Contextly Recommends

Description

Contextly helps you build a loyal audience through engagement tools that keep readers reading. Contextly does far more than just related post recommendations. We also get readers to explore your site by identifying your evergreen posts (think oldies, but goodies) and your most popular posts, as well as personalizing recommendations for return readers.

We do this through a combination of powerful machine learning algorithms that run on our servers, so we never slow you down. Plus, Contextly has powerful curation tools, including in-story sidebars, ways to choose related links, and ways to drive readers to things that are important to your site or business.

Contextly comes with a free trial, but operates on a paid subscription basis. You can see our pricing and learn more about what we do on the Contextly website.

According to a study by Chartbeat, the most important factor in determining whether a reader will come back to your site is whether they read more than 1 post. If they do, they are likely to return. If they don’t, they won’t.

Contextly shows off both related and engaging content in responsive modules. Readers in research mode can dive deep; those just browsing can explore widely.

We also boost your SEO by making it dead simple to add links in the body of your post to previous stories, and Google crawls our links.

We can also recommend videos and products. Additionally, you can choose to highlight events, promotions, or an email list with promotional links.

Features

  • Multiple Recommendation Modules – Contextly shows off recommendations in a number of modules: the Main Module at the end of a post; a Siderail that shows up next to posts (what WordPress calls the sidebar) and In-Story Sidebars that you can create and place in your posts.

  • Related Content – Our related content is actually related, and we rely on much more than just tags and categories. Related content gives your readers an opportunity to dive deeply into a topic.

  • Personalized Content – Personalized content is tailored to the interests of an individual reader. As we learn more about a reader’s interests, we show them more of the content they like.

  • Popular Content – Readers are often interested in your most recent and best content. That is why we make this content available on every page, because every page is the new home page.

  • Evergreen Content – Good stories should be read well after they have been showcased on the home page. We identify “oldies but goodies” and resurface them to users. This increases the lifetime value of every story you write.

  • Video Recommendations – Our recommendations are not limited to blog posts. We can easily integrate your Youtube channel content. Videos will be displayed where they are most relevant.

  • Product Recommendations – Do you sell products? We can integrate products as well. They will be displayed when they are most actionable and relevant. Contact us at info@contextly.com to learn more.

  • Editorial Control/Curation – We believe high-quality content is the result of a happy marriage between humans and smart algorithms. Our curation tools allow writers and editors to control what related posts show up on a story. We then use that info to make better recommendations for the entire site.

  • SEO – The best SEO comes from links in the body of stories linking to previous content. We make it super-easy for writers to add these links without having to leave the post to go search in Google.

  • Promotional Links – If you have a newsletter or an event you’d like to promote, Contextly makes it dead-simple to include that in the recommendation module. That puts promotions where users will actually see them.

  • Responsive Designs – We have 4 sets of designs to choose from, and they all look great on mobile and desktops. You can customize their look and feel with a few clicks, while advanced users can customize the CSS.

  • Analytics – We send daily, weekly and monthly analytics reports that let you easily see which of your posts are doing well and how engaging they are.

  • Performance – Contextly does all the hard work on its servers, so we don’t hit your database. That means if you get a lot of traffic, Contextly won’t bring your site down.

  • Custom Post Types – If you use custom post types, you can choose which ones to show Contextly recommendations on, and which to keep out.

About Contextly

Contextly helps publishers build loyal and return audiences. We do that by creating engagement tools that are good for publications, writers and readers. If you have questions, please write us at info@contextly.com.

Screenshots

  • Here's how the Contextly main module looks underneath a post.
  • This is what the Siderail looks like.
  • Here's an in-story sidebar created in seconds.
  • Here's what the interface for choosing related posts looks like.
  • Here's what the related posts preview looks like inside the post editor.
  • Here's a snippet of what the analytics e-mails look like.

Installation

  1. Install using the WordPress Gallery for the easiest installation or upload the contextly-related-links folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Click on one of our buttons in the Visual Editor or go to Settings- -> Contextly -> Get API Key to get to the set-up wizard. You can then choose your display and get your API key. Save the API key.
  4. Contextly will automatically display related and interesting content suggestions. Advanced options can be found under Settings -> Contextly -> Settings -> Big Settings Button

FAQ

Installation Instructions
  1. Install using the WordPress Gallery for the easiest installation or upload the contextly-related-links folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress.
  3. Click on one of our buttons in the Visual Editor or go to Settings- -> Contextly -> Get API Key to get to the set-up wizard. You can then choose your display and get your API key. Save the API key.
  4. Contextly will automatically display related and interesting content suggestions. Advanced options can be found under Settings -> Contextly -> Settings -> Big Settings Button
What will be displayed if I don’t choose related posts?

We’ve got your back. We’ll automatically show related, evergreen, popular and personalized stories on all posts.

But, we also value editorial wisdom and control, so we make choosing related posts and adding links in the body of the story as easy as possible.

Is Contextly free?

Contextly offers a free, no credit-card-required 21-day trial. After the free trial, sites can subscribe to a monthly or annual plan.

Why does Contextly charge?

