One feature sadly lacking in WordPress is the ability to directly link posts or pages (or indeed any content type) directly to each other in a flexible relationship, and to store data with each link.
If that sounds a little confusing, think of this example:
- You run a comparison shopping website
- You have a custom post type called ‘product’
- You have a custom post type called ‘shop’
- You want to show on the product pages where they can be bought, and you also want to show on the shop pages a list of which products are available there
- Not only that, each product is a different price at each shop, so you need to store and show a different price for each ‘product to shop’ link.
If you’re using WordPress as a CMS, rather than just a blog, you’ve probably encountered this need and cursed WordPress for not meeting it.
A few of you may be aware that there is already a plugin to address this need, called Posts 2 Posts.
However, it contains serious bugs that prevent the storage of data with links between posts, and it also demands extensive PHP customisation to store any data at all. Posts 2 Posts has now been updated with many improvements – feel free to give it a try. I have not tried the new version myself since I have no need to.
Enter ZigConnect. It has been created from scratch to do what Posts 2 Posts aims to do, but without the need to fill your functions.php file with custom code.
Not only that, it lets you define both connections (between content types) and fields (attached to connections) using the administration console, and gives you handy statistics so you can see how heavily you are using it.
Displaying link-related information within posts is done using a little PHP code with some simple template tags that you can put into your template files. After installing the plugin, pull down the ‘Help’ tab for information about the template tags.
Please use the comment form below to report any bugs you find. Updates are likely to be frequent due to ongoing ZigPress projects that rely on this plugin.
- Go to Admin > Plugins > Add New, and type ZigConnect in the search box to get the download link.
- Activate the plugin.
- Go to the plugin’s main page and start creating connections between content types.
- When editing posts, pages or custom posts, use the extra ZigConnect panels to create links.
ZigConnect is a free plugin released under the GNU General Public License version 2.
If you use ZigPress plugins and find them useful, please consider donating or sharing a link.
UPDATE: 7 DEC 2011
The site I originally built ZigConnect for has changed direction somewhat and I have substantially altered ZigConnect’s functionality as a result. I don’t have time to continue supporting the public version of ZigConnect; however, if anyone would like to take the current version and create a fork, you’re welcome to do so.