nRelate is a good LinkWithin alternative if you want a related posts widget with thumbnail images

Updated on 3/26/2015: nRelate shut down at the end of 2014, so you can no longer use their plugin. I’ve been using the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin as an alternative. It works pretty well, but if you’re using it on a site with a lot of traffic or a lot of posts, be sure to download the YARPP Experiments plugin too. It will allow you to throttle the plugin and prevent your site from crashing. To see it, you’ll also have to edit the “includes/yarpp_meta_boxes_hooks.php” file in the main YARPP plugin. Scroll to the bottom and uncomment the last line that says “do_action(‘add_meta_boxes_settings_page_yarpp’);” also has an article about nRelate Alternatives if you want to look into other options.

nRelate WordPress plugin interface

LinkWithin is a popular widget that not only displays links to your related blog posts at the bottom of a blog entry, but also includes thumbnail images pulled from those posts. The images make the links more enticing than plain text ever could. As a result LinkWithin has become popular among bloggers who use lots of images, particularly food bloggers.

The problem? The creators of LinkWithin seem to have moved to a shack in Montana that is completely off the grid or they just don’t care about answering support emails. Their widget is not without flaws, the biggest one being that if you change the domain name of your blog you’ll start seeing duplicate links—one for the old address and one for the new. It appears that the creators of LinkWithin manage a database or index of these links that users don’t have access to, so there’s no way to remove the duplicates. I’ve emailed them multiple times over the course of a year on behalf of several clients and not once have I received a response or even an acknowledgement that they received my email.

That’s why I’ve stopped using LinkWithin and now recommend that my clients use the nRelate Related Content widget instead. nRelate offers all the same features as LinkWithin but offers you much more control over the widget, including:

  • Thumbnail image size
  • Several different display options that have different borders, shadows, title placement, etc.
  • Editable widget title
  • Number of posts to display
  • How many years of archives you’d like to pull for links
  • Maximum title length
  • What pages the links should appear on
  • Several other options

There’s also a sidebar widget available and advertising options. If you create an account with nRelate you can access tracking stats that let you know how many people have been clicking on your links. The best part is that if you have a question their support staff actually answer you and helps.

You can download the nRelate WordPress plugin here and visit their web site to grab code for Blogger or other platforms.

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  1. says

    Funny – the lack of responsiveness is *exactly* why I dropped LinkWithin on one of my blogs a couple of weeks ago. I also switched to nRelate, and I think I’m at the point where I’m ready to switch the other site as well. The one thing I still need to do is take the time to figure out the best way to show text links on the mobile theme and thumbnails on the regular one.

  2. says

    I started few months ago with nrelate but now i am wondering to change because nrelate loading time takes almost 50% of the page load time. Except this I am happy of the service, but speed is key, have you heard about an alternative which is faster ?

  3. says

    Are you *BLEEPED* kidding me?! There’s NOTHING for implementing this on Blogger. Are you a kid? Cutting and pasting directions when you don’t know how to use the script?

  4. says

    Yep, just ran into this issue. Moved site from WP to Tumblr and back to WP. No way to adjust or edit LinkWithin. Half of the links point back to the old Tumblr structure. Ridiculous. Definitely moving to nRelate…

  5. says

    Well this is good to know. They indexed our image titles which were poo and I can’t get them to answer my emails. My husband is a software engineer and he couldn’t believe they would build the widget that way. Looks like we’ll be looking into this as a replacement. Thanks for the tip.

  6. says

    Hi Jennette

    Like you said before it’s showing duplicate links on my blog ever since I changed my domain name.

    Anyways, nrelate seems to be a good alternative for it. Gonna try it now. Thanks for sharing about it.

  7. says

    How did you uninstall LinkWithin? I’ve gone through all my code and don’t see it but it still appears on post pages after nRelate. I’ve emailed them but no response yet.

  8. says

    @CANDI – The LinkWithin people don’t respond to emails, so you won’t get help there. If you’re using Blogger the LinkWithin stuff is sometimes managed in a Gadget on the Layout page. If it’s not there, it was probably inserted directly into your template.

  9. Jenn says

    Is there another alternative to Linkwithin, nRelate and outbrain? Linkwithin shows up on my blog, but only links back to the same 4 articles, most that don’t even relate to the current article. Outbrain doesn’t show up most of the time and when it does it only links to the same 1 or 2 articles. nRelate won’t even let me sign up for the bloody thing. Every time I sign up it comes back saying my username can’t include any of those stupid symbols (*, -, @, etc.)….which is messed up because I wasn’t trying to add any symbols in my username to begin with.

  10. says

    Hi Jenette! I used to read your blog years ago, and tonight I googled for something to help me get rid of LinkWithin (because I moved my blog and hey presto, it doesn’t work any more and they’re not answering my queries) and here you are! So I just wanted to say hi, even though you have no clue who I am! Glad to see the freelance thing is working out for you!

  11. says

    Just wanted to warn potential users of nRelate that I installed it on my WordPress site and it slowed the page loading speed down so much that it made the site virtually unusable and put off about half my readers.
    Also, take a look at their forums – lots of people (myself included) have issues with thumbnail images showing up half greyed out. They do respond on the forum, but they told me they’d fixed the thumbnail problem when I was still seeing greyed out images.
    If you do install nRelate, check your page load speed afterwards and decide whether it’s working for you!

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