Contextly is a premium service, using state-of-the-art technology and high-powered servers to provide the best recommendations possible. Unlike many related post plugins, we don’t sell reader information, insert third-party tracking or show ads. Being supported by our users means we can continue to build the most powerful reader engagement service for WordPress.

Will Contextly slow down my site?

No. Our service works outside of WordPress so we don’t slow down your database. Many related posts plugins use your database and can crash your site if you get substantial traffic.

We also wait to load the recommendations until the rest of your site loads, using asynchronous JavaScript, so readers start reading immediately. And, if for some unforeseen reasons Contextly temporarily stops working — say if zombies destroy our servers — your site will still load quickly.

How do I use Contextly to promote my event, email list, product, etc?

Go to Settings -> Contextly -> Settings -> Big Settings Button. Then look for Promo Links. Give us a title and an url of what you want to promote and we’ll add it to the section you choose.

I just installed Contextly and I don’t see recommendations. Where are they?

It takes us a bit of time to learn and spider a site. Please give us an hour or two and if you still don’t see related stories, email us at info@contextly.com

Can I modify the way the content recommendations are displayed on my site?

Yes. Our service makes it possible to make many changes with a simple point-and-click interface. For those who want more control, you can create your own custom CSS stylesheet or make CSS changes in the settings panel.

Will I be able to see how well Contextly is doing?

Yes. You will get a daily email with statistics about your traffic and related links. Contextly links will also show up in Google Analytics and other traffic measurement software.

You can also see what’s happening in Google Analytics. We use Events to track clicks. Go to Content -> Events and look for Contextly Sidebar and Contextly Widget. You can dive deep into this.

How does the Custom Section work?

You give us an RSS feed of content you want us to show off. This can be a category on your site you like, an RSS feed from a sister site, and for our Business and Enterprise customers, we can include YouTube/Video and product feeds.

If you just want to choose some items, copy and paste your main RSS feed into the Custom box. Then go to Promo Links and add links you want us to show off and choose the Custom section. Be creative, but there’s one limitation: you can’t sell this spot to advertisers unless you arrange that with us first. That’s because there are certain safeguards against fraud that need to be in place for online ads. Putting external ads in that section without permission is grounds for termination of service.

Reviews

Helps me bring new life to old articles

Contextly is a life saver for me. I don’t get a lot of traffic on my site, so it’s great to see visitors landing on one article, then bouncing over to other related articles because of the Contextly recommendation.

Pay to earn or pay to engage

What is up with that? It makes no sense at all. If you are offering to monetize, that is stupid because everything you earn goes to the monthly charges. So whats the point? To give all the money back, and if it is not monetizing then it is still not worth it because there are so many options out there to go for free. So to me their tactic is way off.

WordPress is just Trial Version – Will force you to pay

Contextly works really well. I especially love the Sidebars

However, they need to be clear that when you download from WordPress, you are only using a TRIAL version. They will force you to pay a monthly fee of $24 per month

I don’t mind paying for plugins — if right from the very start they are clear that what I downloaded is a TRIAL version and eventually I have to pay. Or right at the start, they say that this is a paid version and the free version only gives you this much

But there is absolutely nothing in Contextly description here on WordPress that this plugin is just a trial version and they will pull the plug on you if you don’t cough up to pay.

I also thought that the free version will still let you use the service albeit for a limited amount of pageviews. But the email I got from them says

” … we are scheduling a shutdown of Contextly services in 24 hours.”

So it’s either PAY or LOSE it.

I just do not like how they do business where they never mention it here on WordPress

Read all 20 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Contextly Recommends” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Translate “Contextly Recommends” into your language.

Interested in development?

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

Changelog

4.2.1

  • Minor bug fixes

4.2

  • Added support for new Channel button

4.1

  • Support for new Personalization module
  • Allows auto-placement of Auto-Sidebars in every post
  • Support for Tweets rendered with web components in Social Reactions module
  • Support for sharing async WebFontLoader with the website
  • Minor fixes and UI improvements

4.0

  • Added internal hooks for infinite scroll
  • Small performance enhancements
  • Full HTTPS
  • Reconfigured personalization so that readers who block tracking scripts still see Related, Evergreen and Popular recommendations.

3.4

  • Updated plugin to run completely under HTTPS for better reader security HTTPS Everywhere compatibility
  • Minor changes to personalization methods

3.3

  • Enables a carousel display of social content (Enterprise and Business customers)
  • Small performance enhancements

3.2

  • Improved Auto-Sidebars to let writers insert them into any story from the editing interface, using the Sidebar button. The shortcode [contextly_auto_sidebar] can also be put in any post to show related content.

