7 Best Reading Progress Bar WordPress Plugins (Mostly Free)

7 Best Reading Progress Bar WordPress Plugins (Mostly Free)

When you visit a website, ever wish you knew how long it’d take to read an article? A reading progress bars is the perfect solution—it’s like a virtual bookmark letting you know how much content you’ve covered and how much remains. 

It can transform the digital reading experience, offering a clear roadmap through the text, ensuring you never lose your way in the labyrinth of words. 

In this blog, we’ll introduce you to the best 7 reading progress bar plugins for WordPress. These tools can give your readers a sense of direction and enhance your content engagement rates. 


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Read Meter



Reading progressbar



Worth The Read



WP Reading Progress



Reading Position Indicator





Divi Reading Progress Bar Module


Let’s jump in!

1. Read Meter

Are you concerned about losing readers who are wary of the time commitment involved in reading your blog posts? Read Meter offers powerful features designed to enhance the reading experience for your website visitors.

At its core, it provides users with an estimated reading time for each blog post, cleverly displayed alongside a dynamic progress bar. This combination offers a quick snapshot of the time investment required and actively encourages readers to engage with your content, assuring them that the journey is worth it.

What sets this plugin apart is its advanced image time calculation technique. It meticulously calculates the time needed to view images within your posts, ensuring a more accurate reading time estimation—even for content-rich articles. 

Read Meter offers a range of customization options, from where and how to display the reading time to styling choices for both the reading time and progress bar. Whether you want to include images and comments in these features or not, it gives you complete control.

Here are some of its key highlights: 

  • Keeps readers engaged
  • Supports various post types
  • Ensures precise reading time estimates, even for image-rich content
  • Tailor the reading time and progress bar display to match your site’s design
  • Even if posts are updated, the plugin always calculates the reading time for the most current version
  • Lets you decide where the progress bar appears
  • Lets you fine-tune the progress bar’s appearance

Read Meter is open-source software and is freely available for use.

2. Reading Progressbar

When it comes to enhancing your WordPress website’s reading experience, the Reading Progress Bar equips your site with a reading position indicator in the form of a progress bar, and the best part is—you have complete control over where it appears!

 Whether you prefer it at the top, bottom, or in a custom position, this plugin lets you tailor its placement to match your specific needs across various templates and post types.

One of the standout features of the “Reading Progress Bar” plugin is its remarkable lightweight nature. It utilizes the HTML5 <progress> element and just a few lines of JavaScript, ensuring that it won’t slow down your website. Plus, it gives you the flexibility to fine-tune the progress bar’s appearance with options such as height, foreground color, and background color.

This plugin’s versatility extends to page templates and post types, allowing you to implement the reading progress bar seamlessly throughout your WordPress site.

Here are some of its key highlights: 

  • Customizable progress bar placement
  • Lightweight design for optimal website speed
  • Height and foreground/background color customization
  • Flexible positioning at the top, bottom, or custom location
  • Precise placement with class/ID specification
  • Compatibility with various page templates and post types

Reading progressbar is fully free for use.

3. Worth The Read

Say hello to Worth The Read, a fantastic tool that’s all about enhancing your readers’ experience on your WordPress site. It adds a discreet progress bar to your posts and pages, letting your audience know how far they’ve scrolled. 

You can customize the progress bar’s position and colors, and decide whether it tracks just the main content or includes comments too.

Now, here’s the cool part – this plugin doesn’t want to bother your readers unnecessarily. The progress bar only shows up when they start scrolling, and as soon as they pause or move past the content, it gracefully fades away, keeping things smooth and distraction-free.

It also comes with a ‘reading time commitment’ feature. You can enable it separately, and then you’re in control of where it appears – above or below the title, or above the content. You can style it just the way you like it, and it can show up on both posts and pages. 

It calculates reading time using a standard rate of 200 words per minute. Plus, if you want to put the reading time label in a specific spot, you can do that too, thanks to the handy [wtr-time] shortcode. 

Here are some of its key highlights: 

  • Only appears when users start scrolling
  • You can control placement and colors
  • Reading time feature enabled separately 
  • Calculates reading time based on 200 WPM rate
  • Use the [wtr-time] shortcode to place the reading time label where you want

Worth The Read is open-source software and fully free for use. 

4. WP Reading Progress

Introducing the WP Reading Progress plugin, a must-have tool to enrich the reading experience on your WordPress website. Designed for long reads, this feature becomes an integral part of single blog posts by default.

