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.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