Coming Update To DualFeeds Plugin – New Features

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.

Other Improvements

  • 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.

9 responses on “Coming Update To DualFeeds Plugin – New Features

  1. Rachel

    Hey i love this site, i am definately adding this to my favorites! I totally feel you, except i am still learning but also feel i only scrathced the surface. Way to go on this site! Very informative and helpful to me. Keep up the great work :)

  2. Stephen Cronin Post author

    Jae, thanks for offering. I’ll email it to you shortly.

    After activating it, go to Options -> DualFeeds and you’ll find three parameters for FeedBurner (first feed, second feed and comment feed). If you want FeedSmith to redirect your main and comment feeds, just leave those parameters blank.

    However FeedSmith can’t redirect the second feed, because it doesn’t know about it. You need to create a FeedBurner url for the second feed URL, then enter this in the second feed parameter of the FeedBurner section.

    If the other two parameters are blank, then DualFeeds will only redirect the second feed and FeedSmith will continue to redirect the other two. If you want DualFeeds to redirect all three, go ahead and enter the appropriate URL for all three. DualFeeds will redirect them before FeedSmith gets them. You can leave it active, or you can uninstall it – the choice is up to you.

    Thank you very much for asking to try the beta. I’ll be very interested to see how it works for you. I’ve tested thoroughly and have been using it on my site for a couple of weeks now with no problems. I’m almost ready to release it, I just need to spend a few hours writing up the documentation.

  3. Stephen Cronin Post author

    Hi Hurry,

    Unfortunately, I now only supply beta versions to people who leave a URL for the site on which they’ll use DualFeeds. Feel free to leave another comment with the link in the URL field. Alternatively, wait a couple of days and the release version will be available for download.

    I’ve taken this stance because I previously supplied the beta to someone else, who didn’t leave a URL and I haven’t heard anything back. I have no way of knowing who they are.

    I’m not sure what benefit anyone would gain from a beta version of an open source WordPress plugin, but I have decided I’ll only supply betas to people who are open about where they will use it.

  4. jae

    *ugh* i have a feeling that comment may have been left in reference to me. i just haven’t had the time to install and try out the plugin since asking for it b/c i’ve been busy with a bunch of other things. i was hoping to get to it this week.

    in any case, the site it will be used on is http://www.guyswholiketoeat.com

  5. Stephen Cronin Post author

    Hi Jae,

    Actually it was related to you, but it wasn’t problem (you were just the catalyst). If I was worried I could have emailed you and asked how it was going. I didn’t because I am pretty busy too – so I can relate!

    I just got to thinking about it and decided it was a little strange that you didn’t leave your website URL in the URL field. If you have a look at all the other comments, you’ll find that people’s names link to their website. That’s the norm for commenting on blogs such as this for two reasons:

    1. It gives your site exposure. The blog owner (and other commentators) will often check out your site.

    2. As this site is dofollow, it can help increase your Google PageRank (so the search engines rank you higher and bring more traffic to your site.

    Now I’ve checked it out, I can tell your site is new, so maybe you don’t know this. Anyway, no harm done, but I think my new policy makes sense, so I’ll stick to it.

    Thanks again for offering to try it out. I’ll release it in the next couple of days (still trying to finish the documentation) – I haven’t made changes to it since I sent it to you.

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