By default, WordPress displays posts in reverse chronological order. That way, your website visitors get to see your newer posts first, as older ones get buried underneath them.
The upside is that this drives views to your new posts faster when they’re still fresh and time appropriate. The problem sets in when your site has a lot of content. Older ones will become buried and less likely to be read by your site’s visitors.
Come to think about it — who has the time to dig through hundreds of posts trying to find that particular post you published many years ago?
One trick SEOs use to breathe life into old posts is internal linking. Whenever you publish a new post, you have to think about an old post that relates to it and consider linking to it.
Most blogs also tend to display the most recent posts in the sidebar. It’s an excellent strategy to extend the visibility of your recent blog posts. But it might not be helpful to your readers as it doesn’t link them to related posts.
Let’s say you just finished reading a blog post that guides you on how to set up a WordPress site. The next thing you’d want to read would be about the plugins to install or how to speed up the website. So, you check the sidebar, and all you see are posts about video marketing and blogging.
If the post has relevant internal links, you might choose to click on one of them and continue learning. In the worst-case scenario, you’d be forced to return to Google, run a new search query, and probably land on a different site.
And that, my friend, is how you lose the website visitors you could have easily retained.
There’s always a solution; in this case, all the blog owner needed to do was display related posts in the sidebar. It’s that simple, but it gets even simpler when you enlist a WordPress plugin to do it for you.
In this post, we’ll review some of the best related posts WordPress plugins you can use to give your website’s visitors the best possible experience.
A related post plugin saves you the hassle of manually searching for related posts to link to every new post you publish.
Instead, the plugin will automatically scour your blog posts archive and quickly pull related posts that you can add to your sidebar or internally link to the post.
A simple search in the WordPress plugin repository should return hundreds of such plugins, but to save you the trouble of having to try out all the plugins yourself to find the right one, here’s a collection of the free and premium WordPress related posts plugins to help you with that:
YARPP is a highly rated and one of WordPress’s most downloaded related posts plugins.
As of this publication, the plugin has over 6 million downloads, over 100K active installs, and a 4.8/5.0 rating.
The plugin amplifies post-discovery and engagement by introducing your website’s visitors to relevant and trending content on your blog or website, thus boosting time on site, visitor engagement, and SEO metrics.
- Advanced and More Versatile Algorithm: YARPP uses a customizable algorithm that analyses posts based on titles, tags, the content itself, and other custom taxonomies to find related content across your website or blog.
- Caching: The plugin features inbuilt caching that makes subsequent queries easier and faster.
- Custom Templates & Styles: YARPP offers you options. You can choose whether to use a pre-built list, thumbnail template, or their custom templating system for 100% control of how the posts are displayed and the styles used.
- Flexible: YARPP has a full range of display options, including:
- RSS/Feed Options
- REST API
- YARPP Functions
- Gutenburg Block Editor
- Automatic Display Options
- Works with BBforums
- Also supports WooCommerce
- It’s professionally maintained with regular updates
Pros and Cons
- The plugin works with all types of posts. It’s also easy to install and configure
- It has a wide range of embedding options
- The advanced templating system lets you decide how you want your posts to be displayed
- You can also decide where to display your related content feed. For example, you can display it in the sidebar or anywhere else on your site.
- The plugin is professionally maintained and regularly updated
- Works with all languages
- Not the most user-friendly plugin
- Requires more server resources than other plugins on the list
The plugin works best with PHP and above, MYSQL 5.6 and above (or MariaDB 10.1 and above), and WordPress 3.7 and above. Anything less than the above specifications and it might appear glitchy.
CRP is a user-friendly WordPress plugin enabling you to manually add related posts to your posts, pages, and custom post types.
The plugin doesn’t automatically select the posts for you. Instead, it presents a list allowing you to choose which related posts go well with that particular publication.
Pros and Cons
- It’s compatible with both the classic and Guttenberg WordPress editor, meaning it can still be customized to a degree.
- It lets you choose the supported widget, block, or shortcode to display the feed.
- You can manually choose which related posts to display
- It allows you to resize your images
- A lot of options in terms of customizability and design
- Not suitable for large websites with hundreds or thousands of blog posts
Despite these drawbacks, the plugin makers consistently update it to make it more appealing to users. It’s also one of the most lightweight plugins on the list and won’t bog down your servers.
The JetPack plugin is the Swiss army knife of WordPress plugins. It can do almost anything you throw at it: from automating social media posts to site analytics and mobile themes.
Included among the 30-plus modules is the related post module.
This module will trawl your site, scan every post you have, and analyze them before displaying related posts at the end of every post you publish.
