Contextual Related Posts 2.0

Contextual Related Posts

Last week I released a major update to Contextual Related Posts. Given the size of the update, I’ve tagged the latest version as 2.0, heralding a new direction in the further development of this plugin.

v2.x brings multi-site support, WordPress thumbnails and a more powerful API. It also has several minor bug fixes and cleaner code.

Multi-site support

One feature that has been missing from Contextual Related Posts has been multisite support, mainly in terms of a Network Activate feature. With the Network Activate feature enabled, a multi-site admin can choose if he wants to activate Contextual Related Posts across all sites in the network or let users activate the plugin independently on their site.

CRP - Network Activate

Network Activate Contextual Related Posts

Once you network activate the plugin, it will no longer show up in the Plugins page of the individual sites. However, users can visit Settings » Related Posts as usual to configure the plugin. If you don’t Network Activate the plugin, it will show up on individual sites and the site admin can choose to activate the plugin if he/she so chooses.

WordPress thumbnails

CRP has had support for timthumb for a long time and by default timthumb was used to create thumbnails. Although timthumb gives you much better control on thumbnail resizing, it does add slightly higher processing on the servers since the images are created on the fly.

Many users have requested to include support for WordPress’ inbuilt image resizing and this feature has found it’s way in v2.0 of Contextual Related Posts.

Thumbnail options in Contextual Related Posts 2.0

Thumbnail options in Contextual Related Posts 2.0

Contextual Related Posts will add a new image size called crp_thumbnail based on the settings above. This means WordPress will create a copy of the image with the specified dimensions when a new image is uploaded. By default, this is set to proportionally crop the image. i.e. the image will first be resized so that the max dimension is as per the above i.e. 150px. You can optionally choose to hard crop the image by enabling the crop mode above. This will cause the image to be cropped to the exact dimensions but this might result in some part of the image being chopped off.

In either case, I strongly suggest running a regenerate plugin like Force Regenerate Thumbnails to recreate the image sizes for your older images. I especially like this plugin because it deletes the old and unneeded image sizes that would have been created in the past and are unnecessarily occupying space on your server.

Extended API

In version 2.0.0, I’ve added several new filters and actions that will allow other plugins / themes or addons to talk to Contextual Related Posts. What’s currently missing is the documentation which I shall be working on over the next several weeks.

If you’re interested in the API, take a look at my new plugin Contextual Related Ports Taxonomy Tools. Available for free from WordPress.org, CRP Taxonomy Tools adds support for restricting posts to the same categories and tags of the current post.

CRP Taxonomy Tools

CRP Taxonomy Tools

This is also a working example of the API that adds settings to Contextual Related Posts and also filters the post query.

Contextual Related Posts on Transifex.

Contextual Related Posts is now on Transifex, ready for translation courtesy the WP Translations. WP-Translations is the place where you will find a number of WordPress amazing Plugins and Themes to make them available in your home language. In exchange you will receive credit for your work and will certainly make part of the WP community history in your country.

If you’re a translator, do consider joining the Wp Translations team. Visit Contextual Related Posts on Transifex.

Closing words

As usual, if you’ve got any questions please open a support ticket in the WordPress.org forums. It allows me to answer your question quickly and more efficiently. Emailing me your support query or writing it in a comment is most likely going to be missed due to volume of emails I receive.

If you’re an existing user of the plugin, do consider writing a review. WordPress developers are welcome to contribute to the plugin via GitHub. Create an issue or fork the plugin and submit a pull request for me to review.

And, before I forget, Contextual Related Posts also has a brand new header.

Contextual Related Posts

Detailed changes in 2.x

2.0.1

  • Fixed: Clear Cache button which broke in 2.0.0

2.0.0

  • New: Multi-site support. Now you can Network Activate the plugin and all users will see related posts!
  • New: Thumbnails are registered as an image size in WordPress. This means WordPress will create a copy of the image with the specified dimensions when a new image is uploaded. For your existing images, I recommend using Force Regenerate Thumbnails
  • New: Completely filterable mySQL query to fetch the posts. You can write your own functions to filter the fields, orderby, groupby, join and limits clauses
  • Modified: Lookup priority for thumbnails. The thumbnail URL set in the Contextual Related Posts meta box is given first priority
  • Modified: Removed border=0 attribute from img tag for HTML5 validation support
  • Modified: Default option for timthumb is disabled
  • Modified: Default option for post types to include is post and page
  • Modified: get_crp_posts has been deprecated. See get_crp_posts_id instead
  • Modified: Turning on the Default style will switch on thumbnails, correctly resize them and will also hide authors, excerpts and the post date
  • Fixed: Post image will now be loaded over https if the visitor visits your site on https

Download Contextual Related Posts

Contextual Related Posts Taxonomy Tools

Contextual Related Posts allows you to display highly relevant posts on your WordPress blog.

CRP Taxonomy Tools gives you the option to restrict these related posts to the same category and/or tag of the current post. The plugin will add two checkboxes under General options under the Related Posts page.

Requires Contextual Related Posts v2.0 or higher.

- Download it from Github
Download it from WordPress.org

Contextual Related Posts v1.9.1

Contextual Related Posts meta box

I released v1.9.1 of Contextual Related Posts yesterday. This version adds a new meta box in your Add/Edit Post screen. You’ll also find this in the similar screens for Pages and other Custom Post Types.

