We’ve had a long hot summer at Contextly working on some awesome updates to our core content recommendation service and our WordPress and Drupal plugins.
On Monday, we released a big update for WordPress-based sites.
It might count as bragging, but with this new release, I think we’ve made it pretty clear that Contextly is the most powerful and innovative content recommendation system for WordPress-powered sites.
We’ve got great displays, related and engaging recommendations, awesome sidebars, a way to add in-post related links, house ads, A/B testing, and great analytics reports. Oh, and there’s this fun video recommendation system (YouTube only for now).
Perhaps the biggest change users will notice with the new plugin are automatic related posts when a writer doesn’t choose related posts or add a link to the body of a story. This makes Contextly the most flexible and powerful related links tool you can use on your blog.
We still believe that editors and writers know far better than an algorithm what’s actually related It’s the same philosophy that powers Google’s search.
But we realize that publications have posts that existed before Contextly was installed (crazy!) and that sometimes writers and editors forget or don’t have time to add related links. So we have added automatic related sections to cover those cases.
Writer and editor choices will always override these kinds of links, and there’s a semi-automatic mode, where writers can provide us one or more links and we’ll fill out the rest of the related links called for by the display.
It’s a bit hard to describe but basically when it comes to related links, Contextly has a stick shift, paddle shifters and an easy-cruise automatic setting.
Speaking of displays, we now have 4 image-driven displays to choose from. All are responsive and look great on mobile devices and larger screens.
There’s also now a custom section that publishers can add which can feature about anything you’d like it to (That’s the Video row in the screenshot above). You can point it at any RSS feed (say you have an editor’s choice category), a YouTube RSS feed (which produces the cool results in the screenshot and video above) or simply choose a number of promo links to fill that section.
We made a host of other changes, including a cleaner writing experience and a gentle reminder to add related links before publishing. You can see the full list below, or even better, try it out on your WordPress site. Current users simply need to hit Update on the Plugin page.
For new users, the easiest way is get Contextly is to go to Plugins -> Add ->Search for “Contextly Related” in your own hosted WordPress blog, and you’ll be up and running in 5 minutes.
If you are a larger publisher who can’t just add a plugin without someone else getting mad, contact us to get more information.
If you are on Drupal, fear not. We’ll have a great module out for you soon, including one awesome feature that the WordPress plugin doesn’t yet have.
Change Log 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.
– 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.