Once you have a few years of blogging in your archives, you thus have some history (doh). And I made a little plugin to make it more visible, to generate a list of previous year’s post published on the current day.

Just peek at my own page using this.

It all started with a tweet from John Johnston.

John has an On This Day page that generates a list of his own posts published on the current day. I found it interesting, and guessed he might have used a plugin. I looked at two I found in the WordPress repository, but they did not do the trick, so I took the obvious step of asking John in twitter.

Not surprisingly it was something he wrote himself. Not surprisingly, he shared it.

I gave John’s plugin a try on this blog, but ran into some problems- in the editor, the shortcode was outputting to the top of the screen (I think it might need a (!is_admin()) conditional to make sure it’s not running in the dashboard?) and also, on my page, it was inserting content at the top of the page, above the content I had written (guessing because it hooks the main query).

So I rolled up my sleeves and coded my own, now available as the Posted Today plugin. It provides a shortcode that could be used anywhere in your WordPress site (post, page, widget?) but mainly the intent is for a Page.

Adding [postedtoday] is all a page needs to generate output like mine a listing of all posts on the current day (like today’s show all past posts for January 15). I added post excerpts and some logic to group together posts in the same day (because heck sometimes I post 4 times a day) and added excerpts as well.

The output has CSS classes so you can set some design (like I remove bullets from the years, and change line height, font size for excerpts).

I was going to blog a screenshot yo show today’s output, but realized I had designed a better means. After getting the plugin to actually work (meaning not barfing errors because I dropped a semi-colon!) I started thinking of options for the shortcode. Including the month and day like means with [postedtoday month="1" day="15"] I can create a page for posts on an arbitrary date (see example) if I really want to share what I have written on January 15s – hey it was the birthdate of the TRU Collector SPLOT.

And one more enhancement, if you don’t want the excerpts (like maybe in sidebar text widget, you can do this with another shortcode [postedtoday excerpt="0"].

I’m pretty impressed ;-)

And this got me thinking yesterday, as I was working on an eCampus Ontario project launching in edX plus some other thoughts trying to help my wife figure out things for her course hosted in Moodle. These systems have to try to include the functionality everybody might want, that’s how they get ginormous (and full of menus, options to wade through).

And while they might be extensible via plugins too (that only a server admin can add), it’s different from WordPress in that I, as a site owner, can find or write (and share) my own small extensions to do what I want. It’s much closer, IMHO, to the original dream of the web than dream of something like MS Office (where I still everytime fail to find out how to format tabs).

And we have a prize for early adopters ;-) (the prize is a thank you reply)

I added to the plugin site a place to see examples, so if you use this plugin either share a link or go ahead and fork that readme and do it yourself.


Featured Image: My Photo Made the April Calendar flickr photo by cogdogblogshared into the public domain using Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0)

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Comments

  1. Hi Alan,
    I’m pretty impressed too. Nice stuff on the options/params.

    Mine started as a page template and was stuffed into a plugin when someone on micro.blog was interested.
    I don’t see the stuff on admin, although I am using WP5 I’ve Gutenberg turned off?
    I didn’t notice the above post problem as I’ve nothing on the page, twas a bit quick & dirty.

    I look forward to digging into yours and learning a bit when I get a mo but that is not happening as much as I’d like.

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