Yes, it’s already been five years since I’ve switched to WordPress as my Web Content Management System (WCMS) of choice. First of all a big thanks to Gernot who had the confidence to convince me to realize a customer’s website with WordPress 1.5 back in 2005.
Since then a lot has happened. WordPress got heaps of additional functionality, for example taxonomies/tags, media library, various new back-ends , Ajax-support, new default-theme, … and increased flexibility through additional hooks and filters. This led to completely new application areas for this open-source project.
This was the first WordPress plugin I wrote. – I thought it would come in handy to show my family and friends (most of them at that time in Europe) the local time at my current position on my first longer Australia-trip which took place in different timezones. At that time, there was nothing available which I could use to display timezone-adjusted datetimes in the sidebar. Lets say nothing which was capable of calculating the times and dates according to daylight-saving, so I wrote TimeZoneCalculator.
What started out in 2005 with a few hundred lines became a project with 6K LOCs and more than 14,000 downloads until today.
GeneralStats and Featuring CountComments
These two guys were my next projects which I implemented to get some stats about my weblog (e.g. word-count of posts, pages and comments). In addition I added more global stats to round up the project. Meanwhile GeneralStats is my plugin with the widest distribution and has nearly reached the 50,000 downloads mark. Featuring CountComments counts the number of comments for each user.
In the last years I was able to increase the quality of my plugins due to the constant feedback of Niki, who has done a lot of proof-reading and inspires me with new feature and design ideas. In the first half of 2010 I completely reworked all three plugins mentioned before to reflect object-orientation and support the latest features of WordPress.
This is the latest and very recent addition to my plugins and only works for WordPress 3.0 and higher. Out-of-the-box, only posts can be tagged in WordPress. As I also wanted to tag my pages, I’ve implemented TagPages. Due to a few new functions with WordPress 3.0, I was able to avoid changing the WordPress core on every update as I did in previous versions of WordPress.
Speaking of changing the WordPress core, even with my heavily customized website, I was able to reduce the changes to a bearable minimum over time. – In addition the WordPress upgrade functionality also eases my work. – Though, a centralized documentation and a few more filters/actions here and there (for example in
wp-login.php) would also help.
One more thing: My lastest addition to the Web 2.0 community is also based on WordPress. It is called JourneyCalculator and is a spin-off of TimeZoneCalculator.
JourneyCalculator is a free tool to calculate differences between timezones and to display useful information for your travels. You can export and save your travel-times in your iCalendar-compatible application (e.g. Google Calendar, Mozilla Thunderbird Lightning, Microsoft Outlook, etc.).
Besides of WordPress getting more mature, I like that the development cycles are not only feature-oriented. Of course I understand the need to include new features and stay on top of the crowd, but user loyalty is also about stability.
For example the transition to WordPress 3.0 and the merge with WordPress MU was definitely a big project. Though, as far as I remember it was the first major release that didn’t have to be patched within a few days. That’s definitely a good sign. Taking enough time for the development, alpha und beta-phases and getting early feedback from the WordPress Community helps to build trust in the product.
So, thats all for today.
Code is Poetry
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