Contextual Related Posts


Contextual Related Posts is a powerful plugin for WordPress that allows you to display a list of related posts on your website and in your feed.

This plugin can be downloaded for free without any paid subscription from the official WordPress repository.

The list is based on the content of the title and/or content of the posts which makes them more relevant and more likely to be of interest to your readers. This allows you to retain visitors, reduce bounce rates and refresh old entries.

Although several similar plugins exist today, Contextual Related Posts is one of the most feature rich plugins with support for thumbnails, shortcodes, widgets, custom post types and CSS styles. The inbuilt cache ensures that you have related posts without excessive load on your server.

And the default inbuilt styles allow you to switch between gorgeous thumbnail-rich related posts or a similar text display!

Key features

  • Automatic: CRP will start displaying related posts on your site and feed automatically after the content when you activate the plugin. No need to edit template files
  • Manual install: Want more control over placement? Check the FAQ on which functions are available for manual install
  • Gutenberg / Block Editor support: You can find a block called “Related Posts [CRP]” with its own configurable set of options
  • Widgets: Add related posts to widgetized area of your theme. Lots of options available
  • Shortcode: Use [crp] to display the posts anywhere you want in the post content
  • REST API: Fetch related posts at contextual-related-posts/v1/posts/<id>/
  • The algorithm: Find related posts by title and/or content of the current post
  • Caching: Related posts output is automatically cached as visitors browse through your site
  • Exclusions: Exclude posts from categories from being displayed in the list. Or you can exclude posts or pages by ID
  • Custom post types: The related posts list lets you include posts, pages, attachments or any other custom post type!
  • Thumbnail support:
    • Support for WordPress post thumbnails. CRP will create a custom image size (crp_thumbnail) with the dimensions specified in the Settings page
    • Auto-extract the first image in your post to be displayed as a thumbnail
    • Manually enter the URL of the thumbnail via WordPress meta fields. Specify this using the meta box in your Edit screens.
    • Optionally, use timthumb to resize images or use your own filter function to resize post images
  • Styles: The output is wrapped in CSS classes which allows you to easily style the list. You can enter your custom CSS styles from within WordPress Admin area or use the style included.
  • Customisable output:
    • Display excerpts in post. You can select the length of the excerpt in words
    • Customise which HTML tags to use for displaying the output in case you don’t prefer the default list format
  • Extendable code: CRP has tonnes of filters and actions that allow any developer to easily add features, edit outputs, etc.

mySQL FULLTEXT indices

On activation, the plugin creates three mySQL FULLTEXT indices (or indexes) that are then used to find the related posts in the *_posts. These are for post_content, post_title and (post_title,post_content). If you’re running a multisite installation, then this is created for each of the blogs on activation. All these indices occupy space in your mySQL database but are essential for the plugin to run.

You have two sets of options in the settings page which allows you to remove these indices when you deactivate or delete the plugin. The latter is true by default.


Contextual Related Posts is GDPR compliant as it doesn’t collect any personal data about your visitors when installed out of the box. All posts are processed on your site and not sent to any external service.



I spend a significant amount of my free time maintaining, updating and more importantly supporting this plugin. Those who have sought support in the support forums know that I have done my best to answer your question and solve your problem.
If you have been using this plugin and find this useful, do consider making a donation. This helps me pay for my hosting and domains.


Contextual Related Posts is also available on Github.
So, if you’ve got some cool feature that you’d like to implement into the plugin or a bug you’ve been able to fix, consider forking the project and sending me a pull request.

Bug reports are welcomed on GitHub. Please note GitHub is not a support forum and issues that aren’t properly qualified as bugs will be closed.


Contextual Related Posts is available for translation directly on Check out the official Translator Handbook to contribute.
Contextual Related Posts is one of the many plugins developed by WebberZone. Check out our other plugins:

  • Top 10 – Track daily and total visits on your blog posts and display the popular and trending posts
  • WebberZone Snippetz – The ultimate snippet manager for WordPress to create and manage custom HTML, CSS or JS code snippets
  • Knowledge Base – Create a knowledge base or FAQ section on your WordPress site
  • Better Search – Enhance the default WordPress search with contextual results sorted by relevance
  • Auto-Close – Automatically close comments, pingbacks and trackbacks and manage revisions


  • CRP options in WP-Admin - General options
  • CRP options in WP-Admin - List tuning options
  • CRP options in WP-Admin - Output options
  • CRP options in WP-Admin - Thumbnail options
  • CRP options in WP-Admin - Styles
  • CRP options in WP-Admin - Feed options
  • Default style of Related Posts
  • Contextual Related Post metabox in the Edit Posts screen
  • CRP Widget
  • Tools page
  • Gutenberg block - Settings sidebar


This plugin provides 1 block.

