Thursday, November 23, 2006

Customizable Recent Comments Widget

It is a Recent Comments Widget. You can install it to your Blog with one mouseclick. You can customize it without any template-hacking. It is completely flexible. And it is free!

It is based on the new JSON-feeds that are available from Blogger. That means you can have as many comments in your sidebar as you wish, you can have long or short summaries, and you can choose to add the date and the posttitle to the comment-summary as well. Now THAT's what we call flexibility.

I was inspired to create this widget by Ramani and Hoctro, who implemented a JSON-based Recent Comments widget. But I still missed date and posttitle options, things I recently hacked with in my own way. So I took up where Ramani stopped, and created this widget that you can see now in my sidebar.

How to Install the Widget

Go to the Widgets & Downloads Page and click the Install Recent Comments button.

This will bring up a pop-up window in which you can customize the widget settings, before adding it to your blog.

Replace 'beautifulbeta' with the name of your own blog.

Set the number of recent posts you want to show (default = 5).

If you want the post date to be displayed, check the box (default = checked).

If you want a post summary to be displayed, check the other box (default = checked), and enter the number of characters of the postsummary that you want to display (default = 100).

If you select standard styling, a predefined styling will be used. If you select custom css, you can define your own styling using the classes bbrecpost, bbrecpostsum and bbwidgetfooter.

Now click the 'Customize' button, or click 'Reset' to return to the default values. If you are satisfied with the settings, click 'Add Widget To My Blog'. This will bring up the Blogger-screen that lets you select your Blog to install the widget to. Click the blue 'Add' button to add the widget to your blog.