If you want to add post grids to your site, we’ve got you covered. These are the best free post grid and post list plugins for WordPress.
While some themes offer grid layouts for their archive pages, you’ll likely need a separate plugin to insert posts grids in your content (posts & pages).
The two most common methods for adding post grids are:
- Gutenberg post blocks
- Post Shortcodes
Since many of you are still using the classic editor (no blocks allowed) we’ve divided this list into block plugins and shortcode plugins, making it easy to find the perfect one.
Block-based post grid plugins
These plugins let you create custom post grids directly from the Gutenberg editor view.
There are several advantages to using a block-based posts plugin:
- See the rough layout on the back-end as you’re editing
- Visual styling options to customize your design & layout
- Faster workflow by working directly in the editor
In fact there’s only one real negative to using free post block plugins– some of them come with limited functionality compared to their pro counterparts.
That said, these free block plugins will be good enough for 90% of your usage scenarios. I’ll list the limitations of each plugin (if any) as we go through them.
Here are my favorites:
1. Kadence Blocks
The free version of Kadence Blocks includes an excellent post-grid block. It includes most of the features you get in the pro version. We’ll look at the differences shortly.
Kadence Blocks ‘Posts’ block has almost every feature you could ask for. Here are the highlights:
- Supports custom post types
- Query by taxonomy (category, tag, custom)
- Query offset (ignore x most recent posts)
- Exclude posts already included on the page
- Valid HTML markup (and selectors for easy CSS styling)
- Adjustable loop template (choose what to show). Include/Exclude post meta, author, excerpt, title, featured image.
- Adjustable grid layout (1-3 columns)
You get full control over the style of your post grid, including background colors, featured image size & aspect ratio, text size & color, and title typography.
There are a handful of pro-only features, but they’re not essential by any means.
The pro feature I used most is the ability to manually select individual posts for your query. The pro version also comes with pre-built templates which saves you design time.
Get it: Try Kadence Blocks Pro
2. Getwid Post Grid
Getwid (by Motopress) is my second favorite post grid plugin behind Kadence blocks. And for many of you it may be the best choice, because it offers some features that Kadence doesn’t.
For example, Getwid’s post grid block is the only free block I’ve found that lets you select exact posts by ID for your query. That feature is a pro-only upgrade for most other packs.
You can even include ACF fields by building a custom loop template. It’s incredibly powerful if you’ve got the patience and know-how to harness Getwid’s full capabilities.
Of course additional control often comes at the expense of usability, and Getwid’s post block is a bit less user-friendly than Kadence Blocks.
That said, you won’t find a more powerful free post grid block than Getwid’s.
3. PostX WordPress Post Grid
PostX is a best-in-class plugin designed to do one thing, and do it extremely well. Let you create customized post lists and grids, easily.
It’s a single-purpose plugin without all the bloat of all-in-one packages like stackable.
It comes in both Free and Pro flavors, but the free version is surprisingly capable.
- Multiple layout options
- Query builder
- Select posts by ID
- Custom styling controls
- Free full-page templates from the design library (most are pro)
And if you decide to upgrade to pro later, you’ll unleash some truly powerful features. The archive builder alone is worth the price. You’ll also find AJAX loading, a quick query builder, and gorgeous pre-built templates (blocks and full-page) that will save tons of development time.
Stackable Blocks is a hugely popular blocks add-on that comes in both free and paid flavors. The free version includes most of the core functionality, while the pro upgrade adds templates, pre-built layouts and a few extra controls.
Stackable’s blog posts block makes it easy to embed post grids on your site, with several styling pre-built templates (including a card design).
Pro features not included in the free Posts block:
- Dynamic content (display custom fields)
- Ajax infinite scroll
- Custom Post types
- Select posts by ID
Generally speaking, Stackable is an excellent Gutenberg add-on, but the posts block in the free version is clearly a tier below the top 3 plugins above. The most glaring omission is the ability to select posts by ID. Also, the styling controls are less robust and intuitive compared to Kadence and Getwid.
5. Ultimate Addons Gutenberg
Ultimate Addons Gutenberg (UAGB) is worth considering because it’s 100% free. There are no paid upgrades or missing features. It’s Brainstorm Force (maker of Astra theme’s) gift to the WordPress community.
And the included posts layout block is pretty useful (with a few caveats).
- Customizable query
- Several pre-built designs
- Full styling controls
- Supports custom post types
- Grid, List & Masonry layouts
But I have a few complaints as well, which prevent UAGB from ranking higher.
- Poor HTML markup (reused selectors) make it hard to style with CSS
- Can’t exclude posts already displayed on the page (Kadence blocks can)
- Fewer query parameters
6. The WordPress Query Loop Block
The Query Loop Block is WordPress’s own (long overdue) solution to a common problem — how to easily create customized post loops without touching PHP.
The query loop block is available in every WordPress install running version 5.8 and higher, as long as you’re using the Gutenberg editor.
It’s completely free and part of the core which are two big advantages. But most of its potential is (so far) untapped. The Query Loop block’s functionality is basic at best, and the styling controls are pretty lacking.
