WP Section Index

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WP Section Index is aimed at users who write long blog posts or pages and divide them up using headings.

The plugin retrieves the headings from the content of the Page or blog Post being viewed, adds anchors to them and creates a neat list (in a widget) that allows the user to easily navigate the content, finding either the content for which they were specifically looking, or finding the content which they would find most useful. This list is also aimed at providing the user with a list of headings, explaining what the Page or blog Post is about.

If you enjoy writing long blog posts, but fear that your users won’t read through the entire post due to it’s length, fear no more. WP Section Index will make reading those long blog posts that much easier for your users.

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23 Comments

  1. This is a good plugin. But it is missing one thing that would make it a great plugin. At the moment it produces a TOC of the current page only. So, if the post is paginated the reader cannot see a TOC of the entire post. If there were an option in the Section Index Settings of each post to force a full TOC on paginated posts, it would truly be a great plugin! (Why bother paginating a post with a TOC? For the same reason as having a TOC–another way of increasing the managebility of very long posts). MTFBWY.

    • Hi Justin,

      Thanks for your informative and valuable feedback on WP Section Index.

      I’m currently working on implementing your feedback (as it is valid and could benefit other users). This should be available in version 1.1.0. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Matty.

  2. Another (minor) issue is with the Back to top settings. At the moment it does not allow an empty value in the “Back to top” element ID. This is a shame, as no value would force the Back to top anchor to be just “#” which works in every browser to force the page back to the top (the very top), whereas all other elements IDs leave the page sitting a little below the top of the page. I am thereby surprised that this is prevented.

  3. Great that you’ve added these new functions Matty. Thanks for that. However, there appears to be a bug. Although the Section Index now shows all the post’s headings on paginated posts when the “Display section indexes for all pages of paginated posts” is set to Yes, it fails to show up at all on single page posts. So if you have some posts that are paginated and some that are not, you only get the Section Index appearing on the former and not the latter (!)

  4. Wish List for future versions of Section Index:

    1) A per post/page option to toggle the index for paginated posts (rather than just the global option)

    2) Options for indexing several headings hierarchically (e.g. h2 headings containing h3 sub-headings containing h4 sub-headings, etc.) like Wikipedia does with its TOCs

    3) Keep up the great work 🙂

    • I was just about to post the same feature requests. Both 1) and 2) ( with 2) being the biggest feature request ) would make this module truly amazing.

      Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Hi Jon,

      Are you running the latest versions of both WordPress and WP Section Index? Also, does the page you’re viewing have section headings? If not, the widget automatically hides itself. 🙂

      Please make use of the Support Forum on WordPress.org in future for posting support queries for WP Section Index. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Matty.

  5. Hi,

    I’m trying to figure out this index widget and little luck. What html code do I use to anchor it, and how do I create a the index area? ( I am not a programmer, and do not know which div tags? to use…etc. Please help.

    Thanks,
    Kris

    • Hi Kris,

      Please follow the setup instructions provided when the plugin is activated, as well as the `readme.txt` file provided with the plugin. 🙂

      Please do the following:

      1. In a page or blog post, separate your content with various headings that use the “Heading 3” tags (type each heading, then highlight each and select “Heading 3” from the WYSIWYG Editor).
      2. After saving this page/post, visit the “Settings -> Section Index” screen and setup the plugin to use “Heading 3” and be enabled on all pages and posts.
      3. Update these settings and then move to the “Appearance -> Widgets” screen. Here, please drag the “Section Index” widget into one of your sidebars, making sure it’s a sidebar that’s visible on the page/post you edited in step 1.

      And you’re set! The section index widget should now display on the page/post you edited in step 1, as it found headings with which to generate the index. 🙂

      I hope this clarifies things somewhat. 🙂

      Thanks and regards,
      Matty.

  6. This maybe a very dumb question, but I’m not an WP expert.
    What is the Heading Tag drop down in the Section Index Settings for?

    I’ve read the duplicate help in the readme and website, but it does not explain the purpose of the settings.

