[Resolved] posts in sidebar, date before excerpt, text grouping, text spacing
Aldo, thank you for your superb plugin.
I spent (wasted) over an hour trying to do something that I thought would be obvious and easy – make the right sidebar on the static home page of my new website show titles, dates and short excerpts of my new posts.
I found many discussion forums with suggestions for doing it by editing and adding code. None of that should be necessary in any well developed content management system.
Why this is not built into the basic functionality of WordPress is beyond my comprehension. Older themes have sidebars, TwentyTwelve does not (why?!).
People put far too much effort into making things appear trendy (eg forced capitalisation of headings) but not enough thinking into understanding that the primary requirement is for things to be simply practical. They change and ruin things that were working well, just for the sake of change.
Then I found your plugin. The image of the menu showed that it was put together by someone with a rational practical mind and would be easy to use.
It was. Only about one minute on settings, with your clear structure and good explanations built in. It just worked, first time. Just the way things should be.
Screen shot and two edited versions of it are here, to show my thoughts:
Re the date position, that could be just a tick box option in the settings, eg “Date above excerpt” or something similar.
Visual grouping of text elements is easy to achieve with appropriate spacings. No borders or other clutter needed, if it’s done well.
Re the spacing, I see some earlier support requests re this, all needing simple editing of code, eg this one:
Not difficult, but, consistent with a fully developed content management system that never needs any editing of code, can these spacings be controlled within the plugin, or simply set by you as defaults?
Apart from anything else, I’m wary of the idea of creating a child theme, then wondering what happens to any customising in it when the theme is updated.
Thank you for your long post, where you write your thoughts about this plugin. I’m honoured when I read posts like this.
About your suggestions, I have already implemented the possibility to move the section with the author, the date, and the comments just below the title. It’s already alive in the version 1.18.
About the spacing among the various elements, you have two ways for doing it: you can use the “Elements margins” section of the widget or the “Custom Styles” section.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks for your prompt response Aldo.
I wrote my first post on this topic about 20 hours ago, and WordPress tells me that your new version was done about 22 hours ago. Were you already working on it when I wrote my post?
Re the new option “Display this section after the title of the post”, technically it was already “after”, since everything else follows after the title. “immediately after” would be better.
Re the “elements margins”, this is a section where clearer instructions would help.
From that section title I did not guess that these settings could make the changes that I described. I vaguely assumed that these “margins” would be left and right margins of whole blocks of text, perhaps whole post summaries.
If they are vertical margins then saying whether they are top or bottom would be a good idea. That alone would have given a strong hint that these settings can do the trick. I see that these are bottom margins.
The information that you have provided does not tell me which one of these margin settings applies to text in the “Author, date and comments” section. It turned out to be the “Utility margin”, but I would never have guessed that from the wording.
Perfect result though, everything spaced appropriately now, and it took only about 3 minutes of experimenting.
Again, thanks for the good work that you have done on this excellent plugin.
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