Super Simple Related Posts
A super simple widget to output related posts based on categories, tags, or custom taxonomies. You get to decide how the posts are related (categories, tags, custom taxonomies), what to show (posts, pages, custom post types), and a whole lot more.
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This plugin came about as the result of a recent project in which we needed to output related content on pages and posts in a unique way. We often create a lot of custom post types and taxonomies using Toolset’s amazing Types & Views plugins, and we needed a way to show related content based on specific criteria (e.g. post type and taxonomy).
The other thing we needed was an alternative to some of the many resource-intensive “related content” plugins out there – and make no mistake, there are MANY. Yet a lot of these plugins work their magic by querying your database, running post content through algorithms, and performing processes that put a heavy strain on the server. So much so, that they sometimes get banned from premier hosting companies like WP Engine. So, with all this in mind, we developed this handy plugin and decided to share it with the world.
How it Works
In short, SSRP gives you a widget that can output a list of content related to the current page/post by any category, tag, or custom taxonomy. Let’s look at a real-world example to demonstrate what the widget can do. We recently utilized this plugin on a fundraising site that incorporates several different post types for their knowledge base:
- Blog Posts (built in WP post type)
- FAQs (custom post type)
- Articles (custom post type)
. . . as well as a few custom taxonomies shared across these post types. . .
- Life Cycle (e.g. Beginning, Middle, End)
- Industry (e.g. Music, Sports, Arts)
So to sum up, we have a bunch of posts, FAQs, and articles – all of which are classified with Life Cycle and/or Industry taxonomies. With Types & Views it’s really easy to set something like this up, and we often end up using numerous custom post types and taxonomies on the sites we build. So in this case, an example of a typical FAQ might look like this:
- FAQ: How do run a fundraiser for my team?
- Life Cycle: Beginning, Middle
- Industry: Sports
So now comes the fun part – related content. We want to display related content in the sidebar of our FAQ, and we want to be able to dictate exactly how it appears. That’s where Super Simple Related Posts comes in. Using this plugin, you can decide what type of content you want to output (posts, FAQs, and/or articles) as well as the taxonomy (category, tag, or custom taxonomy) by which to select related content. Back to our example. . .
Using SSRP, you might choose the following settings (note: these are just a few of the many settings you’ll be able to modify):
- Posts Types to Include: FAQs, articles
- Show Posts Related By: Life Cycle
- Number of Posts to Show: 3
With those settings, your SSRP widget would output the following when viewing the above FAQ on your live site:
- 10 reasons why online fundraising works
- Things to think about when starting your campaign
- Featured Story: young fundraisers on the rise
As you can see, SSRP give you the ability to add functionality much like you might find on a site like Amazon.com, which offers sidebar suggestions based on the content you’re looking at. Here are other blue shoes for you to look at. Here are more books written by American authors. Here are all the other long-haired crazy cat photos. You get the idea.
Whether you’re using WordPress straight out of the box, hand-coding your own custom post types and taxonomies in functions.php, or using the awesome Types & Views plugin to work some serious magic, Super Simple Related Posts might be just what you’re looking for. Head on over to the official WordPress.org site to learn more. And, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or feature requests, we’d love to hear from you. WordPress.org: Super Simple Related Posts Plugin »