super Post
Super Post is a fantastic premium popular posts plugin that offers some impressive features for a low price. It enables you to query for, and display, basically any type of post you want. This includes popular posts of course, but you can also display content by tag, category, published date, comments, related posts, and more.
Super Post Is For You If…
…you need extreme flexibility and value the support that comes with a premium plugin.
6. Display Posts
Last, but not least, Display Posts is a very simple yet good-looking plugin that utilizes shortcodes to display your content, rather than dragging and dropping widgets. The results look nice and are quite customizable. There’s also ample documentation to tailor your popular posts to your needs should you wish, too.
Display Posts Is For You If…
…you value simplicity above all else.
Your most popular content is that way for a reason, and it only makes sense to call attention to it. A list of popular posts can help visitors find the best content on your site and keep them engaged.
Whether you want a simple list of top posts or a highly customizable widget you can style to fit your site, there’s a plugin for you:
Do you have any questions about popular post plugins? Let us know in the comments section below!
Featured image by Macrovector / shutterstock.com.
This content was originally published here.