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Another Blogging Plugin-LinkWithin

LinkWithinNow that I’m not on a breakneck writing pace, I’ve got time to goof off a lot more.

I noticed on Prerna and Kidgas’ blogs they had a neat little linking tool that linked to other posts within their blogs.  I didn’t notice it at first, but as I continued to visit their blogs, I thought the tool was pretty cool.

The tool, as you can see at the bottom of this post, is the LinkWithin tool.  It’s a plugin that works on Blogger, self-hosted WordPress, TypePad and other types of blogs.  The installation is pretty straight forward and simple.

Installing LinkWithin

Visit the LinkWithin site and insert your email address, blog URL, number of posts you’d like linked and click “Get Widget!”  For those of you with dark-background blogs, let LinkWithin know and they’ll modify the code so your links show up with light text and dark backgrounds.

Once you click the “Get Widget!” button, LinkWithin displays the appropriate code for the platform selected.

Leaving Well Enough Alone

Of course I could never leave well enough alone.  After installing the code, I realized there weren’t many customization options. The links aligned to the left at the bottom of the post and that was it.  It also displayed the default text of “You might also like:” prior to showing the post links.The Professor

That’s not a problem for most folks, but because of my anal retentive nature and my inability to leave well enough alone, I had to look under the hood for a moment. According to the LinkWithin FAQ sheet, you could modify the display location and the default text, but that was pretty much it.  So, I modified both.

Centering the LinkWithin Display

Until I dedicate sufficient time to look for a replacement blog template, I’ll continue to limp along with this one. So, in accordance with the instructions on the LinkWithin site, I inserted the code “<div class="linkwithin_div"></div>” where I wanted the links to display.

To center the display, I embedded it within an HTML table. I tried using <span align=”center”> and <p align=”center”> and any other simple HTML code that I could think of to center the display, but it didn’t work (I think my blog template prevented it from working). So, I ended up placing it in a table that was center aligned.

Modifying the Default Text

Modifying the text was a piece of cake. According to the LinkWithin site all you had to do was insert  <script>linkwithin_text='Your custom text:'</script> into the HTML template.  To accomplish this, I went back to the original code and placed the revised text smack dab in the middle of it so it ended up looking like this:

<div class="linkwithin_div"><script>linkwithin_text='If you have time, check out these posts too:'</script></div>

Now that I had my code in the middle of my center-aligned table, I was relatively happy with the results (although, I believe there is too much dead white space around the plugin, but there’s nothing I can do about that).

Many moons ago, I wrote a post about learning basic HTML. With today’s WordPress, TypePad and Blogger templates, it’s not an absolute necessity to learn basic HTML, but it does come in handy.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Crystal November 3, 2010, 10:59 am

    Cool idea, Felicia, but . . .

    It doesn’t allow me to right click and open in a new tab. There were a couple of posts I wanted to check out but after I clicked on the first one and was whisked away, I came back to all different posts. Beings I didn’t think to make note of the titles, I can’t search for them:(

    All that aside, I’m on my way over to one of my blogs to install the thing so thanks for sharing!

    • Felicia November 3, 2010, 12:15 pm

      Crystal, I tried it and was able to open in a new tab. Could it be your browser? I use Firefox.

  • Crystal November 3, 2010, 1:20 pm

    I’ll have to ask my techie expert here. I’m using IE and it definitely won’t let me right click. Glad it’s working for others – I just added it to my Quilting and Sewing with Kids blog and love it!

    • Felicia November 3, 2010, 1:26 pm

      Crystal, I just went to your blog using IE (great blog). When I depressed the “Ctrl” key and clicked on the link, it opened in a new tab. Guess you’ll have to use that workaround in the meantime.

  • Crystal November 3, 2010, 2:26 pm

    Thanks Felicia – it works! Who knew the “Ctrl” key was so powerful? Glad you enjoyed seeing the blog. Quilting and sewing are my real passions although I’ve been distracted with writing for the better part of the past year. Now that I’m finally figuring out how to combine the two, I’ll have the best of both worlds!

  • Christina Crowe ( @CashCampfire ) November 3, 2010, 2:57 pm

    Opening the related posts in another tab also works for me, Crystal. It could just be your browser.

    If you aren’t already using it, I highly suggest installing Firefox. It’s very customizable, though sometimes I have an issue with freezes if I leave the browser open for too long (I always have tons of tabs open, so that could be the problem…).

    Or, you can try Chrome. I love Chrome for the speed in which everything opens, so I use it a lot for email. 🙂


  • Crystal November 3, 2010, 5:36 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion, Christina. I also am a tab-intensive gal! But then again, I’m window intensive, as well. It’s not unusual for me to have several windows with multiple tabs open all at the same time – and then I wonder why things go awry. At any rate, I guess I should give Firefox a try.

  • Will November 3, 2010, 9:51 pm

    Thanks, Felicia. LinkWithin is a great plugin for blogs with hundreds of posts.

  • Prerna November 9, 2010, 4:05 am

    Hi Felicia, thanks for the mention and glad to see you’re using linkwithin too.. It’s really helped increase the time people spend on my blog:-)

  • Lisa Russell November 17, 2010, 12:29 pm

    I tried LinkWithin on one of my sites and it never appeared, so I gave up. I like all the feedback I’m hearing though, so maybe I’ll try it again.

    If you’re looking for a new theme, I suggest Atahualpa. Don’t be turned off by the pricetag ($0) it has like 250 customizations, up to 4 sidebars you can control completely- you can rearrange every element on the page. I’m using it on over 30 sites right now and no two look the same. Infinite options, I love it!

    • Felicia November 17, 2010, 2:34 pm

      That happened on one of my blogs too. I deleted it and reinstalled it and it worked fine.

      I have another blog where it only displays links instead of images. Not sure how to fix it, but I’m not losing sleep over it. I guess there are still a few quirks that need to be ironed out.

      I’ll check out the blog theme to see if it will work here. Thanks for the info.

      • MartinaJ July 25, 2011, 8:33 am

        Thanks for posting this Felicia. As I visited other blogs I observed that many of them had these related post row and I was very interested. So I searched and found the LinkWithin site. It was very easy to install on my sites but could not get the code to center either. I too have one blog where I have links instead of images this is my blog with Ole Skool music videos (see my link).

        • Felicia July 25, 2011, 4:13 pm

          Love the old school music! I recently started a music blog but haven’t put much on it. Your blog inspired me to get back at it.

          • MartinaJ July 25, 2011, 7:00 pm

            Oh yes Felicia, the music just brings back lots of memories!!!

  • Ken Muise July 18, 2011, 8:43 am

    Helloooo…Felicia, I took the leap and went Wordpress for a blog…it is intimidating to say the least–sooo much more difficult than Blogger as of right now. Can you recommend an “all in one” plug in for add this type of stuff. I have found a few from the admin page “get new plug in” but it seems that they many don’t incldude: FB, TW, Del, Digg, Stumble, etc,…instead they only contain a few.

    • Felicia July 19, 2011, 6:43 am

      Congrats on your leap to the dark side. 🙂

      I use a plugin called Add This Social Media Plugin. I wrote about it in my list of favorite plugins. I haven’t spent much time configuring it, but it might be what you’re looking for.

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