Table of contents in WordPress without plugin

Do you want to add a table of contents but fear the plugin? Not to mention, attaching many plugins can negatively affect the website’s performance. But not to worry. Here you get a complete guide to creating a table of contents in WordPress without plugin. Surprisingly, it is very easy to add. You can do it in just 3 simple steps.

Firstly, you know what is a table of contents and what its use. After that all 3 steps with detailed images plus many animations guide. Then, some most popular plugins for it so you have all-in-one information). Finally, you can also look for some FAQs. You can always jump over the section by clicking elements of the table of contents. So without delay let’s start.

What is a table of contents in WordPress?

Basically, a table of contents in WordPress is the summarization of the important headings/points/areas with a link so users can easily navigate through your blog.

The table of contents is used in multiple aspects. For example, Books, thesis, projects, etc. Whereas, in a bog, it is used for easy navigation. It has also some more crucial benefits mentioned below.

What is the use of the Table of contents in a blog?

The table of contents has multiple advantages. However, the three most powerful uses are shown below.

1) Excellent navigation for your users:

Not to mention, great user experience is the foremost considered thing for website ranking, Therefore, adding a table of contents greatly helps it. Basically, the Table of contents summarizes your content in front of readers by mentioning important points.

Additionally, the table of contents may be liked by your audience. It is because they can directly enter into sections by clicking the link.

To put it differently, your user can revisit your blog and revise the points. Therefore, they can directly enter into their relevant portion of your content.

Therefore, your users like to visit your website because of good navigation. All in all, this good experience will increase your website ranking.

2) Enhanced breadcrumbs in Search Results:

You may be surprised, but your table of contents can add remarkable breadcrumbs to your post.

First of all, breadcrumbs can be shown below your meta description. To clarify, look at the breadcrumbs example.

Example of Breadcrumbs

You can also get proof to relate it to the table of contents. Look at the same post on Google. You can look at the same things (right side) mentioned in the table of contents.

Table of contents used for breadcrumbs
Screenshot from Google page (01/24/2023)

Although these solely depend upon google. But yes, if breadcrumbs are added, your Click through rate can be more. It is because people like to read enhanced things. On the other side, this spending time will help you to get more clicks.

3) Opportunity to discover on Listicle featured snippet:

Listicle featured snippets are one of the 35+ most popular featured snippets. you can find it on the first result of many SERPs. To clarify, look at the below image.

Listicle featured snippets example

To confirm, look at the table of contents for the same post. You can see snippets are exactly taken as it is from the table of contents.

Mediaberry toc used in snippets
Screenshot from Mediaberry webpage (01/24/2023)

These listicles are taken from two areas. Firstly, it selects by looking at proper headings and subheadings distribution. Secondly, it selects from a paragraph or listicle paragraph.

So by using a table of contents you met both criteria. Therefore, the chances to display are more. Not to mention, listicle-featured snippets can drive a lot of traffic.

You knew why it is vital for you. Now, let’s know how to add a table of contents in WordPress without plugin.

How to create a Table of contents in WordPress without plugin in 3 steps

You can add a table of contents in the three steps. Besides, you can even design it better to look more attractive. To clarify, all steps are shown in detail. I experienced that people need detailed guides to apply quickly. So, let’s start.

1) Complete your post with the block editor

In the first step, you need to write your high-quality post properly. Therefore, it is common to add proper headings and subheadings. Moreover, you can create a mind map for proper heading distributions.

For easy writing, you can use Block editor. For example, click on plus icon located in the top left corner. Then, choose the paragraphs, headings, etc. That is the right way to use a block editor.

Choosing Block editor in WordPress

In the second step, come to the beginning of the post. Usually, people add a table of contents after the introduction. Therefore after the introduction select a paragraph and write “Table of contents” on it. Also, you can make it large (more font size) for a better look.

In the third step, copy all your major headings and subheadings and write below the table of contents. For clarity, you can select H2 as medium-size font, H3 as normal-size font, and H4 as a small-size font. On the other way, you can select font size by entering numbers like 20, 24, etc.

You may think what is the easy way to make a font medium. Not to worry. Block editor has a very easy option for it. Firstly, select the words of a line. Then, click on the settings icon located in the right corner of your dashboard. After that, look for the typography option. In size default, click on medium or whatever you want.

Medium font options in Block editor

You can also look below for a summary of the first step for a table of contents in WordPress without a plug-in.