  • Contextual Related Posts Display the Related Posts


WordPress install (The easy way)

  1. Navigate to Plugins within your WordPress Admin Area

  2. Click “Add new” and in the search box enter “Contextual Related Posts”

  3. Find the plugin in the list (usually the first result) and click “Install Now”

Manual install

  1. Download the plugin

  2. Extract the contents of to wp-content/plugins/ folder. You should get a folder called contextual-related-posts.

  3. Activate the Plugin in WP-Admin under the Plugins screen


If your question isn’t listed here, please create a new post at the support forum. It is the fastest way to get support as I monitor the forums regularly.

How can I customise the output?

Contextual Related Posts is highly customizable. There are several configurable options in the Settings page and you can use CSS to customize the outputs. Learn more by reading this article.

How does the plugin select thumbnails?

If you enable thumbnails, the plugin will try to find the correct thumbnail in this order:

  1. Post meta field: This is the meta field value you can use when editing your post. The default is post-image. Change it in the Settings page

  2. Post Thumbnail image: The image that you can set under Featured Image

  3. First image in the post: The plugin will try to fetch the first image in the post. Toggle this in the Settings page

  4. First child image attached to the post

  5. Video Thumbnails: Meta field set by Video Thumbnails plugin

  6. Site Icon: this is typically set using Customizer

  7. Default Thumbnail: If enabled, it will use the default thumbnail that you specify in the Settings page


You can insert the related posts anywhere in your post using the [crp] shortcode. View this article in the knowledge base for more details.


Gulan 3, 2023 4 replies
I have added Comma-separated list of post or page IDs to exclude from the list, Also using "Insert Pages" Plugin to insert those page(Exluded Ids) to display in another pages. In Induvial pages is related posts are not displaying, but in the Insert of same Pages, related posts are displaying. Expectation is to not display the excluded pages in the Insert Pages as well. Excluded Ids: 3,20,27,31,33,35,42,44
Adar 2, 2023 1 reply
I'm using this plugin for a while now and it's doing perfectly the job. It's easy to configure, you have enough options to customize it but the more important is the fact related posts displayed are always accurate. This plugin is doing it very well and better than some similar plugins. I recommend it!
Çile 29, 2023 1 reply
I've been using the Contextual Related Posts plugin probably since it was realized, many years ago. It's doing a great job on my huge site with 12k posts and 8k categories. Recently, it stopped working because of another plugin and some other issues. In desperation, I tried all the available related post plugins. None of those plugins can match this one. This plugin offers many ways to fine-tune results and adjust the display. Even Ajay's free support is second to none. I highly recommend this plugin. If it works flawlessly on my huge site with a thousand taxonomies, it will work on any other WordPress site.
Çile 4, 2023 1 reply
I've tried many, even very famous ones, but no one is able to relate my favorite posts to me. I can also select the keywords I want for an accurate definition of the relationship between posts. Thanks developers!
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Contributors & Developers

“Contextual Related Posts” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.


“Contextual Related Posts” has been translated into 3 locales. Thank you to the translators for their contributions.

Translate “Contextual Related Posts” into your language.

Interested in development?

Browse the code, check out the SVN repository, or subscribe to the development log by RSS.



Release post:

  • Enhancements/Modifications:

    • When displaying the post thumbnail, the Media Handler will first use the image’s alt tag set in the Media editor. If alt tag is empty, then it will use the post title as a fallback. Filter tptn_thumb_use_image_alt and set it to false to not use the alt tag. Filter tptn_thumb_alt_fallback_post_title and set it to false to disable the alt tag
    • Orderby clause modified to ensure compatibility if any other plugin rewrites the WP_Query fields
  • Bug Fixes:

    • Fix duplicate display of related posts when using reusable blocks or a plugin that inserts pages
    • meta_query argument was ignored


  • Fixes permission issues with HTML settings


  • Clearing cache security fix


  • Security fix in block


  • Features:

    • Related posts block allows you to set a custom header above the related posts. Leave blank to get the one from the main settings page.
    • New option “Related Meta Keys” under the List Tuning tab. You can enter a comma-separted list of meta keys. Posts that match the same value of the meta key are displayed before the other related posts.
  • Enhancements/modifications:

    • If the number of “Manual related posts” is greater than the number of related posts, then the database query is bypassed drastically improving perfomance
    • Moved Related Posts Tools page under Tools menu
    • Related Posts block is now wrapped in Disabled tags to prevent accidental clicking of links in the block editor
  • Bug fixes:

    • Thumb width and height defaults to 150 in case the settings are missing
    • Setting the style to be text_only didn’t enforce no thumbnail
  • Developer:

    • New filters: crp_query_date_query, crp_query_meta_query, crp_query_meta_query_relation

Earlier versions

For the changelog of earlier versions, please refer to the separate changelog.txt file or the releases page on Github.