User Survey Responses Part Deux

This is the much-delayed part 2 of the user survey responses (part 1 is here). With the holidays and the 2.3 release, we were up to our neck but now that we’ve got v2.3.1 in place and things have settled down a bit, we can address some of these questions. Thanks for your patience here and I hope this is still relevant!

Also, I wanted to let everyone know that we’ve got a WP-Drudge support forum up and running here. You might be asking “who is PROPER Development?” That’s me plus a small team of people who are building new themes, plugins, and content sites. A more formal announcement is on it’s way but, in the meantime, give those forums a try and let us know what you think.

Pain points

When I’m on the “Add New Post” page. I wish the “Outbound Link” box was right under the “Enter Title Box. And that you could navigate the boxes by hitting the “tab” key

You can do that now, as long as you’re not using the body copy. Look for the “Remove post and page editor” option on the Advanced tab of the settings page. If you check this, the body copy editor goes away.

Knowing where things are. When I have a particular change I want to make it takes a long time to find where to do it. Categories and labels are confusing.

We’re happy to help if you get lost, just give us a shout in the forums. There is definitely a learning curve but WordPress makes things about as intuitive as website management can be these days.

Need an option to change background colors on category labels.

That would have to be CSS since it would be very difficult to try to attach a color selector to each of your categories.

It would have to be SEO issues. As a news aggregator and often writer of original content, neither seem to be noticed for news searches.

We feel you there. We just recently wrote a post about SEO for curators that should help you get started.

Repetitive task such as keyword entry. I also would like to see controls clustered closer together to save from having to physically drag the mouse across vast reaches of screen real estate. It would just make article entry easier.

This makes perfect sense. The problem is that different people use different parts of that screen. That said, we included a few options on the Advanced tab of the options screen that can remove a couple of items. Also, look for a Screen Options button on the top right of your edit page to remove items and change the layout a bit. Several of those boxes can be dragged and dropped there to create a more pleasing order for you.

Features

How to use the advertising feature you now have to maximum benefit

This depends greatly on the ad server that you’re using, we just provide the means for displaying. The ad serving landscape seems to change so often, it’s hard to provide strong direction. Also, some servers work better for some publishers so it’s a matter of testing several out to see which one has the best benefit. The best advice I can give: go easy with the number of ads at first. It’s easier to build a site (i.e. get return and referred visits) if you’re cautious with your ad placement.

I use Hootsuite and I feature I love is the Hootlet, you install it in the Browser it auto-shortens links as ow.ly link for tracking, I wish there was something similar for wpdrudge. Something that with one click could post an article title, source link and scedule for a wpdrudge site, Facebook page and twitter. And could capitalize the first letter in a title.

That would be a great add, though link shortening usually happens through a third-party service (like it does in HootSuite). If you haven’t yet, give  Press This Reloaded a try (explained here). That might get you part of the way towards what you’re looking for.

I wish when a new post is published it would clear out all the fields without having to reload the page by clicking “Add new” again.

That might be an easy add on my end … let me take a look to see if I can get that in the next big release. Edit: this is coming in the next release in a week or so from now!

At first I thought I wouldn’t care to much about posting featured links and youtube multimedia but I was wrong. I’d love the ability to post multiple items like in a slider.

We’re allowing multiple featured items as of version 2.3 (check in the Header tab on the options page), no slider quite yet though.

Easier modification of headers and footers.

Not sure what you had in mind be we added uploadable header/logo images and background images on the last version. The footer is quite easy to modify, just text on the Other tab of the options page and a menu that can be added at Appearance > Menus.

The mobile functionality appears to be totally useless for a three column site.

We spent quite a bit of time working on a mobile solution for WP-Drudge. If you’re familiar with all the features built in, can you provide some direction for what you’d like to see in the comments below? Otherwise, we’re working on a video to walk through the settings in complete detail.

Would like to be able to move posts up or down irrespective of how they are dated.

Since the posts are listed in date order, that’s about the best we can do for now.

Automatic updates from within the WordPress Dashboard.

Maybe some day but, at the moment, that’s not possible with how WordPress is built. The automatic updates you get currently come from the open WordPress repository and since this is a premium theme and not tied into that free section, we’re not able to tap into that functionality.

