BCNI Philly: Advanced WordPress development

Andrew Nacin and Marc Lavallee led a 2 pm session on advanced WordPress development. It was mostly a free-form conversation about the use of WordPress in newsrooms.

Will Mitchell says the biggest thing he has to grapple at the Washington City Paper with is custom metadata. For instance, stories often have multiple authors who need to be attributed in different ways. They want to persist this data both to keep it structurally sound and for presentation purposes. WordPress is restrictive currently because it doesn’t handle data outside the schema out of the box. Also for the things WordPress doesn’t work well for, he needs to establish the best way to interface an external application with WordPress.

JSON API is an awesome plugin for getting data in and out of WordPress. Makes it much easier to use WordPress as parts of larger contexts. The plugin was originally written at the Museum of Modern Art for a blog served with Ruby on Rails. They made a decision to use RoR’s templating system for the frontend and WordPress’ admin for the backend.

Sweet: learned it’s already possible to associate custom taxonomies with users and other non-post objects. You just need to build the admin interfaces.

Will Davis talked about how he’s customizing WordPress for the Bangor Daily News, particularly the admin.

Question: What’s the state of the art as it comes to search?

Lavallee says NPR spent a fair bit of time thinking about it for the Argo Project. They came to the conclusion they didn’t need to worry about it until the traffic was there. They still haven’t done anything to modify WordPress’ core search.

I mentioned IndexTank as a search-as-a-service option. Mitchell wants “SearchPress”, or a search utility that’s easy to install as WordPress. Google Custom Search doesn’t work for me for a couple reasons: it drops pages randomly from the index and doesn’t offer faceting. Also, it’s not possible to tweak the relevancy algorithms.

Unfiltered HTML is a WordPress MU plugin I wrote to disable the KSEs filter. It allows users to include potentially unsafe Javascript and iframes. is also pretty damn cool. Embedding rich media from 160+ sources is as easy as copy and pasting a link to the resource, like this one:

Best Practices in Plugin Development (WordCamp Seattle) from andrewnacin

One Comment

joe pratt May 1, 2011 Reply

Daniel:Have you tried the new yolink( WordPress search engine( see for an example).Joe Pratt

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