Alternatives to nRelate Related Posts for Bloggers

nRelate announced rather suddenly yesterday that as of December 31st 2014, their services will be shut down. This means that if you have a related or popular posts widget or plugin that is by nRelate on your site they will no longer work come January and you will need to find an alternative. They advise you to remove and delete all plugins or widgets before that day. As an avid nRelate user, I’m pretty disappointed! I use it for all sites I own and create because I love the custom CSS feature. I know many of you are using it too so here are some alternatives.

Related posts can be a great way of regenerating old content and keeping readers on your blog longer, increasing engagement and reducing your bounce rate.

Linkwithin
Linkwithin a very well known related content widget for blog platforms like Blogger, WordPress, TypePad and many others. There’s no need to register, you just enter a few details and it installs instantly. If you’re on a different platfrom from those mentioned above, you’ll have to install it manually which requires adding a few lines of code to your template. Linkwithin is very simple, it doesn’t offer any themes or settings but has a clean design that you can slightly customise depending on your coding knowlege. You can install it here.

Alternatives to nRelate - related posts widget and plugin for bloggers and publishers

Engageya
Engageya is another well known related posts widget for WordPress, Blogger and other platforms. Enter your details and signup to install. It has quite a few themes to choose from as well as being able to customise it using CSS. There’s an option to add sponsored content as you could on nRelate. This would be my top recommendation at the moment. You can install it here.

Alternatives to nRelate - related posts widget and plugin for bloggers and publishers

Shareaholic
Shareaholic provide a related content and recommendations plugin for Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Drupal, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace and many others. To install – you enter your details, choose the look of the widget, add the script to your template above </head>, click verify site and finally add the code snippet where you want it to appear. There are several themes to choose from and an option to customise your own. You can get it here.

Content.Ad
Content.Ad are another related content system to use on your site, there’s also a quick install for Blogger and WordPress. They have a few themes to choose from, including a custom theme to use your own CSS and you can change the type of widget to be text only, image and text, 2 columns or banner. There’s an option to add sponsored content as you could on nRelate. You can sign up for it here.

WordPress Plugins
There’s a number of Related Posts plugins for WordPress such as CP Related Posts, Jetpack Related Posts, Sharaholic, Contextly Related Links, Related Posts, YARPP, Contextual Related Posts and Related Posts for WordPress.

Others
Taboola, Gravity and Outbrain are other alternatives, although they are targeted at larger, high-traffic publishers. It’s also possible to code you own, I’ll do a tutorial on this in the future.

Only want them on your post pages?

Check out this tutorial if you want to hide related posts on your blog / home page and only show them in the post itself.

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48 Comments

  1. I love Engageya! I was wondering if you knew how to make it not show up on the home page though.. I have page breaks so it says “read more” underneath every post, so I don’t want my recommended content to show up underneath every “read more”.. I just want it so that it’s only at the bottom of a blog post..does that makes sense? Haha, do you know how to do that by any chance?

      1. Looking forward to that post on Engageya. I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to figure out how to get it to show on my post pages ONLY. Love your blog – it’s been a great help!

  2. Hi Elaine,

    You might try out Contextly as well. We’re third-party with awesome related, trending, evergreen and personalized recommendations. There’s editorial controls, while the recommendations are constantly being A/B tested.

    Unlike other plugins we respect reader and publisher data.

    We have a free tier and then paid tiers above that. Think of us as the Cadillac.

    Best,

    RS

  3. Hey Elaine!

    When looking for a related-posts plugin to install on my then-new WP blog last year, I thought I wanted LinkWithin since I had had it for a while on my Blogger blog, but then I came across a post w/reasons on why it’s not so good: http://www.geekinheels.com/2012/02/02/bloggy-thursdays-why-i-stopped-using-linkwithin-and-switched-to-nrelate.html And I went w/nR instead.

    Now this post comes at a GREAT time! I’m looking fwd to checking out those other plugins. I switched to YARPP recently b/c of how you can still see the related posts on RSS feeds but I’m open to checking out other ones. Which do you have/recommend?

    PS- (Kinda unrelated..) Like you, I also have a plugin that notifies people of replies to their comments on my blog but I like how you can keep the convo going on here rather than elsewhere via email. What plugin do you use :)?

    As always, THANK YOU for this!!

    1. Hello, yeah I mentioned those reasons briefly in my tutorial on nRelate here, I don’t like LinkWithin overall due to the lack of custom options. I actually haven’t had a chance to switch over to a new one yet, planning to do so over the Holidays so will let you know. For comment replies I use Comment Reply Notification, it hasn’t been updated in years though so will probably be changing that over the Holidays too. I do have some people who reply via email instead as it quotes the reply in the email rather than just notifying them but I don’t mind too much.

  4. Oh thank you for this. I had Linkwithin on my blog when it was over on Tumblr but had to remove it when it suddenly started linking to dodgy looking external sites! I emailed them a couple of times about it but had no response. I tried reinstalling it again when I moved over to Blogger but I wasn’t keen on it sitting above my signature and social media links. I think I’ll have a play around with it again or try some of the others you’ve suggested x

  5. Hello, thank you for your advices !
    I’ve just installed Engageya, it’s really great. Just one question (may be you had to deal with that to), is it possible to add an default image when the plugin can’t find the thumbnail of the article ? My website and blog is professionnal and for the moment, it shows pictures of women and flowers… Thank you again !

  6. I’m trying out engageya but I hate having it on my homepage, when you speak on this subject again could explain how to hide it from that area. Thanks.

  7. Hi this is a great post, I started using Engageya and also wanted to know how to fix it so that the related posts section was only on the posts and not on every one on my homepage.
    Here is a super easy fix! Contact the help people on Engageya, with your problem and your URL and I got an e-mail back the next day saying, “Fixed, Happy New Year!”

    Was so happy! x

  8. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve tried Engageya on my blog but it’s only suggesting posts within the last year. Is there a way to get it to show posts going back since the blog began? Or can you recommend an alternative widget which doesn’t place a time limit on the posts it displays?

  9. I read a post from awhile back saying that linkedwithin was bad for SEO because it redirected people off your site and then back to the new article. This also slowed load time. Does anyone know if that is still the case?

  10. Hi I installed engageya on my blog. It was working fine for a while but now for some reason the widget drags across my page and shows up all blurry. I’ve tried deleting the widget and reinstalling it. But it didn’t make a difference. Do you know what could be wrong with it?

    Thanks

    Preet

    1. I think I might know what the problem is. I looked at your blog post for automatically resizing blog pictures and added that to my html. I am thinking that’s why the engageya widget is blurry. I just looked at the resizing blogpost again. But you didn’t give a code for how to stop engageya widget pictures from automatically resizing. Could you please tell me what code to use for that. Thanks!

    2. Hello, it sounds like a CSS issue. Do you have a width set in your template to automatically resize post images? If so you’ll need to add code to stop it from altering the related post images, I explain the steps in this tutorial.

  11. Hi, Thank you so much for sharing. I have added Engageya in my blog. However, the alignment of my round hover buttons are all off (one of the button falls down to the second row and some an icon is invisible). What can I do to fix it? Thanks!

    1. Hey. There seems to be an error in the HTML part where one of the text parts is outside of the code and therefore creating that space in the centre and offsetting the grid. I’d recommend removing it and the associated CSS, then re-installing it to see if the error is with the gadget itself or if something on your blog is conflicting with it.

  12. Just wanted to add a few in case you wanted to check them out and see if you wanted to add them to this post. Outbrain (which I’ve been using lately, but has no real customization) and Limk. I haven’t used Limk really, but still liked it

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