Blogroll + Google Reader + WordPress = Easy!

As I was redesigning this site, I wanted to make the blogroll a priority. It had been dramatically out of date for months. One thing I wanted to do was link it to my Google Reader account, so that whenever I add a feed to the Booze section of my account, that feed will automatically appear in my blogroll. Same thing for deleting feeds. It’s annoying to have to manage your subscriptions in two places–in your feed reader and in your Links panel–and it makes it difficult to keep your blogroll up to date.

I found out linking my blogroll to my Reader account was actually pretty easy to do, even though Reader doesn’t really hype this feature much. If you use WP and Google Reader and you have your feeds sorted by folders or tags, here’s what you do:

  1. Log in to your Reader account.
  2. In the top-right corner, choose Settings.
  3. Choose Folders and Tags.
  4. Choose a folder and set it to Public. (All of my cocktail and spirits feeds are sorted into a Booze folder, for example. I chose that and made it Public.)
  5. Once it’s public, you should have an option that says Add a Blogroll to My Site. Click that.
  6. You should see a pop-up window with your new blogroll. For my site, I deleted the default title that Google provided and I changed the color scheme to None, so that I could control the title in WP and let my own custom CSS styles govern the presentation.
  7. Copy the code from the box.
  8. Switch to your WP admin panel, go to Design, and choose Widgets.
  9. Create a new Text widget and paste the code into the widget box. Title your Text widget with whatever you want–in my case, Bartenders and Cocktail Nerds. Save the new widget and then click Save Changes.
  10. Et voila.

Because the Google code uses JavaScript to load your blogroll, it will take a couple of seconds for it to appear onscreen whenever you view or refresh your blog, so be warned. But the advantages to this method make that “problem” pretty trivial. If I change anything in Reader, it’s automatically updated in my blogroll–additions, deletions, whatever–just seconds after I make the change.

Now, what this obviously means is, the list to the right of this post is the list of everyone I’m currently following in Reader. If you’re not there, it’s probably because of one of three things:

  • You haven’t updated in a few months and I’m assuming your blog is dead
  • I’ve never heard of you.
  • I’ve been too lazy to add you to my Reader account.

If you’re a cocktail or spirits blogger, you want on this blogroll, and you’ve updated since, oh, October or so, drop me a comment here and I’ll try to add you.

13 thoughts on “Blogroll + Google Reader + WordPress = Easy!

  1. that is a clever way of dynamically updating your blogroll.
    i was doing something similar but because of the amount of requests i was getting i made a post category for links and blogrolls and took advantage of the post-via-email feature in wordpress, so when a user submits a link exchange on my site it gets saved as a draft in my wordpress so i can review it prior to pulishing.

  2. Tried this for a while and it worked kind of OK.

    Just kind of wished it would allow me to add comments about the blogs.

    But it seems to be broken at the moment, so am going back to plain old manually maintained HTML.

  3. My difficulty with this approach is that it requires setting up separate blogrolls for each of my 10+ tags. I’d like to share all of my Google Reader subscriptions that are public, with one simple Widget. Do you have any ideas on how to do that?

    Thanks!

  4. Michael,
    Thanks…was happy to find your instructions before spending an hour looking for this very solution. Works fine for me too…and my food blogging clients but if a user needs something more robust, I have noticed plugins for WordPress that offer a similar type reader to blog functionality.

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