Reaching for the finish with Pods

Pods (as in pods.io and not pods.com, the “portable moving and self storage solution”) is a very interesting yet frustrating PHP project that allows you to really mess with and extend many WordPress features. It’s supposed to help you keep your content organized at a basic level and really enhance your website at a more complex level. Like a lot of WordPress projects, it also have a nice community of people that donate a ton of time towards future development and support in forums and tutorials.

A project that I’ve been working on and off is to create a website to feature alumni of a Fraternity that I am part of. I want to use WordPress, so that these alumni could login and update their own information as they see fit. The problem is WordPress only shows very basic user fields of information.

Long way to goThis is where pods comes in. In theory, pods looks like the perfect solution because you can add a bunch of fields like a picture profile, custom social media links, graduation year, etc… and with a little styling, display it how you want.

So I starting reading through a bunch of forums and followed some basic and intermediate level tutorials creating custom settings panels and lists of animals and felt I was getting the hang of it.

Then came trying to do this with my alumni project and extending user profiles. For some reason (well probably thanks to the fact it’s originally a blogging platform), WordPress handles “authors” or “users” a lot differently and I have managed to hit a brick wall. I can create a list of users (alphabetically by first name, which is close to what I want) with links to their profile pages. This is where I’m snookered. The pages won’t display any information. I’ve been messing around (others would probably call it “geeking out”) creating these silly pages, but it simply won’t show… so while I can see the finish line, I’m just not there yet…

To see what I’m doing, check out Iota Rho Development.