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Lazy smart shortcodes

A few of the iWeb guys went to Herb Miller’s lazy smart shortcodes talk at WordCamp Edinburgh 2012 last weekend. I thought I’d share what we learnt and give some detail on how we work in this area.

Herb has written a comprehensive shortcode plugin for non-technical users. Coming from a career with IBM, Herb retired and started a web design/development business. He came across as enthusiastic and seemed genuinely willing to add any requested feature to his plugin.

Oik – which is a backronym for Often Included Key-information is a WordPress plugin which comes with over 70 shortcodes which can be used to include commonly repeated information. The best example is contact information. It makes sense for the user to update their contact information in one place rather than having to manually go through updating many pages.

Herb adds value beyond this by wrapping some information with microdata, a practice which helps computers and search engines identify the meaning of the text on a web page.

We’ve blogged in the past about our simple shortcode method for retrieving values from the WordPress options table. We now work a little differently, preferring instead to store contact information in custom fields attached to a contact page. In our eyes, it makes sense for a client to update their contact page rather than diving into a settings page.

iWeb design and build custom websites for its clients. As part of our iWeb Control offering, we generally register a number of shortcodes for use within content. Our custom shortcodes give our clients the ability to add site specific features which would otherwise require knowledge of coding for the web.

Attack Magazine is one of the more recent projects iWeb has delivered. A content heavy site aimed at music producers with industry news/reviews and interviews. iWeb developed a number of shortcodes which allow the client to easily add more complex elements such as image galleries, rating boxes, pull out quotes and audio players.

Audio player and music spec box shortcodes

Audio player and audio spec shortcode

Audio player and audio spec shortcode

Image gallery shortcode

Image gallery shortcode

Image gallery shortcode

I’d like to thank Herb for giving his time to the community and for putting together a great talk. His Oik plugin is listed in the WordPress repository.

I’ve tried to give an insight into our use of shortcodes for more custom elements. Remember, you can always get in touch with iWeb, we’re based in Stafford and work with clients from all over the UK. Why not check out our portfolio or subscribe to our feed to keep up to date with our WordCamp Edinburgh 2012 reports.

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