Giving your selected content more exposure via featuring it is a good idea because this way:

(1) You attract more attention to your best articles (or those that you need more attention for);

(2) You allow your best and most important posts to be easier accessed by search engine bots.

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The three WordPress plugins compared in this post have two things in common:

  1. They all allow to select which posts to feature manually (there are other types of plugins that automatically generate the list by the number of comments, amount f traffic, visitors’ preferences, etc; this post doesn’t mention those at all);
  2. They are all SEO-friendly (the links to the posts are in HTML and easily accessed by spiders).
How the list is createdThe placementAdditional settings
YAFPPYou pick any postsInsert anywhere in the templateCan display excerpt; you can set permissions to edit the list
WordPress Featured Post List2 WITH IMAGEYou pick any postsInsert anywhere in the templateCan display image
Hungred Feature Post ListFirst selected then random (configurable)Sidebar (via widget)CSS class on the feature container and / or widget

Now, a few details on the installation process:

Yet Another Featured Posts Plugin (YAFPP)

The steps:

  1. Download and activate plugin;
  2. Go to “Edit pages” and “star” pages you want to features;
  3. Within your site template you can include a list of featured posts by calling:
    <?php get_featured_posts(); ?>  
  4. Go to plugin settings (under SETTINGS) and configure:

WordPress Featured Post List2 WITH IMAGE

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Steps:

  1. Download and activate plugin;
  2. Within your site template you can include a list of featured posts by calling:
    <?php featuredpostsList2(); ?>  
  3. Go yo plugin settings (under SETTINGS) and configure:

Hungred Feature Post List

Steps:

  1. Download and activate plugin;
  2. Go to Appearance => Widgets and drag their widget to where you want the posts to appear:

  3. While editing each post, mark the post as featured:

  4. Go to plugin settings (under SETTINGS) and configure: