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Remstate In Series WordPress Plugin for Article Series Updated

The In Series WordPress Plugin by Remstate has been updated recently. The Plugin makes writing article series and connecting them together in a series simple and easy, adding a link list of the articles in the series to each post within the series.

I’m a major fan of the popular, In Series WordPress Plugin, especially as the original author, Scott Merrill (Skippy), wrote it just for me. I’m so spoiled. Travis of REM State has taken it over, thankfully, and totally rewritten the entire WordPress Plugin so it is better than ever. And now it has been updated.

It works with WordPress 2.3 and now includes multi-lingual support and more flexibility. The next version, In Series 3.1.0 Beta 1 is available for those who want to help improve this popular Plugin.

Remstate is also looking for translation volunteers to help create and improve the languages of the Plugin, which currently includes French, German, and Polish.

In series WordPress Plugin Post Panel formGone is the need to write up table of contents and next and previous links in each post in your article series. The In Series WordPress Plugin works without interaction with the WordPress Theme template files now. Just set the new controls added to the Write Post panel to designate which series the post is within. It allows re-ordering the posts within the series, or even removing it from the series without losing the post. All kinds of links such as navigational links, tables of content, next and previous links, and more are added to each post to connect them in the series.

The latest version also adds a “Series” panel under Options in the WordPress Administration Panel for controlling how In Series displays its content of links and navigation aids within your blog posts.

I wish WordPress.com would add this powerful article series Plugin to its arsenal, but if you have a full version WordPress blog, and you like writing articles in series, then this is the perfect WordPress Plugin.

For more information on writing articles in a series, see:

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.

23 Comments

  1. Posted October 27, 2007 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Hey Lorelle; thanks for the mention! I really appreciate all the help I can get, especially with regard to the translation effort. I might be great with computer languages, but I’m a dunce when it comes to human languages outside of English. ;)

    In Series 3.1 is (as of this writing) in Beta 2 — testers will really want to pick up that version, and not Beta 1, which had a couple of major flaws.

  2. Posted October 27, 2007 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I think I’m gonna use this plugin when I get my new theme up for my product reviews. It should be interesting to see how it works out. :)

  3. Posted October 27, 2007 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lorelle,

    update: the In Series WordPress Plugin is available in Spanish and Italian too (the IT version is mine).

    All the best

    Gianni Diurno

    PS
    Thanks Travis :-)

  4. Posted October 28, 2007 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Maybe this plugin is something for me.

    I’ll write chess lessons that belong in a specific series (in fact a level), but I don’t think that the posts have to be connected. I added a static index page to my blog, but I have to update this page by myself. Maybe the plugin can take care of this work (?)

  5. Posted October 28, 2007 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    In Series will not create a static index page (yet). I plan to get there eventually, but it won’t happen until 3.2 at best.

  6. Posted October 28, 2007 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m just setting up my new blog and this plug in would be pretty useful. I hate it when you can’t find other posts that are referenced in blog posts. Thanks for the heads up.

  7. Posted October 28, 2007 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    @Chess:

    If you aren’t linking your posts together, called intrasite linking, you are losing out on helping readers dig deeper into your content and stay longer on your site. Yes, In Series will help you connect the dots between specific and related content manually, but you need to do this automatically as you write your blog posts.

    As for a “static index”, there are several site map Plugins out there, but most categorize posts chronologically, a total waste of time, and need to do so categorically and/or by tags to help create a usable table of contents. For your site, you would definitely want related moves and actions grouped together, wouldn’t you?

    But do link within the blog post to your other posts. It’s very important, for numerous reasons.

  8. Posted October 28, 2007 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I have tried using this plugin but I stopped using it because I didn’t know how to customize it:

    (1) I’d like to “Table of Contents” placed below the post, not at the top of the post.
    (2) I’d like to disable the “Previous in Series” and “Next in Series” links.

    I’d love to try edit the PHP file myself but I’m not so sure if I should go ahead, considering the knowledge (or lack of) that I have of PHP, LOL.

  9. Posted October 28, 2007 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    @pelf:

    In the articles I’ve linked to discussing this Plugin, there are instructions to do this. DO NOT edit the Plugin, just your Theme to put the Plugin template tag where you want the information to appear.

    Realize, that when people get to the bottom of the post, they will have to scroll back UP to get to the next in the series, which is why most put it at the bottom. Which makes next and previous in series links critical, helping the reader move from one to the next. You want a table of contents like featured on old style websites. Think modern and usability. They get to the end, they want the next one. Give it to them immediately. Don’t make them scroll.

    This also doesn’t remove the need to manually put connecting links in your content when referencing other posts within the series.

  10. Posted October 29, 2007 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Yeah I got you, Lorelle. I was thinking along the same lines too. If I put the “Table of Content” at the bottom of the post, the “Previous” and “Next” links are redundant (because the Table of Content contains the entire series, including links to the previous and next links)..

