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September 14, 2009
7:06 pm

‘WordPress plugin: Add side notes to your blog!’

After having redesigned my website I was searching for a plug-in that provides the possibility to simply add some side notes to my blog. Unfortunately I haven’t found one. So I decided to write it on my own – my first WordPress plug-in called “Sidenotes”.

Today I’m glad to announce the “Sidenotes” plug-in I’ve been working on for quite some time. After some testing and localization work I think it’s ready to be released!

Let’s make some words about this plug-in: My overall goal during development was: Keep it simple and don’t lose sight of the primary goal! I didn’t want to code something that becomes complex and user-unfriendly after a while. Sidenotes should provide the possibility to easily add “advanced links”, showing a title, a brief description of the link target and the date the user has posted the note. Similar to your link list or blog roll, side notes can be displayed e.g. in your sidebar – of course providing an additional RSS feed for easy syndication.

See the result at the bottom of my homepage! If you have any ideas, problems or suggestions, just drop me a note!

Download latest “Sidenotes” release from WordPress Plugin Directory

  • Like many other WordPress plug-ins “Sidenotes” can be easily installed by copying the “sidenotes”-folder to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  • Copy sidenotes-rss.php from your /wp-content/plugins/ directory to your root directory (where you can also find files like wp-app.php, wp-atom.php,…) (since 1.0.1 not neccessary anymore)
  • Activate the plug-in through the “Plugins” menu in your WordPress admin panel and do some additional setup in the “Settings” menu if you want.
  • Write your first side note within the “Tools” menu
  • Place get_sidenotes() somewhere in your code
  1. I want to show my sidenotes in a list – as it is defined by default.
    You have to enclose your function call, e.g. <?php get_sidenotes() ?> with <ul> tags
  2. Is there a demo of the plugin?
    Yes of course! Just visit my homepage
Change log

2009-09-14, v0.9
Initial version

2009-09-21, v0.9.1
Bug Fix: Cyrillic language support

2009-09-22, v0.9.2
Bug Fix: Display date / time in local language

2009-09-24, v.0.9.3
New feature: Output all (or specific number of) Sidenotes via <?php get_sidenotes_archives() ?>

2011-02-09, v1.0.0
Bug Fix: Update database structure from timestamp to datetime to correctly display date / time
Bug Fix: Output of side notes entries in correct order
Bug Fix: Output of side notes in sidenotes-rss.php – please update file in your root-directory!

2011-02-09, v1.0.1
New Feature: Sidenotes RSS feed reworked to better support RSS readers (e.g. avoid HTTP 404 errors). Do NOT copy sidenotes-rss.php out of plugin-directory. This is not neccessary anymore.


  1. Domus
    September 21, 2009
    8:06 am

    Hi! Posh plugin!
    I am also looking for a long time something like this but I can not find. Meet your plug-in and very happy, but … Your plugin does not work with Cyrillic fonts. If the entry is made in Russian – it can not be read. This problem is solved or can be difficult to hope for? Thank you!

  2. Stephan
    September 21, 2009
    8:13 pm

    Domus, thanks for the hint! I’ve updated the plugin to support cyrillic languages now. Drop me a short note if it works. Thanks!

  3. Domus
    September 22, 2009
    1:06 am

    Stephan, I am pleasantly surprised by such operational work :) Yes, now everything works fine.
    It is a pity that the date is not tied to the locale and displayed in different languages, but that’s little things :)
    Thanks again!

  4. Lawrence Rolograaf
    September 22, 2009
    8:37 am

    I like the idea even if you put the sidenotes at the bottom

    My question: you only show 4 and post a new everytime you see a nice link? were are the old ones, can you also put the archives on a page?

    Lawrence Rolograaf

  5. Stephan
    September 22, 2009
    10:27 am

    Domus, displaying date / time in local language should now work with version 0.9.2.

  6. Stephan
    September 22, 2009
    11:11 am

    Lawrence, it would be possible (and not that much effort) to call all available sidenotes via e.g. get_sitenotes_archive(). Is that what you would expect?

  7. Lawrence Rolograaf
    September 22, 2009
    6:10 pm

    Yes, that would be great, so I could make a special Sidenotes page, with a small link on the homepage directing to earlier tips.

    BTW, I like it KISS as you described above, so only if you think it is valuable enough!

