MiniPosts

MiniPosts, or Asides are small blog posts that live outside of the usual hierarchy of postings. They are usually displayed differently from normal posts, and are occasionally placed on a different part of the root page of the blog.

A snapshot of the Asides plugin running on Pie Palace.

A bunch of different solutions exist to the “Aside” problem. According to the WordPress site there seems to be two ways of adding asides to your blog. Both involve mucking around with custom tags on every post, or setting up a special category. Morgan Doocy has a very elegant and clean approach that provides a checkbox on the Post page.

I’ve added to Morgan’s plugin, creating a cute little box for the checkbox to live in, an option page pane to edit the appearance of your asides, and a Widget wrapper to give you full floating control of the asides in your sidebars.

Please download the latest version and give it a shot.
Old Versions

Old versions of Miniposts are available below. If you want to install Miniposts 2, I suggest you use the automated installation manager or visit the plugin page on wordpress.org.

0.6.8 (Crazy Connectivity) December 19, 2008

Improved appearance of options page
Fixed naatan‘s smiley code to run without smilies (tip: Lan)
Moved download hosting to wordpress.org
Improved handling of the meta field to prevent post duplication

0.6.7 (Boss Bass) December 14, 2008

Fixed up appearance in WordPress 2.7.
Added naatan‘s smiley code

0.6.6 (Angry Armadillo) March 8, 2008

Added global keyword to allow loading on WP 2.5, fixed mini_posts_where() to filter posts from subscription feeds, fixed up meta box for post edit page to look more WP2.5y.

0.6.5 (Flatulent Kitten) July 3, 2007

Possible fix for the “missing pages” problem: modified the filters for posts_where and posts_join to be little less complex. Fixes the problem on this blog, so it may help elsewhere.
Note: This shouldn’t be considered a full release, as it just fixes a specific bug. If you haven’t experienced the pages disappearing from the admin view, then it probably isn’t worth installing this version.

0.6.4 February 10, 2007

Prevent error from occuring when the widget plugin is not installed.
Prevent miniposts from losing their minipost status on comment. Due to a change in WordPress.

0.6.3 January 28, 2007

Added excerpt/more support
Made Asides appear in search results
Made Aside title editable

0.6.2 September 24, 2006

Fixed bug the included unapproved comments in the comment count of a minipost.
Added the %date% format specifier.

0.6.1 June 21, 2006

Fixed bug that prevented comment counts from being displayed properly.

0.6.0

Original release

Installation Instructions

Please note, before you install MiniPosts2, you must have the Widgets plugin installed.

Download
Copy the zip file to the wp-content/plugins directory of your blog
Unzip miniposts2.zip
Login to your WordPress blog as administrator, and go to the Plugin panel of the dashboard.
Click on the Activate link beside MiniPosts2

The MiniPosts2 plugin should now be activated.
Upgrade Instructions

To upgrade an existing installation of MiniPosts2 to a newer version, follow these steps;

Login to your WordPress blog as administrator, and go to the Plugin panel of the dashboard.
Deactivate the current copy of MiniPosts2.
Delete the file wp-content/plugins/miniposts2.php from your blog.
Download the latest version of MiniPosts2.
Copy the zip file to the wp-content/plugins directory of your blog.
Unzip miniposts2.zip.
Login to your WordPress blog as administrator, and go to the Plugin panel of the dashboard.
Click on the Activate link beside MiniPosts2.

These steps will not modify any existing posts you have flagged as an aside. (Of course, if it does, I’m not responsible)
Controlling the Appearance of the MiniPost List

To control the appearance of your asides list, go to the Options pane of the Admin Interface, and select the MiniPosts tab.

MiniPost appearance is controlled through the Options page. To edit the options,

Go to your blog’s admin dashboard
Click on Options
Click on MiniPosts

The options will look something like:

Screenshot of the options page of MiniPosts2 0.6.3

The options have the following effects:

Show/hide

Filter mini posts from the Loop
Prevents MiniPosts from being displayed on the main page.
Filter mini posts from subscription feeds
Prevents MiniPosts from being shown to anyone viewing with an RSS reader.

Maximum number of miniposts to display

Maximum number of miniposts to display
Limits the number of MiniPosts shown. If this value is set to zero, then all MiniPosts will be shown (which is a bad idea). If this value is set to some other number, at most that number of miniposts will be shown.

Minipost Title
The title to display at the top of the MiniPost widget.
Minipost Format
How each Minipost should appear. The text entered into the box will be shown for every Minipost, with the appropriate values filled in for %title%, %post%, %commentcount%, %date%, and %permalink%. In the current version, the Miniposts are wrapped in the text

and

.
More Format
If you use an Optional Excerpt or the keyword in one of your asides, the word %more% will be replaced with the text you supply in this field. You probably want it to be a link to your full post. Note that all of the other keywords (such as %permalink%) can be substituted into this field.
Date Format
A specification of what the date should look like. The date format is a collection of characters that PHP’s date() function understands. The default is Y/n/j, which shows the year, month, and day that the post was saved. If you don’t use the %date% specifier in the Minipost Format, the date will not be displayed, regardless of value.

Creating a MiniPost

Creating a post with the MiniPost2 plugin is pretty much the same as creating a normal post. In order to set a post as being a MiniPost, go to the Write Post page as normal. If you’ve installed MiniPost2 properly, you’ll see a box that looks like:
minipost-0.6-checkbox.png

To set the current post as a Minipost, click the checkbox and Publish. Your posting will appear, either on the front page (if you have left the “Filter Miniposts from the Loop” blank), or in your asides list.
Creating a Teaser

These instructions apply to MiniPosts 0.6.3 and above

Sometimes you don’t want your entire post to appear in the miniposts widget, you’d rather see a short introduction, followed by a “Read More” link that leads your reader to the entire post. As of MiniPosts2 0.6.3, that is supported.

There are two ways of creating a teaser: you can create an excerpt, or you can use the quicktag in the text of your post. Technically, the teaser only refers to the second technique, but we’ll use it as a blanket term to refer to both approaches.

Instead of the full length post appearing in the MiniPosts widget, only the teaser will show up. By default, your teaser will be followed with the text “More…” linked to the full post. You can change the linked text by editing the More Format on the options page.
MiniPosts API

MiniPosts2 provides two functions, is_mini_post(), and get_mini_posts().

is_mini_post()
This function takes no arguments and can only be called from within the Loop. Returns true if the current post is a minipost, and false otherwise.
get_mini_posts($format = null, $limit = null)
This function displays the existing miniposts. If either of the arguments are specified as non-null then the display is changed. The $format variable is used to specify a format, over-riding the values specified on the Options page.