How to Show Posts from Certain Categories in WordPress SideBar

Category is an important feature of WordPress. By categorizing your posts, you can provide a properly organized site to your visitors. Unfortunately, WordPress does not provide lots of options when it comes to displaying category or related posts. In this regard, the only option you have is the Recent Posts widget. The simple and basic widget does not provide any customization or sorting options.

In today’s post, I will discuss about four plugins that will let you display posts from specific categories. These plugins will allow you to display recent and relevant posts in different ways.

1. Category Posts Widget

Category Posts Widget will install a custom widget which could be used to display posts from a specific category. The plugin provides only one feature and it does the job in an excellent way. After installing and activating the plugin, go to Appearance > Widgets from your website dashboard. On that page, you will find a new widget titled ‘Category Posts’.

Drag the widget to your desired location. There are lots of customization options available for the widget. First of all, you can provide a title and then, select the category and choose the number of posts to show. The posts could be sorted by date, title, number of comments or randomly.

To make the widget title a link to the specified category, check the ‘Make widget title link’ box. You will also find options to choose to display post excerpts, define excerpt length, show number of comments, post date and post thumbnail. Lastly, you can define the post thumbnail’s width and height.

Category Posts Widget

2. Recent Posts Widget Extended

Recent Posts Widget Extended is a powerful WordPress plugin which provides you with lots of customization options. While the plugin will install a custom widget, you can also display recent posts by using shortcodes. After installing and activating the plugin, you will find a new widget titled ‘Recent Posts Extended’ in your widgets page.

To display the widget in your website, drag it to your desired location. At this point, you will be provided with the customization options Recent Posts Widget Extended offers –

Recent Posts Widget Extended

First of all, you can provide a custom title and title URL. Below, you will find separate fields to define the CSS ID, CSS Class along with fields for including custom text or HTML before or after the widget.

From the middle column, you can select the post type, post status, post order, sorting order and choose specific categories, tags or other taxonomies to include in the widget. On the last column, you will find options to define the number of posts for the widget, display the post thumbnail, set the thumbnail size, display date or elative date, excerpt, read more link etc.

Recent Posts Widget Extended

3. Ultimate Posts Widget

Ultimate Posts Widget is another excellent plugin for displaying posts, sticky posts or custom post types in an attractive way. The plugin provides lots of customization options for both the developers and the designers. It will create a custom widget in your website.

Once you install and activate the plugin, you will find the new widget in the Appearance > Widgets page of your website. From that page, find out the ‘Ultimate Posts’ widget and drag it to your desired location.

Ultimate Posts Widget

The Available customization options are divided into different sections like General, Display, Filter and Order. The General settings section lets you define the widget title, title URL, CSS class and custom content to place before or after the widget.

From the Display section, you can choose the widget template, number of posts, show date, title, excerpt, read more link, thumbnails, choose the date format, excerpt length, thumbnail size etc.

If you want to display posts from specific categories and/or tags, you will find the relevant options in the Filter section. You can choose to show the sticky posts too. Lastly, the Order section will let you choose the sorting order and to show the posts in ascending or descending order.

Ultimate Posts Widget

4. Display Posts Shortcode

Unlike other plugins of this list, this plugin does not come with any custom widget. Rather, Display Posts Shortcode allows you to display post listings in regular posts or pages. To do that, you won’t have to create or edit any template files.

In order to use the plugin, install and activate it in your WordPress website. Then, you can add the shortcode in any post or page and the relevant posts list will be displayed automatically. For example, if you want to show the posts from ‘Technology’ category, want to include the date and order the posts by title, you have to use the following shortcode –

[display-posts category=”technology” include_date=”true” order=”ASC” orderby=”title”]

You will find lots of other examples of shortcodes in the plugin’s Github page. And you will find more explanation about various arguments in the WordPress codex.

Display Posts ShortcodeFinal Words

I hope this article helped in finding out some interesting plugins for showing category posts. If you find the article helpful, please share it with others. And don’t forget to let me know which plugin you like most.

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