What Others Are Saying

Latest Version: 1.7
Works on: Version 2.07 – 3.2.1
Last Update: 21st July 2011

This plugin allows you to display the most recent post of your favourite blogs somewhere on your site. It utilises the RSS link field from the blogroll for each of your links. If the RSS link exists it attempts to get the last post from it. It then displays the most recent X number of posts depending on your settings. Each blog can have one post in the list.

See Update Information

Requirements

I’ve checked this down to WordPress version 2.0.7 without problem and this works up to the latest version 3.2.1.

Instructions

  1. Download the Plugin and unzip it.
  2. Upload the file to your plugins folder then activate it via the WordPress admin panel.
  3. Go to Options – What Others Say and make changes to the defaults if you wish See Figure 1
  4. Add RSS feed links to the links in your Blogroll that you want to display in the list (The RSS link goes in the Advanced section on the Add/Edit link page) See Figure 2
  5. Add the code below to wherever you want the list to display (non-widget sidebar) or go into your Widgets admin page and add the widget version.
PHP Code Excerpt
  1. <?php if (function_exists(‘what_others_are_saying’)) {
  2. what_others_are_saying();
  3. } ?>
Figure 1: The Options page in the Admin
What Others Are Saying Plugin Options
Figure 2: Adding an RSS Feed in Manage – Links
Manage Link Screenshot

The plugin simply outputs the post and site name wrapped in a list item, so you would need to insert the above code into either an unordered or ordered list, and also give it a header. I’ve done it this way so that people don’t need to edit the plugin file to change their markup.

Suggested markup would be:
  1. <h3>What Others Are Saying</h3>
  2. <ul>
  3. <?php if (function_exists(‘what_others_are_saying’)) what_others_are_saying(); ?>
  4. </ul>

If you have any comments or problems with installation let me know πŸ™‚

Download the plugin.

Updates (Newest First)

  • 21/07/2011: Discovered the widget was missing an opening and closing ul. Also updated a few standard WordPress functions
  • 02/03/2009: Fixed the widget title problem, plus updated a couple of WordPress functions that are being deprecated.
  • 02/11/2008: Added the option to set the external links to have rel=”nofollow” added. Also added code to make this version work as both a function and a widget.
  • 08/05/2008: Updated the admin page to fit in with the new WordPress 2.5 look.
  • 17/03/2008: Cleaned up the code to use WordPress API code entirely, removed the need for a cachetime.txt file and set up the cache timing in the options table instead. Added a readme.txt file and screenshot in the zip file.
  • 19/10/2007: Cleaned up the code, fixed invalid ampisands in titles and added the option to display either most recent posts or a randomised list of all the latest posts.
  • 14/10/2007: The admin page has landed! You can now update the options via an admin page under your Options menu, rather than editing the file directly.
  • 08/10/2007: After finding people having problems with modifying the output I realised that perhaps I should just output the list and nothing more, allowing people to write their own header and markup. So I’ve removed this.
  • 03/10/2007: The script now checks for a database connection and reconnects if it needs to. Added support for another type of RSS feed. Option to have the site name linked as well as the post title.
  • 27/09/2007: Added in extra variable to allow people to set the header title above the list. Defaults to ‘What Others Are Saying’
  • 25/09/2007: Found a database table without the prefix on correctly, plus added in code to prevent duplicates being displayed. I think it occurs if two visitors hit during the update at the same time.
  • 25/09/2007: The code now pulls in the table prefix from WordPress settings so this will avoid errors where someone has changed the table prefix from the standard wp_ and not updated the file. Also one less thing to set!
  • 25/09/2007: Added in a couple of error print outs for if/when errors do occur as it’s easier to determine the cause then.

189 Responses

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi Phil, you’d need to edit the plugin to insert the target attribute. If you’re not too scared of looking at the PHP then open up the plugin file, scroll to the bottom of it where you should see the HTML output (mixed with a little PHP). Find the link tag and add your attribute in there.

    If you’re not sure let me know and I can modify the file and email it to you.