Allow for centering of photos on main page. If you look at the ones (not ads) associated with particular articles, it seems odd to not have the photo centered. Maybe a button next to where you place the image link to offer to center it?

You can do this with CSS now, actually. Look for the “Center the post images” header on the Customize with CSS page.

Mobile is such a huge market right now that I would like to see a more spiced up mobile site. I think the Huffington post has a great layout on their mobile app. Instead of having one long list – you could have each category be its own page and add a small but noticeable touch like changing the color of the header depending on what category you are on.

You can build that now using a mobile template page with multiple categories listed (maybe list 2 – 3 links per category) and the category linked to the category page. We’ll get a better example of how this can be done on our demo page at some point.

On the All Posts Page (As seen here: http://gyazo.com/421629005ab299a14c9655b3b73c5edf) – It would be awesome to have a column that told you how many times each post has been clicked on. My IpContent had this feature on their articles and it was great at seeing which topics were popular and which ones aren’t. [I know you can see this info on the Jetpack-Stats page, but in the Clicks area – only the URL is shown and not the title of the page. Having this feature on the All Posts page would be perfect]

I agree, this would be a great add. We’re working on an article about how to add Google Analytics tracking to outbound links which will get you part of the way there. I don’t think it would be too hard to have a click-tracker in there so we’ll add that to the list for the next major version.

Would like to see one more nav menu…along the very top of the page.

I’ll see if there’s a simple way to do that for the next release … shouldn’t be a problem.

Automatic keyword entry. Is it possible to pull suggested keywords from an article?

This is a little beyond the scope of WP-Drudge but you might want to look into the Scribe plugin for WordPress. It’s an excellent way to create SEO-ready content and I believe it does keyword suggestion.

The ability to create an archive page (easily) that looks like the main/home page in format/layout. Currently, all of the archived headlines (with the exception of the most recent headlines, or if I click on ‘older entries’ indefinitely) are listed on the right-hand column. I’d like to be able to show users all of the archived headlines in the position and order in which they appeared on the homepage (i.e. left, middle, right). Ideally, I’d like this to be automatic once the headlines leave the homepage.

Between the WP-Drudge page template and the archive pages that are generated automatically, both of which are explained here, I think you should be able to create what you need. Be careful about adding too many links on one page, though. Once you get into the hundreds/thousands being displayed, you’re bound to have a pretty heavy, slow-moving page. Best to display a lot and allow for a “next/previous” page navigation, as it works now.

Documentation

video … video tutorials … video instructions on how to setup the theme like your example.

We’ve had a lot of requests for video so we added two – one on the getting started page and one on Posted Links. If you’ve got specific requests, leave them in the comments below and we’ve get cracking. Next ones on the list are a run-through of all the widgets.

A list of quick reminder / shortcuts? Somethings I don’t use often then I forget where the options are to change one particular thing.

That’s not a bad idea, but you can use the Documentation pages in the meantime, there is usually a clear path to the admin items you need.

A search feature on the support pages.

I can’t believe we missed this one! Added now, check out the sidebar in the Docs section.

General feedback

I can not but lead to external link directly to the page without hope apart from a intermediate page. How do I do?

The latest version has an option “Add interruption page” on the Other tab of the options page that sends people to a page on your site first before sending them to the link you posted.

I have no idea how archives work, where they are stored or what goes in there. “Deleting” a post is different from archiving (I think) but I have no option to send a post straight to archive. How do I do that?

The confusing part is probably just the idea that there is an “archive” state that a post can be in. Really, a post is either published or not (i.e. a draft or in the trash). There isn’t a way to archive a post but you can adjust the publish date to take it off of the homepage.

For example, if you have a Posted Link widget that shows, say, 20 posts in a specific category, the 21st post that isn’t shown is older than the 20th. If you wanted to “archive” a post off of that widget, you’d need to change the publish date so it wasn’t appearing. That post would still appear on the category pages, date archive pages, author pages, etc. It might also still appear on your homepage, depending on the other widgets you have active. If you wanted the post not to be seen anywhere by users, delete it. If you wanted to keep it around but not display it, change the status to “draft.”

I am a visual person, and I presume 80% of your audience is, so more videos, video tutuorials etc — I am really passionate about my industry and think your theme will work really well for me

More coming! If you’ve got a request, please leave it in the comments here or on the forums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *