WordPress Live Updating Blogroll

One of the things I always envied the blogspot bloggers for was their live updating blogroll. You know, with blogs ordered by their last post. In the spirit of “this blog runs on my own site, wordpress is open and extensible software, there should be a solution for it” I invested a bit of time and now found a nice plugin called WP Social Blogroll that seems to do the job. You’ll find it to the right as “Experimental Live Blogroll”.

It basically relies on the Google API to get the information, so it should be as up-to-date as the blogger rolls. There’s a few minor differences, for example, the current version doesn’t calculate the post age down to the minute, but I should be able to change that in the code if I want to. I’m also not 100% sure I liked the current style, but I could always play around with the CSS more.

I know many other people have been searching for such a feature. If you want any information, just ask. I’m not sure it’ll work with wordpress.com-hosted blogs, but it might be worth a try for those over there.

I also need your feedback, though: The plugin comes with a warning that blog pages can take longer to load if the blogroll is “large”, but it doesn’t give a number. Please leave a note if you have the feeling that the site has become sluggish with the new plugin. It’s normal that the blogroll takes a second to populate after the site was loaded, and I think that’s fine as long as the rest of the page is rendered without much delay.

6 thoughts on “WordPress Live Updating Blogroll

  1. This is the *only* gripe that I have with WordPress compared to Blogspot, so if you do manage to find a solution, I’ll be your number 1 fan.
    The ‘Experimental Live Blogroll’ does not appear to be working. The list does not have either a increasing nor decreasing pattern in terms of latest post times. Will revisit periodically to see if it ends up working later on.

    1. WOW. And right after making this comment, the blogroll became alive. Double-checking the blogroll listings against the actual blog’s post would indicate it’s a systems go!

      1. Glad to hear it worked. I just was about to comment that I couldn’t reproduce those problems. I just hope the time between your first and second post wasn’t the loading delay of the list, because it’s nice and fast on my side…

        As I said, the name is “WP Social Blogroll”. If you have any questions or problems, drop me a mail or comment.

  2. Me wantee!

    I like it. I hope that they introduce this into the WordPress.com hosted blogs.

    The only thing I can see is that when you hit the page, it shows the list of blogs and then the articles populated. Blogger caches theirs (or so I would guess) so I never see a similar lag or load up there.

    1. Yeah, that’s because it’s a bit of an ugly javascript hack. You see, as far as I understand it, the list isn’t created server-side. The client asks google for the list, and the javascript sorts it afterwards. That’s why the entries jump around during loading.

      It would probably be possible to have a server-side plugin that creates the list, but I haven’t found a plugin for that. If I ever have enough time, I might write one, but I’ve never learned much PHP. I used to be decent at Perl, though, maybe that would help.

      And I guess you can’t use it at wordpress.com? Is that a general limitation on plugins?

  3. Since there were no complaints about performance of the site as a whole, I went and made the Live Blogroll the standard blogroll feature on my sidebar. Enjoy!

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