WordPress Reading Time Plugins to Calculate Content Length

6 WordPress Reading Time Plugins to Calculate Content Length

Last Updated June 20, 2022

Measuring how long your WordPress posts and pages are is something all prolific writers want to do. Coincidentally, it’s also something many readers want to know as well. Adding a piece of content’s reading time, in minutes and seconds, is a popular thing to do on modern blogs and websites. There are a lot of standard formulas available to calculate reading time. Fortunately, there is a handful of quite useful WordPress reading time plugins that can handle this for you automatically. Let’s take a look at the best plugins for displaying reading time.

Popular WordPress Reading Time Plugins

The following list of WordPress reading time plugins contains the most popular options at WordPress.org. All of the plugins on this list are available to download and use for free. Every plugin but one is entirely free. The only exception offers features far and beyond just reading time displays to justify the expense.

Reading Time WP

Reading Time WP

Reading Time WP is the #1 WordPress plugin for adding a reading time display to your blog posts. This free plugin will automatically, with no work required, insert the estimated reading time right into the beginning of your content. Of course, if you want to make some changes Reading Time WP has you covered. There is a settings screen that lets you adjust the text surrounding the reading time display. A shortcode is included as well if you would prefer to display the reading time in a more manual way in which you decide on a post-by-post basis.

Plugin Details

This piece of software was first released by its owner in November of 2014. It is presently on version 2.0.10 and last saw a revision on August 10th, 2020. The latest update functions on WordPress 5.5.9. This plugin is presently running on over 20,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 173,070 downloads. There have not been many support requests from end-users. Reviews for Reading Time WP are very positive. Many of the users who left a piece of feedback found this plugin to be wonderful.

WP Word Count

WP Word Count

WP Word Count is more than just a WordPress reading time plugin. Before we get to that, let’s discuss the feature you came here to read about. You can automatically include your reading time display at the top of your posts or dictate its position manually with a shortcode. Either way, you control what text appears before and after the reading time printout. On top of reading time, WP Word Count is a full-featured WordPress plugin for counting and tracking your writing output. Each piece of content you write is calculated and tracked with a robust reporting system inside of the WordPress admin. Use this plugin to find out how much time and effort you’ve put into writing content for your WordPress site.

Plugin Details

This piece of software was initially published by its developer in August of 2010. It is currently on version 3.2.3 and last underwent a change on October 6th, 2021. The most recent version runs on WordPress 5.8.4. This plugin is actively functioning on over 10,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 137,810 downloads. There have not been many help requests from end-users. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the users who left a piece of feedback found this plugin to be worthwhile.

Premium Version

The premium version of the plugin is called WP Word Count Pro and it offers additional, useful features over the free version. The Pro edition gives you finer control over what posts and post statuses appear in the plugin’s reports. The reports themselves come with more options so you can break down information by day, author, category, tag, etc. Author statistics come with WP Word Count Pro so you can see how each individual contributor to your site is performing over time. Charts and graphs are also included in the pro upgrade to give you better visualization options.

Read Meter

Read Meter

Read Meter is the first visually interesting WordPress reading time plugin on our list. You can use this plugin to not only display your content’s reading time in the text but with a progress bar as well. This progress bar will move along with your reader as they consume your content. This means that as your visitors scroll the Read Meter bar will move along with them to indicate how much of the article is remaining. One feature that really makes this plugin stand out is its ability to calculate images into the reading time figure. In short, Read Meter adds time-based on the number of images and photos in your post. Many reading time plugins fail to accommodate for media like that.

Plugin Details

This plugin was first published by its creator in June of 2019. It is actively on version 1.0.6 and last saw a revision on June 1st, 2022. The latest version functions on WordPress 6.0 and requires at least PHP 5.2 to operate on your server. This plugin is currently functioning on over 7,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 32,660 downloads. There have not been many assistance requests from end-users. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the users who left a piece of feedback found this plugin to be excellent.

Worth The Read

Worth The Read

Worth The Read is a really great WordPress reading time plugin that offers a progress bar and a text display. Control of the progress bar is completely up to you. Set the color and placement so that it fits the best into your WordPress theme’s style and look. This progress bar is unique in that it only shows itself while your reader is scrolling. Once they stop moving the screen it dissolves into the background only to appear again when scrolling resumes. The text output is also fully customizable. You can dictate where it displays and what types of content it is shown on as well.

Plugin Details

This plugin was first published by its creator in August of 2016. It is now on version 1.12 and last had a change on May 26th, 2022. The latest update functions on WordPress 6.0. This plugin is now functioning on over 7,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 75,940 downloads. There have been 3 support requests with a 100% response rate. Worth The Read is well supported by its developer. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the users who left a review found Worth The Read to be useful.

Insert Estimated Reading Time

Insert Estimated Reading Time is a WordPress plugin that does exactly what the name implies. You can use this plugin to display your content’s estimated reading time at the very beginning of your page or post. It offers support for determining how many words per minute are used to make the calculation. The ability to explicitly set the format of the display is a nice feature that we wish more of these plugins had. You can include the reading time display via a shortcode or with a simple PHP function call the developer provides simple documentation for in the plugin’s README file.

Plugin Details

This piece of software was initially released by its developer in July of 2013. It is actively on version 1.2 and last saw a revision on June 14th, 2019. The latest update works on WordPress 5.2.15. This plugin is currently running on over 1,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 7,580 downloads. There have not been many assistance requests from customers. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the customers who left an evaluation found this plugin to be useful.

Post Read Time

Post Read Time is another basic on-the-surface WordPress reading time plugin that offers great flexibility behind the scenes. The plugin’s settings allow you to control the words per minute in the calculation, take into account images in your content, and control the display with your own custom CSS. You can have the plugin automatically insert the reading time into your posts. On the other hand, you can control the placement on your own with a shortcode provided by the developer.

Plugin Details

This piece of software was first published by its owner in June of 2019. It is now on version 1.2.6 and last had an update on December 11th, 2020. The newest update functions on WordPress 5.6.8 and requires at least PHP 5.2.4 to function on your server. This plugin is currently running on over 400 WordPress sites. It has had over 1,390 downloads. There have not been many support requests from users. Post Read Time does not have any reviews. It’s hard to tell what the WordPress community thinks about it yet.


What’s the Best WordPress Reading Time Plugin for You?

Finally, that’s the end of our look at the best WordPress reading time plugins. You’ll have to decide which one is the best for your site but they all have positives. If you need more customization, a few are better than others, but at their core, they all offer similar features.

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