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 🙂

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. Jason says:

    I assume it started to work after I used the shorter ‘http://www.zeldman.com/rss/’ link and then Jeffrey posted a new article. Seems like the ‘feedvalidator’ part threw a wrench in the code.

    Thanks!

  2. John Willis says:

    Well, I did the automatic update (from March 2 version) and the What Others are Saying sidebar element disappeared completely. I don’t suppose there is anyway of going back again? Everything was unchanged from a previously working version.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi John, if you were using the widget version then you may need to go back into widgets and re-add it as functions were updated due to WordPress dropping older functions.

    I’ll put a note at the top in regards to this too. Cheers for letting me know.

  4. John Willis says:

    Indeed, that was the solution. I should have seen that. Thanks for the quick response. Lately I’ve been trying to figure out why some sites seem to be stuck at older posts and then I noticed that many of the feedburner links had changed. Never neglect the obvious…

  5. ron says:

    I installed the plugin and it works as described.

    I have a question related to the actual feed info displayed.

    Is there a way to display the full feed as provided by the site I subscribed to?

    I noticed that one of the sites I subscribed to seems to provide the full article in the feed but the plugin appears to only display the title of the article. is there a setting to enable the plugin to display the full article?

    thanks

  6. John says:

    Hi Sarah–
    I am a neophyte, but love the plugin and have seen it on other sites. For some reason it is not working for me.

    I am on 2.7.1. Installed, activated and had the settings to display 25 posts.

    Went into all of my links in the WEBSITE category I assigned them and included the feeds in the advanced tab. Saved them and refreshed the site a bunch and only one is showing up.

    Here are the feeds, I have used and only the last one (Annapolis Capital Punishment) shows up whihc is surprising because two other are blogspot feeds. Any suggestions?

    THanks SO much!

    http://feeds2.feedburner.com/sweethomeannapolis
    Annapolis Anchor

    http://mikenetherland.blogspot.....ts/default
    Mike’s Nether Land

    http://budtheblogger.blogspot......ts/default
    The No BS Zone

    http://feeds2.feedburner.com/myaacps
    My ACCPS.net

    http://annapoliscapitalpunishm.....ts/default
    Annapolis Capital Punishment

    • Sarah says:

      Hi John, sounds to me like you only had one feed in place before activating the plugin. The list will cache and not update for at least an hour or 3 hours if you don’t change the update time (in seconds) in the options page. Hopefully, by now, all your feeds are showing.

      • Thanks so much for this! I was so excited to find that your plugin, then so distraught when the cache thing made me think it was broken – phew! I’ve been using Google Reader to do what your plugin does, and I’m happy to finally be able to stop. I’m surprised at how few things I’ve found to aggregate feeds on a site this way.

        The only thing that would make this plugin better for me would be the ability to filter by category. I’m using it on the website of a regional cartoonists’ group (http://treesandhills.org/) and our old setup had a newsbox for blogs & a separate box for frequently-updated comics. I’m still very happy to have this instead of Reader, though – thanks again!

      • Sarah says:

        Hi Colin, sorry for the late response. I’ll try and add in your request when I next get a chance to update the plugin. It’s a useful idea, not something I thought of obviously! Glad you like the plugin and thank you for your donation too, much appreciated 🙂

  7. Sarah says:

    Ron – sorry I missed your comment, been a bit hectic round here with work.

    It is possible but not with the way the current plugin is. I’ve been working on adding in new features and options however personal and work commitments have just slowed me down. If you’re capable with PHP then you could edit the plugin and the db table to save the feed as well.

    I have a number of changes to add in which I hope to get back onto soon and get a new version released.

  8. Rafael Reinehr says:

    Sarah, how do I edit “CSS” of the Widget? At my website your wonderful plugin appears with so small letters…

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Rafael,

      The plugin just outputs the list items, so usually you would set the before and after code in your functions file, and then you can target this if necessary. Without seeing your site though I can’t really give you any suggestions.

  9. Sarah, here´s the frontend example: http://rsurgente.opsblog.org/ , under the title “Últimas da Blogosfera”.

    Do you need some piece of code to help me? It would be very nice of yours if you could help me to solve this issue…

  10. Jason says:

    Rafael,

    You’ll need to add some CSS styles to your site. I added a class of ‘greenlist’ to my LI items in the widget code. You can see my implementation at http://www.mesmerlab.com on the bottom right of the sidebar.

    Sarah, maybe you could modify your plugin to have a class on each item?

    Jason

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Jason, sorry just dug your reply out of the spam box! Cheers for your reply. I wouldn’t add individual class names to each list item as it’s a bit overkill to be honest. However, the next version of the plugin will allow you to give a template of the code to suit your site anyway. It’s been a long time coming but I’m aiming to get this available soon!

