What is Related Posts in WordPress?

People barely spend time on a new website, all you’ve got is less than 9 seconds to grab the attention of a new visitor on your WordPress site. Yes, according to research by Statisticbrain, the average attention span of a human is less than 9 seconds, which is close to the average attention span of a gold fish. That means in just few seconds, you’ve to manage to grab the attention of your reader, and “keep him/her engaged.”

Now how those big websites with millions of daily visitors, tackles this issue?

Simple! they keep their visitor engaged by suggesting more related content.

You might’ve seen those recommended posts or articles on several major websites, with the heading “Now trending,” “the latest,” “Popular now,” “you might also like,” and so on. In WordPress, we call it related posts.

 

Benefits of adding Related Posts in your WordPress

That’s why I always recommend that every WordPress blog should always use a related posts plugin on their WordPress installation. After all, who wants to show a mere single piece of his writing when, you can show an entire book, to a potential visitor of your WordPress site. With related posts/articles, readers on your site will find more related content and you’ll keep him engaged to discover more of your content.

In this guide, I’ll show you the better ways to show related posts on your WordPress sites, and how to keep your visitors engaged, effectively.

Top Ways to Show Related Posts in your WordPress Blogs/Sites

Now, you can show related posts by many ways, such as :-

  1. Shows related posts automatically – It uses various parameters such as related content, title, tags, taxonomy, popularity etc.
  2. Show related posts by popularity – It shows posts by total number of views
  3. Show related posts by latest – It shows posts from your latest WordPress site feed
  4. Show related posts by custom taxonomy/CPTs (Custom post type) – It shows more posts by the custom taxonomies
  5. Show related posts randomly – It randomly shows posts from mixed options, like a custom taxonomy, CPTs, no of views, etc.
  6. Show related posts by author – Show related posts by same authors.

It entirely depends upon your requirement, which way you want to show related posts on your WordPress website.

For instance –

If you run a WordPress Magazine site with news/articles related to specific topics,

  • You can show related posts by popularity/no of views in your widgets,
  • You can also prefer to show the related articles in-line, that means between the posts.
  • You can show “more articles” from the same category, after the post.
  • You can even show more articles, by the same author.

How to show related posts in WordPress ?

It’s super easy, even for beginner WordPress users to add related posts functionality to their WordPress sites.

  1. Using a related posts plugin – The easiest and safest option
  2. Using WordPress Theme’s built-in related posts feature – Depends upon your theme, built-in theme features are often restrictive.
  3. Custom code to show related posts in WordPress – Requires coding skills, and need to be maintained with WordPress updates.

Some popular WordPress themes, comes with a built in feature to display related posts, but majority of people, alike me prefer to use a separate plugin to display related posts from their respective blogs.

Why separate plugins for related posts?

  • Better control – It’s always a great idea to add any custom feature to your WordPress site, using a standalone plugin.
    In case if you’re switching the theme framework, then you can continue using your existing related posts plugin
  • More flexibility – In case, if required you can quickly to turn off the related posts feature, by simply deactivating the plugin, instead of altering the code or deactivating your theme.
  • Easier updates – It’s easier to update a single plugin, over updating an entire theme for pushing any changes to the related posts feature on your site.

In this guide, you’ll learn about the best WordPress related posts plugins, best WordPress themes with related posts functionality, and also, how to manually add related posts to your WordPress sites without any plugin.

 

How WordPress Related posts plugin generate list of related posts?

There are many factors often referred as “the algorithm” for the developers and “the secret sauce” for an ordinary WordPress user, which is used by a WordPress related posts plugin to display related posts on your WordPress sites including :-

  • Relation based on other post title/content – In this method, the plugin uses related or common keywords to generate a list of related post.
  • Relation based on custom taxonomy/tags –  In this method, the plugin generates a list of related posts, which shares the same custom taxonomy.
  • Relation based on custom post types – In this method, the plugin makes a list of related posts from the same custom post type.
  • Relation based on many factors – In this type of method, the plugin uses various factors combined to generate a list of related posts including, title keywords, content body keywords, tags, categories, no of views etc to generate a highly relative list of related posts.

 

Top WordPress related Posts plugin 2018

1. Jetpack by WordPress.com

Shows related posts automatically, allows to select manual posts by filters.

jetpack related posts wordpress

The super popular Jetpack plugin by WordPress.com, is known to all and with over 4 million+ downloads, chances are high that you’re already using Jetpack on your WordPress blog. I personally, like Jetpack a lot because of range of features and services it offers as a single plugin.

The related posts feature offered by Jetpack are pretty neat, it allows you to –

  • Show related posts beneath the single posts in Grid and lists layouts
  • Ability to customize, the related posts layouts to display thumbnails, date, category.

