Three New Features for this Blog: a Post Index, Inbound Links Display, and Public Web Stats
I added three new features to my blog: an index (or site map), a display of inbound links, and public web stats. You can view the index by clicking the "Post Index" link at the top. The plugin that generates this index is called the Dagon Design Sitemap Generator, and you can set how the posts are arranged—by date or alphabetical, ascending or descending, and the categories to show. I like it because it provides an at-a-glance view of all my posts. It beats clicking the Next Page link at the bottom and helps users quickly scan the entire site for content that interests them. It also shows me how much content I've written.
Another new addition to my blog is the Kramer plugin. This plugin shows all inbound links to my blog (see the "Inbound Links" section in my sidebar). If someone links to me, the link appears in the Inbound Links section in the sidebar. Although I can also see inbound links from inside the admin dashboard, it's cooler to show them in my sidebar. The inbound links next to the comments shows the interactivity that's going on in the blogosphere related to my blog.
Finally, I added a Site Meter for stats. Unlike other stats packages, Site Meter shows a public display of my web stats, so others can see my traffic (click the Site Meter link in the lower-left corner of the sidebar). Each day, an average of 98 people visit my site and spend 4:24 minutes reading an average of 2.3 pages. This tells me people come to my blog and read a couple of posts, spending about 2 min. reading each post.
WordPress has hundreds of plugins. It can be addictive adding these bells and whistles to your blog. Some plugins are truly worthwhile, and others just serve a specialized need. Previously, the plugins were scattered across different websites, but last week WordPress launched a central plugin repository.
Update: I modified Dagon Site Map generator slightly so that the index didn't appear with two levels of bullets. Here is the modified plugin code.
I also added this style to my theme's style sheet:
border-bottom: 1px dotted gray;
It makes the category headings appear larger.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.