WordPress Custom Fields Contest

Update: This contest has been extended to March 30, 2007.

There is an often-overlooked aspect of WordPress that adds functionality that is more geared to a Content Management System than a blogging platform. And that’s why, perhaps, the world’s #1 blogging software finds that many users don’t really use Custom Fields.

I think that’s a travesty.

Conversations in the blog software world always toy with concepts that look forward to what should be introduced in a blogging software. A lot of these conversations circulate around breaking blogs out of the status quo which are “typical blogging templates”. Different approaches were taken at different times in the history of the blogging platform. For instance, the conversation around categories and how conversations could really be more granular than simple categories led to the advent of tags which are seen around the blogosphere. Trackbacks were used to alert another party of your conversation surrounding them but as spammers started exploiting trackbacks, pingbacks were invented which were more passive and allowed discovery of conversation surrounding the blogger.

Evolutions come and go, yet, blogging by and large remains a linear concept that is driven mainly by content creation and reader interaction. To that end, themes are built to this standard.

But what if the standard is just too limiting? What if the standard can be enhanced and changed? What if simple personal blogs could be turned into effective content properties?

Custom Fields may be the answer to the question, how do you make the mundane reach these goals?

I’m running a contest here at Technosailor and there are prizes involved. There is also judging. But there is time.

The Contest


The contest is simply: who can demonstrate the most effective use of custom fields on their WordPress blog. Judging will be done on three levels:

  • Visual Aesthetics – How creative, and aesthetically pleasing the design is implemented on a live blog.
  • Code Example – You may use plugins, however you will be required to provide code snippets of how the custom fields were implemented. We should be able to replicate the functionality with the code you provide, should we want to.
  • SEO benefits – How well the marketing and SEO benefits of the blog entry are enhanced.

This project must be a new one! No existing custom-field use will be accepted!

The contest will be judged by five judges, none of whom are experts in all of these areas, but all of whom have an expertise in at least one. In the event of a tie needing to be broke, I will break it.

Prizes

$200 cash prize for the winner. This includes $100 from me and $100 from b5media who has agreed to sponsor this contest. $100 worth of Amazon products as well from Darren Rowse, who incidentally, as I mentioned is a judge. Dave Taylor (i.e. “Famous Dave”), is contributing a copy of his book Complete Idiot’s Guide to Growing Your Business with Google. I am still looking for sponsors, particularly for significant gifts such as a Nintendo Wii, an iPod, etc. Cash sponsors are also welcome. Please contact me directly at the email address in the sidebar.

To Enter

Send an email to the email address in my sidebar with the following bits of information:

  • Your Name
  • URL to view design
  • Attached code samples (do not include inline in the email please)
  • Brief explanation of what you have ccomplished

End Date

Finally, you have time. This contest will go through the end of February (February 28, 2007 – Midnight ET) at which point, entries will be turned over to the judges for judging.

Good luck!

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

37 thoughts on “WordPress Custom Fields Contest

  1. This is a little emberassing, but do you have a link to a WP page that has additional information on Custom Fields? I have no idea what you’re talking about but would love to participate!

  2. Awesome! I’ve been wanting to learn more about custom fields for a while, and I’ve been wanting to re-design my blog too. So this is the perfect incentive to start working on that! Thanks for making this contest. :)

  3. Custom fields are a very useful WP feature.

    I use custom fields for posting code snippets. I can throw anything in a custom field, html for example, without having to escape it. Then I use an enzyme for displaying the highlighted code in the content of the post.

    Custom fields allow me to encapsulate additional content without making a mess of the post content. Enzymes make it easy to transclude that content at display time, where I want it to appear in that post.

    But there is one thing I dislike: the interface. WP 2.1 is much better than 2.0 in this respect, very smooth the ajax thing, but I’d like to have more space for editing them (kind of tricky to edit anyting using only three lines). If they were inside tabs, they’ll eat up much less space as a whole, too.

  4. Hey Aaron, Just wondering if the results of the contest will be known soon? I’ve been looking forward to seeing what has been created since you announced the contest.

  5. Totally my fault here. Too much travel. Too many weddings. Too much stuff happening and I let it slide. My fault.

    I’ve forwarded the entries to the judges and hope to hear back soon.

  6. Hmm.. I am using WP to list projects and custom fields give me the functionality to add aditional info about a project, eg, Project Type, End Date, Manager, etc.. to use them I came up writing a plugin that enables me to search for a project using the info within the custom fields..

    You can try the plugin: http://kamvajag.lv/programming/custom-search/

  7. I am excited to see what the developers have come up with. Perhaps they could list the plugins here, even if the contest results haven’t been tabulated.

  8. Dave and all-

    I apologize for not updating things. The truth is there were several problems.

    1) There really were not a critical mass of entrants.
    2) Only one judge ended up being available to make a decision in the end.

    At the end of the day, despite trying to make this competition worth it to the community, I have to recognize that there were some great entries but the situation demands that the competition be cancelled without a winner. Props to those that did enter and I’ll take the blame for it not working out. MAybe a good idea at the wrong time.

  9. Yeah, this would be a great idea to try again.

    You could have Mark J. as one of the judges too. There are plenty of WP hackers out there that should be able to help out. Chris Davis to be another in the list.

    Aaron, give this another try please!

  10. i worked on the organization of an architectural contest, aimed to young professionals and backed up by the government. Today, the jury decided that none of the entries was worth winning, none of them filled the jury’s expectations. But, since it wasn’t defined on the contest convocation it couldn’t be declared as desert. So, the jury HAD to select and award the as stated on the convocation, respecting the time wasted by people who submitted their entries.

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