SOUP – A Plugin to Show Off your Upcoming Posts

Showing your upcoming posts is a great way of securing more subscribers

In January this year, I wrote about how you could add some code to your sidebar to display a list of your upcoming posts (ones that are scheduled to post in the future). The intent is to whet the appetite of your readers so that they’ll subscribe to your RSS feed or your newsletter.

Well now I’ve taken it a step further and created a plugin which will do all of that for you. Writing a plugin was something I’d wanted to do for some time and since I already had a need for it, creating this widget seemed like a good starting point.

I’ve started out simple – there are just two options for the widget; how many upcoming posts to display and what the title of the sidebar widget should be.

The plugin is now available in the official WordPress plugin directory (download SOUP – Show Off Upcoming Posts) and I invite you to install it and provide feedback on any errors you encountered, or what you would like to see added to future versions.

There will be some tutorials coming in the near future which will touch on some of my experiences of creating a plugin and getting it on to the WordPress directory.

So, did you try it out? What did you like and not like? What would you like to see in future versions?

This plugin has been updated several times since this article was published. Please see the changelog for the latest updates.
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29 thoughts on “SOUP – A Plugin to Show Off your Upcoming Posts”

  1. Sire says:

    Hey Dave, what a great idea! I don’t usually have scheduled posts, I normally write and publish all in one hit. There was that time though when I went on vacation when I had one scheduled post though ;)

    Still, it’s not all about me, I know there are heaps of people who would love this plugin which is why I’m giving this post a tweet.

    1. Thanks Sire. Yes, it depends on your writing style. I prefer to plan it out and schedule it to be released over time. So the plugin serves me well.

      Despite its inappropriateness for you, I appreciate you taking the time to let others know about it. That speaks volumes about your true intentions.

      I’ll be sure to follow your blog. That was an enjoyable read about third-party commenting systems.

      Take care

      1. Sire says:

        Always happy to help out a fellow blogger Dave, and besides I can see how your plugin would be very useful to a lot of people out there.

  2. Ramoonus says:

    What about support for custom post types?

    1. That’s an excellent idea. Would you want to pick one post type, or select several from a list of all available post types?

  3. Derya says:

    Great plugin, thank you! Would it be possible to show upcoming posts in the RSS feed? Or at the end of a post, perhaps in the style of “like this post? here’s what’s coming next…”?

    1. Yeah, that’s absolutely possible. I’m going to write a post about how to do that and I’ll post it up in the next couple of weeks or something. Subscribe to the RSS feed so that you catch it. Great idea, thanks for bringing it up.

  4. Chris says:

    Hi Dave, I am a WordPress convert this week so still new to the WP terminology but I just wanted to say what a brilliant plugin, fits perfectly the needs i thought I had when I woke up this morning. Now seeing it in action my mind has gone into overdrive…….so here is my wishlist.

    I use Dynamic Widgets so it would be nice if you could select different categories of upcoming posts to show on the different ‘pages’ so that the upcoming topics match the upcomers.

    For other people i can imagine the ability to customise the all text items and their CSS style.

    Your delivered plugin works on so many different levels, I am a Psychology student from a marketing perspective seeing this makes you think:

    1. The site update regularly, even when there are no updates
    2. The Blog owner’s busy writing
    3.

    1. Thanks Chris,

      I definitely don’t want to over-complicate it. I think that for most people, the simplistic output is what they really want. Don’t want to go too crazy for bells and whistles. Your categories idea isn’t a bad idea, but I’m not sure whether it falls in to the bells and whistles categories or not. Might have to give it some thought.

      I appreciate the descriptive commentary and thought process. Nice to read that.

      Have a good one

  5. Chris says:

    OOps got a bit excited and pressed send

    As I was saying:

    2. The Blog owner’s busy writing writing articles for me
    3. That sounds interesting……

    All good thoughts in my book.

    As a user though don’t over complicate it with too many bells as with many plugins they become a horror story to understand. A bit like FB is in my opinion.

    But congratulations and thanks

  6. astronyu says:

    The idea of showing your upcoming post is good but what if someone sees this as a chance to publish their own version of that topic before you?

    Anyway, not that I bother to race with others about the topic I wanted to publish since I’m just still a learner.

    Still, good plugin by the way.

    1. That was something that bothered me a little bit, but I guess if I had something that I really wanted to be the first to publish, I would just publish it immediately. Still, it’s something of a valid concern I suppose.

  7. Gil Namur says:

    Hi Dave,
    I run a site with about 80 authors (http://lifeasahuman.com/) and we are always scheduling stuff. I’d like to use this but was wondering if there is a way to add the author name to the list?

    Coming Soon

    Article 1 – Bob
    Article 2 name – Steve

    If so, can you let me know how?

    I’d add a reference to you at this page:
    http://lifeasahuman.com/life-as-a-human-site-enablers/

    Thanks and cheers,
    Gil

    1. Hi Gil,

      Yes, these are fairly simple additions and you’d just need to edit the plugin file, find the section where it prints the name of the article and then include the PHP tags for the author and date.

