Maker Challenge: WordPress plugin for displaying related items from the DPLA

My entry for the Maker Challenge is WP DPLA, a WordPress plugin for displaying related items from the Digital Public Library on your blog posts.

The DPLA has lots of cool content, and WP DPLA is a way to help your readers discover and explore that content. It takes the tags you’ve assigned to your post – say, cheesehead and Packers or pizza, beer, and nachos – and fetches four random items from DPLA’s partner collections, and displays them at the bottom of the post.

WP DPLA in action

WP DPLA in action

The plugin has a couple of nifty features:

  • Getting an API key from DPLA requires sending a cURL request. WTF, you say? The WordPress plugin has a button that’ll send the request for you, and a handy form where you can enter the API key when you’ve gotten it via email.
  • For the sake of variety, the items will cycle. But for the sake of speed and efficiency, they don’t cycle on every pageview – only every five minutes.
  • Don’t want items at the bottom of your posts? There’s a Settings page in the Dashboard where you can turn the feature off, and use the bundled sidebar widget instead.

Check out the plugin in action at the demo site (click through to individual posts). The code is hosted on Github (if you clone the repo, make sure you init and update the submodules). And if you’d like a zip download to try on your own WordPress blog, download it here.

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