  2. Phil Barron says:

    Hi, Sarah. What you described is exactly what I did (apologies for not describing it more clearly before). Inserting the target attribute in the link tag resulted in a fatal error:

    Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting ‘,’ or ‘;’ in /home/REDACTED/public_html/wp-content/plugins/other-posts.php on line 239

    If you can think of a way to avoid the error, that would be great.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi Phil, typical PHP syntax error there. I’ve amended the file for you and emailed it over, hope it all works fine for you now πŸ™‚

  4. Phil Barron says:

    Ah, single quotes instead of double quotes; I should have tried that on my own. The plugin now works as well as I could have hoped. Really, this is just what I was looking for. Thank you very much, Sarah!

  5. Sarah says:

    No problem Phil πŸ™‚

  6. Adi says:

    Hi. Is this plugin still working? Nothing appears on my site.

    Installed and activated, then edit sidebar.php to include the tag but failed. Which step I missed out? I’m using WP 2.6.1

    Please help Sarah.

    Thanks
    Adi

  7. Sarah says:

    Hi Adi, yes this plugin works fine as I have it on my site in my sidebar.

    The steps you need to take are

    1. Install and activate plugin.
    2. Go to Manage – Links and either modify your existing bookmarks/links to include their RSS feed link in the relevant box on the page, or add a new site and their RSS feed.
    3. Edit the sidebar to include the function.
    4. Refresh the front page once or twice to get the update to kick in.

    Have you done step 2? If you go into Manage – Links and edit an existing link, scroll down to the advanced section (open it up) and you’ll see an input field for the RSS feed. There you need to input the site’s RSS address. You’ll need to do this for every site you want to include in the plugin.

    Also check you’re happy with the settings on the settings page for the plugin.

    Hope that solves your problem πŸ™‚

  8. Sarah says:

    Hi Adi, sorry I reread my installation steps in the readme.txt file and realised I’d missed out the step saying to add the RSS feeds. I’ve updated this now.

    My apologies! Thanks for bringing it to my attention πŸ™‚

  9. baron says:

    hi. Thanks for plugin

    perfect.

    Regards

  10. HivLinux says:

    Hi, I installed it. Followed all steps but does not update. I receive no RSS feeds in sidebar! What’s going on? I am trying to get a blogspot.com RSS site and a wordpress one.

  11. Sarah says:

    Have you definitely added the correct feed URLs into the RSS field in the links manager, for each site that you want displaying their last post?

    If so then can you let me know of one or both of the sites so that I can check on their feeds and see if they work for me.

  12. HivLinux says:

    Yep, I put right feed links. Blogs are: ciecomatto.net, lauraffaeli.blogspot.com, attivissimo.blogspot.com, then I am planning to put other sites there. I think it’s my fault, but please if you can, check out yourself

  13. Sarah says:

    I’ve added the first site listed to my own site and it’s worked fine for me as you can possibly see (if you check this site in time) from my list on the right in my sidebar.

    Just to recap on the steps to use this plugin.

    1. Install and activate plugin.
    2. Go to Manage – Links and either modify your existing bookmarks/links to include their RSS feed link in the relevant box on the page, or add a new site and their RSS feed.
    3. Edit the sidebar to include the function.
    4. Refresh the front page once or twice to get the update to kick in.

    My guess is you need to recheck at step 2. If you’ve already got links to these sites (sorry I can’t read your site so I can’t tell if you’ve got a list of links anywhere), then you need to click to edit each link individually. On the Manage Link page, scroll down to the advanced section and find the RSS input field. Here you insert the full link to the RSS feed (note Atom feeds may not work).

    Alternatively, click to add a new link and give the link a title, insert the link, and again, scroll down to the Advanced section and put the RSS feed into the RSS input field.

    Then providing the RSS feeds are set up correctly, they should work. If you want to test this, use one of my links as I know for a fact these work:

    http://feeds.feedburner.com/StuffBySarah

  14. Hank says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I just came across your plugin and think it looks like a great addition to the blog I’m building out. I installed it and ran into the problem that others appear to be having.

    So I looked into the code and see that you’re using column link_rss in your SELECT but the codex for table wp_links shows link_url. Haven’t been following WordPress much so don’t know if that’s a recent change to the schema.

