If you’re involved in the WordPress community, there’s nothing quite like releasing your first plugin. I published my first plugin, CPT-onomies, on January 31, 2012. Here I am getting all excited on Twitter when it passed the 100 downloads mark a few days later:
— Rachel Cherry (@bamadesigner) February 3, 2012
The basic idea behind CPT-onomies is that it allows you to create content and grant the functionality of posts and taxonomies. It hooks into core and registers taxonomies that have the same titles as your posts, for any post type. Even allowing you to use core WordPress taxonomy functions, such as get_terms() and wp_get_object_terms(). And its multisite compatible.
Basically, its a relationship, and classification tool, that gives your data a lot of power and flexibility.
Why did I create this plugin?
The idea for this plugin stirred from a need I had in higher education. Like every other university, I needed a “People Directory” to display the college’s faculty and staff and make them easy to contact.
I had 4 different types of data: people, departments, research centers, and buildings. All data types needed their own page on the site, with respective post content and custom fields. But, for the people directory, these data types are also classifications.
For example, someone might need to contact a faculty member who works for a department or research center. A student knows a professor works in a specific building, but can’t remember their name. A data type that I worked on, but was never implemented, was research areas. They would be used to classify faculty and staff that do research in that field. The page for that research area would be a home to describe the research and display all of the people working in that field, as well as any news reports or published works.
While I no longer work at that university, the directory still exists. You can view it on the college’s website.
Without a plugin, I would’ve had to manage a list of posts and a separate list of taxonomy terms. Which is why I built CPT-onomies. This functionality can be solved through a variety of methods. I wasn’t exactly inventing fire or anything. For example, there are lots of post relationship plugins which will take care of this for you. However, I do believe CPT-onomies is unique in it’s approach of creating and providing taxonomy functionality. It’s been a fun project.
The future of the plugin
So what’s next for CPT-onomies? Well, you don’t have to look too hard at the plugin’s repo page to recognize I’m unable to give the project tons of love and attention. This is one of the mixed issues with contributing to open-source projects. Unless you work for a company that wants to invest in the project, everything you give is done on your own dime and time. And free time is not something I have in abundance.
With all that said, I’m looking for someone willing to adopt the plugin. It’s hard to let go of something you’ve built but sometimes that gives it the best chance to grow. If people still want the functionality, there’s nothing saying I have to be at the helm. I’d love to see what someone else can do with the idea.
It’s a great opportunity for developers looking to stretch their legs with WordPress. This functionality did not come easy. I had to get pretty creative with actions and filters. There’s (no doubt) tons of room for improvement in the plugin, and changes made to core that might improve the way it works. I have complete faith in you to pick up the ball and take things from here.
However, I will not give away ownership easily, as I value the community too much. It’s also, by far, my post popular plugin in the repo. There’s, sadly, been a few occasions where folks have adopted out a plugin and the new owner clearly had an agenda and broke the rules. Ain’t nobody got time for that. If you’re interested, reach out and let’s talk.
Thank you to everyone who’s used the plugin, shown their gratitude, and donated over the last 6 years. It’s been, and will always be, an honor to play a role in your projects and be a part of the open web.