Site Changes

under-construction.gifInstead of writing a (hopefully) informative post I’ve spent this morning coding, installing third party plugins and generally tweaking the Self Made Minds site. So this post is more about the changes that you can (and cannot) see.

Comments and Commentators Links
After fair bit of feedback on this post, on whether using keywords in names looks spammy I’ve modified the comment system and added a Title field. This will be used as the anchor text on both the comment title and list on the sidebar.

If the title field is set the comment will appear for example as

Martin of Community Building Blog

I’m sure none of our regular readers will abuse this but please use a bit of common sense with what anchor text you want to be associated with.

We now have a sitemap, this is mainly to help with indexing but is also useful if you want to quickly skim done all post titles in any particular category.

Related Posts
At the end of each post there are now links to 5 related posts (well what mySQL think is related), this should also aid in indexing and help interested readers find related info.

Supplemental Results
We’ve not been all that interested in SE traffic in the early days of the site (perhaps wrongly) and we now have a fair few pages in Googles supplemental index. This is a common WordPress problem so we’ve implemented a robots.txt file to prevent Google indexing pages that are purely duplicate content and are of little value in themselves.

Thanks to Not So Boring Life and for the great info and tips about this.

Normally posting will resume tomorrow :)

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. Thanks for using me as the example 😉

    If I change my name and add a title instead, will that not mean I am starting from scratch in order to get on the ‘Top Commentators’ list?

    That doesn’t bother me as I comment to get involved and share ideas and opinions, rather than to get my name on a list!

    - Martin Reed

    • Yeah if you change your name you’ll be starting again. It uses names and emails for uniqueness, so change either and that’s a new identity, thinking about it just using the email address could work, I’ll see how the current implementation goes and may tweak in the future.

      • Have you manually updated the older posts by some of the users as I see Matthew and Jays posts that were made before this update have changed to the new title and name style?

  2. Nice work Al, I like the related posts just as a feature in itself.

    When I go to the sitemap there is a link to Page 2 there that doesn’t actually lead to a new page I think?

    • I see the same. It appears that both pages 1 and 2 are identical with just the URL being slightly different.

    • It looks like the plugin I used can’t cope with permalinks very well, which is odd as it has all the right options there. I’ve upped the number of posts shown for now and will debug it when we get close.

  3. I like the idea with the comments.

    I introduced a robots.txt file a few months back after a huge drop to traffic in Jan. It took about a month to recover. I then used another after reading that post you refered to on not so boring life to hopefully get rid of the final duplicates.

  4. Great modification of the comments system! This should be standard on WordPress.

  5. I like the related posts thing, can someone point me to the details of how to modify wordpress to show that?

  6. The link in the top commentators for me links to a site I’ve never heard of, is it picking up the link from my name rather than my email address as I see the link goes to a site that another carl probably owns.

  7. Nice changes - I have done something similar couple weeks ago and I’m pretty sure - it works great.

  8. Love the new comments feature.

    Do you have a URLs for the plugins you used?

  9. Cool stuff here

    I’ll be doing like what you did soon to my blog

    Nice one Al

  10. I wish you would get rid of the second row of adds.

  11. hey Al, got one question for you.

    I have that tool that translates my pages in many languages, but as a result many of these pages go into Google’s suplemental results. Should i worry about this? Use the robots.txt to disallow the bot to crawl those pages anymore (although i’m not sure this can be done)? But in this case, i would loose some of the pages i get good results in Google… So, do you have any advice for me? 10x

    • I’d be tempted to lose the supplemental pages if you can but if they are getting traffic then you still want them indexed IMO. Scott and I are do a bit of a test in this area at the moment so I’ll post our results in the future (not sure when as it depends how the test goes).

  12. Al, did you hack the commentors site name part yourself? Or did you use a plugin?



  13. Any chance of sharing the code or hack Al? 😉

    • It’s not really ready for public release as it’s a combination of a custom plugin and theme hacking, but if you’re really interested in using it let me know and I’ll send you some instructions.

      • Hi Al,

        I’m more than happy hacking code and themes, so if you would’nt mind sending me some instructions that would be great. You have my email 😉



  1. […] from Self Made Minds recently made some changes to his blog - although those who submit a comment don’t currently get a full link back in return, those […]

Leave a Reply