Version 2 of WP-Drudge is complete!
Anyone that writes software knows that official releases, regardless of how small, feel like a big deal. There’s the anticipation, the expectations set to everyone, the feature list that grows and shrinks over time. Then there’s the “I’m done” part that just means you’re done building things out and marks the beginning of testing. Then there’s the bug-squashing, re-building, and facepalming. Finally, the release email goes out and you can exhale. Then the second one goes out that fixes the first and you exhale again. And then the third. Thankfully that’s not every release.
Version 2 is a big step forward for the WP-Drudge template. We added lots of cool features and made a few structural changes that will make modifying the theme in the future much easier (read: more features). The feature list looks like this:
- Built-in advertising manager
- Option to use home page right column on entire site
- Google News widget
- Implemented core WordPress comment form with additional styles
- Ability to add HTML code to the footer and header files
- Ability to link category headers to their aggregation page
- Improved SEO structure
- Slight spacing changes
The big thing, of course, is the built-in advertising management. The Advertiser Management plugin worked OK but there were two problems: one, maintenance had stopped and the plugin was removed from the repository and two, it didn’t work THAT well. So I put together all the ways it was good and the ways it was bad and came up with a simple solution that lets people easily put ad code or linked banners. Easy to use, easy to manage, and works great.
The other exciting additions, at least in my mind, had to do with widgets and site columns. First, you’re now able to use your right column on all pages of the site. This eliminates the need to rebuild columns for each section if you have a traditional right sidebar on your site. Also, I added a Google News widget that simply takes keywords and turns them into a feed of Google News articles. This is a simple way to add aggregated content to your site straight from one of the most efficient and complete aggregators out there.
All added features are now documented at wpdrudge.com/docs in their appropriate places but look forward to even more instructions on how to use this template to the best of its ability.
Thanks to everyone who put up with all the release notifications and a big thanks to Alexy for helping me find some of the post-release bugs!
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