Get Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn Share Counts for WordPress

I’ve been meaning to add a share counter to posts on Lawyerist for a while now, and I finally sat down to figure it out. There are plugins for this, of course, but I wanted something fast and simple that I could place and style just the way I want it.

I found lots of information out there, but a lot of it is outdated, incomplete, or just doesn’t work. After some trial and error, I figured out a simple solution that works. Since I didn’t a copy-and-paste guide anywhere else, here it is.

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Roll Your Own Dropbox with BitTorrent Sync on Amazon EC2

File sync is awesome. Without the ability to get at my files on all my computers (4, currently), I don’t know how I would function. That said, I’m not super-fired-up about Dropbox’s security and privacy practices (or Google Drive’s, for that matter), particularly in light of recent news.

So I got pretty excited when I learned about BitTorrent Sync, software that syncs your files without requiring you to give the key to those files to a company like Dropbox or Google. Like its namesake, BitTorrent Sync is decentralized. It syncs files between the computers you install it on, and does not rely on any central server.

Unfortunately, the lack of a central server is also a downside. If you have a desktop and laptop, for example, BitTorrent Sync will only sync up your files when both of your computers are turned on and connected to the Internet. That’s not a problem with Dropbox, because Dropbox’s servers keep your files synced up all the time, even if your computers are never connected to the Internet at the same time. But if you got BitTorrent Sync running on your own server, you could get this same functionality.

That’s why I figured out how to install BitTorrent Sync on an Amazon EC2 server. Here’s how I did it (with crucial help from the friendly folks on #ubuntu-server at freenode).

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Use IFTTT + Buffer to Update All Your Social Media Profiles

There are a bunch of options for updating multiple social media profiles at the same time. Many of the best ones cost money, and many of the free ones don’t work all that well.

I need a way to update Lawyerist‘s Twitter feed, Facebook page, LinkedIn group, and Google+ page with each new post. I was using a hodgepodge of options for a long time, including FeedBurner for Twitter, Twitterfeed for the Facebook page, and updating the LinkedIn group and Google+ page manually. This worked, but not well. I couldn’t always get LinkedIn and Google+ updated on time, and Twitterfeed recently stopped updating our Facebook page altogether. Plus, our analytics were spread all over the place.

The other day, I was poking around in my IFTTT and Buffer accounts, and I think I finally found a pretty-close-to-perfect solution.

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Set Up Domain Mapping When Your WordPress Multisite Network is on a Subdomain or in a Subdirectory

If you set up a WordPress Multisite Network on a server with other websites on it (for example, Lawyerist Sites is hosted on the Lawyerist server, so there are a number of directories on the server. If your network is set up similarly, you will probably get frustrated trying to set up domain mapping according to the “standard” tutorial by Otto on WordPress.

Here are a few problems I solved on the way to getting domain mapping working on Lawyerist Sites.

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Build Your Own WordPress Dashboard Widget for Any RSS Feed

It’s easy to add your own dashboard widget to WordPress, and one of the easiest to widgets to add is one that displays recent updates from any RSS feed. I put together the above widget for a project I am working on so we can promote Lawyerist posts to users.

Here’s what goes into the theme’s functions.php (or custom_functions.php, in the case of Thesis) file:

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Make Polldaddy Comment Ratings Work with Thesis

The Polldaddy Polls & Ratings WordPress plugin is an easy way to enable readers to rate comments, either on a 5-star scale, or “Nero”-style thumbs up or down. However, it won’t work for adding ratings to comments if you use Thesis.

Fortunately, it is an easy fix. Just go to Plugins > Editor, then select the Polldaddy Polls & Ratings plugin from the drop-down menu and click the Select button. Below Plugin Files, click on the polldaddy/rating.php link. Use Ctrl+F to search for comment_text, which should take you to this line:

add_filter( 'comment_text', 'polldaddy_show_rating_comments', 50 );

Just replace it with this line:

add_filter( 'thesis_comment_text', 'polldaddy_show_rating_comments', 50 );

Click the Update File button, and your ratings should show up. Just remember that you will have to update this any time the Polldaddy Polls & Ratings Plugin gets updated.

Numbered Page Navigation for WordPress with Thesis 1.8

I wanted to share my code for numbered page navigation in Thesis. I started with a numbered pages tutorial that no longer exists, but wound up modifying it to add smart first/last and prev/next buttons.

You can see it in action on Caveat Emptor, Lawyerist, and Bitter Lawyer.

Here is what to plug into your custom.css file:

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