      Hope you get it going like you want

  8. Gil Namur says:

    P.S. It would be nice if it showed the scheduled date as well.

  9. Hi Dave,

    You have loads of excellent tutorials and plugins. I finally installed Tweet Old Post after seeing how you took Ileane’s advice. :) Now I’ve come across your SOUP and it got me all excited because I’ve just loaded up a bunch of posts to schedule across the next month or so.

    In a comment above, you wondered if adding categories would be considered “bells and whistles” or if folk would somehow use such a feature in a standard way. Adding in my two cents and own desire, I’d use it as standard fare. I have several series (part of the posts I mentioned earlier) that I would love to showcase for the upcoming holiday seasons. So being able to (1) use more than one showcase widget, and (2) elect to show only posts from a certain category would be extremely useful.

    I know you’re mad-busy, but if you see your way clear to do a little fiddling with this plugin, please consider adding category selection. :) (I have this installed on a client site but I could also see using it on my main site.)

    1. Hi Vernessa,

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I am indeed quite busy, but there is a simple fix that you can do yourself. Look at the code and find the section which queries the database for the posts and add a query for the catgeory by adding &cat=ID to the query, where ID is the category ID. I might consider adding this in the future, but in the near future, I’m just far too busy. I hope you’re able to figure it out!

  10. fastharry says:

    Hi Dave…also sent you an email..I have soup installed on fastharry.com and I am seeing my top 3 sticky posts in the widget…I have no other drafts pending so I am not sure why this is…

    thanks

    harry

    1. Hi Harry,

      We’ve already spoken by email, so you already know this, but I just updated the plugin (to version 1.5.1) to resolve this issue by using the ignore_sticky_posts parameter.

      Thanks!

  11. Josh Nekrep says:

    Hi Dave,

    I implemented your plugin on my website and I am very pleased with it! Thanks very much! I did experience one small issue with it, which I was able to resolve, but I thought I’d let you know. I don’t have a whole lot of knowledge of WordPress or PHP, so I kinda fumble my way through it all as I need to. Your plugin directs users to subscribe to the RSS feed, but I have replaced my default RSS feed with a Feedburner feed. I noticed that the plugin, out of the box, was still pointing to the default RSS feed.

    I was able to modify the PHP in the plugin file to point to the Feedburner feed, but I thought it might be a nice touch for future development to allow the admin to specify an alternate RSS feed. Just my 2 cents. Thanks again for a very simple and useful plugin.

    Josh

    1. Well, it depends how you redirect your feed I suppose. My feed is also redirected to FeedBurner, but it works for me, because of the way I have redirected my feed. Not sure how you’re doing it, but I’m glad that you were at least able to get it to work.

      1. Josh Nekrep says:

        Hey, thanks for your quick response. Truly, I don’t know enough about this stuff to answer that. The theme I’m using allows for some social buttons and one of them is an RSS feed. I simply changed that to the Feedburner feed I created. Until reading your response, I wasn’t even aware that I had to re-direct my feed, though now I see that the RSS feed icon in my address bar still points to the default WP RSS feed. Clearly I’ve got more learning to do yet. :P

        It is working for me now, though, so I’ll do a little more digging and learning. Again, thanks for your response, and for your time creating the plugin.

      2. Josh Nekrep says:

        Ha! A little quick googling and the first answer I found was your post here:
        https://www.doitwithwp.com/redirect-wordpress-rss-feedburner/

        Who needs Google? I should have just searched your site. :P Thanks again.

        1. Hehe yep, I have a tutorial for that ;) If you have any WordPress questions, search my site, and if you don’t see the answer, hit me up on Twitter.

  12. M. Mobley says:

    I like your plugin, however I just wanted to show the upcoming Posts. I didn’t want to have the RSS feed or newsletter feed. Could you make those things optional?

    1. That’s a request I’ve had a couple of times. I’ll consider adding them as options in a future update.

      Thanks!

  13. Mats says:

    Hi Dave, thank you for this plugin, we want to use it on our calendar site for showing visitors and participating members the planned / scheduled calendar posts (towers).

    Do plan to make a shortcode possible (with additions / options just like upcoming date) to integrate on a page?

    Cheers Mats

    1. Mats, thanks your comment. I hadn’t considered including it as a shortcode before, but that’s a good idea. If I ever get some free time, I’ll consider adding this in.

  14. Mats says:

    Thanks, that would be nice. We now implemented the plugin on our site and did some workarounds to make it look like a page (e.g. >> http://kalender.fvks.eu/en/fvks-calendar-on-the-road-2013-overview/). If you plan to update the plugin in further times you may consider please to implement more (persistent) CSS-class attributes in the soup-upcoming-posts-widget.php, so one can style the output of title, content (class exists) and other things. We could do this manually, but with an update of the plugin, the settings will disappear.

    We also tested the plugin with our workaround in different browsers. While on Firefox, IE and Camino the “no-bullets”-class (we changed the attributes to >> bullets / disc) shows what we want it to display, on Safari it doesn’t. You may have an idea (the “! important” tag is still there)?

    Mats

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