WordPress related post plugins are important if you want to reduce number of visitors leaving your site after reading the first post. Whether you are reading your favorite news site or browsing through some blogs, you cannot help but notice one thing at the end of almost any article.
Thumbnail pictures and article headlines usually with a heading like “you might be interested in“, “related posts .” There is ample reason why so many website owners show you related posts or articles. You as a visitor will spend more time on their website, increasing the number of page views.
Increasing page views and reducing bounce rate is a big challenge for site owners. Showing users related content has proven to be an effective way of getting more page views.
You can easily show related posts on your site using a plugin if your WordPress theme doesn’t already have built-in option to show related content. Or you can choose to install WordPress related post plugin which will automatically link the related articles below any new post, doing all the work for you.
Free WordPress Related Post Plugins
If you’re struggling to keep users on your website, adding related content function on your website is a proven way to get people to stick around. Even more importantly, when a user views more of your content, they’ll more appreciate what your website is all about.
This can lead to increase in subscriptions, social shares, and even conversions. However, there is so much plugins for WordPress to show related content. Most look and work slightly different, with its own strengths and weaknesses.
It is hard to pick one when there is big competition in related post field. I have chosen 4 currently, by my opinion, best free WordPress related post plugins and made comparison at the end of this post (if you are lazy to read just skip until end). So, let’s get started.
A plugin with interesting name called Yet Another Related Posts Plugin aka YARPP is one of the most popular WordPress related posts plugins. It supports both thumbnail and text (list) display of related posts.
The plugin allows you link to posts relevant to the current article, either at the bottom of the post, or in the sidebar. It works well with pages and custom post types too giving you more flexibility.
The algorithm for determining whether a post is related takes into consideration the body content, title, tags, and categories assigned to the post.
Despite its popularity YARPP has major drawback. The plugin is incredibly resource-intensive, putting significant strain on your database through inefficient queries and badly integrated caching.
This is a big enough problem for a number of managed WordPress hosting services which added YARPP to a list of blacklisted plugins. The pro version of the plugin solves this problem by performing heavy-lifting on YARPP’s own servers.
YARPP is not compatible with WPML plugin. If you are going to create a multi-lingual WordPress site, then you should choose Polylang. Polylang has posted a tutorial for using YARPP with Polylang.
Plugin comes as Pro version too which is also free. It just requires you to sign up. Pro version brings possibility to earn money from displaying sponsored content, customize thumbnail layout, get detailed reporting….
You can mix and match YARPP Basic and YARPP Pro to get the best of both features.
- Accurately and automatically chooses relevant posts
- Allows showing related posts as thumbnails or text display
- Supports post, pages, custom post types, and RSS feed display
- Very resource intensive if you are running large site
- YARRP is blocked on some hosting providers
- Cant show related posts in content
Another good free related post plugin is Yuzo Related Posts. It has a comprehensive set of features like thumbnail views, horizontal views with thumbnails, list views, built-in cache, etc.
As well as being one of the quickest plugins around, Yuzo is also one of the more stylish, utilizing a beautiful, minimal design with over 50+ customization options.
Because you’ll want to craft a related post section that draws attention and really fits with the rest of your website, Yuzo supports extensive customization capabilities. For a start, you can list your related posts either vertically or horizontally.
Throw in infinite colors for backgrounds, custom text, and custom thumbnail dimensions, and you have an elegant, versatile plugin on your hands. You can add your related posts to any widget area. The plugin supports posts, pages, and custom post types.
You can manually add posts to the widget if you’d prefer. For added social proof, Yuzo can also display a visit counter next to each post. It’s as easy to install and it will accurately choose your previously written articles that are related to the current one you’re working on.
You also have the ability to choose your posts that will be displayed as related content manually so there’s a greater chance your visitors will be interested in staying on your site.
It doesn’t offer revenue sharing from advertisements.
- Easy to use and setup
- Users can choose different styles
- Customizable widget with lots of options
- It is fast, but it is not lightweight
- No option to show related posts inside content
Related posts inside post content are becoming very popular. They move traffic all around posts. Even posts that have been written years back but that are related to the article being read.
Instead of showing related posts below content, this plugin shows them inside your articles. This kind of inline display of related content is quite popular on news and blog sites.