The idea is to get your website visitor to stay around for longer.
If you wish to display related posts elsewhere, you can uncheck this option and instead use the Related Post block editor in the Gutenberg block editor to determine where you want the posts to go.
The Pros and Cons
- The good thing about JetPack is that everything they do (analysis, processing, and content serving) takes place in the cloud. Nothing is hosted on your server.
That gives them an edge over the rest of the plugins on the list because it can’t potentially slow down your website.
- JetPack is also among the easiest plugins to use: no configurations or anything. Just install the plugin and activate it, then toggle a switch to the JetPack interface. Many of its features don’t require manual setup. However, you’re allowed to customize the basic functions of the plugin and make alterations to its appearance.
- The plugin’s simplicity is both a curse and a blessing. It’s a blessing in the sense that it’s fairly easy to install and use.
- However, the same simplicity also makes customization hard. While you can personalize your thumbnails and publishing dates, most changes can’t go past the default options provided.
- Also, the plugin isn’t as versatile as we could have wished it to be. You can’t use it with other content types unless you edit your site’s code. The installation process can also become complicated depending on your website’s template and settings.
The Cost: free
The Related Post Thumbnails plugin is one of WordPress’s best related posts plugins. Over 50,000 websites have installed the plugin.
You can use the plugin to display related posts on your WordPress blog. The posts can be displayed in the sidebar, beneath your posts and pages, or using a Gutenberg block or shortcode.
You can also include video or image thumbnails in the way you display posts.
The Key Features of the Plugin
- Thumbnails: This feature allows you to arrange thumbnails in columns, under the posts you publish, with “related posts’ titles under each one. You can also customize the posts by border, text, background, background on hover, and so forth.
- Number of Posts: You’re the person to decide how many related posts you want the plugin to display. Your options range from 1 to 10.
- Categories to Include/Show: You can select the categories to include and display. You can also choose the relationship between posts – tags, categories, or whether to use custom taxonomies.
- Start Date: Specify the dates for which you want the posts to be shown. You can use this feature to only display posts from a specified date. Say, you’re only interested in displaying the posts you published within the last three years.
- Page Types: You also get to decide which page you want the list to be displayed. You can choose the pages or specify if you want the list displayed in your posts, pages, or custom post types.
- Style Settings: This option allows you to customize your style settings, from titles and texts to the lengths of excerpts.
The Pros and Cons
- The plugin allows you to specify the relationship between the post your visitors are reading and the one it’s linking to. That gives you more control over the posts displayed and the content your visitors are directed towards.
- The plugin is also among the few that include the option for video thumbnails. You can use this option to entice readers to navigate to a recommended post by showing them a video teaser.
- The plugin allows you to style your post lists without laying a single line of code. The problem is that this option is limited.
In other words, you can only change the text colour, font size, background, and border.
The Plugin Costs: Free
Super Simple Related Posts is exactly as the name suggests, an easy-to-use plugin compatible with almost any WordPress theme or site.
But what makes it better than most plugins on the list is that it allows you to edit widget titles, the posts it recommends, and the headings displayed.
You can also dictate how many posts you want to display and in what order or what the plugin should do if there are no posts to display.
The Pros and Cons of the Plugin
- The plugin prioritizes speed over anything else. It doesn’t eat up your website’s resources to bog it down.
- The impressive speed comes at the expense of customization. It’s a trade-off that might work with some people, but if your primary concern is how you display the list, you might want to try out a different plugin.
Luckily for you, you can use filters to edit its code and make a few alterations to its appearance.
Related Posts Pro is a premium Related Posts plugin packed with templates and layouts to showcase related content on your website.
It has three layouts to choose from: slick, slide, and isotopic, so you can pick whichever one works best for your site.
The Isotopic layout is a grid-like format, set up in blocks that can be easily rearranged to get your desired look.
The slick and slide layouts are timed sliders, using animation effects to transition, like the fly-in or fade-in animation.
Once you choose a layout, you can choose from over 65 templates, each customizable in colour and style.
And, with one click, you can have Related Posts Pro fully integrated into your site’s design.
The Pros and Cons
The related Posts Pro plugin has over 200 customization options, so you can get the exact look and feel you want for your related posts list.
No coding is required. Plus, the installation and setup process is super easy.
The plugin also has another feature that lets you adjust your posts’ relatedness to ensure you get the most relevant articles for your site.
The downside is that some users have reported slow loading times when using the Related Posts Pro plugin. The plugin is heavy and, therefore, requires a lot of server resources.
