A Quick Foreword

WordPress is fantastic, and it’s constantly improving. I think it’s amazing that the most powerful and popular CMS is open source and free. The massive community effort that continues to make WordPress’s so fantastic is actually quite astounding if you’ve ever taken a minute to consider it’s scope. It’s a shining example of the way software and the web writ large could be.

However, like all large projects, there is a lot on the agenda; and coordinating a decentralized army of volunteers is always going to get messy. With limited time and resources, you have to tackle the high priority issues first, and that list never really gets any shorter. That’s just the reality of the situation. Automattic doesn’t have an army of bright eyed recent CS grads they can lock in a basement with Mountain Dew and Skittles until every last issue has been dealt with. This means ideas and solutions, even the really good ones, can take a long time to make their way into the core.

The 3 Much-Needed Features

There are 3 problems that WordPress offers no clean way (at least that I’m aware of) to solve. I’ll explain them in more detail below, but in a nutshell they are:

  1. Lack of filters for widgets (design issue)
  2. No way to return the search_form if theme has a searchform.php file present(bug)
  3. No standardized way to get an attached image’s meta information, like: title, alt, description, or caption(laziness)

One Thought on “3 WordPress Hacks to Unlock Some Much-Needed Features

  1. Shariq on April 18, 2013 at 12:38 am said:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the great post. However, I am having trouble implementing it.
    I am trying to change the look of my searchform. It basically needs to have two text fields. I want this ti be in form of a plugin, which anyone can activate. SO obviously I do not have any control over searchform.php. This made me look at your code snippet.

    I copied your code as it is and added a filter like:
    add_filter(‘get_search_form’,’shinra_searchform’);
    However, the code seems to go in an infinite loop. I put an echo statement after lines 11 and 12. The one after 12 never gets printed while the one after line 11 keeps on getting printed continously.

    I tried changing the filter to pass the argument to:
    1. add_filter(‘get_search_form’,shinra_searchform(true),1);
    2. add_filter(‘get_search_form’,shinra_searchform(false),1);
    3. add_filter(‘get_search_form’,shinra_searchform($echo),1);
    But none of these work.

    Can you please help me out.

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