This post is about the best WordPress plugin for adding a recent posts widget with thumbnails in a WordPress blog. Recent posts widget is a great way to engage your visitors in your blog. It lets your visitors browse your posts and increases the page views of your blog. This plugin adds an advanced recent posts widget where you can select post and page settings, add thumbnails and extra information in widget. You also have the option to customize the recent posts widget and add them anywhere in your blog by using shortcodes.
Here are the features of this plugin:
1) Customize recent post widget: There are multiple customization settings included with the plugin and you can choose any one of them as per your requirements. Size of the thumbnails can be edited to fit to your theme. The best part is that you can align your recent posts in single columns, single rows or in multiple columns as per your requirements. You can select the number of columns to be displayed in the widget from the plugin settings page. You have the option to edit widget title, widget URL, select posts or pages to be displayed in the widget, and number of posts or pages to be shown in widget. You can select the HTML header type to be used as widget title. Also, you can hide widget title and display post title above thumbnail.
2) Post settings: You have the option to include or exclude posts and pages in your recent posts plugin. Here are the post settings for the widget:
i) You can set up character limits to be displayed in the widget.
ii) You can also select if you wish to display regular post content in widget or post excerpts.
iii) Other options are to select the order of posts and pages in widget, disable links in post titles, exclude posts which don’t have images, enable or disable links for post content, and content display.
iv) You can edit the text if no posts are present to displayed in widget.
v) From the plugin settings page you can hide current viewed post, enter post offset, select title string break, post string break, and image string break. You also have the option to link the string breaks to posts and select post HTML tags which are allowed in the widget.
vi) You have the option to enable nofollow for posts and page links.You can also select if post and page links will be opened in new window or in the same window.
3) Add more info in widget: Apart from that you can add post author info, date and categories and tags along with the recent posts. You also have the option to enable post author link and post category link. You can enter post author prefix, post date prefix, post category prefix, and post tags prefix. Category names and tag names can be separated by comma or you can select any other symbol as per your needs. You can Post date format and enable or disable Published x days ago format, where x is the number of days ago, the post was published.
4) Thumbnails support: Images will be automatically pulled from your posts so you don’t have to worry about managing the images. You have the option to select the type of thumbnails for widget, thumbnail width, thumbnail height, create links in thumbnails to posts or pages, and enable thumbnail rotation. You can select the default thumbnail image for post to show in the widget when the post has no image.
5) Custom CSS: You can also change the appearance of the widget by adding your own CSS codes.
6) Filter settings: From the plugin settings page, you can enable filters for the widget. Here are the type of filters you can enable or disable:
i) Auto category filtering: Recent posts will be displayed according to currently viewed category. This filtering option can also be enabled for currently viewed post.
ii) Auto author filtering: Recent posts will be displayed according to currently viewed author.
iii) Post status filtering: Items can also be filtered using their post status. For example, Published.
iv) Include or exclude categories: You can include or exclude specific categories for the posts to be included or excluded in the widget.
v) Category title: You also have the option to use category as the widget title.
vi) Include or exclude posts or pages: You can include or exclude specific posts or pages to be included or excluded in the widget.
vii) Include sub posts and sub pages: You also have the option to include sub posts and sub pages in the widget.
viii) Tag filtering: Posts in the widget can be filtered by using tags.
ix) Custom post types filtering: Posts in the widget can be filtered by using custom post types.
x) Custom fields filtering: Posts in the widget can be filtered by using custom fields. You can enter the meta key and the meat key value to enable custom posts filtering.
7) Plugin requirements: GD libraries should be installed and enabled on your server (which most of the servers have already installed).
8) Shortcodes support: Recent posts widget can also be added to post or page content by using shortcodes.