In which I finally learn how to add a dynamic blogroll to my blog…

Those people who read this blog via the website rather than by rss (hi there!) will no doubt be pleased to know that I’ve finally added a blogroll to my site, listing some of the many other blogs that I like.

I held back from creating a static blogroll using the built in wordpress tool, because the sites that I like pretty much change daily, and it seemed like there should be a way of reflecting this using google reader’s public pages option. And there is- it just took me a while to get it to work. You will find some instructions here, but I needed even more help! This blog explained a few months ago how to create a html/javascript element from a public google reader tag, for insertion in a blogger site or similar. It even gives you the ability to save the resulting blogroll as opml, which I think is really handy. However, wordpress doesn’t like things like that. You can manually edit your template to include the code but if, like me, you use the widget plugin, then you have to do something extra. Enter the execphp plugin, which executes php code in a widget.

So, for those of you who, like me, need a little extra help with this complicated web-design stuff:

  1. In google reader, create a tag for all of those sites that you want in your blogroll.

  2. Make that tag public and follow the instructions here to create the html/javascript element

  3. Download and activate the execphp plugin

  4. In an html editor, add html, head and body opening and closing tags to the code you generated above

  5. Echo every single line of this as follows: echo “\n”;

  6. Surround everything with php tags

  7. Paste the resulting code into a php widget in your blog and Robert is indeed your mother’s brother

Hope this is helpful!

Disclaimer- I’m sure it’s possible to do all sorts of damage with the php plugin, so please be careful and do this at your own risk. I will try and help getting this particular process working (confession- I had help from my own tame web designer) but can’t really offer support with the plugin in general.