Search engine optimization is changing frequently, and you need to adapt to latest techniques to stay on top of Google Search results. Earlier days, you can write a blog post with 300 words length to get a good ranking. Later the length was increased to 600 – 800 words and the average has now jumped up to 2000 – 6000 words. When you have a lengthy content, it is a good idea to insert a table of contents so that users can get the overview of your lengthy article. In this article, we will explain top 6 table of contents plugins for WordPress site.
What is Table of Contents?
Table of contents (ToC) is a collection of links to all the headings on the page. Depending upon the plugin you use, you can insert table of contents at the start or after the introduction paragraph in your article. A good table of contents plugin can help you inserting a short summary of your lengthy article. You can insert ToC either automatically or manually in the articles. You can see the live example of ToC in this article to get the feel of how it will look like in published blog post.
Why You Need Table of Contents in WordPress Blog?
There are many good reasons you need a ToC plugin for your site:
- Google will grab the links from ToC and show in search results. This can increase the click through rate and drive traffic to your pages.
- ToC can help you to organize your content under proper headings. This will make the presentation of your content effective and improve the time on post thus reducing bounce rate.
- ToC helps users to navigate to particular section and spend more time on the interested part rather than reading the entire content. This may have negative impact on the bounce rate, targeted users can become your potential customers in long run.
Inserting Table of Contents in WordPress
The best way to provide a summary of your article to users is to add table of contents using a WordPress plugin. Fortunately, there are plenty of free and premium table of contents plugins available for WordPress. You can also select the plugin that is compatible with Gutenberg editor and offers ToC block to insert anywhere on your page.
1. Easy Table of Contents
As the name indicates, it is one of the simple and popular ToC plugins for WordPress. You can activate and the plugin will automatically insert the table of contents as per your configuration.
- Supports pages, posts and any custom post types.
- Option to select the heading levels to be inserted in the ToC.
- Customize the ToC with different themes to suit your website’s layout.
- Sidebar widget to show fixed ToC when scrolling the content.
2. RTOC – Rich Table of Contents
Rich Table of Contents or RTOC is another easy to use plugin for inserting ToC in WordPress sites. This is much similar to the previously explained Easy Table of Contents plugin in terms of functionality. However, RTOC offers additional feature to provide you a shortcode to manually insert ToC anywhere in your content.
- Good looking settings panel.
- View live preview of ToC before publishing your article.
- You can customize title, post types to display the table of contents, font and set display conditions under basic settings.
- Under the design settings, you can choose the title alignment, heading list design, frame design and animations.
- The plugin allows you to choose one of preset themes. If you do not like any of the preset themes, you can also easily create your own theme for using with ToC.
- The advanced settings allow you to insert a toggle button to return to the table of contents on mobile devices.
3. Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg
Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg is from the developer Brainstorm Force who are behind the most popular Astra theme. If you love to use Gutenberg block editor, then this plugin comes in handy for adding table of contents in your articles. Big advantage of using this plugin is that it comes with 20+ additional blocks to use with Gutenberg editor.
You can insert timeline, carousel, contact form, call to action and may other blocks and table of contents is one of the blocks among them. However, you have to manually insert ToC in the editor for each post and there is no automatic insertion option available. So, this will be useful for creating new posts. If you have plenty of old posts and want to insert ToC on them, then this plugin will not be useful.
- Simply insert the “Table of Contents” block in your content and the plugin will generate table of contents from your headings.
- You can customize the block from the sidebar panel similar to any other Gutenberg block.
- Under general settings, you can choose the headings to be part of the table of contents.
- You can adjust the scroll settings and add scroll to top button if needed.
- You can change the heading color, background, font and adjust the size.
Instead of customizing the block on each article, we recommend you creating a reusable block with Table of Contents block. You can insert this reusable block and edit locally if needed on each post to use the same style.
4. LuckyWP Table of Contents
If you want to have both manual and automatic insertion, then LuckyWP Table of Contents plugin is for you. It allows automatic insertion as well as Gutenberg block insertion. In addition, you can also use shortcode to insert ToC anywhere on your content.
- You can change title, enable or disable show/hide, select minimal count of headings and few other settings under general settings section.
- You can choose one of the available color schemes and customize the appearance of width, font size and weight.
5. GutenTOC – Advanced Table of Content for Gutenberg
As the name indicates, GutenTOC plugin allows you add to a table of contents via Gutenberg block. After inserting the block, you can view the ToC automatically generated from the heading in your article. It offers customization features similar to other plugins listed in this article.
- You can change the list style type of the table of contents.
- Enable or disable show/hide icon.
- You can customize the background, anchor, border colors and adjust margin / padding sizes.
6. Ultimate Blocks – Gutenberg Blocks Plugin
This is yet another Gutenberg blocks plugin to insert table of content in your WordPress site. However, this plugin does not offer much customization like other ToC plugins. This is similar to Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin offering many other blocks and ToC is one among them. You can choose this plugin if you want ToC without any other options.
- You can choose the headings to be included or excluded in the table of contents.
- Possible to allow users to change the visibility of table of contents.
- You can enable smooth scrolling.
Though inserting table of contents in WordPress site is very easy with plugins, make sure to use only when you needed. Automatic insertion is a good option when you decide to use ToC on all your posts. However, inserting ToC may not help much when you have other schema markup on the page. For example, Google will pick up content from data table or review snippet when you have them in the article. Having ToC in the same article may result in Google ignore one of them. therefore, avoid using ToC when you are targeting for other featured snippets in Google Search results.