Watch page load times when using WordPress social bookmark plugins

I’d like to make my blog posts more share-friendly by adding buttons at the end of every post for the most popular bookmarking/sharing web sites like Twitter, Facebook, Digg and so on. There’s a wide range of social bookmark plugins available for WordPress. A plugin that immediately caught my eye is SexyBookmarks. It looks great and you can choose between several catch phrases like Sharing is caring or Sharing is sexy.

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Must Read Posts: New version 2.0

After quite a long time with no updates I just released a new version of my WordPress plugin “Must-Read Posts”. The new version adds several configurable sorting options which was the most requested missing feature. With the exception of the custom sort order they’re pretty self explanatory and include:

  • Post date descending (latest posts/pages first)
  • Post date ascending (oldest posts/pages first)
  • Random (randomizes the sort order)
  • Custom

The custom sort order allows pre-defined ordering of posts or pages and was the default and only sort option in the earlier versions of the plugin. If you update from an earlier version of the plugin this still is the default sort order. The sort ordering option can be found on the widget’s configuration area.

In case you’re using the non-widget PHP function, the sort order parameters are:

  • date_asc
  • date_desc
  • rnd
  • custom

If you don’t specify a sort order, the default is “custom”. If you’re using a plugin like WP Super Cache don’t expect the random sort order to show a different order every time you load the page.

The plugin can be installed/updated from the plugins admin page within your WordPress site or downloaded here.

WordPress Plugin/Widget for Must Read Posts

Today, I was looking for a simple WordPress widget that allows me to statically display links to certain posts in the sidebar. I could have used the links widget but it wasn’t flexible enough for me. My idea was to use a certain custom field of a post or page as a trigger to display it in a widget. I searched for almost an hour but I just couldn’t find any simple, widget-capable WordPress plugins that could do this?! 

In the end, I ended up writing my own widget-capable plugin. I decided to publish it so anyone else can use it on her/his blog too. The plugin’s name is “Must Read Posts”. It shows your most recommended posts and pages in a sidebar widget or in a page. As the widget’s title is editable in the WordPress Dashboard you could change it to something like “Recommended Posts”, “Important information”, “Tips & Tricks” or whatever you like. Continue reading