The content recommendation service nRelate, announced it will shut down its service December 31st. Launched in 2009, nRelate has provided billions of recommendations to over 100k sites. The service is shifting its assets to support its internal reference-style content properties. If you use nRelate, there is a farewell FAQ available which has instructions on what to do.
YARPP and Jetpack Related Posts as Alternatives
There are three alternatives that come to mind with regards to related posts, YARPP, Related Posts for WordPress, and Jetpack Related Posts. For several years, I used YARPP on WP Tavern to handle related posts and it performed flawlessly. However, at one point, it gave me performance problems because of the resources used on a shared webhosting server. The webhosting provider at the time pointed out that YARPP was taking up too many resources on the server. If you have a limited amount of posts or a beefy server, YARPP is a great alternative because it offers a variety of ways to display related posts.
After encountering performance problems, I decided to go without related posts. Jetpack 2.9 released in early 2014, contained a new module called related posts. Unlike YARPP, all of the processing and server resources were used on Automattic’s servers instead of my own and eliminated my performance issues with related posts. Keep in mind that when you use the Jetpack Related Posts module, the content is mirrored on WordPress.com for indexing and processing.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the module will use the featured image attached to a post in the module. If a featured image is not detected, it uses the first image in the post which may or may not be optimal. You might also see a mix of related posts with and without images.
I’m of the mindset that if you can offload the processing required to determine post relationships, then do it. We’ve used the Jetpack Related Posts module on the Tavern for some time and haven’t experienced any issues. It’s also pretty good at being somewhat relevant. What do you use to handle related posts?