We have seen writers and publishers use WordPress to share their thoughts on 10,000's of topics. WordPress is a great platform to talk about everything from science and tech to intimate, personal thoughts.
But all of us want to be heard. We write so that we have a voice. We want people to stay on our site, read our work, and engage with what we have to say.
One of the best ways to achieve all those goals is to add “Related Posts” area to your posts. Once someone finishes reading your post, they'll immediately see links to similar posts.
We do this here at PublishPress. You'll always find a “Related Posts” area on our blog. In this guide, I'll show you how create and optimize this feature.
The two key building blocks of this feature are WordPress Tags and the TaxoPress plugin:
- WordPress Tags. We take a little time to make sure all our posts have relevant tags.
- TaxoPress: This plugin works by looking for shared taxonomy terms. So if your post has the terms “Red”, “Green”, and Blue”, then this feature will likely display other posts that also have one of those terms. The more terms that are shared, the more likely a post is to show. So if another post also has “Red”, “Green”, and Blue” then that post is highly likely to show in the “Related Posts” feature.
So the first step is adding useful tags to our content. We use the PublishPress Checklists plugin to make sure all our post have a specific number of tags. Normally, we have a minimum of 5 tags and a maximum of 10 for each post. This image below shows a typical example for the PublishPress blog.
The next step is to use TaxoPress.
- In our site, we go to TaxoPress > Related Posts.
- Click “Edit” for the example display:
We can now configure the display of these related posts. You don't have to use Tags. You can choose to show content from another post type, or with another taxonomy.
Further down the screen, you can choose more options for your Related Posts display. You can choose how many posts to show, whether to show only recent post, and you can also choose the criteria for the order of posts. The final box in this image allows you to customize the format of the display.
When you're happy with the settings, you can add the Related Posts to your site. There's an option for TaxoPress to try and insert the Related Posts directly into your content. You can also use a widget or a shortcode. On this site, we're using the widget to show Related Posts in the sidebar. You should be able to see it directly next to this post you're reading!