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Keep Visitors On Your WordPress Site Longer With YARPP

YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) for WordPress is used to show a list of related content at the end of a blog post or in a widget. Out of the box it simply displays a list of related posts after your main content, yet the plugin can be highly customized through its own settings and the use of custom templates.

We like adding related posts at the end of blog posts to entice readers to consume more content as a step in our conversion funnel. We have found through studying our stats in Google Analytics that conversions on our site (like opt-ins, affiliate clicks, etc) are split among visits with one page view and visits with multiple page views. In simple terms, less than half of our visitors opt-in on the first page they land on. The rest read more content first. Displaying related content is an easy way to give visitors what they want.

YARPP can be used without any configuring, but I don’t recommend it. The defaults are not the prettiest and with a few simple changes, the display of your related posts can be greatly improved. Here is a step by step list for our standard configuration of YARPP (after the plugin has been installed and activated):

  1. Navigate to the YARPP settings page (From the main WordPress Settings menu)
  2. In the upper right corner of the WordPress window click "Screen Options”, then check the boxes from the screenshot below.
    YARPP WordPress Related Posts Plugin Screen Options
  3. Change the Relatedness Options. The most important is to lower the match threshold from the default of 5.
    YARPP Relatedness Options
  4. Change display Options to ul instead of ol and p to h3 or h4. Here you can also change what the "Related Posts" text says. Our standard is: <h3>Related Posts You May Enjoy</h3><ul> in the first box. </ul> in the second. If you are super awesome like us, you could add CSS classes/id’s here to target the h3, ul, and li elements, otherwise it will inherit the defaults fom your site (which is just fine).
    Display Options for YARPP - Yet Another Related Posts Plugin for WordPress
  5. Delete "no related posts" from "Default display of no results"
  6. If you want related posts to show up in your RSS feeds, duplicate your settings there.
    YARPP RSS Display Options
  7. Save and you are done.

Remember to perform a complete backup to your site before adding any new plugins and test for compatibility first. YARPP will add to your database tables, so be sure to include them in your backup settings after a successful implementation.

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Comments & Feedback:Check out what others have to say about this post!

    • Jennifer Bourn

      Awesome Sue – If you use images with all of your blog posts, you may want to explore the advanced settings in YARPP to display thumbnails with each related post. That would catch readers’ attention even more!

  1. Jennifer, I love how you’ve not only shared a great plugin here and why it’s worth considering but you’ve taken us into the back end walking us through the configuration and why you recommend it be done this way. I so appreciate this about you Jen! xo

  2. Hi Jennifer,
    I was just wondering what this plugin was … and there was the answer in my inbox! All installed and working beautifully. Your step-by-step instructions made it easy.

    Question: I see some sites have the pic from the blog post. Is that a setting in the plugin or is it template driven?

    ~ Miki xo

    • Jennifer Bourn

      Miki – Thanks for stopping by our blog! Yes – displaying the thumbnail images is another setting in the YARPP WordPress plugin – just a little more advanced.

  3. Ooh – wonderful how-to! Thanks for sharing the back end description, and especially about the thumbnails. I will add this to my website to-do’s immediately! You are always so helpful with WordPress ideas. Thanks, Jen.


  4. Hi Jennifer,

    YARPP is an awesome plugin which I have been using for quite some time. Keeping people on your site longer is very beneficial for your Google ranking as search engines are looking for how long people stay. The longer, the better! :)


  5. Hi Jen,

    Great information, as always. I love the fact that you not only share with people the great plug ins, but then you do a complete tutorial. How many other graphic designers do that? My guess, none…

    You are truly one of a kind Jennifer!


    • Jennifer Bourn

      It’s an awesome tool! we’ll be switching up the way we do it soon using a YARPP custom template to display thumbnail images with each related post title

    • Jennifer Bourn

      Sydni – That’s great to hear! And the more time visitors spend on your website, the more likely it is that they will eventually sign up, subscribe, buy, register, or contact you because they’re getting to know you and they’re building trust in your expertise.

  6. I think it would be useful to be able to specify the number of related posts in the sidebar and having the ability to set a different number for the sidebar widget from the post footer. But from looking at the code, it seems that the number of posts shown is universal.

  7. Becky

    This is wonderful! Most tutorials I visited were way too complicated for me to understand. This step-by-step guide made perfect sense to me!

    Any chance you could eventually write a tutorial about how to have YARPP display thumbnails? :)

  8. Laetitia

    I’m also using YARPP in my wordpress site. the only problème with this plugin is that it is not responsive !!!
    Which plugin are you using for the related posts ? I love it. (Specially when swithching from thumbnail to text in mobile version).
    Thanks for sharing

    • Laetitia — right now we’re using a custom solution, but we’re currently updating the site and will be switching to a different solution — nRelate. We really like nRelate and it can be highly customized with custom CSS and you can use thumbnails as well.

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