How To Set Up a Sideblog

47

Since writing about the benefits of a sideblog, the idea has taken off. Sideblogs are a great way of quickly updating your readers. However, you’re still left with the problem of how to set one up.

There are various methods, including the use of Twitter or Tumblelog and then importing an RSS feed. However, those methods don’t give enough control for me, so the method I’m using is done entirely in WordPress.

Read More »

Get RSS Subscriber Count in Plain text

50

Text subscriber count. When I reviewed the new Freelance Switch design, one thing I noted was how they display their subscriber count as plain text, not using the little FeedBurner chicklet.

This trick isn’t one that you usually see around the blogosphere, so I did a little investigating. The effect can be achieved using FeedBurner’s Awareness API.

Unfortunately, I’m yet to find a guide as to how exactly…

However, there is good news for WordPress users. Francesco Mapelli has put together a very easy to use plugin that does all the heavy lifting for you. Install the plugin like any other plugin, then fill in a few options, and you’ll end up with markup like this in your HTML:

Read More »

Separating Trackbacks from Comments

594

Footsteps in the sand. Trackbacks are the messages displayed in the comments list whenever another blog links back to one of your posts. Many blogs disable trackbacks, but not all.

If you use trackbacks on your blog, it is best if they are not mixed with the comments. The comments are a conversation between between real people. Having machine-generated links in the middle of that will only serve to disrupt the conversations.

The method described here will lift out all of the trackbacks, and then display them as a numbered list after the list of comments is finished. Once you have this done, customizing the trackbacks to appear however you want them to is simple.

Read More »

How To Style Author Comments Differently

95

WordPress author comments. Comments are the backbone of a blog. For a blogger, there are few things better than a nice, long stream of comments. As a reader, flicking through such streams can be as enlightening as reading the post itself. It can also be useful to easily spot the author’s comments, to read what they in particular had to say.

As an example, here on Pro Blog Design, each of my own comments looks slightly different to the adjacent comments. Achieving the same effect on your blog is easily done.

The method described here is specifically for WordPress users. Movable Type users should refer to this article, and TypePad users to this one.

Read More »

Dynamic Search Bar Text With Javascript

38

Every blog has a search bar. The search bar is a typically boring affair, with a white background and a button saying “Search,” and worst of all, it takes up a fair bit of room in your sidebar. Why not use a little Javascript to liven things up and save space? This effect can be seen in use on the search bar to your right.

NB – This method is primarily for Wordpress, but could be easily adapted to any other platform.

1 – Find The Default Search bar.

The code for your search bar usually lies in searchform.php, or in functions.php if it has been set up as a widget, and will look as follows:

Read More »

5 Steps To Test a Theme That Won’t Get You Banned From Google

22

Test Themes
Photo by dcJohn.
There are a number of aspects of a theme that can get you banned from Google, and other search engines. Deciphering between safe and unsafe themes is not as easy as just looking for a “Sponsored by…” link.
Through using the methods listed below, you will be able to judge whether or not a theme is safe to use.

1 – Download From The Source

Wordpress themes are often free to download, and sometimes free to distribute. It is not difficult for a site to amass a collection of themes, and add their own spam codes to them. For this reason, if you know the site that the theme originally came from, download it from there.

Read More »

Cut Category Clutter and Toggle Visibility

54

Grouped Categories
Photo by *Micky*
Categories are very easy to set up in a blog. So easy in fact, that we can often get carried away and end up with dozens of categories, all clogging up space in our sidebars. Rather than deleting these categories, we can remove the clutter by linking the categories into groups.

We then show only the group titles in the sidebar, and when a group title is clicked, the list of categories in that group expands beneath it. You can see a demo here.

This solution is very easy to implement, will remove the clutter for the vast majority of your users. For your users, and search engines, who have disabled Javascript, the complete list of categories will be shown as normal (And for the code junkies, it’s also XHTML valid!)

Read More »

Page 2 of 3123