How to Display Recommended Posts in WordPress

The enumerated steps below will display a list of your Recommended Posts with thumbnail images in the sidebar of your WordPress-powered website. The list will be consist of five titles right next to their corresponding images.

This tutorial uses a WordPress category to display the list. If after reading this article you want a different method of doing the same thing, you may read the article How to Display Featured Posts in WordPress.

1. Add the following lines of code to the functions.php file:

// Set image sizes
add_theme_support('post-thumbnails');
if ( function_exists( 'add_theme_support' ) ) {
add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );
set_post_thumbnail_size( 50, 50, array( 'center', 'center') );
add_image_size( 'excerpt-image', 60, 40 ); // 60px is the width, 40px is the height
}

2. Add the following bits of code to the sidebar.php file:

<div class="posts-recommended widget">
<h4 class="widget-title">Recommended Posts</h4>
<ul>
	<?php 
	$theme_featured_posts = new WP_Query('posts_per_page=5&category_name=Recommended');
	if ( $theme_featured_posts->have_posts() ) : while ($theme_featured_posts->have_posts()) : $theme_featured_posts->the_post(); 
	?>
		<li>
			<div class="image-widget"><a href="<?php esc_url(the_permalink()); ?>"><?php the_post_thumbnail(''); ?></a></div>
			<div class="title-widget"><a href="<?php esc_url(the_permalink()); ?>"><?php esc_html(the_title()); ?></a></div>
		</li>
	<?php endwhile; ?>
	<?php endif; ?>
	<?php wp_reset_postdata(); ?>
</ul>
</div>

3. Add the following lines to the style.css file:

.widget-title {
font-size: 30px;
font-weight: bold;
padding-bottom: 5px;
}

.widget ul {
list-style-type: none;
text-align: left;
padding-left: 0;
margin-left: 0;
display: block;
}

.widget li {
margin-bottom: 40px;
height: 10px;
display: inline-block;
}

.widget li img {
display: inline-block;
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: 10px;
width: 60px;
height: 40px;
float: left;
}

.widget li a {
vertical-align: top;
}

4. Go to Posts > Categories in the WordPress dashboard and create a new category.

Write Recommended as the name, recommended as the slug, choose none for the Category Parent, and then click Add New Category.

5. Go to Posts > Add New in the WordPress dashboard and create a new post.

Tick the checkbox next to the category Recommended in the Categories box on the right. Click Publish.

6. Repeat Step 5 as many times as you want.

If you want a different method of doing the things taught in this tutorial, you may read the article How to Display Featured Posts in WordPress.