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You are probably spending a lot of time and effort trying to get more visitors to your WordPress site. But despite all of this hard work, a good chunk of those visitors bounce back, perhaps never to come back.
That's why, beyond just attracting visitors to your site, you should do everything possible to retain them once there. Big companies like Netflix and Amazon have figured out that one of the best ways to do this is with quality content recommendations.
On WordPress, this means that you post articles related to content that you already know and that has already generated interest. Done well, it allows your visitors to read, gives you more time to make a sale, get an email address, or fan your WordPress site.
However, not all plugins in related articles are the same, which is why you should make sure you choose the right plugin. To help you do that, we've rounded up five of the best plugins on WordPress.
What to look for on a similar articles plugin
In order to be able to serve similar posts, the plugin you choose must find a way to find content related to the post the visitor is viewing. But how this similar articles plugin will actually find this related content is much more important than you might think.
Beyond the different algorithms to determine what content is actually "linked", the difference in approach is essentially this:
- Some plugins of similar articles use your own server / database to generate the list of related publications.
- Other related article plugins outsource the recommendations to their own servers (basically not your server) to generate the related articles.
Here's why this difference matters:
The process of finding related content requires a database intensive, especially on larger sites with a lot of content. So if a similar articles plugin uses your own server to generate these recommendations, it is going to eat up your server resources and possibly even degrade your site's performance. This is why some WordPress hosts go outright ban some plugins for similar items .
On the other hand, if a plugin is doing its processing on a separate server, it outsources all the work to another server and only gives you the final list, which eliminates the problem I talked about above.
So with that distinction in mind, let's explore the plugins available to us.
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5 plugins to post similar articles on WordPress
To create this list, I will tell you:
- How the plugin generates its associated content (for example on your own server or outsourced to the cloud)
- What are the features of the plugin
- The advantages and disadvantages of using the plugin compared to the plugins on the list.
1. Jetpack Related Posts
If you've been using WordPress for a while, you probably know the Jetpack plugin . This all-in-one offering from Automattic brings a number of popular WordPress.com features to self-hosted WordPress sites. With a few simple clicks, you can start displaying related content at the bottom of all your blog posts.
Benefits of Jetpack Related Posts
- It's 100% free
- You get to use the WordPress.com infrastructure to generate similar posts, rather than your own server
- This feature is super easy to activate - just click on a toggle in the Jetpack interface
- It works ". No need to configure any settings (although this can also be limited if you want to customize things)
Disadvantages of Jetpack Related Posts
- You don't have much control over how your linked posts go beyond basic functionality like turning thumbnails and dates on and off.
- If you want to use related posts on other types of content, such as custom post types, you need to access your site code.
- You need to use the entire Jetpack plugin only to get access to related articles, which some people don't like
Bibblio is a relatively new artificial intelligence-based content recommendation service. This means that Bibblio is constantly improving its recommendations as it "learns" new things, whereas most other article related plugins only use a static algorithm.
Beyond this unique point of sale, Bibblio also offers you:
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- Flexible layout options to display your articles. You can even create a vertical layout to display in your sidebar via a widget
- Support custom publication type
- Analytics to see how your articles are performing (this is one of the coolest features in my opinion)
Benefits of Bibblio
- You can use Bibblio's servers to process related messages
- Bibblio's machine learning algorithms should generate better recommendations (at least in theory)
- Ready-made designs look great
- You have more control over the layout without the need for custom code or CSS
- You can add support for custom post types directly from the interface - no code required
- Analytics are really useful to see if your content really attracts readers
- You can insert messages via widget or shortcode
Disadvantages of Bibblio
- If you have more than 500 items, you'll need to pay (plans start at $ 19). There is also a limit of 25 "referral calls" on the free plan.
- Do not let you manually select which items are displayed on a specific page.
3. Yet another related post plugin (YARPP)
By the numbers, Yet another related post plugin is the most popular related articles plugin on WordPress.org. It allows you to display your similar posts as thumbnails or lists and works on all post types.
You have a ton of flexibility in knowing where and how your related posts display if you're comfortable with PHP.
And you can also manually change the algorithm used by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin to generate related posts. If for example you want to exclude labels.
Benefits of the plugin
- It's very flexible, although some of that flexibility requires technical knowledge.
- It works on all types of publication
- Multiple display options, including a widget for related posts in your sidebar
The disadvantages of the plugin
- It processes the articles on your own server which is not good for the performance
- Although it is flexible, it is not as user-friendly as Jetpack or Bibblio
- While the developers have been working on improving performance, it still has a reputation of being a bit of a resource consumer.
- It is not very well supported by the developers, despite its popularity
4. Related Posts for WordPress
Related Posts for WordPress is a freemium plugin that allows you to display related articles via shortcode and widget.
Although it processes the articles on your own server, its caching system helps it use resources much more efficiently.
The free version is only good for regular articles, but the premium version also offers support for custom publishing types.
Benefits of the plugin
- Solid performance thanks to its caching system
- Allows you to manually edit associated publications if you wish
- Gives you options for shortcodes and widgets
- Allows you to adjust the weighting for "relation" (only in Pro)
Disadvantages of the plugin
- No custom publishing type support in the free version
- Lots of other useful features are also locked behind the paid version. For example, there are no auto style options in the free version
5. Contextual Related Posts
Contextual Related Posts is another popular option which allows you to display related articles both with widget or shortcode.
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It supports custom post types, as well as a useful option to exclude certain categories of posts (or individual posts) from showing in the related posts list.
The main downside, however, is that it uses your own server to generate content recommendations and as a result ends up on the bans list of some web hosts and can negatively affect your site's performance.
Benefits of the plugin
- 100% free
- Supports out-of-the-box custom post types
- You can view related messages in your content (not just at the end)
- Option to mix and paste publication types (or limit publications related to the type of publication only)
- Lots of styling options for thumbnail sizes, metadata, etc.
- Possibility to exclude certain categories from the results of linked publications
Inconvenients of the plugin
- Because it uses your own server, it can block resources and get banned by some web hosts
- Not a ton of built-in layout options, although it's easy to use custom CSS
- The algorithm only finds related posts based on title and content, which is more limited than all other plugins
That's all for this list, I hope it will allow you to choose a good plugin for you suggestions of similar articles.