For those who write single posts on your blog, disconnected but related to each other, you might not need this. But for those of us who blog article series, each one connected to the other intrinsically, a Plugin that helps automatically connect the articles is a life saver.
In the past, articles series links were done manually. As each one was published, you’d have to copy that link, find the previous and past posts, along with the original that started the series, and post the connecting link to the next post in the series, editing each post one by one. Tedious.
With WordPress Plugins like In-Series, you set the article as a “series” with a title and order in the series, and all the connecting links are done for you. No fuss, no muss, no editing old posts and pasting links. Brilliant and easy.
I hold this WordPress Plugin in a special place in my heart. Whining and complaining rather loudly about the hassle of article series blogging, my buddies, Scott Merrill (Skippy) and Coldforged, jumped in to save me. Together, after a lot of pounding on my blog as a Plugin test crash dummy, we created this powerful tool to help bloggers who write articles in series on their blogs.
I outlined the specifics of how In-Series worked in “Technical Tips for Publishing a Series of Articles on Your Blog“, featuring the original In-Series WordPress Plugin. Travis of REM State, a gem of a WordPress fan and Plugin aficionado, recently took over support of my precious Plugin. Under this new management and enthusiasm, the In-Series WordPress Plugin is shiny and new. The new version is backwards compatible, so you won’t lose your old article series. It works with WordPress 2.1.
The new version works the same way as the old, but gone is the hassle with custom fields. The new GUI interface makes the process of adding your posts to the article series faster and easier.
On the Write Post panel appears a small box similar to the other menu boxes on the sidebar. From here, you can select from the drop down menu a previously added series name, or add a New Series Name. Then you choose to “Append” or “Prepend” the article to the series.
The old version allowed the user to set the order of the posts arbitrarily, regardless of the publish date. You could use future posts to publish article number 5 before article number 2 if you wanted. You had precision control over the order of the posts. In this new version, that’s gone but not forgotten. It should be out in the next release. Travis is working with old code and there is a lot to fix due to changes in WordPress vesrions.
With the new version, you can add the article in series after the last post designed in this series (append) or before the last post in the series (prepend). Truth be told, I usually publish my articles in the order in which I want them to appear on my blog, so this isn’t too much of a hardship.
With all of the changes necessary to be compatible with the latest versions of WordPress, the new management of In-Series as done a great job. Future improvements include article series featuring posts from multiple authors (right now it’s author specific), arbitrary post ordering within a series, and posts in multiple series, allowing you to connect the dots between more than one post in various article series. That will be interesting.
Organize Series WordPress Plugin
This Plugin works differently from In-series in several ways. First, it stores series posts in a category. Second, the order of the posts is controlled chronological. You want to change article 5 to come before article 2, you change the publish date to change the order.
The posts are stored in a post subcategory, and only posts in the series are included. Using category functions and template tags, the articles within that category are showcased as articles within the series.
Organize Series has some very cool features. It optionally allows icons assigned to the category with Category Icons Plugin, using visual images to represent your article series.
Other than that, there is much that is similar between the two, working hard to help you string your blog posts together in a series.
Try them both. They’re free. See which one you like best.
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