Last month, I sent out a link to a user survey to give folks a chance to give honest, anonymous feedback about the WP-Drudge template. As always, the response was great and I learned a lot about both what people enjoy about the theme and what people are struggling with.
Because it was anonymous, I’m not able to reach out to people directly to solve problems. There were a few things I wanted to address so I’ll list some of the salient questions/issues along with what I’m doing to address them.
Would like to have reader comment functionality for linked stories.
That functionality already exists. Just make sure that “Allow people to post comments on new articles” is turned on at Settings > Discussion and that previous posts have their Comment Status set to “Allow Comments” as well. You can direct people to the comments page by either activating the comments link at Appearance >WP-Drudge Options > Other > “Show link to comments” or turning on “Add interruption page” on that same tab.
Broken link checker
That’s not a bad idea at all but would take a fair amount of work since it would have to happen asynchronously (i.e. could not happen on any page loads). It would also be good to have that be automatic and in the background. I’ll consider this one.
rss posts as links without using a plugin
There is a lot that would go into an RSS parser so I recommend using the WP RSS Multi-Importer plugin. I wrote a thorough tutorial here.
the ability to change post order. I understand they rely on post date due to wordpress, but I feel like this is super important to add the ability to group posts that may not have been posted at the same time
This is a tough one because each story would have to have a new value that determined the order. Every story you add would have to be published, then moved around. I’ve been thinking about this for a while, though, since it’s come up a few times.
would like to be able to detect if ad blockers are used on the site
I don’t even know if that’s possible, to be honest. There are ways you can try but I don’t think this would be necessary or useful for the bulk of WP-Drudge users.
Would like to be able to use pictures in the top left featured headlines.
Since that area has the ability to push the rest of the content quite a bit, I’m not sure if this would be a widely-used feature. I’ll keep it under consideration and add it if I hear more feedback from folks wanting the same (post in the comments if this is something you’re interested in having).
Would like to be able to edit the featured picture in a link from the “Quick edit” option.
That’s a tough one. This is something that would need to be added in core WP but I’ll keep an eye out for any possible solutions. Adding the Image URL field wouldn’t be hard but I imagine most people are using the built-in featured image dialog, which would be hard to load on the posts list page.
I would like the ability to use affiliate marketing plugins in the them. Many of your customers have niche sites and allowing them to display affiliate products using 3rd party plugins would help.
I’m not sure what in the theme would stop you from using those plugins. Is there something the theme could do differently to assist here? Post in the comments below or shoot me a note.
A cool feature would also be to be able to use other RSS feeds to aggregate content directly to the links other than Google News.
I’m not sure I follow here. Can you clarify?
Long standing problem that is still not resolved. If I do a post, it will not show up until I do another post and so on. Very frustrating.
This was fixed a few versions back, 2.4.1 in February 2014. Please contact me if you’re on the latest and still see this or did not receive the update (these are sent out up to a year after your original purchase).
It would be nice to have a monthly feature where one of the sites that use your tool, it can be pointed out some of the cool features they use and how they made it happen.
I’ve been thinking about putting this together but I only have the folks who have sent me their site. Speaking of which, have you been listed on the registry?
The paragraphing on original posts remains a mess. It seems to automatically delete new paragraphing somewhat randomly.
I’m working on the latest version and revamping all of the styles on the site (mostly cleanup and standardization). Hopefully this will address your issues. Contact me if you’d like to try these styles out in advance; I’d love some early feedback on it.
Lots of love from this round of surveys and I really appreciate that, as always. I work for you folks and if you’re happy then I’m happy. Here are a few nice things you said:
One more thing … the winner of the extra year of upgrades! So, like I mentioned, the responses were anonymous so I can’t reach out directly to the winner. What I do have is an IP address so if you filled out the survey and you’re from Texas (city of Spring or Egypt), get a hold of me so I can set up your prize. Go to icanhazip.com and send that number to i [at] wpdrudge [dot] com.
Thanks again everyone!