Customization is at the heart of this plugin. You have the freedom to position the progress bar where it suits you best – at the top or bottom of the screen or snugly below a sticky menu. You can tailor its appearance by selecting your preferred color, and start the progress bar at 0%, even if part of the article is visible. 

But what truly sets this plugin apart is its intelligent behavior. It starts off with a smooth start, adapting gracefully when part of the text is already on the screen. Thanks to a lightweight update function, it responds swiftly as your readers scroll. The progress bar smartly attaches itself to any element you define, prioritizing the first visible one. When there’s no longer a visible element to attach to, it intuitively displays at the top. 

Even if an article lacks class names or IDs for identification, the plugin cleverly utilizes the entire page to calculate progress. With WP Reading Progress, your readers embark on a dynamic reading journey that effortlessly aligns with your content.

Here are some of its key highlights: 

  • Effortless integration into single blog posts
  • Customize placement, color, and starting point
  • Smooth, responsive behavior while scrolling
  • Smart attachment to sticky elements
  • Flexible targeting for post types and individual posts

WP Reading Progress is a freely available open-source software.

5. Reading Position Indicator

Reading Position Indicator is a powerful tool designed to enhance the reading experience for website visitors, especially when engaging with long-form articles or blog posts. 

Its ingenious utilization of the HTML5 ‘progress’ element adds a layer of accuracy to the implementation, making it a precise and user-friendly solution. Unlike other methods that involve intricate calculations, this plugin simplifies the process, making it accessible to all levels of web development expertise.

It utilizes CSS to ensure the progress bar is transparent, ensuring it doesn’t obstruct the content as readers scroll. The plugin offers compatibility with a wide range of modern browsers that support the HTML5 ‘progress’ element, ensuring a consistent and smooth experience for most users. 

Additionally, it includes robust fallback options for older browsers, making it adaptable to various web environments.

Here are some of its key highlights: 

  • Uses HTML5 ‘progress’ element
  • Tracks reading position dynamically
  • Easy implementation, no complex calculations
  • Stylish and non-intrusive design
  • Compatibility with various browsers 
  • Fallback options for older browsers

Reading Position Indicator is free to use for all.

6. ReBar

ReBar is a valuable WordPress Plugin designed to enhance the user experience for blog readers. It can be customized with various colors and gradients, making it particularly useful for longer content.

This plugin comes with an array of features, including support for infinite scrolling, compatibility with popular themes, as well as the ability to customize its height, position, and color easily. It ensures a seamless experience across all browsers and devices, from mobile to desktop, including compatibility with older browser versions.

ReBar is compatible with major WordPress plugins, and it works smoothly with various website builders and frameworks. Thanks to its predefined styles and customization options, it is an excellent choice for boosting your website’s reading experience.

Here are some of its key highlights: 

  • Customizable styles and colors
  • Infinite scrolling compatibility
  • Wide compatibility with themes and plugins
  • Cross-browser and responsive design
  • Touchpad and RTL support
  • Lightweight and fast performance
  • Easy installation and admin-friendly
  • WooCommerce integration

ReBar offers a regular license for $15 and an extended license for $99.

7. Divi Reading Progress Bar Module

If you’ve got a Divi-powered website, its reading progress bar might be the answer to your prayers. This premium module, available in the Divi Marketplace, seamlessly integrates with your site.

Once installed, the reading progress bar offers immediate accessibility for customization. It empowers you with an intuitive interface and versatile positioning options. You can adjust bar color, animation, position, and more.

This helps you craft a reading progress bar that harmonizes with your content, ensuring a seamless and tailored user experience.

Here are some of its key highlights: 

  • Perfect for your Divi-powered site
  • Seamless integration upon installation
  • Extensive customization using Divi’s design settings
  • Intuitive user interface for easy customization
  • Flexible positioning options
  • Enhanced user engagement through interactive progress bar

This module is a part of Divi Pixel, alongside 45 other custom modules. The modules are altogether priced at $135.20.

In a digital world brimming with content, reading progress bar plugins can easily help your blog stand out. They help create a sense of control and engagement for readers, making the act of consuming content a seamless journey. 

We hope that you’ve discovered the perfect fit for your website within this list of the best reading progress bar plugins. Here’s to a more immersive and satisfying reading experience!

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