Query Loop Block Features:
- Customize the query by Category, Tag, or Author
- Select number of posts, post-type & offset
- Layout settings (number of columns)
- Pre-built block pattern library
So far so good. But that’s all you get. My biggest complaint is with the styling controls.
By default, the query loop block as zero styling applied (unless your theme adds CSS markup). This means you have to add the CSS yourself or use the very basic styling controls. Creating a card-based grid is completely impossible without using CSS>
There are some 3rd-party block patterns (block-based templates) but few of them are good enough out of the box to be dropped straight into a production website.
Learn More: Getting started with the Query Loop Block (torquemag)
Shortcode-Based Post Plugins
Not all post listing plugins require Gutenberg, which is perfect for those of you who are still using the classic editor.
Instead, these plugins are all Shortcode-based, which means they can be used almost anywhere in your site.
Where to use shortcode post-list plugins:
- Posts / Pages
- Widgets / Sidebar
- Theme templates (via do_shortcode() function)
Some of these plugins are better than others, and in general I prefer the ones that let me work directly from the editor (e.g. Shortcodes Ultimate’s ‘posts’ shortcode).
1. Shortcodes Ultimate’s Posts Shortcode
Shortcodes Ultimate‘s posts shortcode is phenomenal and criminally underused. Few people realize how powerful it is. It’s like Bill Erickson’s Display Posts on steroids.
When inserting the shortcode, you can a handy UI that lets you visually setup the posts query. You can select by ID, taxonomy, post type, author. You can even query custom fields!
The only thing missing is easy styling controls. So it’s best used by someone with CSS skills.
Or… you can just copy my premade CSS templates for the posts shortcode.
2. WP Show Posts
WP Show Posts is a post-listing plugin by Tom Usborne, the author of GeneratePress theme.
It comes in both free and pro flavors, but most of the ‘query’ functionality is still available in the free version. Pro adds mostly visual styling controls and AJAX loading.
Like Content Views (next up), you have to leave the editor to create your posts layout. You have to manually create each posts query in the plugin’s admin screen, which can then be embedded in your post via shortcode.
- Query by post type, taxonomy & author
- Show / hide featured image
- Number of columns
- Excerpt length (or remove completely)
- Include/exclude post meta
While WP Show Posts gives you decent control of the posts query and template that is rendered on the front-end, you get almost zero styling controls. For that you’ll either need custom CSS or the pro addon.
3. Content Views
Content Views is another popular option to create post layouts. It has some decent pre-made templates and a basic query builder. It lacks manual styling controls in the free version though.
Unlike Shortcodes Ultimate, however, you can’t work directly from the editor while writing a post. Instead, you create each ‘content view’ from the plugin’s dashboard page as a custom post type. You then insert that view into the post using a unique shortcode.
- Query posts by author, taxonomy, or date
- pre-built display templates
- Separate UI to design views
The free version is a bit limited compared to Content Views Pro, however.
Pro adds these features:
- Query by custom taxonomy, custom post types & custom fields
- Ajax loading
- front-end sorting & filtering
- Override archive pages
- visual styling controls
4. Custom Layouts (by codeamp)
Custom Layouts is a newer plugin, but one I’m keeping my eye on. There’s a few reasons I think it could be a great choice going forward:
- It’s completely free, there’s no pro upgrade
- The included template are good
- Completely block-based
- The roadmap includes displaying ACF fields in your query
- Full-Site-Editing (FSE) compatible (beta)
One of the coolest features is the template editor that lets you build the exact design for each post in your loop. You can add/remove elements in any order, with styling controls for each. It’s a smart UI, similar to Getwid’s own loop builder.
The documentation is pretty decent too (especially for a free plugin) which is a nice bonus. Hats off to the developer, CodeAmp, who’s also behind the excellent search & filter plugin.
5. Display Posts
Display Posts is a fantastic shortcode-based plugin by Bill Erickson, a developer who’s given so much value to the WordPress community.
This plugin has everything you could possibly need to create custom query loops on your site, with one caveat — there’s zero CSS included.
The purpose of this plugin is to output the raw HTML code on the front end. You’re responsible for styling it. So you’re going to need basic CSS skills at a minimum. You can also swipe some sample CSS from the documentation.
Speaking of documentation, it’s excellent. One of the most complete knowledgebases you’ll find from a free plugin, including examples and optional extensions.
There are plenty of free options to display post grids anywhere on your site. Many of them are so good, they can even compete with fancy paid plugins.
I recommend sticking with block-based plugins if you’re already using Gutenberg, since the workflow is faster and you tend to get better styling controls too.
Best Block-based ‘post’ plugins:
The leanest of the 3 options is PostX. The other two ship with more than 10 additional block-types.
You may still want a shortcode post-grid plugin if you prefer the classic editor, like to write your own custom css, or want maximum flexibility
Best Shortcode-based post plugins:
The clear winner here is Shortcodes Ultimate. Their ‘posts’ shortcode is like Display Posts on steroids. It has all the same features, plus an easier UI for customizing your post loop query.
Plugins like Show Posts and Content views are viable, but their free versions lack styling options that would otherwise help them stand out.