Sticky Posts

Last week I wrote a post that became one of my personal favorites.

The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to highlight it somehow on the blog.

My first thought was to put a new widget in the sidebar for “Featured Posts.” I hunted around the WordPress plug-in library and found one (Flexible Posts Widget) that did the trick.

(Edit: When I got to the end of this post and uploaded the screenshot below, the media uploader stopped working. “An error occurred in the upload. Please try again later.” It had been fine before, and sure enough, disabling the Flexible Posts Widget plugin restored the media uploader. Why a widget plugin would interfere with the media uploader is beyond me — and I’m not going to debug the plugin code for them — but there it is.)

But having the post appear half way down the sidebar wasn’t quite doing it for me. I wanted something right up top.

Time for “sticky” posts.

WordPress provides a way to designate posts as “sticky,” and displays those posts at the top of the list.

That meant fixing my Epidemic theme to handle sticky posts. (Besides posting something daily, the Sunday Epidemic project was also to build a new theme from scratch.)

I didn’t want the whole post showing up. That pushed all the other more recent posts way down the page. You might never see the new posts if you didn’t scroll down past the sticky one. So I needed stickies to show up as excerpts.

Then I still needed a way to link the excerpt to the whole article so you can click to read the whole thing.

Finally, a little styling to make the excerpt stand out as something different than the rest of the posts.

Voila! Sticky posts!

(And, because I might not always have a featured post at the top, or I might decide down the road to change it again, here’s a screen shot of what it looks like as of today.)

Epidemic Sticky Post Screenshot