Twitter updates for your sidebar

Twitter_IconHi there,

A bit of bad news, but a lot of good news when it comes to Twitter.

As you know, widgets are only as good as the developer that updates it and one of our widgets “Latest Twitter Sidebar Widget” is no longer functioning and the developer will not be updating the plug-in due to Twitter’s new API.  I will be removing it from the list of available plug-ins.

WordPress - Extra Sidebar Widget

 

Onto the good news!! We were using that widget because at the time when I installed it, WordPress did not offer a way to show your feed from the dashboard.  Jetpack, in one of its later releases, did just that and you will find in the Jetpack menu the following option for Extra Sidebar Widgets

 

With this widget you can add:

The RSS Links Widget lets you easily add post and comment RSS feeds to a sidebar on your theme.

The Twitter Widget shows your latest tweets within a sidebar on your theme.

The Facebook Like Box Widget shows your Facebook Like Box within a sidebar on your theme.

The Image Widget lets you easily add images to a sidebar on your theme.

Each of these widgets has a number of customization options. To use the widgets, go to Appearance → Widgets. Drag them into one of your sidebars and configure away.

As always, feel free to contact me if you need any help.

Enable Blog Comments through Facebook or Twitter

Social Media CommentsIntegrate social media login options for your blog’s comments:

If you haven’t had the chance to review all of the recent changes in the Jetpack menu, I wanted to make you aware of an option called “Jetpack Comments.”  By default  all FIT blogs are enabled to use a spam filter requiring all commenters to fill out their name and email address before a comment can be submitted for approval.  And in most cases, an administrator must always approve the comment before it goes live.

Jetpack Comments allows the commenter to use their Twitter, Facebook, or WordPress account if they have one to automatically log in.  Once you activate Jetpack Comments through the Jetpack menu additional options will appear under Settings > Discussion at the bottom of the page allowing you to choose a greeting text and a color scheme.

 

Jetpack in your dashboard

wordpress-jetpackSo what’s the deal with having “Jetpack” in your dashboard other than knowing that is where you go to find your blog stats now?

Well, there is a lot of functionality there that you can take advantage of.  An extra tool box of goodies, if you will.  I will be taking a look at a few of its features in upcoming posts because the list of features is pretty long. Taken from the plug-in summary page, here is a list of those features:

  • Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server. Previously provided byWordPress.com Stats.
  • Email subscriptions for your blog’s posts and your post’s comments.
  • Social networking enabled comment system.
  • Simple, Akismet-backed contact forms.
  • The WP.me URL shortener.
  • Hovercard popups for your commenters via Gravatar.
  • Easily embedded media from popular sites like YouTube, Digg, and Vimeo.
  • For the Math geeks, a simple way to include beautiful mathematical expressions on your site.
  • A widget for displaying recent tweets. Previously provided by Wickett Twitter Widget
  • Your readers can easily share your posts via email or their favorite social networks. Previously provided by the Sharedaddy WordPress plugin.
  • Your writing will improve thanks to After the Deadline, an artificial intelligence based spell, style, and grammar checker. Previously provided by the After the DeadlineWordPress plugin.
  • With Carousel active, any standard WordPress galleries you have embedded in posts or pages will launch a gorgeous full-screen photo browsing experience with comments and EXIF metadata.
  • A CSS editor that lets you customize your site design without modifying your theme.
  • A mobile theme that automatically streamlines your site for visitors on mobile devices.
  • Mobile push notifications for new comments via WordPress mobile apps.
  • and many more to come!

I would love to hear how you are using any of these features and please feel free to comment on what you think about this new functionality.  Is it too much?  Not enough? Too Confusing or overwhelming?

Site Stats Error

Hi there, Rachel Ellner brought to my attention that the site stats were giving an error message.  The Jetpack plug-in that enables the stats had a bug, and hopefully the upgrade that I just implemented will solve any problems.  Please let me know if you are still getting an error code.

Thanks Rachel for letting me know!!!

Meredith