Comment on SEO Recent Posts WordPress Widget by SEO Dave.

WordPress SEO Recent and Popular Posts WidgetJust completed an awesome Stallion widget for Stallion 6.3 which covers popular posts, random posts, recent posts, latest modified posts, alphabetical posts and by ID. I’ve not seen a widget cover all these options.

The new widget includes thumbnail support utilizing the Stallion built in Timthumb.php script: makes small thumbnails from any image saving time (you don’t have to create a separate image for a feature) and saves bandwidth (images are small).

The thumbnails are generated from the Stallion thumbnail images (set on each post) and the WordPress Featured Images.

Since the widget uses Timbthumb it doesn’t matter what size those images are (preferably the right size or bigger) as Timbthumb resizes them on the fly. This is a big issue for widgets that use images, if they use the original sized WordPress Featured Images for example and the user is using the Featured Image for the TwentyEleven header image feature (loads of themes including Stallion uses this feature) your widget thumbnails could be 1000px wide and over 100KB in size!!! Have ten thumbnails generated this way and your visitors are downloading 1MB in images just for a widget with ten images!!! Using Timbthumb with the same images and the size can be cut down to below 10KB an image for a 100px wide thumbnail: been testing the new widget on my local install and the largest Timbthumb image is 13KB, most are around 6-7KB.

The new Stallion widget lists posts based on

Most Popular Posts based on Comment Count
Recent Posts
Recently Modified Posts
Random Posts
Reverse Alphabetical Posts
Highest Post ID

All the above can be reversed, so least popular, lowest Post ID etc… so we have 11 widgets in one: you could have a Most Popular Widget with 5 posts shown, a Least Popular Widget with 3 posts shown, a Random Posts Widget with 2 posts shown, a Recent Posts Widget with 10 posts shown etc…

The widget outputs

Thumbnail image (optional) and can be aligned left or right
Link to Post
Short Excerpt of post (optional)

Similar layout to the Stallion Recent Comments widget

The thumbnail size isn’t fixed, both the width and height can be set (100px for each works well). I’m in two minds if to add the option to disable the Link to Post output which would give the option to have just thumbnail images in a line.

For example for the Stallion 300px wide sidebar layouts (like I use on this site) you could set the thumbnail images to say 300px wide 100px height and have a line of thumbnail links to posts with no text link or excerpt to the post.

I’m looking for a public domain image (has to have a copyright license that’s minimum GPL compatible, but ideally public domain: no copyright restrictions) for a default image for posts that lack a Stallion Thumbnail and a Featured Image. The ideal image would be 300px by 300px wide to allow for resized images from around 50px up to 300px.

And for those who follow my Stallion update progress, yes I added more features when I said I wasn’t going to add more for the 6.3 update :-)

David