Organize Series

Description

The Organize Series WordPress Plugin helps with the organization and presentation of articles/posts you write as part of a series. It helps make it easier for readers of your blog to discover all the series you’ve written and also to easily find post that are part of the same series.

Organize Series actually adds a new taxonomy to the WordPress taxonomy structure so your blog would have “categories”, “tags”, and “series” as the taxonomy types.

Make sure you check out the features section in the “other notes” tab for all the neat stuff you can do!

As of version 2.4.6, Organize Series requires WordPress 3.7+ to work. While Organize Series may work on PHP5.2 it is recommended (and supported) for PHP5.3+.

NOTE: Organize Series has not been designed to be multisite compatible at this time. Some users are finding it works great for their needs but your mileage may vary. Feel free to try on multi-site but at your own risk.

IMPORTANT LINKS

Author’s Website | OrganizeSeries.com | OrgSeries ADDONS | OrgSeries Twitter

Support

There have been some changes to how I provide support for Organize Series. Here are the different options for support:

  1. Post any support questions on the WordPress Forums at wordpress.org. I will keep an eye on the forums for bug reports but will NOT be actively responding to usage/installation help. If I don’t respond to forum posts I’m not being rude or snubbing you, I just simply don’t have time to respond because priority goes customers who have paid for support (see below).

  2. Subscribe to the Paid Basic Support Plan I am offering for Organize Series at organizeseries.com. This will give access to support via email.

Features

The following is a brief overview of all the features in Organize Series.

Integration with WordPress taxonomy system

Beginning with version 2.3, WordPress introduced a database and core change that resulted in a new taxonomy system. The core WordPress has two taxonomies – “categories” and “tags”. Organize Series introduces a new taxonomy “series”. Thanks to the rich api provided to plugin authors Organize Series takes advantage of (as much as possible) the built-in WP goodness! As an added bonus – plugin developers can expand on what Organize Series offers by interacting with the new series taxonomy and the built-in filters/hooks.

More “organize” for taking care of your series…

Check these additions to your WordPress administration:

  • A “Manage Series” page.
    Add, delete, edit all your series on one handy dandy page. Functioning much like the “Manage Category” page, Organize Series makes it easy to keep track of all the series you are writing.
  • Integration with the Edit->Posts page.
    Now it’s easier than ever to keep track of what posts have been added to series in a familiar setting. Even better, you can also filter the post list by series giving you a quick way to see all the posts you’ve already added to the series.
    Organize Series also integrates with the “quick-edit” feature – so you can edit series information for posts right on this page.

Add “prettify” recognition to your series…

Easily associate images with your Series via the Manage->Series page. Images can be easily uploaded, picked using the built-in WordPress Media uploader.

Integration with Write/Edit posts page

Organize Series brings a new “box” to your write/edit posts page for series related tasks:

  • Add new series on the fly.
    Ajaxified and simple to use (works pretty much the same as adding new categories on the fly)
  • Add posts to existing series.
  • Choose what order you want that post to be in the series. If you leave the field blank, your post will automatically be appended to end of the series. But if you want you can number that post to be whatever part you want and every other post in the series will be automatically adjusted for their new parts Is that cool? Yeah, I thought so too!

Works out of the box.

Once you’ve activated the plugin (and are not importing from earlier versions) all you have to do is visit the Series Options page and then you’re ready to go (you don’t have to change/or add anything!). Out of the box, Organize Series defaults to automatically insert into your blog all the necessary “template tags” for displaying series related information.

Use permalinks? No problem, Organize Series detects that and introduces a permalink structure for series archive pages (defaults to http://yourblogaddress.com/series/%the_series_slug%).
Don’t like the default settings/look…well…

Complete options page for easy customization without having to edit any .php files

Nearly everything you might want to customize with Organize Series can be done on the Series->Options page:

  • Control placement of series related info (Series Meta, Series Table of Contents, Series Postlist boxes, Series Navigation Strip, etc.)
  • Customize the html output or series related info by using the %token% system with a token legend right on the page (check out the screenshots tab).
  • Control what the path of your “series table of contents” link will be.
  • Control how posts in a series will be displayed on series archive pages. The default is by date in descending order (newest to oldest) – but you can order it by part too.
  • Set the icon width for images associated with series for different pages.

