Movie Website Design

LinkWithin and nRelate: Related Posts Comparative Analysis

When LinkWithin – a line of HTML code used to show related posts at the bottom of website posts – went down momentarily in September 2010 and I mentioned it in our movie website‘s Twitter account, I was contacted via directed message by someone from nRelate. nRelate is a similar product to the LinkWithin plugin. I thought of using it but after evaluating it, I found it needed improvement. I emailed the makers of nRelate a few suggestions.

I like your related posts plugin, an alternative to LinkWithin but it has a few problem you need to solve.

To my surprise, Oliver – an nRelate representative – actually emailed me back and addressed each of my questions.

Thanks so much for this detailed comparison. I have added in responses below.

Below are my LinkWithin / nRelate observations and Oliver’s answers.

Observation One

1. The thumbnails are too large. On one of my sites I can fit five LinkWithin related posts on one line. With the size of your thumbnails, I can only fit four. (see attached screencap)

slashfilm-nrelated-screenshotnRelate Screenshot from SlashFilm

This is one reason why I use LinkWithin over yours.

Solution: Make the thumbnails smaller, the same size as LinkWithin’s if you have to.

filmbookdotcom-linkwithin-screenshotLinkWithin Screenshot from Film-Book dot Com

Oliver’s Answer: This is something we have discussed and should be including in a soon to be released update. We may offer a few different thumbnail options so people can experiment with smaller and larger thumbnails as well.

Oliver’s Update: The current version of the plugin allows you to choose thumbnail size.

My Updated Response: “Thank Christ”, Roy Scheider, Jaws.

Observation Two

Hyperlinked, blue text under the thumbnails. Why is it blue and why is it hyperlinked? The wording does not need to look like a link. Its unnecessary.

This is one reason why I use LinkWithin over yours.

Solution: Make the text regular (black), like LinkWithin’s, or give us the option to make the text whatever color we like.

Oliver’s Answer: The plugin actually inherits the CSS of your blog, whereas LinkWithin has styled the text to appear this way. This can be changed if you go into the CSS file, but I do think there might be value to offering bloggers an option to display a plugin in which we have made more of the style decisions. Would you actually go on and make css changes? I wouldn’t (I am not super technical), and U bet a lot of other bloggers wouldn’t either.

Observation Three

The text title for the widget is too big on the post.

This is one reason why I use LinkWithin over yours.

Solution: Make it smaller.

I have attached a photo so that you can see the difference in appearance between the two widgets. Which one looks better to you?

Oliver’s Answer: The response to this is the same as to #2, again, something we may add as an option soon. Out of my own interests I will abstain from answering your last question! But we are working to make our plugin look better! Thanks.

In Conclusion

The recent involvement of the related posts plugins have come down to a simple unifying element: Are they visual? Do they capture the attention of the reader after they have finished a post and induce them to click and stay on the website a little longer? How attractive are the pictures they present and the message they convey?

nRelate is evolving, option by option. The more user input and feedback they get, possibly the more nRelate improves, which isn’t always the case with designers, companies, and plugins. In comparison, LinkWithin is still a better looking related posts option (written about here: LinkWithin, Related Posts Plugin Combination. Choose One, not Both.) – caveat: if you have posts that contain pictures – but with nRelate new size option in place and possibly more options in the future, the gap is closing.

About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started ProMovieBlogger to educate others on what he had learned through trial and error. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook (http://film-book.com), he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He also created and runs Trending Awards.com.

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