Recent Posts Widget With Thumbnails

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Small and fast plugin to display in the sidebar a list of linked titles and thumbnails of the most recent postings

Author:(profile at
WordPress version required:4.6
WordPress version tested:6.3
Plugin version:7.1.1
Added to WordPress repository:12-06-2014
Last updated:10-08-2023
Rating, %:96
Rated by:205
Plugin URI:
Total downloads:3 446 418
Active installs:200 000+
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List the most recent posts with post titles, thumbnails, excerpts, authors, categories, dates and more!

Although the plugin is built only for widget areas users reported that it works in Elementor and works in Oxygen. Whether it runs in other page builders is unknown. Please let me know in which page builder you were able to use the plugin successfully.

The plugin does not collect any personal data, so it is ready for EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

Lightweight, simple and effective

No huge widget with hundreds of options. This plugin is based on the well-known WordPress default widget ‘Recent Posts’ and extended to display more informations about the posts like e.g. thumbnails, excerpts and assigned categories. And it provides more options to build custom-taylored posts lists.

The thumbnails will be built from the featured image of a post or of the first image in the post content. If there is neither a featured image nor a content image then you can define a default thumbnail.

You can set the width and heigth of the thumbnails in the list. The thumbnails appear left-aligned to the post titles in left-to-right languages. In right-to-left languages they appear right-aligned.

What users wrote

What users filmed

Some users published video tutorials on YouTube:

Options you can set

  1. Title of the widget
  2. Number of listed posts
  3. Open post links in new windows
  4. Different options for post order and sorting
  5. Hide current post in list
  6. Show only sticky posts
  7. Hide sticky posts
  8. Keep sticky posts on top of the list if not hidden
  9. Hide post title
  10. Maximum length of post title
  11. Show post author name
  12. Label for the author names
  13. Show post categories
  14. Show post category names as links to their archives
  15. Label for the categories
  16. Show post date
  17. Show post excerpt
  18. Show number of comments
  19. Excerpt length
  20. Signs after excerpt
  21. Ignore post excerpt field as excerpt source (builds excerpts only from the post content)
  22. Ignore post content as excerpt source (builds excerpts only from the excerpt fields)
  23. Show posts of selected categories (or of all categories)
  24. Show post thumbnail (featured image)
  25. Registered thumbnail dimensions
  26. Thumbnail width in px
  27. Thumbnail height in px
  28. Keep aspect ratio of thumbnails
  29. Try to take the first post image as thumbnail
  30. Only use the first post image as thumbnail
  31. Use default thumbnail if no thumbnail is available
  32. Always use the default thumbnail
  33. Default thumbnail URL
  34. Alternative text of the default thumbnail
  35. Omit all alternative texts of the thumbnails for a better accessibility
  36. Print slugs of post categories in class attribute of LI elements
  37. Print inline CSS instead of creating a CSS file
  38. No CSS generation at all

Useful hints for developers: Supported Hooks

The plugin considers the output of actions hooked on:

  1. rpwwt_widget_posts_args
    • passed argument: the query arguments as an array
    • expected return value: an array of query arguments
  2. widget_title
    • passed arguments:
      1. the widget title as a string
      2. the widget settings as an array
      3. the widget base ID as a string
    • expected return value: a string
  3. rpwwt_excerpt_length
    • passed argument: the maximum number of characters of the post excerpt as an integer
    • expected return value: an integer
  4. rpwwt_excerpt_more
    • passed argument: the string to append after the post excerpt
    • expected return value: a string
  5. rpwwt_the_excerpt
    • passed arguments:
      1. the content of the post excerpt field as a string
      2. the post object
    • expected return value: a string
  6. the_excerpt
    • passed argument: the post escerpt as a string
    • expected return value: a string
  7. rpwwt_categories
    • passed argument: the category list of each post as a string
    • expected return value: a string
  8. rpwwt_list_cats
    • passed arguments:
      1. the category name as a string
      2. the category as an array
    • expected return value: a string

Useful hints for developers: Available CSS Selectors

To design the list and its items you can use these CSS selectors:

.rpwwt-widget: the element which contains the post list
.rpwwt-widget ul: the list which contains the list items
.rpwwt-widget ul li: the list item in the list
.rpwwt-widget ul li.rpwwt-sticky: the list item of a sticky post
.rpwwt-widget ul li a: link in the list
.rpwwt-widget ul li a img: linked image
.rpwwt-widget ul li a span.rpwwt-post-title: the post title
.rpwwt-widget ul li div.rpwwt-post-author: the post author
.rpwwt-widget ul li div.rpwwt-post-categories: the post category list
.rpwwt-widget ul li div.rpwwt-post-date: the post date
.rpwwt-widget ul li div.rpwwt-post-excerpt: the post excerpt
.rpwwt-widget ul li div.rpwwt-post-excerpt .rpwwt-post-excerpt-more: the "more" text following the excerpt.
.rpwwt-widget ul li div.rpwwt-post-comments-number: the number of comments


The user interface is available in several languages.

Starting from version 7.1.0 the handling for translations are moved to
Please help to translate into more languages or you can re-work on the current translations, if you think it’s needed.
If you have done your translation please leave a comment in the plugin’s support forum. I’ll take care of the review and approval.