Using Lists Within WordPress Reader

Hola, SEers. Not only is it Cinco de Mayo, but it’s also a Mae Day on Story Empire. I’m delighted  you’ve chosen to join me.

If you’re a WordPress user, you’re probably familiar with Reader. Most of us follow an abundance of blogs, and it can be overwhelming keeping up with them. In the past, I subscribed by email to each blog I followed. The problem was my inbox was always overflowing with notices of new posts. For me, a bursting-at-the-seams inbox equals stress, so something had to give.

Last year, I switched to Reader, but even that became problematic. Currently, I follow 377 blogs. Of that large group, there are certain blogs I comment on regularly, but I don’t want to scroll through 377 entries searching for them. These are my “Favorite Reads.” Another group of bloggers I’d like to visit don’t blog as frequently, so I often lose track of their posts and miss commenting.

Enter LISTS. This is a feature WordPress had in the past, then eliminated. No idea why but, thankfully, they’ve seen the light. WP has recently reinstated the ability to add and edit lists. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me! Now, the collection of blogs I frequent can be rounded up in one place. No more cluttered inbox. Happy, happy, joy, joy!

Here’s how it works.

From your ADMIN PANEL in WordPress:
Select LISTS from the left-hand menu
Click the drop-down arrow

screenshot of nested lists in WordPress Reader

You’ll be prompted to name your list and select whether it’s public or private. You can also add a description if you like. Your new list will now be nested under a drop-down. As you can see, I’ve built a few—Cats, Favorite Reads, Friends, Too, and Odd Things.

To manage the list you’ve created:

Click on the LIST NAME
Select the SETTINGS SPROCKET from the upper right corner in the center of your screen
Select SITES

From here you can click the ADD SITE button, view the sites you’ve grouped together, or remove a site. You can also delete your list entirely or view its details (name, description, etc.). The screenshot below shows a handful of the 37 blogs I’ve grouped under Favorite Reads. I’ve highlighted the ADD SITE button in red for the purpose of this post.

When you click ADD SITE a SEARCH box will appear. Start typing the name of the blog you’d like to add to your list and it will populate.

Screenshot of lists grouped in WordPress Reader Manage Lists option

Now it’s time to start reading!

Click the LIST you’ve created and all blogs in that list will populate in your Reader pane. See the screenshot below for a sampling of how they appear.

screenshot of blog feeds in list feature of WordPress Reader

From here you can like, comment, and share to Twitter or Facebook using the appropriate icons. You can also visit the site (my preference) and follow through from there. The great aspect is you no longer have all of those notices of new posts hitting your inbox, and all of your followed blogs are in one place, grouped in the manner and category of your choosing.

Sound good? I love Reader and was so excited to see WordPress bring back the LIST option. If you do choose to use Reader, remember to change your settings (unsubscribe from daily notices) under MANAGE FOLLOWED SITES.

Have you used Reader in the past? How about Lists? If you haven’t, do you see yourself using this feature in the future? Please share your thoughts below.

Ready, set, go!

Bio box for author, Mae Clair

104 thoughts on “Using Lists Within WordPress Reader

    • Hi, I’m not a WordPress tech, so unfortunately can’t offer advice. I would suggest reaching out to one of the Happiness Engineers through the help feature on your blog, then using “Contact us” to go to the live chat option. They’ll be able to walk you through any problems. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Using Lists Within WordPress Reader – stuff and poems

  2. What a great way to organize your reading, Mae. I had no idea this feature existing. What I ended up doing to stay organized was change my email notifications to “weekly” round ups. I get them on Sunday and spend the week whittling down the emails as I visit everyone. It’s not perfect, but those emails are “in my face” so I do eventually visit everyone. Thanks for the tip. I try it out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Diana, I know a few readers who rely on weekly roundups for their blogs, so that’s definitely one way to be more organized.
      I’ll be curious to see what you think of using Lists. I really like it.
      Lists aren’t hard to set up, so if you give them a whirl, you’ll be reading in no time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love stumbling on random AMAZING tips like this! Yes, I love Reader – what I miss though, is seeing everyone’s personal style, so I try to click over to the browser to see what their blog actually looks like online. Adds a little something to the author’s personality for me. :). Thanks for the tip!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, Cindi. That’s what I do, to–clicking over to the site so I can view the post and comment from there. Lists makes that so easy to do. I’m so glad you enjoyed my tips. Thanks for commenting and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks, Mae. I hardly ever use the WordPress Reader because I only follow around 130 blogs and won’t go over that figure because it becomes too overwhelming. Therefore, I get email notifications of new posts. However, I’m going to create a list on the WordPress Reader – just in case.
    It’s good to see WordPress bringing back some of these features. This post was a welcome read from all the negative posts I see about WordPress.

    Liked by 4 people

    • WordPress does get a bad rap frequently, so I was delighted to be able to share something positive.

