When you are a hunter, your dearest goal is to get the most spectacular trophies and display them on your walls for your friends to see them and die of envy.
In order to reach this goal you need the best hunting rifle you can get your hands on.
When you are a blogger, you want to adorn your blog with the most beautiful trophies you have: your best and most popular posts. These are your trophies and also what attracts the visitors attention. In order to do that you need the best plugins. Which is which? Which plugin can do the job better?
In one of my latest posts I presented you a very interesting plugin, especially designed to display your most popular content from your blog: nRelate Most Popular. If you want to see for yourself what this plugin can do, just read the post:
Today I’m gone show you another plugin created for the same kind of job. It is called WordPress Popular Posts. I will explain you what this plugin is and what it does. Then I will show you how to install and configure it and finally I will try to compare the two plugins and find out which one is the best for my needs.
What is WordPress Popular Posts?
This plugin creates a highly customized widget that displays your most popular posts from your blog. You can take this widget and place it anywhere on your sidebar, for example. I am especially interested in this feature because I already have another plugin in action for the single posts.
WP Popular Posts offer some interesting features;
- Multi-widget capabilites – you can have many widgets, each with its own settings and in different places of your blog
- Display thumbnails
- Multiple sorting possibilities: the list of the most popular posts can be sorted by views, comments or average daily views
- Custom post-type support
- Template tags support
- Time range – last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days etc.
How to install and configure the plugin to display your most popular posts
Click on the video below and watch the process.
In order to compare the two plugins I used two criteria:
- How customizable is the plugin from the point of view of the user (not the programmer)
- How much does the plugin affect the loading time of the blog.
For the first criterion my attention focused on the possibility to configure the thumbnails, the titles, the text and the indicators (views, comments ).
For the second criterion I used the P3 (Performance Profiler) plugin. If you want to find out what it is and how to use it, read the post below:
Now, Let’s see the results.
- Works with single posts, pages and sidebar
- Style gallery for your most popular posts layout (very effective when the most popular content box is placed on a single post or page)
- Time range from 1 hour to 20 years (can be set by hours, days, weeks, months or years)
- Very powerful when used for single posts or pages.
- Sorts the posts only by views
- Less control on thumbnails size: cannot go under 80; cannot set the width and height separately
- The title of the popular content box appears inside the box and not as a separate title
- It shows a maximum of 10 posts.
- Sorts the posts by views, comments, average daily views
- The post thumbnails are fully customizable: you can set the width and the height to whatever you want
- Especially designed for the sidebar
- The title of the popular content box appears outside the box
- You can choose more than 10 most popular posts to show.
- Works mostly as a widget. I think it can be used for single posts and pages but it is more difficult. You will probably need code.
- The time range is less customizable: only 4 options.
B. Loading time
In order to try to find out the answer to this question, I launched 6 tests with the P3 plugin.
All the tests were done during an interval of about 24 hours.
Now, before presenting the results there is one important thing that must be said:
- Nrelate Most Popular indexes and tracks your posts from outside your blog (from the nRelate servers).
- WordPress Popular Posts uses a widget and everything takes places on your blog and inside your hosting account.
The results were synthesized in the following table:
As you can see, nRelate Most Popular does not significantly affect the loading time of the site (1.5 – 3.27 %).
Unfortunately, WordPress Popular Posts significantly affects the loading time of the site (6.4 – 17.9 %).
In terms of customization, layout and visual appearance, the plugins are rather at the same level with nRelate being more powerful on the whole. WordPress Popular Posts seems higher when you want to place your most popular posts on the sidebar while the other plugin is better for single posts and pages.
In terms of loading time, nRelate is far better than WordPress Popular Posts.
Now, taking into account the results, I must say that nRelate gives very good results with the most popular posts content and does not affect the loading time of the blog. Finally, even if WordPress Popular Posts is more customizable on the sidebar, I think I will choose nRelate.
Did you like the article? What do you use to display your most popular posts from your blog?