    Will check out the posts you linked to, thanks! :)

  11. Posted October 29, 2007 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    This is a great site! WordPress is a little frustrating for some users,
    Keep up the good work Lorelle!

  12. Posted October 29, 2007 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Pelf: It’s not redundant, it’s expected behavior. Some people respond to “next” and others respond to lists of posts. You are getting too analytical, my friend. Relax. This Plugin works, it does the job, and I’ve been using it for several years, though this is a seriously improved and easier to use version, and it works.

    Bryan: Thanks for the kind words.

  13. Posted October 29, 2007 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Regarding your reply (7)

    You have convinced me.
    I will give it a try.

  14. Posted October 30, 2007 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    keep up, many thanks!

  15. Posted October 30, 2007 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    @pelf, Lorelle

    Aiee! Don’t edit your template! Well, you can if you really want to, but you should absolutely not need to. I’ll be the first to say that the 3.0 configuration is awkward (the 3.1 betas fix this), but it does work. Hard coding your layout in the template means that you have to do extra work when new features come out (like the first/last links in 3.1), and you also lose your layout if you switch to a new theme, or upgrade your existing theme.

    Here are instructions on how to put the Table of Contents at the end of the post.

  16. Posted October 30, 2007 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    @Quandary:

    And do you have instructions for putting the table of contents at the top of the post?

    Thanks.

  17. Posted October 30, 2007 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    @Lorelle

    The ToC is at the top of posts by default. Essentially, you just need to make sure the tags (%toc %content %prev %next) are in the order you want them to show up. The div tags are there simply to break the sections apart better, and the class names allow for CSS styling, if desired (In Series does not currently make use of them). So, examples:

    Table of contents, followed by the post, followed by previous/next links:

    <div>%toc</div> %content <div>%prev %next</div>

    The post, with a table of contents at the end and no previous/next links:

    %content <div>%toc</div>

    The post, with no links (except the document-level <link> tags, if enabled):

    %content

    And so on. More detailed information can be found in the documentation for 3.0.7.

  18. Posted October 30, 2007 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    @Quandary:

    Ah, so I have some catching up to do with the changes in documentation! Thanks!

  19. ponderman
    Posted November 3, 2007 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    In series seems to be exactly what the doctor ordered. The site I am trying (endlessly) to bring to life provides for four categories, three of which are basically book manuscripts, thus need ‘in-series’.

    I downloaded and installed in-series two days ago, and my box does not say “append/Prepend” but start and “end”.

    Does that mean I start category or book one with the first article, and keep going until that book is finished, and then select “end” ?

    You are so familiar with in series, I just came across it, so I am at the highest level of ignorance how to make that work, how to customize (hope that’s not needed”, etc. Is there a guide that explains all features in greater detail, and for which release the particular features etc. apply?

    I am frankly awed by you people and how much you contribute – but no good deed goes unpunished. Would a guide not save a lot of time? Or if it exists, can you point me towards it, or did you and I did not catch such link?

    Thanks to you all —-

  20. Posted November 4, 2007 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    @ponderman:

    The “guide” you ask for is linked to in the comments above. I haven’t installed the newest version, so I cannot advise you on the specifics. Probably after you add a post or three, the ability to change the order should appear. Check the Plugin author’s site and links for specifics on how this works.

  21. ponderman
    Posted November 17, 2007 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    The presentation/widgets panel in admin offers a good frame of reference for my comment here. I can envision a random inventory of files listed in a “staging” area, and when ready, to drag them into the desired sequence. They could be posts, pages, comments, any kind of text,image or audio file, for that matter, and could be lined up into any desired sequence from which a list or index could be auto-generated. And to carry this further, one could present that list on the screen with optional boxes above the list and next to each item so that the list can have a title and the items could be further sequenced such as a,b,c,d or 2.4, 2.4.1, 2.4.2, 2.4.3, 2.5, ….. Or am I missing something here? I have not used my installed in-series yet, so this is a good time to pose this question.

  22. Posted November 17, 2007 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    @ponderman:

    This Plugin doesn’t do that. It’s a neat idea, and if such “click and drag” technology, and the ability for posts to relate to other posts from within the Write Post Panel existed, then this would be a neat idea for a Plugin. However, In-Series WordPress Plugin is much simpler than that.

    Have you published many article series? Once you start publishing them, you have a better feel for how it works, and working with content after the fact is great, for site maps and related posts, but the concept of a series, as I see it, is to connect the dots before it’s published, not after.

  23. ponderman
    Posted November 17, 2007 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    No, Lorelle – I have tons to publish, and WP being as complex as I think it is (for me, anyway, I am almost too timid to ‘commit’, to start. I think this is called “paralysis by analysis”. To see your comment about how easy in-series is, I think I will take the plunge, knowing that I can always re-nstall or delete, and it is blocked for spiders at this time as well. So no damage is done trying. You are truly a treasure, Lorelle. You amaze me. Thank you very much indeed.


8 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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