WordPress: Can “Plugin” – Will Travel!

In September of 2010, figuring out that I had to delete a page from the trash in order to be able to reuse its permalink was pretty sophisticated stuff for me! Heh, I even blogged about it… Well, I promised at the time that I would document my WordPress adventures and share the solutions to things that ended up costing me hours and hours of head scratching. I lied. I do a lot of my development work in the wee hours and often enough nod off several times before getting to a point where I can actually allow myself to flip the lid on the laptop – there’s just no way I’m blogging about anything then.

It’s 12:36 in the am at the moment, still relatively early, and anyway, I’m way too excited to just go to sleep because today, for the first time, I didn’t feel like someone driving with a blindfold. It’s not even that I knew how to do what I needed, it’s that I was able to find the knowledge I needed quickly and intuitively. I’m ecstatic because I have arrived! This is the point where from now on I can get done anything I have my little heart set on!

To explain a bit, I’m learning development back-ass-wards. I started out in development having trouble separating the PHP from the WordPress, the Javascript from the JQuery… I got into it mostly out of necessity, trying to help a charity I support who’s website became stranded when the volunteer maintaining it left the organization. As it happened, the website they left behind was less than crap and I tossed it and began anew. The new site is a pretty cool site actually, even if I do say so myself, but I don’t have to as we get massive compliments on it, and although it was all front-end in the beginning, there has by now been a lot of progress in the back-end; I’ve slowly been automating the site, transitioning from being the only one who could update content (manually,) to almost never having anything to do with content, and whew, thank the gods for that!

My playground consists of a mere three WordPress blogs. This website, highly neglected as per the shoemaker proverb, and two cat rescue websites for which I do try to do my best (North Toronto Cat Rescue and Special Ones Cat Rescue if anyone is curious.) In both cases, I was able to get some much needed assistance with animals that desperately needed help, and in both cases I felt such a deep sense of gratitude and admiration for the wonderful people and the wonderful work that they do, that the need to give back would not be denied. And so it happened that a web designer (of sorts) was born… And a new love… Well, I fell in love with computers the very first time I “met” them. I came home after my first Computer Science class at U of T and said, “They invented those things for me!” In those exact words. I was giddy! But that was a while back, and as things turned out, it’s not what I ended up doing for a living. I don’t even want to name the programming languages I cut my teeth on. Suffice it to say that by now, I am well out of the loop, so to speak (and, yes, of course pun intended!)

So what was today’s major feat? I was asked by a couple of our volunteers from one of the rescues to make it possible for them to edit each others’ posts. Setting out to achieve this, I quickly realized that the straightforward way of doing it would mean making it possible for them to edit everyone’s posts! As I began to research a solution, I noticed that I wasn’t quite as “lost” as might have and it wasn’t “all Greek to me” anymore! Before long, I had a function a function in my functions.php that did the job, and from there it was “a hop and a skip” to a tidy little plugin.

At the moment, it’s a simple plugin, no settings, it does what it was designed to do simply by getting activated. But I can see potential for more, and I look forward to our growing up together.. 🙂

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