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.

WordPress Pods Presentation Features

In the plugin, I present the messages via a Pods template that is called whenever an admin page loads. That template adds formatting to match the admin color scheme, and configurable link buttons. I also present the full set of lyrics on the happiness_today information page using a very simple template that adds nothing but a line break.

Pods output is not restricted to templates that can be as simple or as complex as you need them. Neither is it restricted to Pods pages such as the example mentioned, where you can build a page similar to a WordPress page, but with easy access to your data. You can also include Pods output in regular WordPress posts and pages with a simple shortcode call. Like this:

[pods name=”bye_dolly_text” order=”RAND()” limit=”1″ template=”bye_dolly_list”]

That is a simple Pods shortcode wrapped in blockquote tags, but you are only limited by your imagination, and css talents. How about:

.podsdemo
{
margin:1em 5em 1em 5em;
padding: 1em;
border: 1em outset red;
}
p.podsdemo:first-letter
{
color:#ff0000;
font-size:200%;
float:left;
}
p.podsdemo:first-line {
font-size:110%;
text-transform: uppercase;
font-weight:bold;
}

[pods name=”bye_dolly_text” order=”RAND()” limit=”2″ template=”bye_dolly_list”]

In this second example, I’ve set the limit to two records. Note that records are called randomly, but I have included the chorus several times, so that will appear more frequently – just refresh your browser to see the random effect.

All you need to do is add the following shortcode to your post, page or text widget:

[pods name="happiness_today_text" order="RAND()" limit="1" template="happiness_today_list"]

WordPress Plugin Promotion Tool: Next Steps

All the data in the Happiness Today plugin is easily edited using the Pods data table editing features. In my example, I use couplets from the Think Of Happiness Today lyrics. Though I limit the example text to two lines so that it displays in the admin area properly, you can use any HTML text you like. The Pods WYSIWYG editor allows the usual formatting including hyperlinks, or direct entry of HTML code.

Using Happiness Today for longer visitor messages might make your admin area a little cluttered. No problem – simply deactivate Happiness Today – the data management and presentation features that I have discussed here are all part of standard Pods, and will work fine.

In future versions, I’ll add the ability to import and export different campaign text sets, with other options to make life even easier than it is with the basic release. But you do not need to wait – the current release can be used for any promotion campaign you can think of, including random advertising. In fact, it does not even need to be random, for instance specific records can be called on specific posts. The only limit is your imagination.