When I talk with new WordPress developers they often ask, “what’s the best way to become a better developer?” I always tell them to get involved in a large, but not too large, open source project. Doing your own thing is good, but working on a larger project exposes you to more advanced techniques, and the challenges of making a large code base work. It also helps you get feedback and advise on your work and workflow from experienced developers.
I say this from experience because I wouldn’t be a tenth of the developer that I am today if I hadn’t gotten involved with Pods. I also wouldn’t have met CalderaWP’s lead developer David Cramer, who is not only a better developer than I am, but I have learned a so much from working with.
Pods is a totally free plugin, both in terms of license and cost. In order to help Pods, which is supported by sponsors and donors, grow, we are happy to announce that we will be donating 20% of the proceeds of the sale of Caldera Easy Pods–a tool for visually creating Pods Queries and outputting them–and all future Pods-related plugins to the Pods Framework.
Not Just Financial
One of the reasons why CalderaWP exists is so that as soon as possible David can work full time on plugin development and not have to do client work. That development will not just be limited to CalderaWP, as he has exciting work still to do with Pods.
This week we released Caldera Metaplate, a tool for creating custom fields templates from the WordPress admin. It currently supports meta storage post type Pods, as well as fields added via Advanced Custom Fields, Custom Field Suite and other custom fields plugins. If you take a look at the plugin’s code, you will see that it is almost entirely made of Composer packages. This is to easily facilitate sharing a code between with Pods Frontier, a project that David is leading for improving Pods Templates.
And You Should Too
The Pods Foundation is committed to keeping all of its offerings free. That does put a limit on what Pods itself can do. There are plenty of pain points in Pods for certain type of users that offer an excellent opportunity for an entrepreneurial developer to create a solution for. Here are some ideas for products that would extend or use Pods:
1) A toolbox for Pods image fields. This plugin would provide a function and a shortcode for outputting Pods image fields as galleries and slideshows using popular jQuery plugins, Bootstrap, Jetpack and popular WordPress gallery plugins such as Foo Gallery.
2) A tool using the WordPress JSON REST API and the Pods JSON API for displaying content across sites in a multi-site install.
3) Prebuilt Pods import packages, with Pods Templates integration, for customizable, ready to use solutions for various types of nice sites.
Obviously there is no requirement that anyone who makes any of these plugins offer a similar donation as CalderaWP has committed to. I do believe that it is a selling point for the plugin, and for someone new that was creating a commercial add-on for Pods, it would be a great way of solidifying your relationship with Pods.