One of the downsides of any blog platform is that it doesn’t take long for articles to get lost in the archives. WordPress does provide both categories and tags to help your readers find archived posts, but wouldn’t it be nice if each post included links to other related articles in your archives? Yes, there’s a plugin for that – several actually. The one I’ve found quite useful is Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP). This is one of those set it and forget it plugins that does its job beautifully.
In this example from Moultrie Journal you see a list of four related articles at the bottom of this post. I have them arranged in order of relevance ant the number you see in parentheses is YARPP’s relevance calculation.
Set up is quite simple. Once the plugin is installed and activated, you’ll find a Related Posts (YARPP) page has been added in the Settings section. It will look something like this. In this example I’ve made a couple of simple changes to the standard settings. First, I’ve changed the displayed text in the “Before/after related entries” and “Default display if no results” section to use the word “articles” instead of “posts”. I’ve also made a simple HTML change in the “Before/after related entries” section. The default HTML creates a numbered list (using the <ol> tag) and I prefer a bulleted text (using the <ul> tag). You see the closing tag displayed in its on text box on this screen, but the text for the beginning tag is not immediately visible in its text box. Click in the box showing <p>Related articles: and scroll to the right to find the additional HTML. Once your changes are made and saved, you’ll see your changes in the HTML code example in the upper right corner of the settings pane.
That’s all there is to the setup. Once you’ve saved the changes, your posts will immediately show the articles related to them. YARPP uses the title, contents, categories and tags to find repeated key words. You may want to experiment with the tags you include in each post to see how they affect which related posts are included in the list. The list is dynamic and will automatically adjust as new content is added. The related articles you see at the bottom of this post today could be entirely different when you look at it again a month from now. As the content on your blog changes, so will the related posts listed on all your posts. It really is an amazing plugin.