How to Show a Progress Bar for Your WIP in WordPress

Do you have a blog to market yourself as an author? A lot of fans might be curious as to how your latest “work-in-progress” is coming along. In this post, I’ll show you how to add the Author WIP Progress Bar in WordPress.

It can add a layer of engagement from those who are eagerly awaiting a new published piece. And it can do more than just track a novel.

You can also use the WIP progress bar to highlight Wattpad stories, blog posts, or perhaps an eBook you’re putting together.

At any rate, the progress bar is a fun addition to any writer’s website.

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How to Install the Author WIP Progress Bar

For this tutorial, I’m using the Author WIP Progress Bar. It’s an easy-to-use plugin that you can use as either a WordPress widget or paste directly into a post or page using a shortcode.

It’s a simple visual aesthetic and doesn’t store a great deal of data. This means it won’t slow the website and is less likely to have conflict issues with other plugins.

In any case, it’s a great way to engage your fans by showing where you are in progression.

Install the Author WIP Progress Bar Plugin

From the WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins and click, “Add New.”

Add New Plugin

Search for, “Author WIP Progress Bar” in the field provided.

Author WIP Progress Bar

Install and activate the plugin.

Install and Activate

Method 1: Configure the Progress Bar Shortcode

Once the plugin is installed, you’ll have a new addition in the left panel of WordPress. Click the “Progress Bar” option.

Progress Bar

As I said, there are two ways you can use Author WIP Progress Bar: using a shortcode on a page or using the widget. This setup is for the former, to be used on a post or page.

On this page, you’ll enter the information to create a shortcode. Most of the settings on this screen are fairly self-explanatory.

For instance, if you’re goal is 90,000 words, you’d enter “90000.” If your current progress is only 25,700 words, you’d enter “25700.”

Author WIP Progress Bar also gives you 7 colors to choose from for the bar itself as well as its border. You can also include links to the WIP, such as working on a Wattpad story or perhaps blog posts themselves.

WIP Progress Info

Once the information is entered, click the “Generate Shortcode Button.”

Generate Shortcode

The shortcode for the progress bar is displayed at the top of this page. Copy the code and place it where ever you wish in WordPress.

Shortcode for WIP

NOTE: You can do this for as many works you have in progress. If you have more, just paste this shortcode and re-enter the information for the next one on the same screen. Each shortcode will be unique.

Also keep in mind that any time you make progress, you’ll have to recreate and paste the shortcode again for the changes. That’s because Author WIP Progress Bar doesn’t hold data.

An alternative to creating the shortcode over and over is to just change the number within the current_score= portion of the shortcode.

Method 2: Add Author WIP Progress Bar as a Widget

Perhaps one of the more common ways to get visitor’s attention to your WIP is by showing it in a sidebar widget. This way, the progress bar will show on most pages and posts in WordPress.

It’ll help get attention to the work you’re authoring regardless of how the visitor found your site.

In this instance, go to Appearance and click, ‘Widgets.”

WordPress Widgets

Drag and drop the Progress Bar Setup widget into one of your WordPress sidebars.

Progress Bar Setup Widget

Once you drop the widget, it will expand and show the same options as above for the shortcode.

As in the step above, input all of the information for the WIP. This is why I prefer to use the sidebar widget rather than the actual shortcode.

This way, you can make changes to the widget without having to copy and paste a new shortcode anytime to make changes. All you have to do is change the number of words or pages you’ve progressed.

Personally, I like the animated candy stripe, but you can use any layout you wish.

WIP Widget Info

NOTE: Not all themes will have a sidebar available. This is up to the developer and the layout of your website. Luckily, it’s not all that difficult to change your theme should you want sidebars. You can also install certain plugins to add a sidebar to themes that don’t have one.

Once you’re done inputting all the data, click the “Save” button at the bottom of the widget.

Save WIP Widget

Author WIP Progress Bar is now showing on your WordPress blog.

Current WIP Bar

NOTE: You can add as many WIP widgets as you want depending on how many projects you’re working on. Simply drag and drop each one as you did above.

How Else Can We Use the WordPress Progress Bar?

As I write this tutorial, it dawned on me that I can use the plugin in other ways. Although it’s more geared towards book writing, it can offer a bit more overall.

Setting Up Blogging Word Goals

I recently set up blogging goals to reach 1 million words by the end of 2021. I can use this plugin to show my progress.

Year of Writing

As it stands, I simply type the number in a text widget on the primary website. But Author WIP Progress Bar gives it a bit more of a visual element that is more engaging.

Plus, I can link back to the original blog post of the goal within the widget if someone is interested.

Goals for Publishing Posts

This can also work for the pages section. Instead of words, perhaps you want to publish a certain number of posts each month (or webpages).

Since I can make as many widgets or shortcodes as I want, I can do this for every blog I manage. Though, I think that might feel redundant.

Giving Your Fans Updates

I see a lot of writers deliver updates for their WIP on sites like Twitter. While this helps keep people engaged in your progress, why not share it on your blog?

In fact, I am going to install this on my main site as well. Not only will it keep visitors apprised of my progress, but it will also help keep me motivated to write more often.

After all, I don’t want the bar to remain stagnant for long periods of time. And Author WIP Progress Bar makes it that much easier.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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