Because the related posts are found at the end of a post, many readers don’t see them because they don’t read to the end of the post.
Inline Related Posts plugin effectively solves this common problem by automatically putting related posts inside content. Without need to manually put it via shortcode.
You are free to change the appearance of how the related posts will appear in your posts. Customization options are great and you can set related posts to blend with your site design.
There are two free themes available and more with Pro version. You can select how many links you want to add in each post (maximum is 3) and enter the amount of words that should be used as gap between related post links.
In some cases, you may not want an individual post to display inline related posts. Luckily, using this plugin you can easily exclude each post from showing related content.
The plugin is pretty easy to set up. Just select how many boxes you want to add to each post, and the minimum number of words between each.
It lets you use categories, tags, or categories & tags to find related posts. Users have the option to add “nofollow” to related post links. You can also customize the text and colors from the backend.
Inline Related Posts is only plugin that successfully puts automatically related posts inside your post content.
I find this plugin best free WordPress plugin for displaying related posts inside content on WordPress site. I use it on all of my sites and you can see it in action on KasaReviews.
I would just like to see option to show posts vertically too. Pro version comes with additional beautiful templates which allow usage of thumbnails.
Though this plugin doesn’t show related content after post, it has option to insert a related box at the end of the post (just one). Users can also overwrite the global settings inside the single post using shortcode.
I have contacted author of plugin and he assured me plugin will be extended with more features as well as cool footer related boxes with multiple posts or slideshow box.
- Displays related posts automatically inside content
- Automatically detects line breaks (without destroying your paragraphs or headlines)
- Option to add “nofollow”
- Customization in order to blend with site design
- If you want to display related posts at the end of each post, then you will need to install another plugin
- Only works for posts and pages
- Limit to maximum 3 related posts
- Cant choose to show more than one related posts one below other
- Thumbnails only in Pro version
Contextual Related Posts is another WordPress plugin to display related posts. It tries to improve relevancy by contextually matching posts.
It can display related posts as thumbnails and text. The plugin allows you to place related post links at the bottom of your article or at specified points of your article by using a shortcode.
The plugin also supports related posts in a sidebar widget. As well as the standard thumbnail image associated with the article, Contextual Related Posts also allows you to include a short excerpt below.
You can set the number of characters you want to be visible in excerpt. Your related posts can be fully re-styled using custom CSS. Contextual Related Posts considers only the title and body content when searching for related posts. It completely ignores tags and categories.
You can, however, select how many posts you want to appear, as well as how recent they should be. To increase your control over which posts appear, the plugin allows you to select specific posts and categories to exclude them from the related posts section.
And, for those of you working with pages or custom post types, you’ll be pleased to hear that both are fully supported.
Unfortunately, the plugin suffers from the same problem as YARPP. It is very database-intensive, and this has led to a number of the managed WordPress hosting services blacklisting it.
It also includes caching to help reduce the load on your server. Just install, activate and you’re ready to start displaying related posts on your site.
- It tries to use images inside a post as thumbnail when no featured image or post thumbnail is found
- Ability to include short excerpt
- You can select how many posts you want to appear, as well as how recent they should be
- Includes caching
- The plugin does not come with any template to display thumbnails
- You need to manually via shortcode add related posts if you want to show it in content
- Ignores tags and categories when searching for related articles
- This plugin does not scale well on larger sites
Premium Related Post Plugins For WordPress
While free plugins to display your own related posts can be enough for most WordPress website owners, there are others who wish to use premium/paid plugins which have more features provided.
What does this plugin do to justify that premium price? Well, for a start it is incredibly user-friendly, plus it comes with a whole host of customization options giving you the flexibility to tweak the aesthetics of your related posts.
The plugin supports three unique layouts:
- Isotopic – Adds a large related posts section (up to 20 items) in standard columns and rows.
- Slick and Slide – A carousel of related posts
- Transitioning – Displays a single post at any given time, before seamlessly transitioning to the next with transition animations
All layouts look clean and stylish. Plugin comes with a 65 different templates. Each template is styled with different colors, buttons, typography, and design.
This impressive versatility allows you to select something while keeping touch with the rest of your website.
A related post section is supposed to help visitors find the content of most interest to them. Related Posts Pro takes this one step further by adding an easy-use filter to the top.
