I’ve been quiet for the last week or so, as I’ve been busy working on an update to the DualFeeds plugin. It’s almost finished. I told someone it would be ready in a week – that was two weeks ago! I’ve ended up adding a lot of new features, so I thought I’d give a quick rundown of them here.
Easier To Use
One of my focuses has been to make using DualFeeds easier for the average user. To this end, the following features have been included:
- Sidebar Widget calling attention to your feeds, with links to Full Post, Summary and Comments feeds. No need to edit your theme to set up links (unless you want to!). You can see it in my sidebar – 13 different images or use text formatted using your sidebar style.
- Feed Icons, with links to Full Post, Summary and Comments feeds, immediately after the body of each post. Can be enabled / disabled on posts, pages, front page and on category and archive pages.
- The option to turn on feed autodiscovery links for Full Post, Summary and Comments feeds, so browsers such as Firefox can autodiscover your feeds. No need to edit your theme to set this up.
- The Options page now lists the URLs for both feeds for your site (you don’t have to work it out yourself).
- The Options page now dectects whether the Syndication Feeds parameter on the Options -> Reading page is set to Full Text and warns you if it’s not.
Note: First 2 points inspired by Glen Allsop’s Increase Your RSS Subscribers with Simple Tweaks, although I’ve done things slightly differently.
Better FeedBurner Support
Although DualFeeds 1.0 works with FeedBurner, there is a potential issue with plugins such as FeedSmith (as outlined in Guide To Using DualFeeds With FeedBurner). FeedSmith is not aware of the ‘second’ feed created by DualFeeds, so cannot redirect it properly.
The upcoming version of DualFeeds has FeedSmith-like functionality built in, so that DualFeeds can redirect feed requests to the normal feed URLs (for first, second and comment feeds) to the appropriate FeedBurner URL.
If you want, you can continue to use FeedSmith for the first and comment feeds, and use DualFeeds to redirect the second feed only, or you can use DualFeeds for all three feeds.
- It was brought to my attention, by RT Cunningham at Untwisted Vortex, that in version 1.0, the summary feed didn’t have a link to the full article at the end of each entry. This has now been added.
- The truncation of entries in the summary feed (if there is no excerpt or more tag) has been improved. DualFeeds 1.0 cuts entries off mid-word. The new version rolls back to the last complete word.
There a few other minor changes, which will be listed in the Changelog.txt distributed with the plugin.
The Final Word
The plugin is essentially finished now, apart from adding a check for update option, tidying the code and writing some documentation. There are other things I’d like to do (including subcribe to feeds via email), but I’ve had to draw the line here for this version.
The new version will be released in about a week. If anyone is interested in Beta testing it now, leave a comment below and I’ll email it to you.