Contextual Related Posts meta box

Contextual Related Posts Meta box let’s you add your custom thumbnails

The meta-box currently provides you with a single field that allows you to specify the URL of the thumbnail that you wish to use in case a Featured Thumbnail isn’t set for the post. In a future version of the plugin, this will be given priority over the Featured Thumbnail.

The meta box will use the same meta field as specified in the General Settings. If you’re using the default field name i.e. post-image and you’re using my other plugins Top 10 and Where did they go from here, then they will automatically recognise this thumbnail!

I’ve also renamed the widget under Appearances to Related Posts [[CRP]], so you can find it quickly. If you’re using timthumb, then you’ll might be happy to know that I’ve added w.org and github.com to list of allowed sites. w.org is nothing but WordPress.org and github.com needs no introduction.

As usual, existing users can upgrade the plugin from within their WordPress Admin interface. If you’ve not tried Contextual Related Posts yet, then you’re missing out on a major way to boost your site’s viewer retention.

Contextual Related Posts doesn’t use any third party services to fetch related posts. It uses your own posts and everything is saved in your database.

If you’ve got any queries, please check out the FAQ or post in the dedicated support forums. Alternatively, you can always avail of a paid support via email.

List of changes in Contextual Related Posts v1.9.1

  • New: Meta box on the Edit Posts, Pages and custom post type pages to easily add the location of the URL of the thumbnail image
  • Modified: Refined match title algorithm. Previously this would match the post title with both the title and content
  • Modified: Widget initialisation
  • Modified: Massive code cleanup and more documentation in the WordPress settings page
  • New: Added w.org and github.com to list of allowed sites for timthumb

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Where did they go from here v1.7 released

Where did they go from here

I’ve been cleaning up the code in my WordPress plugins and releasing one update at a time. I give you the newest version of Where did you go from here. This plugin will give you a set of related posts by a very different and unique criteria: What are your visitors viewing?

You’ve seen this before on Amazon.com’s product pages? Amazon is a great example of visitor retention through recommendations. All of Amazon’s pages have a “Customers who viewed this also viewed”. Now ask yourself how many times you can clicked these links.

One of the key changes to this plugin is the redesigned admin interface. It’s responsive and fits better into your WordPress Admin interface. I’ve gotten rid of the tabbed interface for a collapsible options interface. The plugin comes ready out of the box and you can always jump into the settings page to fine-tune your settings.

Another main addition to the v1.7 is the new meta box at the bottom of your Write screens. You’ll find this on your Posts, Pages as well as Custom Post types. You can now enter a comma separated list of IDs of posts, pages or custom post types. Future versions of the plugin will include an ability to Bulk Edit these entries.

Where did they go from here

I’ve also incorporated a slightly different tracking code that now uses jQuery.ajax() instead of SACK. On many sites, this would likely mean loading one less JavaScript file. It also ensures that the plugin has even better compatibility with W3 Total Cache and other caching plugins.

Last but not the least, I’ve cleaned up most of the code in the plugin to make it more readable and better documented.

If you don’t have Where did they go from here installed on your WordPress blog yet, then give it a test drive. Existing users can upgrade the plugin from within the WordPress interface.

Like my other plugins, this comes with great and prompt support via the WordPress.org support forums or paid support via email. You’ll also find the “forever under development” version on GitHub. Feel free to fork the plugin and send me a pull request with a feature you’ve implemented.

Summary of changes in v1.7

  • New: Redesigned responsive admin interface
  • New: Edit the list of followed post IDs in the Write Post screen
  • Fixed: Language initialisation
  • Fixed: Custom post types in list of posts
  • Modified: Tracking script to improve compatibility with caching plugins

Download Where did they go from here

Contextual Related Post v1.8.10

WordPress

Two days back I pushed through the latest version of Contextual Related Posts. The latest version of Contextual Related Posts adds two new features. Existing users will be able to update it from within your dashboard. If you’re new to CRP, I strongly suggest giving this a test drive. You won’t want to switch back from my plugin!

You can now limit the number of characters of content that will be compared. This can be a big boost to performance especially if you have very huge posts.

WordPress

Another feature addition is the ability to add the post title into the header of the posts. I have also changed the class of the widget so that it differentiates it with the list of posts that are displayed inline with content. This ensures that you can have two completely different set of styles for both different lists. You can use crp_related and crp_related_widget for the inline posts and the widget respectively.

If you have any questions or queries do head over to the support forum. It’s the best and quickest way to get your queries resolved. If you’re a current user and love this plugin, do consider leaving a good review and maybe even a small (or big) donation.


Changes in 1.8.10

  • New: Limit the numbers of characters of the content being compared. This can give a marginal boost to performance
  • New: You can now choose to display the Post title in the Title of the Related posts, by using %postname%
  • Modified: Widget class has been changed to crp_related_widget
  • Modified: Including the author in the list will now use the Display Name which is set under “Display name publicly as” in the User Profile page
  • Modified: Updated timthumb
  • Modified: Better handling of echo_ald_crp – Thanks to flynsarmy for this patch
  • Fixed: If the Thumbnail meta field is omitted under Output Options, the plugin will automatically revert to its default value i.e. “post-image”
  • Modified: More descriptions for the various options

Changes in 1.8.10.1

  • Fixed: Manual install caused a PHP error in 1.8.10

Download Contextual Related Posts v1.8.10.1