Filter provides visitors option to filter by title, relevance, taxonomy, and post type. This allows the visitor to dig deeper as they look for the good stuff.
Plus it comes with eye-catching animations which accompany the filter.
The plugin works with posts, pages, and custom post types. It determines the relevance of each post via a ‘smart algorithm’ that extracts and compares keywords from your content.
Super Post is all-in-one solution that gives you full control over post queries. It can be used to display specific post from categories or post tags or another taxonomies, portfolios, etc.
You can use shortcode editor to generate the shortcode and display it in the content section. It is also possible to show related posts in a sidebar thanks to widget.
Widgets come with highly customizable control panels and with support for multi widget even in the same sidebar.
You can make any specific post sticky, showcase recent or most commented posts, rating and likes and easy post share via Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Email with counter.
- Time based post selection.
- Pagination display posts per page or load more post via ajax.
- Comments – display or hide the comments number with custom icon.
- Custom icon for post date and author.
- Thumbnail height and width. Show or hide post thumbnail.
- No thumbnail image – an option for using additional image if post has no thumbnail.
- Email sharing – share post via email.
- Social sharing – share posts via popular social sites like Facebook, Twitter etc.
- Template styles comes with 3 predefined template styles.
- Intro and Outro text, if you want to add additional text or HTML.
How to add WordPress Related Posts Without Plugins?
There are a number of reasons why you should always try to use WordPress’ built in code and services, rather than a plugin. The main benefit is that you don’t have to rely on a third-party (the plugin developer) for your blog to function.
There are many cases of popular plugins being abandoned by their developers, leaving countless site owners stuck with outdated and potentially vulnerable software.
Another reason is that you’re not running the risk of using a bloated plugin that can slow your site or even worse, contain a malicious piece of code. Click for more info on how to add related posts without use of plugin.
As already mentioned, related post plugin can be resource intensive. It is possible that some plugins may not work well on a shared WordPress hosting. In that case, you can use Manual Related Posts plugin. This plugin allows you to manually add related posts to a post.
The link relationship work both ways. If you add an old post as related post to a new one, then the old post will also display the new post as related.
WordPress Related Post Plugins Comparison
YARPP vs YUZO vs Inline Related Posts vs Contextual Related Post
- Related post content
- Related posts in footer
- Related posts in sidebar
- Related posts in content
- Thumbnail view of related content
- List view of related content
- Show related posts from certain time frame
- Display related posts from external WordPress sites
- Specify related posts
- Prevent related posts from displaying per post/page
- Compatible with WordPress Multisite
- Compatible with multilingual site
- Make money by displaying sponsored content
- Reporting about your related content list
- Templating system to control how results are displayed
- Displays pages, posts, and custom post types related to the current entry
- It seems there is lack of support for this plugin according to comments in WordPress plugin repository
- Displays posts, pages and custom post types
- It seems plugin is often updated and author responds to questions
- Displays related content on posts and pages
- Plugin is updated frequently and plugin author responds to questions
- Lets you include posts, pages, attachments or any other custom post type
- It seems plugin author regularly answers on questions and provides updates
Which WordPress Related Post Plugin To Choose?
The more of your content your audience consumes, the more likely they are to become loyal fans of your work.
These people will be more likely to share your articles on social media, return to your website regularly, and, ultimately, convert into paying customers. However, this raises a bigger question: ‘How do I get users to read more of my content?’
Top quality content is important. But an easy to navigate website structure is just as important. After reading your article, a visitor will wonder what to do next.
Do they leave, or should they read more of your content? I’m guessing you’d prefer the latter. Then it’s your job to make it as easy as possible for visitors to do so.
One of the best ways to move people around your website is to include related content links inside content or at the bottom of your articles (with the use of internal linking).
Related content links are an ideal way to encourage visitors to remain on your website. In doing so, this will improve your bounce rate, page views, and time on website statistics.
All metrics with a positive influence on your website’s SEO performance. It’s also a fantastic way to inject life into some of your older articles, which have been pushed off your front page and no longer receive the traffic they deserve.
Now to you dear readers. Do you use any plugin to showcase related posts or does your theme already comes with that option? Let me know in comments below!
DISCLOSURE: My posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.