Do you display a list of links a.k.a. blogroll in your sidebar? If you do, then Feed Reading Blogroll is one must have plugin on your WordPress blog.
This plugin provides a sidebar-widget and a template-tag that add an enhanced blogroll to your sidebar. It checks on all your linked sites, when the most recent update has occurred.
The check is performed by reading the date of the most recent feed-item. The feeds must be valid RSS2 or ATOM-feeds, otherwise the plugin cannot read the date-information provided by the feed. The Plugin uses the Google AJAX Feed API to access the feeds.
Check out the sidebar of the author’s site.
For starters, what I love about the plugin is that the author has made an excellent effort to create a complete plugin page on his site. The page contains detailed information about the plugin, including instructions on installation, usage and customization.
Installing Feed Reading Blogroll is just as you would any other plugin. However, you would require to get hold of Google API Key.
You’ll need to navigate to the Settings page of the plugin and start configuring all the options, mainly entering the Google API key. There are tonnes of other configuration options available as well like option to group by category, or to sort by last updated, choose which style to use for the blogroll etc.
Adding links is through WordPress’ inbuilt Links Manager, so you don’t need to worry in case you choose to install the plugin after this review.
You can specify the feed URL that each link uses, which is recommended. If you’re just lazy, the plugin will try to fetch the correct URL using Google’s Feed Fetcher (that’s why you need the API key) and then use this URL.
Once you’ve got everything setup, you’ll want to display the blogroll on your site. For that you can either use the sidebar widget or the template tag. What I’d like to see is some shortcode that I can use to insert the same on a separate page that will house my blogroll, since I don’t display the same in my sidebar.
The plugin comes with internationalization support and is currently available in five languages. If you’re a translator and are willing to translate the plugin, do let the author know. I’m sure he would like that.
Are you an existing user of Feed Reading Blogroll? If so, do let us know your experience with the plugin. What are your suggestions for the same?