Tag Archives: Happiness Today

Happiness Today is a vocal creation from Sc0tt, creator of PodsCMS. Cool song that is not, never has been, and never will be about saying Hello to Dolly.

WordPress Plugin: Promotion Tool

Many of you looking for a WordPress plugin promotion tool have stumbled across my Happiness Today plugin.

You seem disappointed that the next version is where the real promotion potential lies, but the good news is that you do not need to wait.

If you have downloaded and activated Happiness Today, then you already have a tool for displaying random (or selected) promotion messages in your WordPress posts, pages or sidebar.

The main appeal of Pods is the way it makes extending the WordPress database so easy. But stored data is of little use if you cannot present it to your visitors. My first release of Happiness Today was just to prove that, like Hello Dolly does for standard WordPress, it is very easy to build a basic plugin. That basic plugin instantly demonstrates how Pods stores and displays data. In keeping with the Hello Dolly tradition, I displayed random lyrics in the Admin area – but the real life potential was always to be able to produce something simple yet useful, that can display random promotion messages to visitors.

Those promotional features are included in the current release, just not obvious. Here’s how to use Pods inbuilt features to get more from the Happiness Today plugin. Start your marketing campaign now. Continue reading

Pods WordPress Plugins Double Overnight

Today, the number of WordPress Pods plugins in the plugin database doubled.

My Happiness Today plugin release joins the Pods UI plugin to double the number of examples of Pods CMS use.

Though this is released as a teaching tool, you should not assume it is perfect. Though it works perfectly, there are a few rough edges in the implementation. But that is the point of Open Source tools – we can improve all aspects of Happiness Today, collectively.

I like the idea of the Hello Dolly plugin as a teaching tool. Though it is criticized for it’s limited usefulness, the WordPress developers have defended it, by rightly explaining:

I think Hello Dolly is a good little example plugin. Users can turn it on, see that it does something, turn it off, see that it doesn’t do it anymore. Plugin functionality exemplified.

This is perfectly true, and useful for novice WordPress users who want to understand what a plugin is, without being intimidated by reams of PHP code. But Pods developers are a different breed. We have varying PHP & HTML skills, but we are bound by a common desire to learn and extend WordPress functionality.

So Happiness Today goes beyond the remit of Hello Dolly, and achieves useful outcomes. Using the simple Pods data edit screens, you can transform Hello Dolly into a client support tool, or promotion tool for any campaign where short messages to WordPress website builders are going to win you a click or three.

Simple Pods WordPress Plugin Output

Simple Pods WordPress Plugin Output

Though I have used plain text in the distributed plugin, the data is stored as rich text, so you can easily include images and hyperlinks in the message display. This is in addition to the included customizable link buttons. After editing the data files with whatever text you need, you can easily import it as a Pods Package for your client sites.

I prepared the plugin in minutes using the Pods Plugin Builder that is the real goal of this project. In fact, most of the time is spent writing the readme.txt file that is generated as part of the plugin distribution package. That tool is still under development, but when available, it will make distribution of your own version of Happiness Today, or any other Pods Package, a very simple process.

Happiness Today Next Steps

Please contribute ideas to the wishlist. Also, if you are a superb PHP programmer, I would love to here your thoughts on code improvement.

I would also like to you to rate the Happiness Today Pods WordPress plugin, but if you cannot give it a 5 star, at least give me the opportunity to fix any problems you have before you vote.

WordPress Database With Pods Wings

I start my detailed look at the anatomy of our WordPress Pods plugins by showing you how Pods CMS makes the WordPress database fly.

Though we are all working with data at the heart of the WordPress database, we often take it for granted.

But data drives our content, our navigation, our presentation, our whole website.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea if we managed it properly?

I must confess, I love data. Actually, that’s as perverted as loving money – I actually love what can be done with data, rather than data itself. Structured and handled properly, application development, from the most basic WordPress plugin to a full blown web application becomes much more scalable and easier to manage if we get the data right.

WordPress Database With Pods

WordPress Database With Pods (click image for full size)

Our sample project Happiness Today, relies on data, just as it’s inspiration, Hello Dolly does. Whereas Hello Dolly data, the song lyrics, are hard-coded in the plugin, Happiness Today data is put where it belongs – in the WordPress database.

Each Pods project starts with data. This is the basic building block, known simply as a Pod. In complex applications, the hard part is learning how to structure data, especially if it needs to be split into different Pods.

Our example is very simple – every record in the Pod is just a lyric from the song. Experience tells me that I need keys to data in databases. In this case I use a simple line number identifier, which allows me to sort the records should I wish to output the whole song.

It is a good habit to always think of record keys when designing a Pod, or any other database. Pods helps us here by always creating a field called name, which will always uniquely identify records. With the Pod created, we simply need to add the text to each record, which we do with the standard Pods CMS record editing screens.

Job done, except that we need to get the data out. Continue reading

WordPress Pods Projects Going For A Song

When I introduced my WordPress Pods Plugin Builder yesterday, I hinted at an example project to test the builder with.

I can reveal that this will be an homage to the ubiquitous Hello Dolly plugin – with some extras, and some Pods magic.

Just to remind you. I love Pods as it is intended to be used – a Content Management System that extends WordPress Pages and Posts to allow developers to provide new content styles. This is extremely important to me as I develop new tools for webmasters, and new web applications to extend my health sites.

But for the moment, I’m hooked (pun intended) on using Pods to hook rapidly developed packages into WordPress as plugins. This series of articles explains the Pods features used to create WordPress plugin files complete with readme.txt. WordPress explains what a plugin is by way of the Hello Dolly example. In a similar way, I needed a very simple plugin application to test and demonstrate my WordPress Pods Plugin Builder.

Enter Soft Charisma, the music company run by Scott Kingsley Clark, one of Pods lead developers. Scott has written the perfect song to complement Hello Dolly – Think Of Happiness Today.

Happiness Today Plugin

Happiness Today Plugin - click for large size

My plugin, Happiness Today, displays random lyrics from the song on the admin pages. So far, so Hello Dolly, but there are extras: Continue reading