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’);”
TechToucan.com also has an article about nRelate Alternatives if you want to look into other options.
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.