Last week Paul showed a preview of our new widget — just one of a number of new and updated features we’ll be talking about over the next few weeks.
Shortly after the blog post, Tady Walsh got in touch about building us a WordPress plugin. He tells you more about it below, but our thanks go out to him for contributing his time and effort.
Creating a WordPress plugin
by Tady Walsh
I’ve been working as a front end dev for just over 18 years and I’ve been using WordPress for many of those years. I like WordPress as it’s convenient and, as PHP is my lingo of choice, allows me a lot of powerful control over how it does what it does and how I want it to do it! I tend to use it more as a CMS than a blogging platform and have had great success with the ease in which I can quickly get clients up and running on a simple platform.
I’ve known the guys over a Tito for some time and I wondered if there was a WordPress plugin for their service. I didn’t have any immediate requirement for it, but having developed WordPress themes for as long as I have, I figured I should learn how to make a plugin. Creating one for Tito might be a good place to start.
I contacted Paul and asked him if there was an API for Tito and explained what I wanted to do. He told me he was working on one and would let me know. A month later he replied with a link to the API documentation in an email. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. It was SO EASY! Why would anyone need a plugin!? But then I thought about users who might be on WordPress.com (the Automattic hosted version of WordPress) who can only access their theme functionality through plugins and shortcodes. I also thought, as a simple exercise in creating a plugin, maybe it’d be better if it was easier.
It took no time at all to set up the plugin. I had a working prototype for Paul to see and approve within a day of my own free time. He was delighted too and had content feedback and suggestions on how it might work from a code perspective. These are implemented now and the plugin has just gone live on WordPress plugins.
Sometimes you have an idea of how you want something to work and in your head, there are perceived obstacles to overcome. I could have asked Paul about this and he could have said “no”, but that’s not the kind of guy Paul is. The API could have been large and unwieldy, but it wasn’t. I could have let the idea of this stand in the way of even trying, but I didn’t. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to learn from it and provide a tool for the community in return. Tito are doing great and all this plugin does is bring that greatness to another platform. I hope it helps out.