    • Hi Billy,

      The “Heading Tag” select box is for specifying which XHTML heading tag (h1 – h6) is used to determine the sections of your page or post. For example, you’d write your post and, when specifying the headings for the various areas, you’d assign a particular heading XHTML tag to this (this can be done in the WordPress Visual Editor as well). If you, for example, create your headings using h3 tags, you’d then specify “Heading 3” in the “Heading Tag” select box under the WP Section Index settings. This would then create the section index from all h3 tags in the post being viewed.

      I hope this helps. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Matty.

  7. Love this plugin!! In a future version, it would be awesome if you would add the ability to pull a hierarchy of multiple headers (h1, h2, h3, etc.).

  8. Hey Matt,

    Just been evaluating your Section Index plugin for a project, looks like the best of the bunch, by a stretch!

    Wondering:

    1. ) Why noindex, nofollow the internal anchor links? The changelogs state, it might interfere with SEO…. Is this focused at people that don’t use relevant, keyword optimised headings? Maybe I’m missing something? Are Rich Jump to links in Google affected I wonder?

    2. ) Surely the anchor should be placed inside the heading tags, unless there is a bug, the
      is appearing above the Heading tag. As far as I’m aware google’s recommendation is the named anchor inside the heading tags. Again hope I’m not missing anything.

    You can thank Yoast for my knowledge on the subject: http://yoast.com/jump-to-snippets-optimization/

    Ben

    • Hi Ben,

      Thanks for your kind words and queries about WP Section Index. 🙂 Please see my responses below:

      1. The links have been noindex’ed and nofollow’ed as I figured it redundant to have links that linked to the current page (as you’re already there). A point here could be to add an option to set the noindex and nofollow status of these links.

      2. Are you referring to the “back to top” links? If so, these are placed above the headings as they have no direct relation to the text in the heading tags. Once again, this could be something modified via a plugin option. This would, however, creep into the plugin’s logic, which is designed to work with the tags as they are assigned (ie: it works with the “back to top” link placement to help create the section index itself). 🙂

      Thanks again, Ben. Your kind words and feedback are greatly appreciatd. 🙂

      Cheers,
      Matty.

  9. Hey Matty,

    Thanks for the response.
    1) Option to set the noindex and nofollow status would be great. I am fairly sure you would want # links followed to encourage google Jump to: links in Serps.

    2) Ah, actually I was referring to the placement of the target anchor, which the script places above each heading as a target. Sorry I was not clear.
    i.e. currently
    title .
    Google’s recommendation apparently seems to be to nest the anchor element inside the heading tag. i.e.
    heading .
    I don’t think this is a biggy tho.

    Also, in case you hadn’t seen this edge case, jQuery ScrollTo is having an issue with the produced hash links encoded with a *&* in the title. I guess i’ll look at look to regex special characters out of the #link, Will post the results if you like.

    Thanks!
    Ben

  10. Thanks for a great plugin.

    My wish would be to have this plugin also working as a function, so I could put it in any part of the article, an not only in the widget, putting a function directly in the theme template.

    Thanks again.

  11. Feedback on plug-in. (Trouble Shooting Advice for those using “Page Links To” with Index Section Plug-in.)

    The “Page Links To” word press plug-in is incompatible with the Section Index plug-in’s cleaning process. If you have created “Page Links To” redirects with the “Page Links To” plug-in so that pages link to non-wordpress links, when you run Section Index plug-in’s cleaning process, it will wipe out all the redirects “Page Links To” uses causing a redundancy loop that disables the live version of your wordpress website.

    This is not corrected after restoring the MYSQL database from a back-up. (Your encouraged to create a back-up before running the cleaning process.

    If this happens, the solution is to deactivate the “Page Links To” and Index Solutions Plug-in’s, which will restore you wordpress to the prior state of using the two plug-ins.

Webmentions

  • A change of scenery and why I try not to write draft posts | matty.co.za 13th November, 2012

    […] bit of techie stuff (let’s get it over with, shall we?). Over the week­end past, I released the WP Section Index WordPress plu­gin. Check it out and let me know what you think and how it works […]