Another popular alternative to nRelate Related articles is Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP). YARPP is another easy to install plugin that has a basic and pro version. The basic version is easy to configure. But the pro version requires a free membership and a little more confusing configuration. It took about five minutest to install and configure the basic version and about fifteen to twenty minutes to signup, configure, and test the results for the pro version.
How Does YARPP Work
The YARPP algorithm does the work on your web server. It also caches the results so once your article has been added to the list, it should only have to be calculated once.
Even though the results are cached, you may still have impact on your server load time. Many web hosts such as, WP Engine, have band the YARPP plugin due to its heavy load it can put on the web server. If your web host allows this plugin, it may have little impact on slower websites. On a high traffic website, ’it will have an impact.
How to Configure YARPP
First thing you will need to do is install and activate YARPP from the WordPress directory. So go to your admin panel >> Plugins >> Add New Plugin >> Install >> Activate Plugin
Next, go to the Admin Panel >> Settings >> YARPP
The first thing you will see is two tabs YARPP basic and YARPP Pro. Start with the basic and configure your settings. The first large box will have multiple check boxes and pull down menus. This section is used to limit the number of articles that will be displayed. Only use this section if you want a certain category or tag to be displayed. If you only want to display relative articles for certain amount of months back, set your months and use the check box.
In the next section, you will be able to configure YARPP and how the results are displayed. I told it to display only 4 results. For the rest of the settings in this section, I left them to default.
In the final sections, you get to the system layout for results in a list, thumbnail, or custom. Set it to thumbnail. At the very bottom there is check box you can select to add related posts to your RSS feeds. I left that one blank.
In the YARPP Pro section the first thing you will see is the sign up / sign in page with a little information about features of the pro version. Later on we will go into more detail about the features of both.
Once you have created your account, you will be given access to the pro features and your basic configuration will carry over to the pro version. The basic settings will be used in addition to the new pro features you setup.
Make sure to select widgets so can see all your related posts widgets. Here you see that I have setup 3 widgets for several different domains. But I’m only going to display display one set on the site. You have to setup these widgets to get more domains on your site.
With the pro version, you can add ads that link to other sites. Make sure to select the number of ads to match the number of relative articles you have configured. As for the rest of the settings, leave these alone.
In the next section, you can add links to other sites in your network or want to drive traffic to. Create a new widget by going back to the widgets sections and select add widgets. Follow the instructions. Once completed come back to the above section and use the drop down menu to add the domain.
The above image is the results that are be served on my Photoblog. (plugin will be removed soon)
A Few Things You Need to Know
- You have no control of the ads generated
- Some of the ads and links are not what you want to have linked from your site.
- You MUST use the featured image on each post in order for the plugin to generate a thumbnail. If you do not, you will get a default thumbnail.
- You can add a default plugin if you do want theirs displayed.
- Just because you have linked other sites to YARPP doesn’t mean they will display.
YARPP Basic VS YARPP Pro
YARPP Basic has everything you need to display related content on your site. If you want to serve related content from other domains you control, make money, or drive traffic to your site via ad creation, then you have to go with the pro version.
The above image gives you a complete list of features for each version of the plugin. For more details or to sign up for an account, head over to their information page and click on the signup link.
My Thoughts on Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
I like the look and feel of the basic design. The boxes around each result keeps a sleek and clutter free look. If the title is to long, its cut off. But when you get down to the other sections, its squished together, the long titles stretch out, and because they proudly added those stupid “powered by” quotes it ruins the fluid look to the post. Because of those issues and several others, I will not be using those sections. Overall its a well designed plugin, but it looses a lot of the usefulness by processing the results server side.
As for the ad section, they aren’t even relative to the content. Some of the links are sketchy and shouldn’t be served. You should be able to tell the system what ads will be served on your site and ban those that could hurt your brand.
Another issue I have with this plugin is that many web hosts are banding this plugin due to the load it can put on a web host. Before testing this plugin, that alone made me question the thought of using this plugin. So instead of testing on a high traffic site, I added it to a slow site,
I didn’t notice a different load time while moving through out the site. I ran some speed test and test show a small change in speed. So this could be a big concern on a larger site.
After testing this plugin, I would only use the basic version of the plugin. Its all you need. If you want to earn money for your blog, there are other ways…
I will recommend this plugin for large scale sites. I am hesitant to recommend this plugin for small sites as well. At some point those small sites will get larger and you will have to make a change.
Overall its a well designed plugin, but it looses a lot of the usefulness by processing the results server side. If the plugin processed the results offsite like several of the other related articles plugins do, this plugin would have scored a higher score.
Until I find a better solution, I am still recommending the related posts plugin that is featured in the Jetpack Plugin.
Back to you!
Do let us know your thought and experience with the plugin and rate it in the reviews section below.