Some of our magazine WordPress themes (e.g. MH Magazine WordPress Theme) have a built-in feature to display related posts below the post content. This feature shows a nice selection of related articles to your audience after they have finished reading a particular post. The related posts feature can therefore help you keep visitors on your website and lead to an increase in page impressions.
This article covers the basics of using the built-in related posts feature to suggest content to your audience by displaying related articles on your website and we're also going to show you some alternatives to the built-in related posts section in your WordPress theme.
- How to enable related posts on your WordPress website
- Based on what criterias are related posts selected
- Tagging articles in order to make them appear as related posts
- Alternative plugins to display related posts on your WordPress website
- Recommendations when using the built-in related posts feature
How to enable related posts on your WordPress website
In case the related posts are not showing up by default below your post content, please ensure that you've enabled the related posts feature in your WordPress dashboard. For the MH Magazine theme, this is option can be found under Appearance => Customize => Theme Options => Layout – Posts/Pages in your WordPress dashboard – for other themes, the path might be slightly different.
In case you have already enabled the related posts feature and if there still are no related posts shown on your website, it is very likely that you haven't tagged your articles the correct way. For more information about how this feature works and why you need to tag your articles, please keep reading as we've covered information about tagging your posts within this article as well.
Based on what criterias are related posts selected
The related posts feature displays posts based on tags. That means it is very important that you tag your articles properly if you want to use this feature the right way. Basically this is very simple, because whenever you have tagged your articles correctly, the related posts function will display other articles that have tags in common. In addition we have implemented the related posts feature to display random articles instead of a fix post order, so with every page impression there will be other related articles shown below the post content (although this can be affected by caching).
Tagging articles in order to make them appear as related posts
When tagging your posts, please always keep the tags short and meaningful. Adding tags of several words or even as long as full sentences won't work well and usually also won't look very appealing on your website. We usually recommend to make use of tags with a length of up to two words. As a basic rule, you should keep in mind that the related posts feature can only be as good as you tag the articles on your website. If tags don't make sense, your related articles won't make sense either.
For example, if you have an article about vintage cars, you might want to tag this article with cars. If you have another article about a cute dog in a car, where the article is about the dog and not about the car, it wouldn't be a good idea to tag this article with dogs and cars. Because in that case there is a pretty good chance that the article about the dog will also be shown as related article for articles that are also tagged with cars, which very likely is something you don't want.
Alternative plugins to display related posts on your WordPress website
There also are several plugins available to add a related posts feature to your WordPress website. In case you have this feature already built-in with your WordPress theme, it is recommended to make use of it, because in that case you won't have additional bloat and the design of the related posts section usually will match the design of your theme. However, if you want to use an alternative plugin instead, you could for example have a look at the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP).
If you are using WordPress themes by MH Themes and in case you encounter any issues with the built-in related posts feature of your WordPress theme, please see the following support article for more information, recommendations and possible solutions to any issues that might occur while displaying related articles on your website: Solving issues with the related posts feature.
Recommendations when using the built-in related posts feature
To sum up, there are a few things you should keep in mind when making use of the built-in related posts feature in your WordPress theme. One is to make sure the related posts feature is enabled, whether it is a built-in feature or a 3rd party plugin. Secondly, you need to tag your articles correctly and that means your articles should be tagged with suitable tags only and in general tags should be kept short and meaningful to use this feature in the most efficient way.