Pretty cool eh? But maybe you’d like to be able to customize things even more?…

A whole bundle of template tags for theme authors and WP tweakers

Do you actually like going into the guts of your theme files? Then, you’ll love the “template tags” organize series makes available for you! Better yet, I’ve made it easy for you to find them: All the template tags you’ll ever need are found in the series-template-tags.php file in your Organize Series plugin directory. Each tag is also fully documented inline so you can have a better idea what it does!

You can also edit the default .css file for orgSeries OR point to your custom .css in styles.css for your theme.

Oh, if you implement Organize Series in a cool way let me know here

Oh and don’t forget…

Widgets!! There are two built-in widgets that you can use to display all your series information.

FINALLY…

Organize Series Addons

Organize series now has it’s own website where you can purchase additional addons that bring additional functionality to the core plugin. I’m releasing as many addons as I can based on features users have requested that I don’t have the time to develop for free. Providing this add-on marketplace enables me to bring the features that have been requested to users of Organize Series at an affordable price. You’ll want to check out the Basic Support package as well.

Usage

All usage instructions are available at OrganizeSeries.com.

Have fun – and get writing those series!!

Screenshots

  • Organize Series Options Page: There are so many possibilities for how Organzie Series can be customized. Nearly everything can be done on the built-in options page.

  • Manage Series Page: All your series can be edited via the integrated "Manage Series" page.

  • Also, via the "manage series" page, users can attach images to serve as a "series icon" for their series. This is fully integrated with the built-in media uploader of WordPress.

  • When writing a new post, you can use the Series Box to attach the post to a series and choose what part that post will be in the series. You can also create a new series on the fly if needed.

  • Organize Series fully integrates with the Edit Posts page in WordPress. In this screenshot you can see the custom column that lists any series information attached to a post.

  • Another feature with the integration into the Edit Posts page is the ability to filter the posts shown by series.

  • You can also use the "Quick-Edit" WordPress feature to edit series information for posts.

  • Organize Series inserts all your series information into the "Right Now" Dashboard widget.

  • Here's the screenshot for the Series Widget Settings...

  • ...and the screenshot of how it looks on the blog (on a page that is part of a series).

  • The screenshot of the Latest Series widget settings box...

  • ...and the screenshot of the results on the blog.

  • What the series-meta information strip looks like (looks can be customized).

  • What the list of posts in the series looks like (also can be customized).

Installation

As of version 2.4.6, Organize Series requires WordPress 3.7+ to work. Organize Series also requires PHP 5.2+. Organize Series may work with earlier versions of WordPress but support is not provided for earlier versions and use at your own risk.

ALSO: If you are upgrading make sure you read the upgrade notes.

  1. MAKE SURE YOU BACKUP YOUR WORDPRESS DATABASE (that’s all in caps for a reason – nothing should go wrong but it’s a good precaution nevertheless!!)
  2. Download the File (or use the built-in updater provided by WordPress)
  3. Extract to a folder in ../wp-content/plugins/. The orgSeries folder can be named whatever you want but the default is “organize-series”. The final structure would be something like this: ../wp-content/plugins/organize-series/--and all the orgSeries plugin files/folders--
  4. Activate orgSeries on your WordPress plugins page.
  5. The Series Icon Feature uses the built in Media Uploader/picker in WordPress.

You can do the above or just use the new plugin install integrated in WordPress.

