Flux, Part 3: The Plugins and Touchups

Work continued on Flux, my new site design, this past week. There were two main issues I wanted to resolve: extending WordPress and applying some design fixes to common HTML elements like unordered lists.

WordPress Plugins

Three new plugins are now installed:

  1. Code Auto Escape. WordPress has a nasty habit of not rendering code correctly. Sure, you can try to use HTML entities, but that’s only a bandaid. WordPress gladly converts the HTML entity into the display character.

    However, if you make revisions to the post, WordPress does not revert back to the HTML entity. This feature is only slightly annoying as I like to, you know, post about Web standards technologies.

    Thankfully there is the Code Auto Escape plugin. This is a simply awesome plugin from Priyadi Iman Nurcahyo. Using HTML elements like code and pre, WordPress handles the formatting of coding with making a mess of my post.

    After I installed the plugin, I spent a good while getting this (outdated) post displaying code properly. That felt really good.

  2. Google Sitemaps. An XML-based sitemap allows Google’s crawlers know of pages within your site that might be new or generated by dynamic content. Odds are Google’s spiders are already aware of your site’s pages, but feeding your own sitemap is a nice added bonus to make sure everything is covered.

    Arne Brachhold created the Google Sitemap Generator that makes all that messy XML for you — automatically–everytime you add a post or page through WordPress. Set it and forget it.

  3. Subscribe to Comments. Ever post a comment and wish you could be notified when the discussion continues? That’s the way I feel when debating whether Starbuck is the the last of the Final Five (she’s not), whether the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords (he’s not) or whether Snape is friend or a foe (he’s neither).

    The Subscribe to Comments plug-in does that. There’s even an option to allow readers to subscribe to a post without commenting themselves. However, I feel this isn’t very fair. If you want keep up with the conversation, at the very least, I ask that you throw in your two cents for the privilege.

If anyone has any WordPress plugin recommendations, please let me know via the comments.

Design Touchups

Some miscellaneous design touchups that happened on the site:

  • Bullet Icons. I have nine bullet icons ready to go for nesting unodered lists.

    I’m not saying I’m going to present you, dear reader, with an unordered list that’s nested nine times. I’m just saying I’m prepared. You can see the first three bullet icons on this post where the lists only go down three levels.

  • Ordered Lists. Nothing too fancy, but I turned the numbering back on as Yahoo!’s Reset CSS got rid of them altogether. It’s amazing finding what you took for granted after it’s gone.

That’s about it for the design update this week.

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