Building a WordPress Series Plugin: The Beginning

By Sol in Lab

Categories and tags in WordPress are great. They offer a lot of flexibility for grouping your posts in many different ways. Many users may never need anything more than categories and tags, but I often feel the need for a more controlled way to group my posts so that it is easier for readers to follow along.

A series differs from WordPress’ built-in grouping paradigms of categories and tags in two ways:

First, a series is specific– posts in a series are strongly connected to each other by theme or topic. Whereas a post may be assigned multiple categories or tags, a post can only be in one series.

Second, a series is sequential– the order of posts is important. One post in a series should lead into the next. Whereas post order in categories and tags is based on post properties such as publication date or title, the posts in a series can be manually arranged by the author for maximum impact. Put simply, a series is a curated group of posts.

There are many cases where grouping posts in a series would be useful to both authors and readers– project logs, field notes for a product review, multi-part tutorials, chapters in a story, and a sequence of classes/lessons would all benefit from being part of a series. Authors curate a group of posts and offer them to readers as a “box-set”, while readers can easily continue from one post in the series to the next.

Therefore, I’m building a series plugin for WordPress to provide this functionality. Also, it’s only logical that my progress on this project should be documented in a series of posts that will benefit from the development of this plugin. Though the posts may initially lack a specific connection to each other, they will become more connected and organized with each post that discusses a new feature or development in the plugin. Very meta indeed.

I’ll be completely revealing my WordPress plugin development process, so I hope you’ll join me as I build this plugin.

A Question, dear reader

Finally, here is a question for you: What do you want to see in a series plugin for WordPress?