5 WordPress Reading Time Plugins to Calculate Content Length
Last Updated October 13th, 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 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.
This plugin was originally published by its creator in November of 2014. It is currently on version 2.0.13 and last saw a revision on March 30th, 2023. The most recent edition runs on WordPress 6.2.0. This plugin is currently running on over 20,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 234,320 downloads. There have not been many help requests from end-users. Reviews for Reading Time WP are very positive. Many of the end-users who left a piece of feedback found Reading Time WP to be worthwhile.
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.
This plugin was first released by its developer in June of 2019. It is currently on version 1.0.6 and last experienced a change on November 23rd, 2022. The latest update functions on WordPress 6.1.1 and requires at least PHP 5.2 to function on your server. This plugin is now operating on over 10,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 42,890 downloads. There have not been many help requests from users. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the customers who left a review found this plugin to be excellent.
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.
This piece of software was first released by its developer in August of 2016. It is now on version 1.13.2 and last saw a revision on January 9th, 2023. The latest update functions on WordPress 6.1.1. This plugin is presently working on over 6,000 WordPress websites. It has had over 89,010 downloads. There have not been many support requests from customers. Reviews for Worth The Read 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.
This plugin was initially published by its owner in July of 2013. It is presently on version 1.2 and last experienced an update on June 14th, 2019. The latest version works on WordPress 5.2.17. This plugin is actively operating on over 1,000 WordPress sites. It has had over 8,240 downloads. There have not been many help requests from end-users. Reviews for this plugin are very positive. Many of the customers who left a piece of feedback found Insert Estimated Reading Time to be wonderful.
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.
This product was originally 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 release operates on WordPress 5.6.10 and requires at least PHP 5.2.4 to function on your server. This plugin is now running on over 500 WordPress websites. It has had over 1,830 downloads. There have not been many support requests from users. Post Read Time does not have any reviews. It’s difficult 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.
While you are here, you might be interested in learning about our White Label WordPress plugin. Customize the WordPress admin to make operating and navigating the WordPress admin simpler for you and your users. White Label is especially useful for those of you who run WordPress agencies or marketing firms. Keeping WordPress clear of cutter and confusion helps cut down on support requests from your clients.
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