Top 6 WordPress Related Post Plugins to Engage your Visitors

Do you spend too much of your time and effort trying to catch more visitors for your WordPress site? But despite all the hard work, a large chunk of those visitors bounce-away without any hope to return.

This is why, apart from only getting visitors to your site, you need to ensure you are doing everything possible that will keep them engaged once they get there. Brands like Amazon and Netflix have figured it out for themselves. They believe that one of the best ways to engage your website visitors is through the use of quality content recommendations.

“On WordPress, that translates to listing up posts designed on content that you know your visitor is already interested in. Which if done well, will keep your visitors engaged, allowing you more time to win a lead, get an email address, or just create a new loyal fan of your WordPress site.” says the panel of WordPress Developer London Experts.

Top 6 WordPress Related Post Plugins

Top 6 WordPress Related Post Plugins

Now, not all related-post-plugins are the same, which is why you need to ensure that you are picking the right one. To help do just that, WordPress Experts have outlined top six related-post-plugins for your WordPress site.

But what are related posts anyway?

Why WordPress Related Post Plugins are so Useful?

Displaying related posts on your website is a smart way to keep your visitors engaged and coming for more. Related posts direct readers to content that’s most relevant to what they are already interested in. WordPress Related Posts Plugin works as an effective weapon in winning the battle against high website bounce rates.

Today, related posts section is typically added to each news post, blog entry, documentation article or similar piece of content to keep the readers engaged. Within these different sections, readers can find links to additional content that is related to that specific entry. (contd.: Top 6 WordPress Related Post Plugins)

For instance, if a blog post were about gardening tips, the related posts section will generate recommendations I.e. gardening tools, caring for your plants, outdoor decoration ideas, and how-to guides on how to select the right seeds for your garden, etc.

Although there are many benefits of installing a WordPress related posts plugin on your website, here’s a list of top five benefits you can enjoy:

Improved search engine rankings:

Related posts allow you to generate more internal links, which provides search engine bots with more information. All of which gives a significant boost to your site’s SEO.

Better ways to use your old content:

You can reshare your old content and win a whole new audience for that.

Provides a boost to your online authority:

Related posts plugins are a great way to show off your knowledge and depth in the particular field. This works in establishing your brand’s authority online.

Improves reader engagement:

A reader is more likely to engage with your website if he/she finds quality content, they are interested in, right when they need it. WordPress related post plugins help you do just that.

Increases revenue:

If you feature advertisements on your blog/website to generate revenue (such as through Google AdSense), related posts can give your ads more exposure and increase your income.

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What is a Taxonomy?

In order for a related posts plugin to work perfectly on your site, it needs to rank content that is relevant to the interests of the reader. This requires the use of taxonomies.

Taxonomy in WordPress is one of those things that everyone uses, but they just don’t know that they are using it. WordPress taxonomies are used to group posts and custom post types together. They are used in two popular types on WordPress:

  1. Categories: These are broad groupings for the content of different subjects available on your site. For instance, let’s assume that you run a blog on lifestyle, your content can be grouped in categories I.e. Fashion, Living, Shopping etc. (contd.: Top 6 WordPress Related Post Plugins)
  2. Tags: Similar to categories but are more specific. They describe the topic of a particular post. You can include as many tags to a post as you wish. For example, if you write a blog on a movie, your tags can include the genre of the file, name of cast members, location the movie was shot at, and any other keywords that a reader might search for.

These taxonomies offer an easy and effective way to list your related posts. However, you can also choose from other options. WordPress enables you to create custom taxonomies, that makes it even easier for you to group and organize your content.

For example, if you run a blog related to news updates, you can create a custom taxonomy that grouped together all articles related to a specific topic/news. And if your blog has got multiple contributors, you could create a custom taxonomy to group posts coming from the same author.

You can then tweak the setting of your related posts plugin to factor in both custom and default taxonomies. This makes recommendations even more relevant to your site visitors.

Understanding how the plugin works

Your WordPress plugin adopts either of the two approaches to locate relevant content for your site visitors. Understanding how your plugin works is crucial for serving the right content to your audience.

Apart from using different algorithms for determining the ‘related content’ the difference in approach of WordPress plugins can be summarized as follows:

Approach 1:

Some related-post-plugins will use your own server/database to generate the list of related content.

Approach 2:

While other plugins will outsource the recommendations to their own servers/database to recommend the related posts.

The difference matters because;

Finding related-post-content is purely database intensive, specifically for larger sites with a massive volume of content. So, if a related-post plugin is using your server to rank up recommendations, it’s not only going to use your server’s resources but also degrade your site’s performance. While on the contrary, if a related-post plugin does its processing on a separate server, it helps in eliminating the above issue. (contd.: Top 6 WordPress Related Post Plugins)

With that distinction in mind, let’s delve into the kingdom of related post plugins.

