Starting a New Project…Wanna Help?

Help Wanted Sign
So…starting a new project. I am going to make it work, but if you are a genuis when it comes to this stuff, I could really use some help understanding it. As you may well know, I am a bit of a foursquare fan. I have been posting badge info for quite some time. What started out as a simple post to help me keep track of my own badges has turned into one of the most extensive foursquare badge information sites on the internet. And now, it is becoming more than one person can attend to and still have some semblance of a life.

In the beginning, I hand coded everything just using the WYSIWYG editor in WordPress. This was back when there were only 50 badges total. As the badge count grew, I moved on to coding it in DreamWeaver and pasting the code in the page. A bit later, I had about 150 pages of content that I was having to go back and update with new/updated information so I decided hand coding was not a viable option. I created a Microsoft Access database to generates all the code I need to update my pages with the click of a button. This was nice as it added a GUI to make tracking everything much more simple.

Now, I am at another crossroads and am wanting to take my project to yet another level. Here is what I have: a MySQL database, a Microsoft Access frontend, a WordPress site, two types of web pages I need to generate (badge lists and single badge pages), and a will to make my life easier. I have only just begun to learn php. My intent is to use the Access frontend to update the info in my MySQL database. I would like to only have to enter some snippet of short code into my single badge pages (something like [BadgeID 215]) and have the php query the database to pull the most current data. Same with the badge lists, but I assume that will be a bit more intense.

Here is how I work right now. I get a new snippet of info. I make the change in my database. I output the new code (for one badge update I generate 6 separate web pages) and copy/paste that code into the appropriate pages. Again, what once worked is now becoming a lot more work that it should be.

What I envision is simply changing the code in the MySQL database and having all the pages simply pull the data. Sounds simple, but I have no idea where to begin. If you are someone who knows about this stuff and have a few minutes here and there to help out someone who is wanting to learn, please let me know.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to hear from you.

6 thoughts on “Starting a New Project…Wanna Help?”

  1. Sounds to me like you might be going at this the hard way. I think if I was designing the project I would take advantage of WordPress Custom Content types. Basically just like you have a post and page type you would a badge type. It would have all the information you track for the badges.

    To make your lists you can use either the Archive functions or pull by category type. Either is a ok option. With custom content types you can make the fields on the add badge page what ever you want them to be.

    How will it be managed you ask? Same as how you make a wordpress post. Lets say a badge goes inactive. You would go to your edit badge screen Search for the badge. Click edit and simply click the category Inactive. and uncheck the category active. It is that simple it would move it from one list to the other.

    The even better part is if you ever decide you hate wordpress you can export your data to an XML file that some other program can read. I hope this helps. If you have questions feel free to email me.

    1. Kellan-

      That was one of the options I weighed. The problem I have then is data redundancy and duplicated work for the lists as applied to badge-series (sponsored) and other mass-data. That and I have multiple people that want to start helping the effort, but I don’t think giving them access to change my posts is such a great idea. With a database, I can control who can do what and when as well as store the data in multiple locations for redundancy.

      I do agree with what you are saying, though. It would work on a smaller scale.

  2. I could help. I had a few ideas for other things that would make your list more useful for us addicts and was thinking of contacting you anyway. @anthonydpaul

What do you think?