Screenshot 2020-08-05 09.24.50

Meet the “Star the Post” Feature

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The Star the Post Animation – In March, I set out to refresh the Heart of a Giant blog that I had been running for close to 3 years. I teamed up with a few friends to guide me through the process. I opted for a cleaner and more modern theme to accommodate the new design and a handful of plugins for a variety of new features. One of the new features I wanted to add was The Star the Post Animation which I saw on Seth Godin’s marketing blog, one of the most popular blogs on the Internet. We use the data from the star counts to rank blog posts.

The feature works like an applause button. It allows visitors on the blog to give positive feedback on posts that resonate with them. I worked with a web designer to design and install the feature on the site. Also, we wanted to keep it quite simple to align with the rest of the design, so we opted for a “pop” animation.

Star anim 2 (by Noah Grubb)

The star count updates in semi-real time using the WordPress heartbeat API. Every 15sec, a post receives the updated count from the server and displays that. But when the user clicks on the button, the count is updated immediately when s/he presses the button, then the update is sent to the server. This way we can display the accurate count but also keep the experience snappy for our users.

The hope is that visitors who “star” a post are more likely to share the post on social media or forward to link. We have social media icons on the same line as the star animation.

So, do you like this new feature? Which posts deserve your stars? I am looking forward to discovering which posts are your favorites.

As always, thank you.

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