Thanks Elliot. That’s the plan over time. I was hoping to come up with a mild work-around to help teach me this as a good learning project. The reviews already use ACF with a custom field that contains a numeric for every film (fractional as each film can have half-stars). That I had no problem with.
We do edit the sidebar almost every day to add the entries manually.
The complexity in a full widget app is “x amount of movies” is a moving target. Summer makes for a longer list. Some films hang around MUCH longer than others and need a way to be held over so it can’t simply be a case of showing 10 films in the list or showing from one date to another.
As I said, I did manage to get the custom field working fine (that’s what’s feeding the actual review posts) and I managed to write my first Shortcode to display stars based on manual entries so I’m getting there.
The wall I hit was in not having any clue how to go the next step and you’re suggesting it’s a BIG one. We may need to pay someone but right now that’s just not in the budget.
Thanks for the reply Elliot.
Have a look at this page:
While on the page, note the sidebar on the right called, “Latest Review Roundup”. It’s a small subset of the full list above.
If there was a simple way to get the post_ID in the editing phase I could easily use that.
Later I plan to automate — fully — the creation of both of the above areas but, for now, I’m nowhere near that level of coding expertise to make that happen.
My genesis for this idea was a plugin called Xavin’s Review Ratings. You use a shortcode to just make graphical stars appear wherever you want. For a site like ours, that’s useful. However, as the first page above grew in size we ran into an issue. Their shortcode created the images one star at a time so every line created five calls to draw those stars. The page took 30-50 seconds to render. I then created a much more efficient shortcode that links to images that are already pre-built with five stars (thus a 3-star review would call a single image that has 5 stars with 3 gold and two blank). The difference is the page now loads in a few seconds.
However, I then compared notes with our Editor and we realized between us that we were finding mistakes between instances of the references to each movie. The entry for a movie is this:
[stars rating=5 set=tiny] <a href="http://slashcomment.com/entertainment/12-years-a-slave/" title="by Rich Heimlich 10/25/13">12 Years a Slave</a>
We just paste that into a text widget for the sidebar and the Page for the Compendium page.
Is there a better way? I’m new to WP (switched from Blogger less than a year ago) and PHP coding so I won’t be insulted that I’m doing this all wrong. hehe
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