  1. Related Posts Thumbnails Plugin

For all blogs and websites featuring plenty of images and embedded videos, this flexible, powerful, and easy-to-use plugin is a perfect choice. The best thing about Related Posts Thumbnails is its simple and easy-to-use UX for determining how content is related. You can choose the relatedness of the posts depending on categories, tags, a combination of both or custom filters.

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It comes with flexible styling options that allow you to adjust fonts, border and background colors. In fact, you can also select how old content can be before it is removed from the recommendations. This allows you to keep your related posts section up-to-date.

Key features:

  • Includes a related-posts sidebar widget,
  • Completely FREE and is available on WordPress.org,
  • Choose between block and list display options,
  • Video thumbnail display options,
  • Allows you to customize except lengths.

2. Jetpack Related Posts Plugin

If you are a frequent WordPress user, you might already know about the Jetpack Plugin.

Designed by Automattic this plugin is an all-in-one related-posts plugin that brings all the popular WordPress.com features to self-hosted WordPress websites. In just a matter of clicks, you can start showcasing related content on the bottom of your webpage or a blog post.

Key features:

  • Absolutely FREE to use,
  • Uses WordPress.com’s server to generate recommendations, hence keeps your site’s performance optimized.
  • Easy installation
  • Works flawlessly. No need to tweak the default settings.

3. Custom Related Posts Plugin

Custom Related-Posts Plugin is one of the most straightforward options to choose. Although it can be easily installed for all types of blogs, its minimal setup makes it ideal for small-scale WordPress websites. (contd.: Top 6 WordPress Related Post Plugins)

This plugin allows you to search for a specific keyword that’s related to multiple blogs. Then, you can choose how those blogs are linked to each other. If you want to redefine your search filters, or, correct a mistake, Custom Related Posts allows you to do that quickly. Furthermore, it enables you to choose the type of posts you’d like to be featured in the related posts section.

Key features:

  • 100% FREE to use,
  • Light-weight design,
  • Allows you to search for posts using particular elements they have in common, and then link them,
  • Enables you to specify the post types that will feature related posts,
  • Provides options to feature related posts using widgets and shortcodes.

4. Shareaholic Plugin

Shareaholic is another great plugin that specializes in follow and share buttons. It comes with a related posts widget, which can be customized to display at the bottom of the webpage with classic, card or rounded design.

Key features:

  • Easy to install,
  • Analytics for clicks and shares,
  • Eliminates the need to install separate plugins for follow buttons and share buttons,
  • Basic themes to customize your related posts widget,
  • Completely FREE to use.

5. Contextual Related Posts Plugin

This plugin lets you display recommended content with both a shortcode and widget. It works by offering a customized selection of related posts category and allows you to individually select posts to be displayed on the related posts list.

The main downside is that Contextual Related Posts Plugin uses your own server to generate the related posts recommendations. Which affects the performance of your site, hog resources and often gets banned by some hosts.

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Key features:

  • 100% FREE to install,
  • Supports custom post types,
  • Allows you to display related posts inside your content not just at the end,
  • Complete flexibility to mix and match different post types,
  • Styling options to adjust thumbnail sizes, metadata etc.
  • Freedom to exclude certain related posts categories from the recommended results.

6. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

YARPP is one of the most popular related posts plugin with over 200,000 downloads. Its advanced algorithm allows the plugin to filter and rank the most relevant related posts content based on categories, tags, title, and text.

You can use YARPP to display related posts content under your blog posts either in the form of list or thumbnails. If you have ever come across a blog that says “You may also like” followed by a list of options to other related content, then it is most likely that site is powered by this plugin.

Despite its slightly outdated design, its algorithm makes the plugin everyone’s favorite.

Key features:

  • An advanced algorithm that ranks precise and relevant content,
  • Custom PHP templating for advanced users,
  • Lightweight design.

So, which related posts plugin should you really use?

Experts at the Web Development Company in London say that it’s hard to give a specific recommendation because a lot of this comes down to the particular features you need in your related posts plugin. For instance, you need to decide whether a plugin that supports custom posts types will work for your blog or will you need the one with basic blog recommendations?

Generally, bloggers prefer to use plugins that use someone else’s server to generate the related posts. Which often shrinks down to options like Jetpack. Its default style and outlook make it’s a great choice for bloggers.

However, if you are looking for more flexibility, and plugins that work on modern algorithms then options like YARPP can work best.

Which one of these plugins do you like the most? We’d love to hear your feedback.

Know any other great related posts plugin? Let us know in the comments below.

Top 6 WordPress Related Post Plugins

Genelia Timothi

Genelia Timothi

Genelia is the chief editor at Bloggingrepublic.com and manages our Content Writing projects. She is an avid freelance writer / editor with 8+ years of experience in working with top notch online publication viz. Huffpost, IB Times and Yahoo.
Genelia Timothi

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