WordPress Plugin Review: Collapsing Blogroll

Last time, I wrote about a new WordPress plugin, at least new to me, that is, Collapsable blogroll. The author let us know that there is a newer version with a slightly different name, Collapsing Blogroll.

Here’s what I did to update from Collapsable blogroll to Collapsing Blogroll:

  • Downloaded collroll, unpacked the zip file, ftp’d the folder ‘collroll’ and its contents to wp-contents/plugins/.
  • Logged in to the WordPress dashboard and edited the links page where I had used the older plugin, Collapsable blogroll, to create a list of links from the blogroll. I changed <!–catlinkspage–> to [collroll] and saved the page.
  • From the Manage Plugins page I deactivated Collapsable blogroll, then activated Collapsing Blogroll.
  • When I visited the links page, all the links were hidden, or collapsed, and the words Expand | Collapse were visible. Clicking on expand showed all the links. (I’m not sure the words expand/collapse need to be there as you can set the links page default to either expanded or collapsed.)
  • Once I knew that the new plugin worked as expected, then I deleted the older plugin.

Improvements in the plugin allow you to change the appearance of your links page from the WP dashboard. Visit the new Collapsing Blogroll page that is listed under Settings in your WP-admin.

From there you can select a title background color by clicking on the white color swatch. A color picker comes up that lets you select whatever color you want by picking it from the rainbow or entering the RGB/#hex values. If you uncheck the box “use this color” next to the title background, then there is a transparent background, or no background color depending on your point of view.

Also featured in the newer plugin, you can select the order of categories or links as either alphabetical or one of your own choosing, which is especially useful if you use a different plugin to order your links. Since I’d been using “My Link Order” on a site where the Collapsing Blogroll was installed, this feature was a relief to see.

From the settings page you can specify the width of the blogroll div, in px or %, so your link list can fit in the sidebar or other space you’ve created.

And finally, indicate whether you’d like the initial link list to be collapsed by default, or not. Make sure to save your new settings.

Collapsing Blogroll will be really helpful for those sites where there are many links, especially when the list of links changes from time to time. Works in WP 2.8.4! Thanks again, Romain!

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