  8. Domus
    September 23, 2009
    7:15 am

    Hello Stephan!
    Pleasant affects the speed with which you react to the wishes :) All works fine.
    Thank you very much!

  9. Domus
    September 23, 2009
    11:48 pm

    Hello Stephan!
    Today I have received from readers of my blog post, about that in IE design is divided into several parts shows widgets properly. I checked as shown in Fire Fox 3.5.3 and Opera 10 – all shows excellent – all the widgets visible. Then he began to look at Internet Explorer 8 and really shows all the errors and because of the widget with Sidenote. I disabled the widget – everything is showing normal. As I understand there is an error in the correct name is displayed in a widget IE. I can send a screenshot to show yourself or you can look at my blog :) Please help with this problems the.

  10. Stephan
    September 24, 2009
    4:17 pm

    Domus, it sounds like a CSS problem (?) The output of the side notes can individually be formatted via CSS. Don’t forget to enclose your <?php get_sidenotes() ?> within a <ul> tag. Should look like this:
    <?php get_sidenotes() ?>

  11. Domus
    September 24, 2009
    6:30 pm

    Yes, indeed, it helped! I do not have the skills to work with code, so he do this without your help could not ever :)
    Thank you very much!

  12. Lawrence Rolograaf
    September 24, 2009
    8:17 pm

    Thanks for the update! archives-function does work (as expected). Now I need to do some styling, umpf…

    Sidenotes on my Homepage
    (only two at the moment and also at the bottom cause I stole some styling here…)
    Unstyled Page with Sidenote archives

  13. Josh
    October 27, 2009
    12:29 am

    Is there anyway I can insert h1, h2, b, a … tags in the text of the sidenotes? Whenever I tag any word inside the text field, the tag is displayed like this tagged text.

  14. Josh
    October 29, 2009
    3:14 am

    Ok, in // Add new sidenote those htmlentities are not working well. After removing them I can format the text.

  15. Kazim
    December 8, 2009
    8:41 am

    Hi dear freind:
    I have one Question, if we nead to have a small size picture, related to the text of the note,how we should do that?
    I mean can we add a field of picture to the sidenote db and put the address of picture in cpannel of sidenote while inserting the new note?
    I know its possible, can you do that for me?

  16. kazim
    December 11, 2009
    6:20 am

    Hi dear friend:

    I have a blog, and need to have some short notes in the left side bar. I need to have a thumbnail picture just befor the description text. like this:

    …….. this is
    | | the discription
    | Pic | text of the
    …….. sidenot plugin.

    would you plz help me to do that?

  17. Cristian O. Balan
    December 12, 2009
    3:16 pm

    Must be a nice idea to can see a demo in that page ;)

  18. Cristian O. Balan
    December 12, 2009
    3:19 pm

    Ok, I see now in the home page, sorry ;)

  19. admin
    February 5, 2010
    2:17 am

    i know nothing at all about coding or programming so i would appreciate some help as i really like your plugin. what do i do if i want to just place the sidenotes on the sidebar? i made a text widget and just pasted get_sidenotes() in and dragged it onto the sidebar, but that didn’t work…

    some help would be much appreciated!

  20. Tóth József
    March 29, 2010
    12:12 pm

    Hi there!
    The Sidenotes plugin is great, but it looks like it doesn’t support the correct time with custom date format, like: Y. F j., H:i, when some timezone is set (eg. GMT+2). It displays the GMT time only. I want to publish more than one sidenote a day, so the time is essential for this. Is there a way to fix this? As for now, I hacked the sidenotes.php to use the normal php date() function to convert the timestamp on line 117.

  21. Stephan
    March 31, 2010
    8:37 pm

    Hi Toth! Thanks for feedback. I will consider this issue for the next plugin update. Hope I can release it soon!
    Update: Toth, currently I’m already using date_i18n for displaying localized date and time. Could you tell me how you temporarily fixed this issue? Just drop me a line via email.

  22. Пятигорец
    April 17, 2010
    8:17 pm

    Hello Stephan!
    I would like to ask you whether you can make recordings were made directly in the widget (if authorized by the administrator), not to go to the admin panel just because of this.
    I put your plugin on my other blog and visited such a thought. Just made you an offer)))

  23. max275
    April 4, 2011
    8:44 pm

    Is there any chance to add possibility of postponed notes?

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