      With those 377 blogs I follow, I don’t comment and visit them all. But there are enough that I DO visit and comment on that my inbox was flooded with post notifications. Reader and Lists have made my life so much easier. I hope they do the same for you, Hugh. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Hi Mae, this is helpful to me too. I actually search on a weekly basis for all the blogs I specifically want to read and I catch up in groups of three posts at a time. This will be helpful as I also follow a lot of blogs and I love them all so I can organise them lists for each day of the week in a copeable number. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

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  9. One of the great things about blogging is someone will find something beneficial, such as this, that I was unaware of. Unfortunately, 377 blogs are way more than I can keep up with. Nevertheless, I’m going to give this a go because this will be much more efficient.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you’re going to love using Reader and Lists and am glad you’re going to give it a try. Just remember to turn off notifications on your followed sites once you have your lists set up. Then say hello to a clean inbox each day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, this is such a godsend, Mae! Like you, I fret over a full Inbox and it hampered my ability to work big time. Now with lists, I can set aside blog reading time and enjoy each one without the stress of emptying my inbox. Thank you!!!! I’m still working on my lists, but wow, what a difference!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Awesome, Jan! Lists is such a great tool. I’m not sure why WP ever removed it from Reader, but as you’ve now discovered, it makes blog visiting and reading a breeze. So glad this post has been of benefit to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so helpful, Mae! I subscribe via email, but WP keeps deleting my preference and sticks all blogs in the Reader, which I never use. So now, I keep a list next to my keyboard and posting schedule for my favorite blogs, and pop in during the day to see if there’s a new post. Your way sounds SO much nicer. Bookmarking to set up the Reader when I get a spare minute. Thanks again. I’ll definitely do it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yay! Sue, I think you’ll find Reader and Lists a breeze. No more maintaining your list manually. Just hop to Reader each day and scroll through the lists you’ve created. Easy, peasy! 🙂

      Just remember to turn off notifications when you build your lists. I’m in love with how it works!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. How wonderful, Mae! I don’t use WordPress for my personal blog, but gosh, this feature is certainly attractive. Thank you for explaining the “how-to” behind it all. I’m bookmarking, just in case! 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  13. What a great thing to share, Mae. I don’t use Reader, myself, but only because I have a folder filing system set up in my email Inbox, including folders for each friend I keep in regular contact with, folders for emails on various subjects like writing, publishing, etc, folders for business purposes, and even Read Later folders. And I almost never delete emails, either. (Once an executive secretary, always an executive secretary, even though many today probably have no idea what that is).

    Because I’ve used this system so long, I don’t want to change now, BUT had I understood more about the Reader earlier on, I probably would have chosen that route, and been struggling like you’ve had to. AND, I’m absolutely positive many folks will LOVE your explanation of how to end that struggle and use Reader more easily now that WP has added Lists again. How anyone could ever make sense of it without them, I’m sure I don’t know. Thanks for sharing what is certain to make MANY folks smile! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Marcia. I use the folder system with my email, too, but not for blogs I follow. When I find a post through Reader for a topic I want to save, I email the URL to myself, then move it to the appropriate folder.

      I fully understand that it would be hard to change habits and routine after so long, and it sounds like you’ve got a wonderful system that works for you. At least you know, should you ever want to change, Reader isn’t the beast it used to be! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good to know for sure. I get all my blog alerts via email, and drag and drop them into the appropriate folders, same as everything else, unless I have time to look right away. It’s quick and easy for me, but I’m used to it. (We old fogeys have a hard time changing our habits, you know. 😀 ) But I now understand how to use Reader efficiently, should I ever want or need to make a change. (It happens. 😉 ) Thanks again, Mae!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I have never used the reader since it is way too clumsy for me. This looks like a good idea since I get notified daily of the posts I want to read. Once you set up the reader list, do you go in and turn off the e-mail notification, or is it automatic? Thanks so much, and I was delighted to see my posts in your favorites. (Giggle)

    Liked by 4 people

    • John, I think you’ll love Reader when you use it in combination with Lists.
      In answer to your question, you will need to go in and turn off the email notifications. Select Reader, then the MANAGE button for your followed sites. You can search for them there, select the settings sprocket, then disable notifications under each. You’ll have a whistle clean inbox in no time!

      And, of course, you’re on my FAVORITES List 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I was also bummed when they eliminated the feature and overjoyed when they brought it back. (How sad that we can experience such powerful emotions on a blogging feature, but I did.) I hope they never do away with it again.

    Great post, Mae.

    Liked by 5 people

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  17. This is great news, Mae. I had all but given up on the reader because I could never seem to find the posts I wanted to read. I love using lists in Twitter, and I think it will be a great way to read.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m so glad, Harmony. It got to the point I dreaded opening my inbox each day because of all the notices that were hitting it. Reader makes it so easy to visit the blogs I love without the congestion of a cluttered inbox.

      And thank you for the reblog!

      Liked by 1 person

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  19. What a great post and idea, Mae:) I was overwhelmed every morning with blog notifications, and tried the lists in reader. I got up this morning to an unclogged email, which was wonderful! Then I headed over to reader and went through my two lists. Having everything together sure made it not only easier, but it was faster to visit everyone. Thank you for sharing this, I’m definitely sold on it:)

    Liked by 6 people

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