The Bottom Line
Related Posts Pro is a fantastic plugin, but it comes with its own set of challenges. It’s an excellent option if you’re looking for a plugin that can quickly and easily display related posts. However, you do not want to skimp on server resources because it can slow down your website.
The Cost: $22
The WordPress Infinite Related Next Post Manager plugin is a top-rated related posts plugin in CodeCanyon. This plugin allows you to display the next post, previous post, or related posts right after your blog post content. It also has an automatic thumbnail featured image feature that can be displayed with each related post.
On the settings page, you can control how the plugin determines relevant content by author, category, publish date, tag, or even custom taxonomies. With this plugin, you can customize the related posts display with different presentation styles and colour schemes and control the size of the thumbnails.
You also get to control how many related posts are displayed, how much text to show in the excerpt, and even add a Custom CSS if needed. With four main styles and colour schemes readily available, you’ll surely find something that snugly suits your website’s style.
The Pros and Cons of The Plugin
- The plugin has four primary styles that you can use to display your recent posts: top slider, infinite loading, left sidebar, and bottom slider.
Each of these styles offers plenty of customization options. For instance, the bottom slider allows you to change the font size, background colour, text colour, and even animation speed.
- The plugin also offers a range of customization options to fine-tune the look and feel of your related posts.
- But the biggest plus point of this plugin is its support team. They are always there to answer any of your queries and give the best advice on how to maximize the performance of your recent posts.
- While there aren’t many weaknesses to this plugin, one issue worth noting is its incompatibility with some websites. There have been a few complaints from users that the plugin does not work well with certain themes and page builders. The good thing, however, is that their developers are always on standby and ready to help you resolve any compatibility issues you may encounter.
The Cost: $25
As the name suggests, Inline Related Posts is an excellent plugin for inserting related posts into your content. It’s made for WordPress users who want to display related posts within their content or page instead of their sites’ sidebars.
The plugin automatically adds related post display boxes in the middle of your WordPress pages and posts.
You don’t have to do anything, just install the plugin, and it will do its magic by automatically displaying related posts.
But if you’re concerned about the look and feel of the display boxes, you can choose between the 20 display combinations and style them according to your website’s design.
You can customize the text colour, opacity, border, and display copy to make it unique.
The plugin even lets you preview your changes in real time before publishing your post.
The Pros and Cons
The plugin is unique in that it allows you to place related posts display box within your website post or page. Readers can easily scroll through the box without leaving the page. Furthermore, you can customize many details to make it look unique.
The plugin allows you to display up to three related post boxes on their free plan. But if you upgrade to a paid plan, you can display as many related post boxes as you want.
The free version of the plugin is somewhat limited. For example, you can’t add feature images to the recommended post until you upgrade to a paid plan.
A paid plan allows you to display unlimited recommended posts. But most users think the three posts limit of the free version is enough.
So if you’re torn between the free and paid versions, think about it carefully. It might be better to stick with the free version if you don’t need more than three recommended posts.
The Cost: Starts from free, $27 for their premium version
Shareholic is more of a social media toolkit than just a related post plugin. It allows you to share and promote your content on various social networks.
However, you need to activate their recent posts feature to get related post functionality.
The plugin also has a recommended content feature that uses machine learning algorithms to display relevant content in every post.
If you’re looking for something more than just related posts, Shareholic might be the perfect choice.
Pros and Cons
- They have decent customization options
- They have different layout options to choose from
- You can show custom post types
- The plugin isn’t perfect. It could use some improvement.
- Their customer support can also be slow at times.
The Cost: They have three plans: free, professional ($8/m), and Team $31/m)
The Taxonomy Related Post is a contextual-related post plugin packed with plenty of excellent features. It lets you easily display related posts based on tags, categories and taxonomies. It has some great customization options that allow you to tailor the related posts section to your liking.
The plugin can also include or exclude relevant search terms from being displayed.
It’s also fairly lightweight and won’t slow down your website.
The Pros and Cons
- The plugin shows relevant post recommendations based on your post, tags, and categories
- You can also show relevant posts using shortcodes and widgets
- You can include or exclude relevant search terms from the related post
- It’s lightweight and won’t slow down your website
- The plugin lacks some advanced features like social media integration and other customization options
- Not the most user-friendly plugin in the market
The Final Wrap
There it goes, the ten best-rated related post WordPress plugins for 2023. If you’re looking for a lightweight plugin to show relevant posts on your website easily, this list is perfect for you. Not to mention the price tag – many free options are on the list.
So why waste your time? Go ahead and choose the one that suits your blog’s needs.