I'm trying to display the related posts using functions.php:

function posts_related($related){ if (is_single()) {
global $post;
// Build basic custom query arguments
$custom_query = new WP_Query( array( 
       'posts_per_page' => 8, // Number of related posts to display
       'post__not_in' => array($post->ID), // Ensure that the current post is not displayed
       'orderby' => 'rand', // Randomize the results

// Run the loop and output data for the results
if ( $custom_query->have_posts() ) : while ( $custom_query->have_posts() ) : $custom_query->the_post(); 
 if ( has_post_thumbnail()
  ) { 
                 $permalink = the_permalink();
                 $post_thumbnail = the_post_thumbnail('medium');
                 $title = the_title();                       
                 $related .= '<a href="' . $permalink .  '"><img src="' . $post_thumbnail . '/></a>';             
           $related .=  '<a href="' .  $permalink . '"><b>' . $title . '</b></a>';
 else : 
    $related .= '<p>Nothing to show.</p>';
// Reset postdata
         echo '<pre>'; var_dump( has_post_thumbnail() ); echo '</pre>'; 

    return $related;

}    //wp_reset_postdata();

add_filter( "the_content", "posts_related", 99 );
add_theme_support( 'post-thumbnails' );
set_post_thumbnail_size( 100, 50, true );

But I'm not being able to handle the output properly. I need it to display below the post (single post).

  • use the functions that will return the results: get_the_title() and get_permalink() and get_the_post_thumbnail()...
    – Michael
    May 3, 2021 at 3:49

1 Answer 1


I slightly modified your code and tested on my Wordpress installation.
If you using a filter, like 'the_content', which recieves a content as an argument,
you must also return this content back.
Here is working version of your function with comments.

 //this filter recieves $content, which you should always return, 
 //otherwise you will not see the content

 function posts_related($content){ 
    if (is_single()){

        $custom_query = new WP_Query( array( 
            'posts_per_page' => 8, 
            'post__not_in' => array(get_queried_object_id()), 
            'orderby' => 'rand', 

        //lets define $related variable outside of while loop
        // and if statement to make it visible 
        $related = '';

    if ( $custom_query->have_posts() ) : 
        while ( $custom_query->have_posts() ) : $custom_query->the_post();

            //use functions with "get_" to recieve a value
            // and not echo it
            $permalink = get_the_permalink();
            $title = get_the_title();
            if ( has_post_thumbnail() ) { 

                //here we receiving just url with
                $related .= '<a href="' . $permalink .  '">
                                <img src="' . get_the_post_thumbnail_url() . '" />
                $related .=  '<a href="' .  $permalink . '"><b>' . $title . '</b></a>';

        //return content + related posts
        //if is_singular and we have related post
        return $content . $related;

    else : 

        //if is_singular but no posts were found
        $related .= '<p>Nothing to show.</p>';


    //if is_singular and we have related posts
    //return content + related posts 
    //or content + "nothing to show"
    return $content . $related;

//if page is not a single,
//just return content
return $content;


P.S. Usually related posts are posts with the same category or tag, just orderby with rand will return random posts, but I guess you know this.

  • The only problem I'm having is that they're being displayed in the wrong place. I'm trying to display them below the post, not above. I was already returning the content back, maybe I posted the wrong modification.
    – 023023
    May 3, 2021 at 16:20
  • How can it be possible if you return $content . $related; Concatination here returns content first. I checked this code and it returns random posts AFTER the content.
    – anton
    May 3, 2021 at 16:28
  • it is really about using get_the_title() instead of the_title() etc in your code...
    – Michael
    May 3, 2021 at 21:20
  • yes it is, and he got some syntax mistakes in a code as well
    – anton
    May 4, 2021 at 7:22
  • The development software was making a mess with the file, your code is working. I implemented it, but now there's only one problem: the comment section is gone.
    – 023023
    May 4, 2021 at 18:53

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