Probably one of the easiest to build plugin is one that shows related posts at the end of the current article. In a future post i will show you how to build one by yourself. It is very easy, but why to bother when you have so many at your disposal.
Let’s take a look trough already created related posts plugin and maybe we can have a winner in the end.
The reviews are not in any order, i want to make a review to more related posts plugins and in the end i will choose the winner, if i can do that.
Yet Another Related Post Plugin ( YARRP ) .
I run some searches on google and this plugin is included in all “best related posts plugin” lists. Even Matt Cutts included it in it’s list of recommended related posts plugin. Techie-Buzz tells us it is the best he knows. We can see in many places that it is the best. If we judge by popularity, he is the winner.
It is working fine, gives good results, i can say. Good administration panel, you can set the maximum number of posts to show, and very important the match threshold. This means that if you set it lower, more related articles will appear, but they may not match very well. If you set it higher, the chance to get the annoying “No related posts” increases.
Well, i see something disturbing with this plugin. The “Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.” link. Well, while i find it very right to give credit to the creator of the plugin i don’t think that is a place where to show your support.
The great news is that he can be removed, but you need to update YARPP settings twice. First time to activate the feature to support the plugin creators and the second time to deactivate it. After that, it can be the best related post plugin.
WordPress Related Posts
Another plugin that Matt Cutts recommend us is WordPress Related Posts.
The installation of WordPress Related Posts requires one more step. We have to add a template tag into our templates, where we want the plugin to show. This is good for ones and bad for others. For example it lets us to choose where we want to display it, but most of bloggers will say: “Is there any other place where we would want to place related articles ?” . It is true that it has an option to make this thing automatically, but there are few clicks more than it should be. After you do that there are still some things to do, like setting the text you want to appear before related articles.
The admin panel also allows us to choose the maximum number to appear and it has some new features: Display comment count, Display number of comments, and Display related posts in feed.
We can’t set the threshold like at YARPP, and it’s default is equivalent to threshold 5 for YARPP. You can make an idea.
When we want to install it we face the following message. “This plugin requires the latest version of the Post-Plugin Library” . Well, the post-plugin library is very popular, many plugins use it, but you want to install your related plugin now, not after you install 2 or 3 another plugins to make this work, so if you just started your blog, don’t go for this one. For a very simple tasks you have to do too many things.
The same thing like above, we have to edit the template files manually. The file that needs to be edited is single.php, because that is the place where single posts are shown.
This plugin has some different options that the ones before: “match the current post category”, “match the current post author”, “match the current post tags”. Since this features are good, it laks features provided by YARPP, so i think that YARPP’s settings are more important that the ones at similar posts.
Wasabi Related Entries
You can find this plugin here: http://wasabi.pbworks.com/Related%20Entries .
This plugin is a bit different because all changes you do are when you call the template function to shows related entries. Since it is a good thing for me for example because i like to work a lot in the code, but i bet that most of wordpress users hate when they have to go into the code.
For more advanced users, here are the options that have to be set trough the code:
related_posts($limit, $len, '$before_title', '$after_title', '$before_post', '$after_post', $show_pass_post, $show_excerpt);
- $limit – No. of related entries to display. (Defaut: 5)
- $len – Desired excerpt length (no. of words). (Default: 10)
- $before/after_title – Text to insert before/after the title section.
- $before/after_post – Text to insert before/after the post exceprt section, if displayed.
- $show_pass_post – Toggle show/hide password protected posts. (Default: False)
- $show_excerpt – Toggle show/hide excerpts. (Default: False)
How many ways a simple thing needs to be done ? Well, this is the evolution, if a simple thing is done in different ways, it let us evolve to greater things.
My choice to show related posts to my readers is YARPP. It has the best options to change, it uses templates, it is fully customizabile.