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How to Create an Auto Populating Tutorials Page

How to Create a Tutorials Page that Auto Populates

I’ve been working on a site migration (blogger–>self-hosted wordpress) for a friend, and one of the most important things to her was to be able to have an auto-populating tutorials page on her new site. You know, one that doesn’t have to be hand coded EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. she adds a new tutorial. I know this is something a lot of DIY/sewing bloggers would just LOVE to have, so today I’m going to show you how to create a tutorials page that auto populates! Yeah!

So for example, if you already have 343 tutorials on your blog, and you don’t want to have to go back through every single one, cutting and pasting bunches of html into a tutorials page, you can use these instructions to make it all magically appear on a page of your choosing! And then, you can add that page to your navigation menu. Simple as that. And this works for any kind of aggregated list – not just tutorials. You could have a recipes page, a sewing pattern reviews page, whatever. It works just the same.

The steps

  1. Have a self-hosted wordpress blog. This kind of goes without saying. But these instructions will not work on Blogger,, Typepad, etc.
  2. Install the List Category Posts plugin. To do this, go to Plugins –> Add new:How to Create an Auto-Populate Tutorials PageSearch for “list category posts.”How to Create an Auto-Populate Tutorials Page
    Click on “Install Now” when it pops up in the search results.How to Create an Auto-Populate Tutorials Page
    Activate the plugin…

    How to Create an Auto-Populate Tutorials Page

  3. Go through all your tutorials posts and make sure they’re categorized as “tutorial” or something to that extent. If you’ve already used a certain category for the type of post you’re targeting, that’s fine.
  4. Create a new page (not post) called “Tutorials” or “Recipes” or what-have-you. This will be the page where the gallery of your tutorial/recipe/whatever post thumbnails appears.
  5. In the area where you normally type the page contents, put in the following shortcode, replacing “tutorial” if needed with the category name you’ve been using or you’ve created (such as recipes, reviews, etc.):

    (the only way I can figure out to share this with you without having the shortcode WORK on my page is to let you download this text file with the code in it! So click here to download it and copy the code!)

  6. Publish the page, and take a look at it. (But don’t worry if it isn’t the prettiest just yet!)
  7. Add the following css to your theme’s custom css. (You’ll need to play with the values for margins/padding/etc. to get everything looking perfect depending on your column width and overall layout.)lcp_paginator.css:
    /* catelist table form */
    .lcp_catlist li {
    display: -moz-inline-stack;
    display: inline-block;
    vertical-align: top;
    margin: 0px;
    zoom: 1;
    *display: inline;
    .lcp_catlist li:after {

    #lcp_instance_0 {padding-left:0px; margin-left:-19px;}
  8. Add a link to the newly created tutorials page to your navigation menu.
  9. Be sure to categorize all future posts that you want to go here with the category previously specified in the shortcode.
  10. You can further customize the output on the page (pull posts from multiple categories, change the number of posts that show up, etc.) by looking at the documentation on the List Category Pages plugin page.
  11. Admire your work!

If your thumbnails don’t show up, it’s probably because you haven’t set a featured image for every post. You can use the Media Tools plugin to go back through your posts and make the first image in each one the featured image. :)

Pretty simple, eh? Leave me a comment below showing me your work! I would love to see what you do with this tutorial! :)

  • OnceUpona Sew

    This is really cool I was in search of just such a plugin! Mine doesn’t seem to populate pictures- any ideas?

    • Lauren Dahl

      Simple fix! You probably don’t have a featured image set for every post. If not, you can use this plugin: It will automatically generate a featured image for every post based on the first image in the posts. :) Enjoy!

    • Lauren Dahl

      Actually, I found this plugin recently and like it better for generating featured images:

  • Domenica Tootell

    Hi Lauren. This is what I’ve been looking to do for so long! Just haven’t been able to figure it out. This question probably shows my lack of knowledge with doing this kind of stuff with my website. Here goes. In step 5 it says to ‘put the following shortcode’ into the page contents. I couldn’t see the shortcode. Where do I get this shortcode from?
    Thank you so much for this post.

    • Lauren Dahl

      I was having some trouble putting it into the post without activating it…so I put it into a text doc instead. Hopefully now you can get it!

      • Domenica Tootell

        Awesome. Thank you! Does it need to be pasted under the ‘text’ tab rather than the ‘visual’ tab? or does it not matter?

        • Lauren Dahl

          I don’t think it matters, but I always just post it on the WYSIWYG tab. :)

          • Domenica Tootell

            Thank you so much. Finally worked it out and the page looks great. Have only done it to this page so far but will be doing it to my other categories too when I have a chance. :)

          • Lauren Dahl


  • Carrie

    You read my mind actually! I just redesigned my website and wanted to make a self-populating collage of pictures of the things I’ve made since it’s laid out TERRIBLY and not helpful at all in it’s current form. I downloaded a different plug-in but haven’t been able to get it working too well…I’m going to try this plugin right now!

    • Lauren Dahl

      I’m so glad to help!

      • Carrie

        I finally finished my page using this tutorial…check it out! There are still a few things I might want to change but your directions worked like a charm!

        • Lauren Dahl

          Awesome!! I am so glad it helped!

  • Jenn AJennuineLife

    I’ve made two category lists using this! One for Tutorials: and one for my Tiny Sewists series: Thanks so much!

    • Lauren Dahl

      Yay! So glad you liked it!

  • Kimberly Payne

    This is so amazing!! I just used it to add posts to my knitting page. It is so easy yet leaves you with a streamlined page that doesn’t require constant work to add additional posts. Thank you so much. Can’t wait to add it for other things when I do my full blog redesign! Your amazing.

    • Lauren Dahl

      I’m glad it worked for you! :)