Time spent by a visitor on a site is a good indication about the content and a sign of its acceptance.One of the most common way of increasing the visitors time spent on the site is by showing a list of related posts which are in a way related to the post which the user is reading or based on the same topic.Retrieving related posts is not as easy as recent posts, popular posts because each post has a different list of related posts and related post plugins can be taxing on your server and If your also interested in showing thumbnails then it takes even higher on resources.
Here are a few WordPress plugins which you could try :
- Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) – This plugin has a very good algorithm finds posts that are very relevant by giving weights to them and the weights can be set according your choice.It also supports templates which let users customized the output.It can also show the Related posts in RSS feeds.The plugin has a caching mechanism which caches the related posts data as your site is visited.The plugin can just display the posts as a list or using the template system it can be made to look a bit more user friendly.
Note : If you plan to use this plugin on a shared hosting, do monitor the server load as the plugin could cause server load to increase as it builds up the related posts.
- Related Posts Slider : This is a supporting plugin for YARPP and WordPress Popular Posts Plugins which lets you customized the output of the earlier said plugins using a lightweight jQuery implementation.This plugin has very flexible option of choosing image source for your related posts.it lets the image source be the
- Attached Image to the post.
- Featured Post Thumbnail
- Custom Field
Also checkout :
- How To Display Random Posts In WordPress With Thumbnails In Sidebar
- WordPress Plugins For Creating Featured Post Sliders
- How to Show First Image In Post as Thumbnail In WordPress Blog’s Home Page
- Display Thumbnails For Excerpts On Homepage In WordPress Without Using Custom Fields.
- Related Posts Thumbnails : This plugin makes use of the images uploaded via WordPress or specify post custom field name to be used as thumbnails source.This plugins gives the option of choosing what the plugin should consider for building related posts ie., Category, Tags, Both – Categories and tags or Random.If this plugin could support the use of the 1st image in the post and use it as the thumbnail it can very useful. Categories can also be excluded from being part of the related posts, which can be set in the Plugins Settings Page.
Note : The author of this plugin has another plugin – Generate Post Thumbnails which can automatically create post thumbnails for existing posts using the the first image in the post content and assigns it as a post thumbnail according to specified settings in the theme.
If you are resource restricted you can still show related posts on your blog, using 3rd party services.Here are few such services :
- LinkWithin : This is a free service which supports multiple platforms like WordPress, Blogger, etc., and to get started is also very easy.And you should start to see the related post in your blog posts.There are a few limitation that come with such services like the widget is not fully customizable like you don’t get to choose the width, of the images, increasing the number of posts is not easy.I think there’s still scope for improvement which can be filled by giving the user the scope for customizing the widget even further, instead of just at the signup.This is defiantly a good service to start off with.
- nRelate – nrelate Related Content plugin is a free WordPress Plugin which serves related posts from its servers, it has a lot of features and is highly customizable from the plugins settings page like number of post to display, Image size, relevancy control, image source.This plugin also get the image from the thumbnails set for each post.Incase you don’t have thumbnails set for your posts, you can try the Generate Post Thumbnails to generate the thumbnails for the images.It also lets users to display related content from sites listed on your blogroll.There’s also an option to set the relevancy levels and how deep from the archives should the related posts be from.
This service also lets bloggers share ads space from among the placeholders of the related posts, where nRelate would place ads and share the revenues with publishers.
In case you are looking to custom design your related posts section on your blog, then you can try to follow this tutorial on Build Internet By Zach, which makes use of the YARPP Template feature and customize the output.
If you are aware of any other such plugins or services do share them with us.