Tag Archives: WordPress Pods CMS

Pods CMS evolves WordPress into a full Content Management system. I also show you how it’s application development puts the rapid in RAD.
Please note that all WordPress Pods articles prior to 2015 are mostly obsolete. Pods is now a very different package after intensive refactoring and involvement of WordPress. I will review these as time allows. Please let me know if you need an update urgently.

Pods Custom WordPress Data Structure Choice

Custom WordPress with Pods

I have a new project to add structured content to WordPress for a client. I also need to update many of my own websites, especially this WordPress support website. I’m marking the relaunch of Shrewdies.net with a re-invigorated Pods CMS project.

Now re-branded as Pods Framework, this WordPress plugin is completely different from the Pods of my earlier articles.

Pods CMS (Content Management System) for WordPress is now called “Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields” and described as:

a framework for creating, managing, and deploying customized content types and fields.

I’ve continued to use Pods as a way to add custom fields to posts and taxonomies. Today, I’m configuring Pods to administer new content types.

Continue reading Custom WordPress with Pods

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

WordPress Pods: Food For Thought

The data-presentation link is vital. To get the best out of WordPress Pods, it pays to study the sample that is packaged with the Pods CMS plugin, and the more advanced examples in the Pods Packages directory.

It is also vital to have a clear plan of the presentation outcomes that you need.

When describing the data aspect of my first plugin, I wrote of the importance of thoroughly analyzing the relationship between the presentation of content required, and the structure of data needed to support it. Recently, I saw a question on the Pods Support Forum that seemed to relate to this area. I was particularly interested in it because the issues seemed to be similar to matters I had encountered with my shrewdBar WordPress menu bar plugin.

The difficulty with forum discussions is fully understanding what the issues are. If one is sat with a client, or even on a video link, it is easy to mock up a quick display and discuss what the presentation should actually look like. Difficulties are compounded with cultural and time-zone differences. But, “All is one in their own way,” and the power of the Internet allows the following attempt at understanding the problem and suggesting a solution.

I hope it solves the problem it tries to address, but even if it doesn’t, I’ve learned a neat CSS trick that I’ll be using again.

Basic Pods Data Display

First, create the Pod (Pods – Setup – Pods – Add new pod) using the data supplied.WordPress Pods Table
Second, 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

WordPress Pods Plugin Builder Taking Shape

WordPress Pods CMS plugin is fantastic for adding new content to websites that do not easily fit the standard Page or Post styles.

With it’s easy to use interface, it is good for novice writers, but it also stands on a very powerful data management platform.

This makes it a real candidate for Rapid Application Development, but how to package and distribute those applications?

Before I present my latest project for building structured WordPress plugins, packaged with properly formatted readme file, straight from the Pods interface let me explain what Pods is.
Continue reading

Pods WordPress Plugin

The Pods WordPress plugin is driving me crazy.

Mad with admiration one minute, mad with frustration the next.

It’s like breaking your leg when you jump around to celebrate a lottery win. Fantastic find – frustrating failings.

Let me say first, that so far, I believe the potential of this plugin is tremendous. I’m just letting off a bit of steam here because the excitement of finding a truly great WordPress plugin is making me emotional about the rough edges. I am certain those rough edges can be easily smoothed. The proof of the pudding will come in a day or so, when I complete my replacement toolbar.

The developers describe it as:

WordPress evolved.
Pods is a CMS framework for WordPress.
It’s a plugin that sits on top of WordPress, allowing you to add and display your own content types.

I see it as a Rapid Application Development (RAD) tool that could change the way we look at plugins.

Why am I so pleased with this gem?

For months, I have been looking for an easy way to work with extra data tagged onto WordPress. With a background in relational database planning and management, it is frustrating to have to workround things like usermeta & WordPress options. Also, I like simple but comprehensive forms to manage linked data, and it is daunting to have to code a relational database application to integrate with WordPress.

I can see that it can be done. The forum [now moved to separate site] is a prime example of integrating a rich database application into WordPress, but it has a scary amount of code and complex field relationships, with little in the way of generic routines that can be adapted for other applications.

Other tools I have seen, only allow simple flat file manipulation, and would need a lot of adapting to tackle relationships. Enter Pods – an easy way to add relational tables as separate applications, or linked into WordPress users or posts. Amazing potential, and amazingly easy to use.

So what are the problems?

Not much if you are familiar with coding, and do not mind getting your hands dirty.

  • The user guide is very poor in examples, and I suspect some of it is out of date, as the plugin is still on a steep development curve.
  • The forum, and the guide, have been radically pruned recently, so just as you think you have found an answer to something – click – 404 not found!
  • Pods has a great way of attaching code to fields called helpers, but the names of these have been changed in the latest release, so many of the example packages do not work. However, it is very easy to find and replace on these, so very easy to fix – I’m just surprised it should be necessary.

So that’s a very brief introduction to Pods. I’ll go and finish the toolbar, then go through some code over the next few posts to show you just how easy it is to build an application. Early days yet, but I think this might be the answer to my nightmare about the lack of good, well-structured example plugins.