By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: wp

The WP Post Series Plugin

Author blogging

Photo Courtesy of codegeekz.com

 

For our first installment, let’s take a look at how these articles, the ones you are reading right now, are serialized.

You are a writer/blogger, and you already know how to use tags and categories to organize your blog, and WordPress already ships with built-in tools for organizing them.

Great! But now you want to drill deeper.

Within your “blog” or “technical” or “publishing tools” category, you want to write a connected series of articles. Perhaps you think of it as a sub-category, something that technically qualifies as “technical” but needs to be cordoned off in some way from the other technical posts. Perhaps order matters, and you intend to create a 10-part series of posts that are best consumed in a specific order.

The WP Post Series plugin is your gal.

To start, let me mention that just as any other plugin, there are lots of plugins that do this. Some have lots of downloads, others none. Some have great ratings & reviews, others poor. The one I recommend is actually not the most highly rated or the most downloaded.

I previously tried a bigger, more popular plugin, and I didn’t like it as much as WP Post Series. This could be because of my theme. Here is an example of the plugin in action.

I love the subtlety of the layout. There is a simple but very noticeable box at the top of each post in the series stating, “This is post X of Y in the series Awesome Series Title.” When you click on this box, the rest of the posts appear hyperlinked in a table of contents.

So, if your reader stumbled across post #6 of a twelve-part series, he can quickly and easily determine that he is on post six, and that there are twelve posts in the series. This allows him to easily choose whether to go to the next post in the series, the previous post, or the first post. It requires minimal formatting for you, and minimal searching for your readers.

The other advantage I liked right away about this plugin, besides the look of the final result, is this: bulk editing. You may have first looked for a plugin like this because a ten-part series you’d already written has gotten buried on your site. If that’s true, then as soon as you install & activate, you are going to want to turn it on for ten posts, which involves a lot of clicking & waiting.

This plugin changes what’s called the WordPress taxonomy, which means it adds “series” as a new type of organization on par with categories and tags. This means that the bulk edit feature works out of the box. Take a look at the following screen shot:

 

WP Post Series

 

 

After installing WP Post Series, all you have to do is go to “posts,” check each box beside the posts you want to serialize, and select “bulk edit,” and WordPress presents you with the built-in bulk edit feature where you can serialize all of them at the same time, from the same screen. By design, the plugin will order the series chronologically.

Other plugins offer the “feature” of creating a custom order, but I see this as another setup headache. If you want to reorder the series, it’s as easy as fudging the publication dates, and the series will follow suit.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

Victor Davis is the author of one short story collection, Grains of Sand, and is publishing a second book, The Gingerbread Collection, in the spring of 2016. He shares his writing and reading adventures at his blog Mediascover. You can find him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads. His Books & Stories are available on AmazonApple iBooksSmashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

WordPress Plugins for Writers

Wordpress-authorAs indie authors, many of us have created, or have thought about creating, a platform for sharing our works. It may be as simple as a webpage that shares all of your publications and your contact information. Having your own website, however, has been pivotal for many indie authors. While WordPress makes creating your blog far simpler than, say, ten years ago, there are still a lot of questions about the process that I hear from fellow authors. Hopefully in this series, I can help shed light on some simple tips and tricks for WordPress bloggers.

Perhaps the biggest advantage to wordpress, besides the plug-and-play level of ease with which it can be deployed, is something the IT world calls “modularity.” This means the ability to make custom changes and apply those changes to anybody’s system besides yours, without affecting your ability to update the original system.

In the WordPress world, these modules are called “plugins” and you are already familiar with many of them. WP today ships with Akismet, Jetpack, and perhaps one or two others. As an indie author, I have, at this particular moment in time, sixteen additional plugins installed and activated on my website.

Sixteen, you say? That seems like an awful lot. Part of the reason is just geekiness. I work in IT for my day job, so when I see a small technical need, I am more likely to go out and fill it than find a workaround. The other reason is that many plugins are extremely niche. They do one and only one thing. For example: serialize posts, or insert columns, or redirect pages. Do not be fooled. Just because a plugin does not do much does not mean it doesn’t do it well. In fact, in my experience, trying to do one thing well is far easier than trying to be the “go to” suite for lots of things.

The plugins that I will walk you through over the course of these articles will enable you to sell digital content on your site, embed PDFs, easily manage photos in a directory structure like on your computer, and back up your site once a week. All of these geeky things will incrementally improve your site. You may use other plugins which I do not, and you may be unimpressed with some that I use. That’s the beauty of modularity! It’s the drag-and-drop, kid-in-a-candy-shop customizability that really makes wordpress shine. Let me know which plugins you like to use.

Let’s get started!

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

Victor Davis is the author of one short story collection, Grains of Sand, and is publishing a second book, The Gingerbread Collection, in the spring of 2016. He shares his writing and reading adventures at his blog Mediascover. You can find him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads. His Books & Stories are available on AmazonApple iBooksSmashwords, and Barnes & Noble.

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