Upgrading

  • DO NOT UPGRADE TO THIS RELEASE (2.4.6) UNLESS YOUR WORDPRESS INSTALLATION IS AT VERSION 3.7

ALSO

I STRONGLY recommend that you take note of any changes you may have made on the series options page for customizing the layout/look of Organize Series before upgrading. I try to do my best to make sure any changes get imported successfully with updates but sometimes things happen unexpectently and the options may get reset (which can understandably be frustration – believe me, it’s happened to me a couple of times over the years!). What I usually do is open a tab with the options and then conduct the upgrade from another tab. That way if something DOES go awry, I can just copy paste from the inputs I left open in the previous tab. Again, I test throughly before releasing an update but I simply cannot account for every possible hosting environment out there so resets can and sometimes do happen.

Other Notes

If you customized the included seriestoc.php file (for Series Table of Contents Page) to fit your site theme better make sure you copy the file over to your theme directory so future upgrades of Organize Series won’t overwrite your customizations. The seriestoc.php file is already setup to work with the WordPress Twenty Twelve theme.

That’s it! You might want to read through the Series Options page (as a submenu item under ‘options’) and the Manage->Series Page. You’ll also notice that your “write/edit” posts page now has a handy dandy series box on it for adding your posts to a series (and creating new series on the fly).

FAQ

What does Organize Series do?

It makes it easier for you to write a series of posts on your blog/website and have them automatically linked together.

So?

Well, one of the best ways to build an audience on your blog/website is to write short posts about the same subject over a period of time rather than one long post. There are numerous SEO benefits to this as well. Organize Series takes the hassle out of managing the serial posts and you can just focus on writing. Another way of saying this is, Organize Series takes the work out of organizing series so that you write more and your readers can EASILY follow along.

Can I customize the archive page for series?

You sure can! Just create a file called taxonomy-series.php and copy the code from your themes archive.php file and use that as the basis for building out how the series archive page looks. You’ll also want to take a look at all the template tags you can use for series in the orgSeries-template-tags.php file.

But I want to customize the archive page for a *single* series, can I do that?

Yup. Create a file named taxonomy-series-{series-slug}.php file and replace {series-slug} with the slug of your series and you’ll be good to go!

Hang on, what I really want is to create a page that lists all the series available. You probably don’t have that available do you?

Hey, I’ve got you covered there as well! In the organize-series folder you’ll see a file called seriestoc.php. It’s what gets loaded when you go to your series toc url (defaults at \series-toc\ but you can change this on the series options page). Chances are though it doesn’t look great with your theme (the file included just gives you an idea of what you can put in the file). What you want to do is copy this file to your theme folder and then modify it to match your theme structure (see your themes archive page for an example). You don’t need to put any of the WordPress loop code in this file.

Wow there are sure a lot of features and ways of customizing the Organize Series plugin. However I’m wondering can you put in ___________ feature?

Over the last couple of years I’ve received numerous requests for extra features for Organize Series and have done some custom development work for clients who have the resources to hire me to add stuff. I simply have not had the time to write up all the features that people request without getting paid for it. Here’s the thing though, there’s been some really good ideas and I realize that not everyone is able to afford what it costs for custom development. So I decided what I’d do is move to a pay-as-you-go model for new features. I’ve created a website for Organize Series where you’ll find all kinds of different add-ons to Organize Series that you can purchase and use along with the core plugin. You’ll want to head on over there and see if there’s anything you are looking for. I’ve priced the add-ons at a low price so new features are more accessible to those of you who can’t afford custom development work and yet still provides a way for me to get paid for the work I’ve done. It’s a win-win!! You’ll also want to check out the basic-support package available as well.

If you don’t see an add-on that has the feature you want for Organize Series, write up a request here on the WordPress Support Forums (make sure you tag the post with organize-series) and I might just develop it as the next add-on!!

Sounds like you are going to be moving to a paid model for Organize Series…does that mean I’ll eventually have to pay for all the goodness Organize Series offers?

