Let your readers know what sort of time commitment they are getting into before starting to read your posts on a WordPress based site. People are busy and need to have a reassurance that they can read your post and move on in an expected amount of time. Reading Time WP is the plugin I use to get this done automatically every time I post something new.
Install the Reading Time WP by going to your Admin Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New.
Search for “Reading Time WP” and click the Install Now button. Now, then click Activate.
Once the plugin is installed you can look at the settings for the plugin by going to Settings -> Reading Time WP. You should see this:
The plugin automatically adds the “Reading Time” to the beginning of your post excerpt and main content. If you don’t want this to happen simply uncheck these boxes and click Update Options.
The basic install and activation could use a small tweak in it’s look.
I like adding a line break after “Reading Time” to give the content below it some space to breath. I also like making “Reading Time” bold.
This edit can be done by editing the plugin. Remember to make a backup so you don’t lose anything on your site before editing any plugins or themes.
Go to Plugins -> Editor.
Select the Reading Time WP plugin from the drop-down and hit Select. Now go to line 169 and find this code:
$content = '<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;">'.'<span class="rt-label">'.$label.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-time">'.$this->readingTime.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-label"> '.$calculatedPostfix.'</span>'.'</span>';
You’ll want to change it to this:
$content = '<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;">'.'<strong><span class="rt-label">'.$label.'</span></strong>'.'<span class="rt-time">'.$this->readingTime.'</span>'.'<span class="rt-label"> '.$calculatedPostfix.'</span>'.'</span><br>';
If you get an error that the file cannot be updated while doing this edit just deactivate the plugin, make the edit, and reactivate the plugin.
Now the top of your posts will look like this:
If you’re more technically minded and want to add a custom PHP line to your site’s theme to more strategically place the reading time you can get details on how to do that on the plugin’s official WordPress Repository page.
Hope this walkthrough was helpful. If you’d like to say thank you please consider become a Patreon supporter.