Who hasn’t started reading a long online article, only to leave because the article was too long?
Or you weren’t sure it was going to answer your questions?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have an overview of what the article is about?
That’s when a table of contents, like the table of contents for a book, can help keep readers’ attention.
A table of contents highlights the major sections of the article, providing a way for readers to navigate to sections they’re interested in.
Or read the entire article in the same manner as the author wrote it.
When my academic client had a long article they wanted to publish on their website, I recommended adding a table of contents to the article.
They agreed and I set out to identify requirements and plugins.
- Easy to use and configure
- Automatic creation of the table of contents, based on existing headings
- Automatic updating of the table of contents when new headings were added
- Multiple design layouts
- Regularly updated
- Timely plugin customer support and good reviews
I reviewed about a dozen options before I discovered the plugin that fit the requirements.
Heroic Table of Contents
A free plugin, Heroic Table of Contents provides a quick way to add a custom table of contents section to your pages or posts.
The Heroic Table of Contents plugin offers:
- Automatic creation of table of contents, based on headings
- Select which headings to display
- Four pre-made layouts
- Allow readers to toggle visibility of the table of contents
- Ability to expand or collapse the content section
- Mobile friendly
The plugin is built as a Gutenberg block, so you can add it anywhere to your content on your page or post.
Heroic Table of Contents is free, has a 4.7 star rating in the WordPress plugin repository, and is translatable ready.
Why I Like It
Once I added the Heroic Table of Contents block to the post, the table of contents (TOC) was automatically added with the default outline layout.
I didn’t have to make any changes to the table of contents, unless I wanted to change the layout.
Each item in the table of contents is linked directly to the heading on the page.
You can change the layout to a gray background, rounded, or alternating colored rows.
In addition you can change the TOC to display with numbered or bulleted list.
The free plugin is updated regularly and the developers are quick to respond to comments and issues.
Another plus for me.
I’ve been looking at plugins from Hero Themes for a while; I’ll be using their Heroic Glossary plugin for the same academic website.
Their plugins offer a clean interface that is easy to use.
How the Plugin Works
Once you’ve installed Heroic Table of Contents, you’ll find a new block available on your site.
Either drag the block to the location you want or select the location you want to add the block.
Your table of contents is automatically created.
From the editor sidebar, you have multiple options in the block toolbar to change the display style, general settings, and which heading levels to scan for the table of contents.
In addition, once the table of contents has been created, you can edit the individual items in the TOC. Or disable each individual item from displaying.
When you have a long post or page, a table of contents allows readers to quickly navigate your content and find relevant content to answer their questions.
I found Heroic Table of Contents to be an easy-to-use customizable plugin. It allows you to add a helpful table of contents so readers can easily navigate your content.
Have you used the Heroic Table of Contents plugin? If yes, share your experience and tell me what you like best about the plugin in the comments.