    Here’s the fix though for anybody having trouble:

    on line 167 change

    SELECT link_id, link_rss, link_name FROM “.$wpdb->links.” WHERE link_rss != ” GROUP BY link_rss

    to

    SELECT link_id, link_url as link_rss, link_name FROM “.$wpdb->links.” WHERE link_url != ” GROUP BY link_url

    Thanks for a cool plugin!

  15. Sarah says:

    Hi Hank,

    If you check on the WordPress codex at http://codex.wordpress.org/Database_Description#Table:_wp_links you’ll see the last field is link_rss. What you’ve effectively done in your code change above is said ‘if the link exists, pull out the RSS feed link’, however that doesn’t work because you can have a link in your blogroll but not have an RSS feed link for it. Half of my links don’t have feeds associated with them.

    The plugin works by checking to see if there is an RSS feed link associated with each link in the links table. If there is a feed link, then it pulls the info out.

    My guess is, the reason your ‘fix’ worked above is because you’re putting the feed link into the link input and not into the feed link input box, there are two different inputs in the add link page.

    I’ll do up a full screen shot tomorrow of the add link page however if you look in figure 2 in the post above you’ll see where to add the feed link.

    But, if you’re not listing links on your site and what to leave it as it is then go for it. However future updates will have the plugin working as it is now, and not accommodate for your code change πŸ™‚

  16. hank says:

    Hi Sarah,

    You’re right, of course. I _was_ using the link_url for the feed but see where I can use the RSS address in the Advanced Options | Advanced section – and will populate the feed addresses there. Thanks for the explanation. πŸ™‚

  17. Sarah says:

    Hank, cheers for letting me know. You’ve made a valid point in a round about way however, my instructions need improving on πŸ˜‰

  18. Sarah says:

    Just updated this plugin to add in the option to have rel=”nofollow” in the links, and finally added the code for the widget version πŸ™‚

  19. Frans says:

    Hi,
    Thanks for your plugin! A very good and useful work!

    I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong.
    I put the markup code in a wordpress page and did a first plugin test with just 1 feed (from feedburner): everything was ok.
    Then, I edited the php file to add css styles to the blog title and everything continued being ok.

    But when I added more rss (from feedburner and from Blogger, 4 in total) to the links list, only the first one was showed.
    Just in case I did something wrong, I restored the original plugin from a fresh download and reactivated, but no success: only 1 feed is showed.

    As a test, I activated the sidebar widget, and the results are the same (only 1 feed showed).

    Current settings are: update-10800 / displaying 1 post / link the site-active.
    All 4 feeds are in the ‘links’ list, and have a rss url.

    Do you think there is something more I might try?

    Thanks in advance.

    Frans

  20. Sarah says:

    Hi Frans, you say under your settings you have it set to display 1 post? That’s why only one post is displaying. You’ll need to change this to say 5 or 10. Or if you’re wanting to display them all on one page then perhaps set it to 25 or more.

  21. Frans says:

    Thank you, Sarah
    I have changed the number to 25 and now all 4 feeds are shown.
    I thought this setting was for saying how many posts to display per rss, not globally.

    As for the plugin, I was using an API from Google Reader to include feeds in the website, but your plugin is by far lighter and charge faster.
    A final question: is it possible to show the last post date?

    Thank you again!

    Frans

  22. Sarah says:

    Hi Fran, no sorry the plugin is only designed to show the last post from each site, so the post count is effectively how many sites to display. I’ll change the wording when I get a chance πŸ™‚

    As for the last post date. It’s possible yes. What I’m planning to do is redo the admin to give you greater control over the code used, and the options available so when I have the chance that will all be available to you πŸ™‚

  1. Tue, 3 June, 2008

    […] at linked sites. It took quite a bit of searching, but it happened thanks to Sarah G.’s What Others Are Saying plugin. (Only recently did I learn of a preexisting WP RSS widget, but I’m not a big fan of […]

  2. Fri, 18 July, 2008

    […] 31. What Others Are Saying […]

  3. Mon, 3 November, 2008

    […] Download: Sarah has updated the plugin here […]

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