How to Show Featured Posts in WordPress without Using Any Plugin

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featured posts wordpress

We follow several methods to attract readers to a specific post. Featured post widget is popular among them. We can show a particular post as Featured in the sidebar or content area. The blog readers will visit the said link if they’re interested with the subject.

You will get several plugins in WordPress library for doing the job. They can be used to show a specific post link or list posts in the sidebar. But most of them impose restrictions on you unless going for the premium subscription.

I was using a cute plugin widget for a long time in one of my blogs to show author recommended posts with scrolling effects. Then I had to re-install the site because of some compatibility issues. Unfortunately, I forgot to note down name of the plugins I was using. I didn’t have a website backup too. What else I had?

Just a WordPress export file. I searched a lot for featured post plugins, but nothing worked as expected.

Now I can say that you need not any third party plugins to show featured posts in WordPress sidebar. See the example below,

featured posts wordpress

You can show similar widgets in WordPress without using any plugin or complicated coding. Here’s what should you do,

1. Login to your WordPress admin panel.

2. Open the desired post which you want to set as featured. Copy the post title and image.

3. Go to Appearance > Widgets > Text Widget. Paste your post title in the widget title area.

4. Open a new tab in the admin panel. Go to Pages > Add New.

5. Paste image. Link it to your post URL.

featured posts wordpress

6. Switch page screen to Html mode and copy the entire code you were seen. Paste it to the content area of your text widget. Click Save.

7. Go to front end and right click on the text widget. Choose inspect to find its div id. A code block will be highlighted in blue colour. Check what div id is showing there. It will be like this, <div id =”text-7″ class=”widget widget_text“>. Copy text-7 from this example.

8. Open Custom CSS Section in your theme settings or CSS Style sheet under Appearance > Editor menu. Add the following code to insert a border around your featured post widget.

#text-7 { border : 1px solid; }

Replace text-7 with your widget id. If you want to insert space between the content and the border, add one more line in the above code block.

padding: 5px 5px 5px 7px;

So our final code will be,

#text-7 { border : 1px solid; padding: 5px 5px 5px 7px; }

Feel free to customize these parameters as per your requirement.

Save all changes. Done !

It should show a beautiful featured post widget in the sidebar of your blog.

If you want to reduce the plugins futher, make sure to read the following resources:


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  • shilpagarg

    That’s interesting. Thanks for sharing the step by step process to add posts in the sidebar without using plugins and making it easier for us to follow. Will try it out!

    • Thank you very much for the comment. Keep visiting our blog.

  • Thanks for sharing these steps, that is a cool way to do without the plugin. I will definitely give it a try.

    • Hi Praveen,

      Thanks a lot for dropping your comment with us.
      Keep in touch

  • sraj

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