How to Display Estimated Post Reading Time in Your WordPress Posts Automatically

If you are a blogger or an article writer you may want to know how to add estimated post reading time for your WordPress blog posts to engage with your visitors more just like engaging more by showing a scrolling progress bar.

Displaying time for online blog posts is a cool idea. Because it gives your readers a concrete idea of how much time he or she needs to spend on reading a blog.

Today, I would like to show you how you can display estimated post reading time in your WordPress Posts. Now, let's begin.

Importance of Showing Estimated Post Reading Time for Your WordPress Blog

Blog posts vary in their length. In fact, they can contain only a few words to thousands.

According to, the average length of a post is 1142 words. But it can range from at least 500 words to more than 7000 words. So there are chances that your readers will bounce off from your blog post thinking that the length of your blog is too large. This leads the bounce rate to inflate.

By showing the estimated post-reading time, you can signal your readers that your contents are short and thus you can make your content more intuitive and make your website more user-friendly.

You can also show the estimated post reading time on your blog post by calculating manually. But it will be the worst idea as you need to do it for each and every post you put in place.

But what is the average reading speed of a reader? Well, here is a fact:

Mental readers generally read at approximately 250 words per minute. Auditory readers read at approximately 450 words per minute. Visual readers “read” at approximately 700 words per minute. Proficient readers are able to read 280 – 310 wpm without compromising comprehension.

Source: Wikipedia

How to Show Estimated Post Read Time Duration with WordPress Plugins

Here are the 2 WordPress plugins you can use to show the estimated time for your WordPress blogs:

Setting Estimated Post Time with Reading Time WP

Follow these steps:

  • Navigate to the WP Admin Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search for “Reading Time WP”.
  • Install and activate the plugin.
A screenshot of adding estimated time plugin
  • Go to the Settings > Reading Time WP page.

Now, you will find the following options:

A screenshot of  adding estimated time for blog posts

From here, you can configure the reading time label, postfix, etc.

The default reading speed in this tool for an adult is 300 Words Per Minute which you can change at ease.

You can also specify the placement of reading time labels either before the content or before the excerpt.

With the Reading Time WP Plugin, you can show the reading time in Posts, Pages, Media, and Templates.

You can use the shortcodes to manually show the reading time in Posts or Pages.

  • Finally, hit the “Update Options” button to save the changes.

Here is a frontend view of the reading time for your blog posts or web pages:

A screenshot of  displaying estimated time for blog posts

It's as simple as that!

Alternative Plugin to Add Estimated Time for Articles or Blog Posts in WordPress

And if you want to use a different plugin that shows both reading time and a progress bar then you can go for the Read Meter.

With this plugin, you will simply need to use the shortcode, [read_meter] to become all set to use the shortcode and progress bar on any page or posts. 

Related Article: How to Manage Your WordPress Blog More Efficiently With WP Project Manager

Display Estimated Time for Blog Posts Using Shortcodes

If you do not want to saturate your WordPress website with extra plugins, you can then simply use the following shortcode to show the Estimated Time for Blog Posts.

You will have to put these codes in the theme you are using:

 * Estimated Reading Time
 * Use by adding it to a hook like add_action( 'prefix_after_entry', 'prefix_estimated_reading_time' );
 * @return void
function prefix_estimated_reading_time() {
	// get the content
	$the_content = $post->post_content;
	// count the number of words
	$words = str_word_count( strip_tags( $the_content ) );
	// rounding off and deviding per 200 words per minute
	$minute = floor( $words / 200 );
	// rounding off to get the seconds
	$second = floor( $words % 200 / ( 200 / 60 ) );
	// calculate the amount of time needed to read
	$estimate = $minute . ' minute' . ( $minute == 1 ? '' : 's' ) . ', ' . $second . ' second' . ( $second == 1 ? '' : 's' );
	// create output
	$output = '<p>Estimated reading time: ' . $estimate . '</p>';
	// return the estimate
	return $output;

The function counts the number of words used in your content and after that divides by 200 and then shows into minutes and seconds. However, 200 is the default WPM in this code snippet which you can change anytime as per your needs.

Final Words on How to Show Estimated Post Reading Time on WordPress

Give a shout-out to you if you have already gone through the entire tutorial. And, if you want to make your blog site more interesting by adding extra user-friendliness then there is nothing that can beat the concept of adding estimated time for your articles.

Finally, please share the article with others, so that everyone can get benefitted from it. Thanks in advance!




Al Suzaud Dowla
Written by

Al Suzaud Dowla

Suza is a serious gadget lover and a science freak. Besides, being a computer geek, he is also passionate about music.

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