Little Tweaks

I’m constantly fiddling with the code here, fixing little things that don’t work right or adding features and functions that I find useful and that others will hopefully find useful, as well. A few things I’ve done:

*StatTraq*

On the backend of WordPress, I’ve added a plugin called “StatTraq”:http://www.randypeterman.com/StatTraq/. Being the numbers geek that I am, I want to keep an eye on how many people surf through here every day, where they are coming from, what articles they are reading, and what websites refer them here. I’ve had StatTraq collecting data for nearly three weeks now, and I have found it continually fascinating to watch the numbers roll in. It doesn’t have quite all the functionality I want, but it has been the easiest to install, setup, and navigate of anything I’ve seen so far.

*ViewCount*

“ViewCount”:http://www.boakes.org/index.php?p=94 uses the StatTraq table to report on how many times a page has been viewed. Probably no one is really interested in this number aside from myself, but since I like numbers, there it is.

*Smart Count*

More numbers. I also installed the “marcosmedia Smart Count”:http://wp.marcosmedia.com.ar/plugins/smart-count plugin to display separately on the front page the number of comments per post from the number of trackbacks/pingbacks per post. It’s just a slightly easier way for me to see, at a glance, how many people have commented and how many people who referenced something I wrote on their site.

*ClustrMap*

A “ClustrMap”:http://clustrmaps.com/index.htm has found its way onto my site, as well. Originally, I had placed it only inside my StatTraq summary page, but since I’m the only person who sees those numbers and the map only read the IP addresses from the page on which the code itself sits, the map was only displaying my own hits on my site (and only from my stats summary, at that). So, I had to move it to the front page so it could ‘see’ everyone else, since that was what I really wanted to know. It’s pretty cool to get a rough geographical idea of where all my readers live.

*FeedMap*

I also have a “FeedMap”:http://www.feedmap.net/ on my StatTraq summary, just because I want to know who some of the local bloggers around me are.

*Email a Friend*

If you like something I’ve written so much that you want to share it with a friend (or email a copy to yourself), I’ve made it really easy to do so. Underneath the title of every article is a link that says ‘Email This Post’. It uses the “WP-Email”:http://www.lesterchan.net/portfolio/programming.php plugin to create a form that will email that article to anyone you want to share it with.

*Email Me*

There is now a “Contact”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?page_id=220 page on my site where you can use a form to easily email me with comments, feedback, or topic suggestions. My email address is also listed there if you prefer to skip the form. The form uses the “WP-ContactForm”:http://ryanduff.net/projects/wp-contactform/ plugin to make that work.

*del.icio.us*

If you do the whole social bookmarking thing, there is also a way to bookmark Writer’s Blog, as well as individual articles, on “del.icio.us”:http://del.icio.us/ using the “del.icio.us – Bookmark This!”:http://www.arnebrachhold.de/2005/06/05/delicious-bookmark-this-wordpress-plugin plugin. Just click on the ‘Add to del.icio.us’ link under article titles to add that article or on the del.icio.us button on the sidebar to add the main page. (Does anyone use any other social bookmarking utilities, like “furl”:http://www.furl.net/ that they’d also like to see accessibility options for here?)

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I’m open to suggestions for other utilities and functions to add, if it will make it easier for people to read and keep track of Writer’s Blog. Just leave a comment or drop me an email and let me know.

2 thoughts on “Little Tweaks”

  1. There’s actually another WP plugin that allows people to subscribe to comments when they post one, and get emails when other people post comments… if you want, just send me an email and I’ll send it to you so you don’t have to go searching for it.

    And I’m using shortstat to keep track of visitors – it tells me what people are searching for when they find my site, and links me to the search engine results page where they found me. It’s surprising to see what you’re being found for! Easy to install and get working, and has lots of detail to it – tells me the browser they’re using, gives me the countries, sites, search engines, everything… I can send you that too if you like. You just FTP it into your plugins folder and go to the plugins section in WP and click “activate” and you’re done.

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugins has a great db of plugins… oh, and if you need a spam blocker, try SpamKarma 2.0.1 – it’s the latest version and kicks booty! :)

    I’m the one who designed and set up Diana Metz’s site & blog, so if you need any help, let me know. :)

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