1st step – write a table of contents with the block editor.

2) Set HTML ANCHOR in desired headings and link it

You knew the detail of the first step. Now, the actual thing starts. Although, it is straightforward.

Firstly, go to your first heading.

Secondly, click on the settings icon in the top right corner.

Thirdly, scroll down and click on the “Advanced” option.

Fourthly, write one or a few words separated by a hyphen in the “HTML ANCHOR” box. For example – “what-is-toc”. Basically, it helps you for interlinking the content.

HTML ANCHOR set in WordPress

Fifthly, copy this anchor “what-is-toc”. Then, go to the same heading in the table of contents.

Finally, Select the heading and click on the link icon. Now, write “#” and then anchor text. For instance, “#what-is-toc”. Here, “#” is mandatory to interlink the anchor tag.

Setting internal link in WordPress

Lastly, do the same thing for all the headings, subheadings, etc. You can also do it for any block without headings. It solely depends upon your choice. For instance, here FAQ has an internal link without a heading.

You can also go through this animation for very easy understanding.

TOC 2nd step: put html anchor and link it

Now, look at the advanced steps for creating a table of contents in WordPress without plugin.

3) Advanced customize for your Table of Contents

You knew how to interlink from the above animations. That is not the end. You can design your table as much as you want. Let’s know-how.

First of all, select all the interlinked blocks with the table of contents header. After that, you can see the group icon. Just click on it. Now, your table of contents is grouped all together.

Grouping Table of contents

Secondly, look at the right side. You can also access it by clicking the settings icon in the top right corner. Then, click on the stack option. After that, your basic table of content is ready. Is it not a good format than the previous one?

Table of contents in WordPress without plugin advanced design

Thirdly, You can find color options. To apply it, first of all, select the table of contents word. Then click on text. Thereafter, click on a black circle. Then, choose whatever color you want for the text. For example, yellow is chosen here. You can also consider no change.

Fourthly. select the table of contents block. Then, click on the background. You can choose whatever background matches the block. Again, you can keep the default one.

After that, your table of content is completely ready. You can even more clearly visualize by looking at the below animated video.

TOC 3rd step: group TOC and advance customize

Through different media, you knew how to create a table of contents in WordPress without plugin.

As per all-in-one information, I share some awesome plugins so you need not go anywhere for that also. Therefore, look at some famous plugins.

Best table of contents plugin for WordPress

You can find a lot of plugins available for the table of contents. But here you will get the 5 most popular plugins. Moreover, you will get the diversified plugin so you can choose the best for you. Besides, you can use them for free with some limitations. Let’s familiarize them with prominent features.

1) Easy Table of Contents

easy table of contents page
Screenshot from Easy Table of Contents page on 01/27/2023

Generally, it comes first when discussing the table of contents plugin in WordPress. Its extensive features make it highly popular. Some websites prefer to add it just after creating an account in WordPress.

Among a lot of features here are some picks –

  1. It works smoothly with the classic editor, WPBakery Page Builder, Gutenberg, Elementor, Divi, etc.
  2. Automatically create your table based on the header which saves time.
  3. You can manage your display for each individual post and page.
  4. It supports smooth scrolling.
  5. You have full control of editing, displaying areas, etc.

Therefore, you can visit the Easy Table of Contents plugin or add it through the WordPress menu > Plugins> Add New > search the name > install > activate.

Look at the next one.

2) SimpleTOC – Table of Contents Block

Simple TOC page
Screenshot from Simple TOC webpage on 01/27/2023

Its names signify its usability. If you want to use only a simple table of contents then it is for you. Moreover, it has many benefits. Look at some important picks.

  1. Specially designed for Gutenberg
  2. Minimal and valid HTML output
  3. No JavaScript or CSS until you add it manually
  4. Customize colors, bullets/numbering, etc.

Therefore, you can avail of it by visiting SimpleTOC – Table of Contents Block page or manually adding via plugins.

Now, the next popular table of contents plugin for WordPress.

3) Joli Table Of Contents

Joly Table Of Contents page
Screenshot from Joly Table Of Contents webpage on 01/27/2023

You will get a diversified plugin here. The Joli Table Of Contents is one example to support it. Look at its unique features.