Surely, Jetpack’s related posts can’t be customized much, with the settings area. However, for advanced WordPress user, there are filters to customize the related posts.

  • You can change the number of related posts.
  • Show the author of posts displayed as related posts.
  • Insert the related posts within your post content via a shortcode.
  • Remove the related posts from the bottom of your posts.
  • Change the “related” headline at the top of the related posts section.
  • Replace one of the related posts by a custom result, for a specific post.
  • Exclude, a specific post, category, appearing among related posts results.
  • Display related posts on pages, and other custom post types, as well.
  • And more.

Pros

  • Shows related posts automatically.
  • Ability to customize the related posts layout.
  • If you’re already using Jetpack, then no need to install separate related posts plugin.

Cons

  • Lack of front-end GUI based options to directly customize the related posts layout and display options.

PS – I am using Jetpack’s related posts on this blog, as I am already using the plugin, and it serves the purpose for me to list down related posts in just the way I want. However, if you want to customize the related posts section, display posts from other custom post types, then you should better look for alternative plugins below.

Download free

 

2. Related Posts for WordPress

Shows related posts automatically, Premium version supports CPTs, Custom taxonomies

WordPress related posts pluginRelated posts for WordPress is a popular new plugin to boost your page views. It’s a fairly simple plugin, all you need to do is just install and activate the plugin, it’ll launch a setup assistant and create a cache of related posts. The plugin is not just fast, but also requires no efforts from your side, it automatically links the post with the related content, and  in case if you don’t like the plugin’s intelligence then it allows you to manually pick the related posts.

Although this free version of the plugin, ticks most of the essential needs of a regular WordPress blogs. However, if you want to show related posts from other custom post types like products, taxonomies, drag and drop configurator for advanced styling, WordPress multi-site support and priority support, then I would suggest you to better go with the premium version of the plugin, which starts at $5.99/per site.

Pros

  • Automatically builds a cache of your related posts and links them.
  • Allows you to control the number of related posts, heading text, featured image and styling.
  • Widget to show related posts

Cons

  • Complete functionality are only available with Premium version
Download free Buy Premium

 

3. Related Posts Thumbnails Plugin by WPBrigade

Shows related posts by custom taxonomy, related posts randomly.

Related posts by WPbrigade

Related Posts by WPBrigade is an another popular plugin to display related posts on your WordPress site. If you’re alike me, who likes to configure things in your way, then this plugin is for you. It comes with a wide set of options to configure, including support for custom post types, configure thumbnails, styling, and most importantly it allows you to choose the relation between related posts, on the basis of categories, tags, etc.

Pros

  • Ability to choose base relation for related posts.
  • Ability to show related posts on site wide custom location.
  • Video thumbnails – you can create thumbnails from videos.
  • Support for custom post types, and taxonomies.
  • Options to customize the layout of related posts with built-in styling settings.
  • Widget to show related posts.

Cons

  • No option to manually add related posts.
  • No built-in cache feature.
Download free

 

4. Contextual Related Posts

Shows related posts by context

Contextual related posts plugin

Contextual related posts, as the name suggests is a WordPress plugin that displays related posts on the basis of context and hence shows more relevant posts.  It uses the title and/or content of the posts to generate the list of related posts. The plugin is feature rich, that means it supports thumbnails, shortcodes, widgets, CPTs, and CSS styles, plus comes with built-in cache functionality that reduces the load on your server.

contextual related posts plugin

It also has extensive widget support for related posts, with many options to configure including no of posts to display, include excerpt, author name, date, thumbnails, as well as post types selection.

Pros

  • Built-in caching system
  • Automatically curates the list of related posts on the basis of related context
  • Automatically adds related posts to any post type you choose
  • Ability to show related posts on site wide custom location.
  • Support for custom post types, and taxonomies.
  • Options to customize the layout of related posts with built-in styles, and custom CSS
  • Highly customisable output for related posts
  • Highly configurable widget to show related posts.

Cons

  • Not updated since a year
Download free

5. Yuzo – Related Posts

Shows related posts by tags, categories, custom taxonomy, random

Yuzo is one exciting related posts plugin for WordPress, the primary reason is its beautiful and easy to use interface.

 

 

 

So , that was a complete up to the date and best free plugin list of 2012 to show your WordPress related posts content. Hope you had enjoyed this read, if you’re using one of those plugins then share your thoughts on why you’re using it and what feature makes it unique, plus how much it had helped you in decreasing the bounce rate of your blog. If I had missed any of the similar plugin in the list do let me know in the comments below.