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I am not too comfortable coding in PHP yet, but am currently working on a project where I need to create a custom page for the website, in a member area, where the members of the site can capture certain data, like total income for the day, number of calls made during the day, etc.

Once this has been done I need to be able to display certain reports on this data, such as your statistics for the day, month, year-to-date etc.

Can anyone please point me in the right direction on what will be the best and easiest way to do this.

I am not averse to coding, as I come from n Microsoft coding background, back in the day, I am just unsure where to start in PHP and Wordpress.

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I'm not sure Wordpress is really going to help much here? Or is this website already coded in Wordpress and you need to work with this? –  artparks Sep 25 '12 at 19:59
    
I would prefer to use Wordpress as a base platform, due to the fact that I have to do the single sign-on integration with Moodle as well, which is quite well documented. What would your other reccomendations be if not Wordpress? –  Coenraad Fick Sep 25 '12 at 20:27
    
Conrad, I'd suggest creating a plugin for the statistical data analysis and data capture. Then the functionality isn't tied to a theme that you might want to change in the future. Have a look at the great wptuts+ for some great tutorials about how to make WordPress do what you want. –  Luke Nov 5 '12 at 1:12

1 Answer 1

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This is a pretty big project you're talking about.. Using Wordpress as the base CMS isn't necessarily a bad idea as you/an admin could create new users and it would take care of all the logging in procedures.

Firstly I would recommend learning how to make basic Wordpress themes. You could try hacking about the default themes but they have a lot of complexities you don't need. There are plenty of tutorials out there for learning how to do this.

Once you have yourself a basic theme, the main thing to do will be to create various custom page templates that control the views you show to users. So in your basic theme you should have created a file called page.php, to make a custom template add the following to the very top of the file and rename it something like template-my-view.php :

<?php
/*
Template name: My view
*/
?>

Then when you go to add a new page in the admin, you can select "My view" in the "template" dropdown on the right. This means any custom code you put in this file will appear on that page.

Using some code such as this:

http://www.joshstauffer.com/wordpress-redirect-users-after-log-in/

you can control where your users go to after logging in. By default they would be sent to the wordpress admin but you want them to stay in the frontend, so set it up to send them to some kind of frontend homepage you create for your users.

From here it's a case of learning the necessary PHP/MySQL to actually perform the functions you want to do and display/process them on all the custom page templates you create. There's no shortcut to this except learning the languages, I would advise buying a book/ebook. You can create custom MySQL tables to sit alongside the Wordpress created ones to hold all the data you need to perform the functions you want.

As I say this is a pretty big undertaking and your best bet is to get a book on beginner PHP/MySQL, as well as learn the basics on Wordpress theming. From what you've said it sounds like the things you actually need to do are fairly straightforward though so once you get the basics you should be good to go.

The above suggestions aren't really WP best practices, but will do the job, and as you get more involved in WP you can start to discover the power of developing dedicated plugins etc to do what you want to do natively and within the WP infrastructure.

Good luck!

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Thank you for this. Luckily I already know the basics of PHP and have changed page templates for projects before, but I have not delved deeper into the capabilities of PHP and Wordpress yet. I was thinking along creating a plugin or something, but seperate page templates sounds like the better solution. –  Coenraad Fick Sep 26 '12 at 6:45

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