Nope. The CORE Organize Series plugin WILL ALWAYS REMAIN FREE. The only thing that I’m charging for going forward is support and the add-ons.
This will also provide extra incentive for me to keep the core plugin rock’in for users and always up to date with the current version of WordPress. I will also work hard at fixing any bugs etc. that get discovered. The core plugin has EVERYTHING a user needs to organize series on their blog and that will never change (i.e. I won’t remove features from the core). However, from time to time there are users who want something extra (e.g. the ability to “group” series) and thats where add-ons come in. From time to time I will release free add-ons as well, you’ll want to bookmark OrganizeSeries.com so you’ll catch the news when that happens.

Oh and one more thing. Organize Series will always be GPL and so will ALL the add-ons that I write. Just thought I’d put that in here.

Reviews

Great Support

Ok I work with the plugin author, Darren, and don’t have much experience with this plugin, but I know everything he puts out is top-notch.

Best Plugin Ever

I’ve upgraded my original review from 4 stars to 5, because the author gave me a fix for the only problem I had with it, and because the more I use it, the more I have come to appreciate it.

WHAT MAKES THIS PLUGIN SO SPECIAL is that it provides a way to reach into a jumble of posts on a given topic and organize them into a decent sequence. So anyone who finds one of the posts sees the collection it belongs to, and can investigate the others, in the intended sequence of reading.

In a word, it is a beautiful addition to the WordPress capabilities.

–Original Review–
The good:

  • Really easy to set up. Go to the series settings, and define a series. Boom.
  • Then visit a post. The sidebar has a new set of options that let you assign the post to a series, give it a number, and give it a shorter name, if you need for when it appears in a sidebar widget.
  • The series TOC page displays the standard teasers for all of the posts in the series
  • The TOC page for a series has a nice URL, so it’s easy to add to a menu.

In short, it was mega-easy to set up and use, so I’m sending the author a few bucks by way of thanks.

The bad news:
Depending on your theme, the series TOC-page that displays the teasers may not have any heading.

The better news:
The author provided a fix in wicked-fast time, so future users may never see the problem.

Update
I want to give the plugin 6 stars. Because it turns out that when you insert or remove an item from a series, everything else in the series is automatically renumbered. That functionality is as wonderful as it was unexpected!

Works…But….

Overall, this plugin “works” in that it does what it says: it adds the taxonomy and lets you group your posts by series. Out of the box, the series post box and what not are not exactly pretty, but they are functional enough and it was easy to customize it to fix it up.

It is a little clunky in places though and it certainly has some bugs. When you are making a new post and safe the draft, it loses the series position and the Post title for the widget. The quick edit shows a series box and the series name on the right side, but there is a second series drop box and position on the left at the bottom of the quick edit box. Those two never fill in with the current info, so if you quick edit a series post you may accidentally remove it from the series.

In terms of the clunkiness. When creating/editing a post, the series selector is a set of radios…which is cumbersome once you have more than 5 series. A select box would be much more useful.

Reordering series posts is a complete pain if they get numbered wrong (which they generally do if you mistakenly use bulk edit to add a bunch of posts to a series). Just renumbering them fails because it won’t let you renumber a post to say, position 3, if something else is there but it also won’t let you move the rest of the posts up one first. *sigh*

I ended up having to just go into the database and manually fix the numbers on a longer series, while a short one I just removed everything from the series and redid it.

Still, it does the main thing I needed without going overboard on clutter and extra stuff that wasn’t needed.

Great plugin but unfriendly for beginner

I previously left a somewhat cutting 1-star review for this plugin and I have to say that I now regret doing that.

Although the plugin was not all that easy to get to grips with initially, once it was in place and I’d learned how to use it, it is great. It does what I want it to do.

The only criticism I have is that it would be better having a ‘getting started’ guide – just a short one – which would make things so much easier.

Having said that, to Darren (the writer), I apologise for my previous review and I will go on using this plugin. It was definitely worth persevering with!

Read all 22 reviews

Contributors & Developers

“Organize Series” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Changelog

Changelog is no longer bundled with the readme. For latest commits see the commit list on github or the release tags