Exploring WordPress metadata

Sweet. My adventures with WordPress have lead me to explore the metadata capabilities of the posts database. I wanted a way of adding Technorati tags to my posts in such a way that I can optionally render the same tags as Flickr or Del.icio.us tags. Plus I wanted to future-proof my tags (metadata). There are a number of existing plugins that allow you to add Technorati tags for example and editors such as Ecto even allow you to specify tags by importing from your Del.icio.us account. But in most of the plugins that I found, tags are added into the post body itself and are not stored as seperate metadata in the database. I didn’t want to mix my data with metadata so I looked around for a solution that allowed me to create metadata using WP’s custom fields. Aha! I thought, another excuse to learn a bit more about the WordPress gubbins and PHP. So I delved, read the WP Codex of wisdom and wrote my first plugin.

My first WordPress plugin allows you to add tags as custom fields then render them as hyper-linked tags, Technorati tags by default but also Flickr and Del.icio.us tags and in fact tags for any web service that you care to develop an API for. I’m very pleased with the result. No doubt there’s already a plugin that does something similar but heck, this is my plugin and I had fun learning more about WordPress in the process of writing it. I don’t have any plans to release it to the wider world but if anyone’s interested, even if it’s from the point of view of a newbie like me who wanted to find out how to write WP plugins and to explore WP metadata, then drop me a line. The tag links you see at the end of this post are courtesy of my first few steps with PHP.