  11. Sarah says:

    Hi Rafael, looking on your site the list is within a list item with an id of what-others-are-saying, so you can use that to target the text size eg

    #what-others-are-saying { font-size: 12px; }

    However, also looking at the code, the list from the widget is not in the correct UL tags. This is down to both the plugin not outputting it and your functions file not adding it in. I removed as much formatting/markup from the plugin to allow the users to have more control, so I don’t know if you can make your functions file add in the

      before the plugin output and the

    after it.

    Alternatively I can send you a modified plugin file with the markup in, but if you upgrade this when I eventually get my new version out, then you’ll need to alter it again.

  12. I´ll try the first alternative, but it would be very nice if you could send me a modified plugin file, since i´m kind of a “dumb” in this kind of alterations…

  13. Sarah, i´ve been trying lot´s of modifications to the code with no success… Maybe the modified plugin you told me could do the job?

  14. Hi Sarah,

    I’ve implemented your plugin in my blog, and I will try to tweak it a little. I’m NOT PHP-literate at all (this is the first time ever I try to code in PHP, always been a .NET guy).

    The only thing I want to say now is: Sarah, you are AMAZING. You have almost two years worth of tech support (of every caliber, from neophytes to programmers) for your plugin in this single page –all for free!

    I just wanted to express my gratitude for you and the effort you’ve done for almost two years. That’s the kind of vocation that keeps the Internet a wonderful place to learn new things.

    Gyga-Cheers!

  15. John Frenaye says:

    I love the plug in first and foremost!

    Is there a way to adjust the settings so when someone clicks on the link, it opens in a new browser window?

    I have the NO FOLLOW box checked in your plug in.

    In the links section of WP, I have the name,. URL, and feed along with the _blank checked. But when I click on a link created by the plug in, it redirects from my site.

    Thanks
    John

    • Sarah says:

      Hi John, glad you like the plugin. It doesn’t use the target attribute as it’s invalid markup for HTML 4.01 and XHTML. What I would suggest is to give your surrounding list an ID and then use a simple jQuery technique to open all links on the list in a new window. JQuery comes with WordPress by default so you can load this in your header file using

      wp_enqueue_script('jquery');

      right before the wp_head() tag. Then below wp_head() and outside of the PHP add in

      <script type="text/javascript">
      jQuery(document).ready(function() {
          jQuery("#listid a").attr('target','_blank');
      });

      That will then use JS to dynamically add the target attribute to each link. Note, you’ll need to change #listid on the 3rd line to match the ID of your list.

      I’ll set it up so that this can be managed via the plugin in the future 🙂

  16. jos says:

    Hi Sarah

    Just to let you know that this plugin is great! And your always glad and active help here is marvellous.
    Thumbs up and a big hug :O)

    I have been working a little with the plugin so it meets my needs. There is just one ting I cannot figure out. One of my buddies feed do not show up in the list. I think it has something to do with the file-type…
    It’s like this: “subdomain.domain.prefix/rss-2.0.xml”… It’s the only type of feed that are not showing up…
    Any ideas?

  17. jos says:

    Just forget it Sarah, it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m not using the plugin anymore. It slows the site down, way to much

  18. Sarah says:

    Hi Jos, I’m sorry I’ve not had a chance to look at your comment, I’ve just moved house and lost a close friend amongst other things, so I’m still catching up on everything.

    Sorry you seem to think the plugin slows the site down however the only time things run slowly is when the feeds are updating, which you can change to just once a day using the cache time setting. Other than that the plugin will not slow the site down at all, it’ll run just as quick as the rest of the site.

    The feed that isn’t working is most likely due to the way the feed has been output. Unfortunately if it doesn’t follow the standard RSS format then it won’t get parsed correctly.

    However, if you’re no longer using the plugin then it doesn’t matter, but this reply may be of use to someone else. I do mention in the readme file that not every feed will work. It’s unfortunate but it would mean bloating the plugin out to manage so many variations on the standard format.

  19. Richard says:

    Hi,

    Just found your great plugin and I am using it in my rebuild (server error killed my old site).

    Just wanted to know if the plugin can show more than 1 post from each link?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Richard. At present no it can’t. It just displays the last post from that site. However, it’s a valid point and I can add it in as an option for the next release 🙂

  20. Richard says:

    Thanks for the quick reply, look forward to an update then.

    🙂

  21. Richard says:

    Oh and possibly an ‘open in new window’ setting would be handy.

  22. Kristoffer says:

    How do I add css to this? Anyone who can make a basic guide? I want no underline below the links but I keep getting errors…

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Kristoffer, sorry for the late reply. If you’ve added the code as per my suggestion above, then change the ul to have an id. Then in your style.css file add in:

      #idname li a { text-decoration: none; }

      Of course change idname to be the name of the id on the ul tag. That should then remove the underlines.

  1. Tue, 16 June, 2009

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

  2. Thu, 2 July, 2009

    […] What Others are Saying – this one has been around for a while and from the website it looks like there is tons of support for this plugin, but you have to add the RSS feed for each link to the link page for this plugin to display the links. […]

  3. Fri, 3 July, 2009

    […] What Others Are Saying […]

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