3.1

  • Enables new Siderail display (for WordPress Sidebars)
  • Minor performance fixes

3.0

  • Modernized the styling of main display and sidebars. This removes the color bars, which are replaced with clear headings
  • Improved display rendering performance and flexibility
  • Embedded Tweets support
  • Better handling of larger images in sidebars
  • Better support for IE8+

1.4.2

  • Minor bug fixes
  • Enables FollowUp button for Enterprise customers

1.4

  • Removed unneeded cross-site communication file from plugin
  • Updated Sidebar button to make it easier to edit existing sidebars. It’s no longer necessary to highlight the shortcode to edit a story’s sidebar –
    simply press the sidebar button on any story to edit the sidebars in that story
  • Updated the Sidebar button to make it easier to add previously created sidebars from the Sidebar Library

1.3.7

  • Fixed an issue where sidebars displayed intermittently for some sites

1.3.6

  • Moved video and branding CSS into our CDN
  • Reconfigured the cookie setting code to reduce conflicts with other plugins
  • Improved error logging

1.3.5

  • Improved and larger display for Video recommendations

1.3.4

  • Bug fix to make sure images are always served from https for sites using HTTPS
  • New video icon in CSS
  • Minor video overlay fix
  • JavaScript for display now loading from our CDN
  • Minor bug fixes for Settings panel login

1.3.2

  • Fixed a bug in displaying videos in the overlay

1.3.1

  • Updated some Settings dialogs and how new users are instructed to get an API key
  • Moved a JavaScript bundling call out of the plugin onto our servers
  • Minor technical tweaks

1.2.3

  • Fixed an issue where non-admins could be blocked from using the Contextly editor buttons
  • Fixed a bug where prompts to choose related posts before publishing couldn’t be turned off

1.2.2

  • Brand new editor interface
  • Better detection of featured images
  • Better communication of updated and deleted posts
  • CSS fixes for displays
  • New video player
  • Added minor bug fixes in CSS and JS to help with displays

1.2

  • Brand new editor interface
  • Better detection of featured images
  • Better communication of updated and deleted posts
  • CSS fixes for displays
  • New video player
  • Minor fixes

1.1.2

  • Fix for bug where apostrophes in tags or categories prevented recommendations from displaying
  • Small CSS updates to handle edge cases

1.1.1

  • Fixed a bug where pots with quote marks in the title would not have a recommendation display

1.1

  • Better display support for sites with wide text columns
  • Removed the Chrome tabbed display option as the tabs were never almost never clicked and the information density was low.
  • Improved ease of adjusting the placement of the main recommendation module. It’s now controlled by a shortcode rather than CSS elements: [contextly_main_module]
  • Reduced reliance on a WP API to learn story metadata
  • Improved the way Contextly detects featured images for a post
  • More reliable detection of deleted/trashed posts
  • New CSS/HTML for displays to make them easier to customize
  • Entirely new recommendation system

1.0.97

  • Updated to include cookies to better track recommendation performance
  • Post-story module now movable via shortcode
  • Minor display bug fixes

1.0.96

  • Minor display bug fixes

1.0.95

  • Added SEO support. Search Engines can now see and spider the related results. This boosts SEO.
  • Minor display bug fixes
  • Made the “nudge” to add related links off by default

1.0.93

  • Minor performance tweaks.
  • CSS optimization.

1.0.91

  • General performance optimizations
  • Ability to turn off pre-publication notification
  • CSS optimization.
  • Improvements to the JavaScript and CSS for display options, including tweaks for mobile devices

1.0.88

  • Added Auto-Sidebars. If you turn on this option, a sidebar shortcode will be inserted into every new post when you first create it. You can control the content or you can leave it to our related algorithms
  • Improvements to the JavaScript and CSS for display options, including tweaks for mobile devices

1.0.87

  • Namespace changes to CSS.
  • Changes to make install and activation easier.
  • Minor performance tweaks.

1.0.86

  • Minor performance tweaks.

1.0.85

  • Added support for showing Contextly content on Custom Post types. Checkboxes to add/remove post types are in the Contextly Settings Advanced Tab.
  • Added Support for 4 responsive designs (Chrome, Blocks, Blocks – Overylay, Float).
  • Added design customization for sidebars (Point&Click & custom CSS).
  • Added automatic Related Links for stories without chosen links.
  • Added responsive sidebars.
  • New Single Link and Sidebar Icons in the Visual Editor.
  • Added a related links/sidebar reminder before publishing or updating.
  • Moved Related Links master button out of Visual Editor. It’s now above the Publish button.
  • Related Links preview now shows up underneath a post in the editor, instead of in the right sidebar.
  • Added optional custom third row based off RSS, including YouTube RSS.
  • Added support for pop-over video playback of YouTube links.
  • Javascript performance fixes.
  • Plugin performance tweaks.
  • Secure, direct login to Contextly settings panel from WordPress (no Twitter credentials needed).
  • Google Analytics data now shows up in Events under Content, not via UTM codes. This provides cleaner and more detailed statistics.
  • Sidebar links now used to help populate related links by default.
  • New, cleaner branding pop-up with privacy policy link.

1.0.76

  • Completely new API
  • Ability to add Sidebars into the body of posts
  • Support for showing links and sidebars on posts, pages or both
  • Option to turn off Contextly content on per page/post basis

1.0.67

  • Core JavaScript files now called over HTTPS
  • Changed jQuery check to use built-in WordPress function.

1.0.63

  • Made a small change to be compatible with sites using Cloudflare

1.0.62

  • Added an easier way to get to the settings page and cleaned up the WP settings page

1.0.61

  • Added a setting in WP to allow sites to place the related links widget in spots other than at the very end of a post
  • Small technical changes to better work with WordPress API