Exploring WordPress Reader Part 2 – Conversations, Likes, and More

This is part 2 of a pseudo tutorial on the use of the WordPress Reader. If you missed Part 1, you can find it HERE.

Today I will introduce you to some other helpful features in Reader. Hopefully, these tools will help you organize even further and allow you to be more efficient with your time.

Conversations – When you open the conversations on the left side of the screen, WordPress will open your recent posts in the right column and any comments or ‘conversations’ related to that post. Here you can respond to commenters much like you can when you click on the notifications bell. If you click on the ellipsis (…) in the upper right hand corner you will open options to 1) follow or unfollow the conversation, 2)  visit the post (where you can also reply to comments, and 3) edit the post (in the block editor).

Conversations Window in Reader

Likes – This window will show all the posts you have ‘liked’. You again have the option to click the ellipsis (…) and open the menu to 1) follow or unfollow the site and/or the conversation, 2) visit the post, 3) block the site, and 4) report the post. You can also visit, share, comment and like (or unlike) the post at the bottom of each displayed post.

Lists – The WordPress documentation says this feature does not work, but it works for me. Lists are a way to gather similar posts together. For example, if you have a group of bloggers in one country, you could group them together. Likewise, if you follow bloggers that share recipes, you might want those grouped together. Sometimes you might just want to peruse bloggers that only post beautiful photographs. Those could be grouped together. For purposes of this demonstration, I combined a group of bloggers from Europe and a group of bloggers who write about music. When creating the list, WordPress often recognizes the name of the blog you wish to add if it is a WordPress site you follow. This makes compiling the list easy

To create a list, you must first create the list itself, then add the blogs as desired.

Creating the List
Select the list, then click on the gear to add sites
Adding sites to the list

Tags – This is the place you can organize blogs associated with a specific tag. For example, I enjoy Stream of Consciousness Saturday, Song Lyric Sunday, and our own Throwback Thursdays posts. You might be a member of a weekly writing prompt or maybe like to join in on a link party. This is the place to gather all those similar posts together based on the tags used in the post. If want to unfollow a tag, just click on the ‘following tag’ in the upper right hand corner (circled in yellow in the image that follows). To follow a tag, simply enter it in the box at the bottom of the left column of the page.

Adding a tag to follow

Have fun exploring reader and getting your daily blog reading a little more organized and enjoyable.


Exploring WordPress Reader Part 1 – Followed Sites

If you are like me, you may find it hard to keep up with all your favorite blogs. Wouldn’t it be nice to organize all those blogs so they weren’t all crashing together in Reader? That’s exactly what Reader is designed to do so let’s explore.

What is the WordPress reader? Simply, it is an aggregator – a place where you can pull all the blogs you follow (non-Wordpress sites, too) together in one convenient location.

When you first click on the reader tab, you are taken immediately to all the blogs you follow. They will be sorted in the order in which they were published, the post showing at the top the most recent.

Reader view – Followed Sites

From here you have several choices. Most bloggers are familiar with reading comments by clicking on the notifications bell at the top right hand of the screen – but there is more.

Options within Followed Blog View of Reader

Followed Sites: If you click on ‘Followed Sites’ on the left menu, it will open and show you the titles of the blogs you follow and the time their last post was published. If you click on the blog name, the reader view will change and show you all the reent posts for that specific blog.

Detail of a specific site followed

Inside the circle at the top right hand corner of the image you will see three items 1) the number of followers the blog has, 2) indicator you are following the blog (if you click on it, you will unfollow the blog), and 3) settings (if you expand this box you will get all the options for notifications).

    Notification Settings

Search – From the “Search Bar” you can search for a specific word, phrase, or name. I searched for fellow blogger Fandango and the view now shifts to show the results of my search.

Results of a Search in Reader

The results will show both posts (left column) and sites (right column) that contain the search term. In the site column, you will also see the box that indicates if it is a site you follow (followed sites are green, unfollowed sites are blue).

Manage – Click this red/pink button to manage or add sites you follow. In the search box you can either enter the URL of a site you wish to follow or search for an existing site. This box is very important if you wish to add non-WordPress sites to your reader. You will not be able to comment on those sites from Reader, but you can add them. You will note in the following image, there are no notification settings for non-WordPress sites.

If you click on the ellipses (… above the sites you follow) you can export your list of followed sites.)

Manage Reader sites

Help – At the bottom right of the reader, you will see a circle with a blue question mark. If you click on the question mark, it will open the help screens for reader. The question mark will change to an ‘X’ which you will use to close the help screens.

Reader Help Screens

There are a few other things to note. From within Reader, at the top right of the page there are four icons. 1) Write – you can compose a post from here but it will be the block editor), 2) Number of draft posts you have you can also edit from here, 3) Your profile photo when clicked opens your WordPress profile, and 4) Notification bell indicating any comments, likes, etc. waiting to be read.

Reader Icons

Whew! That was a lot. But there is so much more to learn about the Reader. Come back tomorrow and learn about Conversations, Likes, Lists, and Tags!