  1. It is an SEO-friendly plugin even with a complex design.
  2. It has 2 themes for the table. It has also 4 free icons to set expanding and collapsing buttons.
  3. Highly customizable options in a developer-friendly way.
  4. You can edit it just by dragging and dropping.
  5. You can keep inserting or hiding the tale of contents expand.

Let’s look more.

4) LuckyWP Table of Contents

LuckyWP Table of Content page
Screenshot from LuckyWP Table of Content webpage on 01/27/2023

It has many useful features for giving it popularity. Look at the prominent features of the LuckyWP Table of Contents.

  1. An automatic insert of the table of contents.
  2. SEO-friendly plugin to display it on featured snippets.
  3. Keep harmony with WordPress plugins and themes.
  4. Settings the heading depth and put the hierarchical or linear view.
  5. Font size, width, colors, etc greatly customizable options.

Now, look at the final plugin on this list.

5) All in One SEO (AIOSEO)

Screenshot from AIOSEO webpage on 01/27/2023

Not to mention, it also adds more value to the diversified plugin. Actually, it is an SEO plugin. In other words, it is the All in One SEO plugin. With other SEO things, you can also add a table of contents. Look at its prominent features.

  1. You can add it anywhere just like paragraphs or headings.
  2. It can generate automatic headings. It is based upon H1-H6 headings.
  3. Your user can experience the hierarchical view.
  4. You can reorder the headings or hide individual headings.
  5. You can set a bullet or a number list as per your choice.

These are the 5 popular Table of content plugins for WordPress. Now wrap up the things.

Wrap-up for Table of contents in WordPress without plugin

I tried to provide an all-in-guide here. It is true that there is plenty of information left. However, the necessary things are taken up. It helps you to get useful knowledge in one place. Firstly you knew, the vital use of a table of contents. After that, you got a detailed guide with pictures and animations for adding a table of contents in WordPress without plugin. Then, you also got 5 diversified plugins so you can choose the best fit for you. In the end, you can also look at some FAQs below.

If you face any difficulty, then provide the issue in the comment box. Besides, You can hit the share button to spread this content.

Frequently asked questions

how to create a table of contents without using headings?

There is no need to take any different steps for it. Just choose any block and put html anchor in the advanced tab. For example, here FAQ block is an example of a link without headings.
here FAQ paragraph is selected. After that “faq” html anchor is applied. Finally, added it to the Table of contents named FAQ with the “#faq” link.

which is the correct: table of content or table of contents?

The “table of contents” is the right pick for blogs. Wikipedia and various dictionaries have a clear meaning for it. Basically, it is a list of chapters/sections to scan the major coverage.
On the other side, the “table of content” is rarely used in a book. Some writers express their freedom to use it.
However, the term “Table of content” is rarely found on even any google page. Therefore it is better to be consistent with the table of contents.

what are the alternatives words for the table of contents

You can use many synonyms instead of a table of contents. For example, look at some popular ones.
tabulation, summary, table, chart, catalog, agenda, appendix, schedule, etc.

How can I apply scroll down instead of a jump over section?

Generally, when you click on a link, it will directly show you the desired section. Many people do not prefer it. You can set a CSS code so your user will go through the section with a scrolling effect.
Firstly, copy the below code.

scroll-behavior: smooth;

Secondly, Go to the WordPress menu > Appearance > customize > Additional CSS. Then, paste the above code.
Finally, click on publish. After that enjoy your scrolling effect.
Not to mention, CSS can affect your site speed a little bit. It is mentioned so you can take a rational choice.

How to create a table of contents in WordPress classic editor?

Some people like to use Gutenberg’s classic editor. Here is the step you need to follow to add a table of contents.
Firstly, complete your post writing with proper headings and subheadings.
Secondly, Make a table of contents by writing all headings.
Thirdly, Look at the rightmost corner of your block editor. You can find two options namely “Visual” and “Text”. Click on “Text”.
In some cases, you have to switch manually in html code. Both are the same.
Fourthly, Find your all headings. For a quick search, you can find it by tapping “Ctrl+F” and searching H2, H3, etc.
Fifthly, after <H2 give a space then add id like id =”toc-WordPress”. After adding it your code looks like the below.
<H2 id=”toc-WordPress”> What is Table of Contents in WordPress</H2>
After that, copy this “toc-wordpress” and go to your table of contents. Then select all text and click on the link icon. After that put #and id. The link will look like below.
Do the same things for all your section. Again, for the scrolling effect, the process is the same as the previous one.

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