MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Tech Help: When You Can’t Find What You’re Looking For

March 14th, 2007 Visited 1718 times, 1 so far today

I really like the related post plugin that I have for the simple reason that people can read more of my thoughts on a given topic without having to hit the search box.

When I first installed and started using the plugin, I placed the text right below the post, and people could find it easily if they got to the bottom of the text.  I used some basic html <ul> <li> tags to signify the thing, and though it wasn’t that pretty, it did the job.

After looking around a few other sites, I liked it when the related posts were more prominent or off to the side.  Since I couldn’t come up with a good quick way of placing the related posts under the image (without doing it manually (ugh!)), I thought I’d put it over in the sidebar when you’re looking at individual posts.  I installed a tracker on links and found that some people found it over there, but not that many.

So, I started to look through code again to try to get it to place itself on the left hand side at the bottom– but I still didn’t want to have to modify posts.  So, I started playing with “float:left” and looking around for another tag.  This took me to all sorts of pages trying to explain to me everything from relative to absolute positioning, how to find the bottom of a tag, and by this time I could start typing the Gettysburg Address and you’d never know it.

Suffice it to say, I started to look at other people’s pages, and here’s the tip:

When you can’t find what you’re looking for specifically, start looking around at other sites and see if you can find something neat or that does what you want it to do.

The examples of code that I was finding just wasn’t cutting it.  To try to find something like it, I looked at an article at MSNBC.com.  I found their related articles thing, and looked at what they were doing.  I examined their style sheet, and patterned mine after theirs.  Go ahead, take a look at their site, I’ll wait.

There’s nothing against copyright in checking out someone else’s HTML and pattering your look (as long as it’s basic stuff) off of some element of theirs.  If you are copying their logo or entire site look then you’re probably going to get into trouble.

Well, that’s it for today…  Check out these great related posts!

Comments

15 Comments

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  • Mary says on: March 14, 2007 at 2:28 pm

     

    Ha, I couldn’t see the related posts anywhere till I clicked on the title to comment…and there they are!
    I like it!

  • Mary says on: March 14, 2007 at 2:29 pm

     

    But I don’t really see that they are that related? I was expecting them to be a tech related? 😉

  • MInTheGap says on: March 14, 2007 at 2:47 pm

     

    That’s what I get for not saying something about Tech Help in the title– perhaps… If I change it…

  • Leticia says on: March 14, 2007 at 3:41 pm

     

    Huh?

  • MInTheGap says on: March 14, 2007 at 4:22 pm

     

    I don’t select the related posts manually– WordPress does some kind of information magic on the title and content to try to find things that match. That being the case, I added the text “Tech Help” to the title to see if I could get more relevant related posts, and I was unable to. You’ll see on other posts (like the Godly Wife series) that it actually does give related posts.

    Sorry for the confusion. :cwy:

  • Colleen says on: March 14, 2007 at 4:55 pm

     

    Oh no…I’ve lost my top commenter spot! MIn I’m just getting back after a long couple weeks! I’m going to catch up and see what you’ve been up to!

  • MInTheGap says on: March 14, 2007 at 5:00 pm

     

    Deborah has been holding that top spot for a while now! I look forward to hearing what you have to say! Nice to have you back!

  • Stephen Kingston says on: March 15, 2007 at 8:08 am

     

    I thought I was in top place (until this morning at least)!

    I used the related posts plugin for a while, but frequently the posts are anything but related! Maybe I’ll put it back sometime though. It’s a nice idea, but I’d like to be able to override its choices.

  • MInTheGap says on: March 15, 2007 at 8:23 am

     

    Interesting, you were right until this morning, but I obviously wrote it yesterday. I guess I was trying to let Colleen know how far Deborah had climbed! My belated apologies, Stephen.

    Yes, I have noticed that it occasionally shows posts that don’t seem to have any relation. For example, if you go to one of the “Godly Wife” posts, it’ll list both “Godly Wife” and “Godly Husband” posts. Maybe I’ll have to see if I can tell how they go about figuring relatedness and see if it’s easy to modify.

  • Mary says on: March 15, 2007 at 3:34 pm

     

    I vote to keep the related posts plug-in going, modified or not. It’s a nice way to resurrect old posts and let us take a gander at them…I used to hop around your related posts all the time last summer when you first had them beneath the posts. 😎

  • MInTheGap says on: March 15, 2007 at 5:01 pm

     

    Where was there a voting module? :tongue:

  • Deborah says on: March 15, 2007 at 5:14 pm

     

    Hi all! It’s me again…first time in two days that I’ve been able to get online and as Stephen said, I thought he was in the top spot! Oh the pressure!! 😉

    I think I do like the related posts at the bottom of the post. I would always look over on the side anyway. That is what you all are talking about…right? :blush: So, that’s my vote. I didn’t understand a thing about all that you wrote in the post, MIn, so from that standpoint I’m just going to go with Leticia’s…HUH?

  • Mary says on: March 15, 2007 at 11:22 pm

     

    MIn, you better hire a new editor, that voting module didn’t catch everyone’s attention very well.

    :angel:

  • Stephen Kingston says on: March 16, 2007 at 7:28 am

     

    Mary, sorry – I did not mean that Min should remove related posts. I used the module on my own web site for a while, but I didn’t like the posts it was choosing as related, so I left it out when I last changed the design.

  • Mary says on: March 16, 2007 at 9:49 am

     

    Stephen, I was responding to MIn’s tongue in cheek at my choice of words…since I said, “I vote”…and he, in essence replied, “Excuse me? Did I ask your opinion?” 🙂

    I knew you were just sharing your experience…and I was letting my sense of humor speak…

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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