I accidentally came across a plugin that was perfect for a project that I was going to be working on. I liked it so much that I decided to try it out on this site.
The plugin is called Related Posts Thumbnails. It uses the featured image and will relate posts based on categories, tags, both or randomly. Typically, a plugin will related based on categories or by tags so it was great to find one that provided the option to use one or the other. Personally, I prefer to use categories because I currently have too many tags and I get better matching results when I use categories.
- In order for the plugin to work properly you must be using Featured Images or Post Thumbnails, which became a feature in WordPress 2.9. When you upload a new image, you would click on the link ‘Use as Featured Image’ rather than ‘Insert Into Post’.
- Install the plugin and activate. It should work immediately and add 3 related posts to the bottom of your article on the single post page. It looks like the following screenshot and you can also view it at the bottom of this page.
As you can see in the screenshot, one of the related posts has a default gray image. That post must not have a featured image associated with it, which makes sense because I haven’t added one for all of my older posts. In the settings for the plugin, however, you can select the option to only use posts that have thumbnails.
- Under Settings > Related Posts Thumbs are all of the settings for the plugin and it has a lot of useful options.
As I mentioned earlier in the article, I like how you can select how the posts are related rather it being categories or tags like so many other plugins. There are also settings for the display of the related post thumbnail; the layout, colors, and more.
Hopefully this visual representation of related posts will encourage people to visit more of the content on your site and read more of your posts. What do you think? Would you like to use something like this?