During the design of my homepage, I searched for ideas on other websites and I saw some of them displaying content in multiple columns. It gave me the idea of wanting to show my posts in that style. So, it led me to search in the WordPress plugin directory and I found only one plugin that shows the categories in multiple columns with their posts. However, I wanted to show the posts in columns and not the categories in columns. These results caused me to do more search in Google and I found some articles and tutorials explaining ways to create or display post content in multiple columns. Some of them explained how to modify the theme template files but this is not what I wanted. With those facts, I tested other plugins that displayed the latest posts in other formats and none of them fitted with my needs. As I was planning to create some WordPress plugins, the lack of this capability gave me the idea for developing my first plugin.
As being my first time developing a WordPress plugin, I read a WordPress plugin development book that guided me on the plugin development steps. The first step was to name my plugin by choosing a name based on what my plugin does. As I did the research before, I knew that my chosen name for this plugin (Column Posts) was not taken by the similar plugin. To start coding the plugin, I used the similar plugin “Posts Per Cat” as a base code. I kept the option of displaying the categories in multiples columns from the base code as the second alternative and I add the option of displaying the posts in multiples columns as the default. For the categories section, I kept four options at the beginning: include category, exclude category, order categories by and only top level categories. Top level categories option was removed in the final update because the new update version doesn’t display children posts in the category parent. I integrated headlines and contents in one section called posts and I kept the most relevant options. For the styling section, I added several options for the most relevant components of the output plugin such as category font color, headline font color, font family, etc. Each color field has a color picker that uses a Excolor jQuery plugin. I chose this jQuery plugin for being the easiest to use and customize.
The purpose of creating Column Posts was created to give Worpress users the possibility to display in multiple columns their latest posts of all or specific categories. Hopefully, this plugin can be found useful and be used for many WordPress users.