INN Labs is pleased to announce an important update to the Link Roundups plugin!
If you run a daily or weekly newsletter collecting headlines from around the state, region, or within a particular industry, the Link Roundups plugin will make it easier to build and feed your aggregation posts into MailChimp.
The Link Roundups plugin helps editors aggregate links from around the web and save them in WordPress as “Saved Links”. You can publish these curated links in a Link Roundup (more below), display Saved Links and Link Roundups in widgets and posts in your WordPress site, or push Link Roundups directly to subscribers via MailChimp. It's designed to replace scattered link-gathering workflows that may span email, Slack, Google Docs and spreadsheets and streamlines collaborations between different staffers.
Why might you want to use this plugin? Here are a few reasons:
- It creates a single destination for collecting links and metadata
- On sites that publish infrequently, it provides recently published (curated) content for your readers
- Weekly roundup newsletters or posts are a great way to recap your own site's coverage and build and diversify your audience, which can increase donations
The central function of the Link Roundups plugin is the Saved Link. It's a way of storing links in your WordPress database, alongside metadata such as the link's title, source site, and your description of the link's contents.
Save to Site Bookmarklet
When WordPress 4.9 removed the "Press This" functionality, this plugin's bookmarklet broke. This release's updates to the Saved Links functionality include a renewal of the "Save to Site" bookmarklet, based off of the canonical Press This plugin's functions. If your site has the WordPress-maintained Press This plugin active, your site users will be able to generate new bookmarklets. We include instructions on how to use the bookmarklet in the latest release.
Once you've accumulated a few Saved Links, you can display them on your site using the Saved Links Widget or start to create Link Roundups (see next).
Saved Links Widget
Common uses of this widget include "coverage from around the state" or "recommended reads" or "from our partners" links.
It's a good way to point your to expert coverage from newsrooms you partner with. With the ability to sort Saved Links by tag, you can easily filter a widget to only show a selection of all the links saved on your site. Here's how Energy News Network uses the widget:
Link Roundups are one of the best ways to present Saved Links to your readers. Collect links with Saved Links, then create a Link Roundup post with the week's curated links. The person who assembles the Link Roundup doesn't have to deal with messy cut-and-paste formatting or composing blurbs — when your users create Saved Links, they're already adding headlines, blurbs, and sources.
Add some opening and closing text, and you're most of the way to having composed a morning or weekly news roundup.
Link Roundups are a custom post type with all the Classic Editor tools and an easy interface for creating lists of Saved Links. As a separate post type, they can be integrated into your site's standard lists of posts or kept separate in their own taxonomies. You don't have to integrate the roundups with your standard posts flow; it's why we provide a Link Roundups widget to fulfill your widget area needs.
Link Roundups don't have to stay on your site. If you configure your site to connect to the MailChimp API and create a newsletter template with editable content areas, you can send a Link Roundup directly to MailChimp from WordPress.
From the Link Roundup editor, you can choose a mailing list, and create MailChimp campaign drafts, send test emails, and send drafted campaigns directly. If you'd rather open a draft campaign in MailChimp to finalize the copy, there's a handy link to your draft campaign.
For more information about how the plugin works, see the Largo guide for administrators, the plugin's documentation on GitHub, or drop by one of our weekly open office hours sessions with your questions. You can also reach us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you already have the Link Roundups plugin installed, keep an eye out for an update notice in your WordPress dashboard. If you'd like to install it, download it from the WordPress.org plugin repository or through your site dashboard's plugin page.
This update was funded in part by Energy News Network and Fresh Energy, with additional funding thanks to the generous support of the Democracy Fund, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Fund, Open Society Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.