Related Post Plugins are great. They present a set of posts that your readers may enjoy. And that keeps them on your site longer and keeps your bounce rate lower. All of that is great. But related post plugins can really hurt you at the same time – because of the performance hit that they can cause on your site (regardless of how great your hosting is).
Related Post Plugins Can Kill You
Let me explain why some people are (justifiably) worried about related post plugins.
In order to know which posts should relate to other posts, many plugins scan the content of your post and all your other posts. This scanning is very taxing on the server and so performance starts getting worse and worse.
The larger your site is, with more and more posts, the slower this gets – and the more it impacts the performance of your site.
(Another way these plugins can really mess with your site is that by automatically selecting which posts relate to the one your audience is reading, there's no way to know that they're getting exactly the right posts that you'd like them to see.)
With Google tracking your site's performance more than ever, and your need to get those high scores (green circles), anything that hurts your performance hurts your ability to be found.
What Option do You Have?
Thankfully, you don't have to be handcuffed. You do actually have an option. You option is to look at plugins that do their indexing away from your own server/site.
There's a plugin that totally works this way. It does all the same work that other plugins do but it does its indexing on their own servers. So all the performance hits never appear on your own server. You can host your site anywhere and not worry that it will slow your site down.
What's it called?
Jetpack has a feature called Related Posts. And it works for both Gutenberg and with the Classic Editor plugin.
I Know, You've Heard Horror Stories
If you're like most of the folks I've mentioned Jetpack to, you've likely already heard horror stories about performance and made up your mind. The question or challenge I have for you is whether you've made up your mind with data that's current. I'm talking about the last year or two.
When it comes to a related post plugins, Jetpack is a solid choice that won't slow your site down. And it lets you turn off all the other features, which eliminates any impact at all.
So even if you've heard crazy performance stories, if you're looking for a related post plugin, check out Jetpack.