WordPress Feed

Blocks ::: block_wpfeed
Maintained by Igor Sazonov
Plugin allows to show last posts from external WordPress website via WordPress REST API v1/v2. A lot of settings and skins support.

WordPress Feed 1.1.1

Moodle 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.0
Released: Friday, April 22, 2016, 4:44 PM

WordPress Feed (WPFeed) for Moodle

WPFeed is the block for Moodle to easily output posts/news from external WordPress site to your Moodle site via WordPress REST API plugin v1 or WordPress REST API plugin v2. The plugin (block) is very flexible: supports output skins (you can create your own), a range of useful settings, response caching and so on.

WPFeed logo

Getting Started

This plugin will be of interest to if you if you have an external site (for customers or promoting your internal e-learning Moodle project) based on WordPress CMS. Block settings enabled only for Moodle administrators.

WordPress REST API logos

  1. Install and activate WordPress REST API plugin v1 (for WP v3.9 - 4.4.2) or WordPress REST API plugin v2 (for WP v4.4+) on your WordPress external site
  2. Make sure it works. Visit http(s)://yoursite.com/wp-json/posts (API v1) or http(s)://yoursite.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts (API v2). It should show the JSON-based array with site posts
  3. (optional) Customize your API namespace
  4. (Download and) install WPFeed on your Moodle as a block (via FTP - /blocks/wpfeed folder or via Moodle based plugins installer). Make sure to activate the plugin
  5. Insert the block into your Moodle pages via edit mode
  6. Go to block settings. Administration -> Site administration -> Plugins -> Blocks -> WordPress Feed. Lets talk more about settings: WPFeed settings
    • Block title: You can set your own title for a block, i.e. My WordPress news
    • WordPress site URL: Your WordPress external website URL, i.e. http(s)://yoursite.com without slashes
    • Your WordPress site API version: Your WordPress aite API plugin version (v1 or v2). Default is v2
    • WordPress REST API URI prefix: WP REST API namespace (prefix). Default is wp-json/wp/v2. You can customize the prefix in the WordPress functions.php
    • WordPress post type: Post type to output (make request to). WordPress supports several post types and also custom post types. Default post type is posts. So if your site has custom post type, you can change this setting to the one.
    • Caching interval: (Moodle-based) cache update interval in MINUTES. It recommended to use caching to optimize and secure the WordPress site. In development mode it is recommended that you disable caching: 0 = no caching.
    • Store response in user session: additional (optional) cache method to user Moodle-based $SESSION object
    • WordPress posts categories id-s: If you want to get posts from specified WordPress-based category id(s) separated by ,
    • Show posts thumbnails: Option to enable/disable thumbnail show
    • Thumbnail size: WordPress-based thumbnail size handler. Default is thumbnail handler
    • Thumbnail width: HTML width (px) attribute of the thumbnail
    • Thumbnail is a link: Make thumbnail as a link or not
    • Posts limit: Number of (last) posts to output. Default is 5
    • Post date format: Post date format. Based on PHP date function.
    • Content excerpt length: Symbols length of post content excerpt
    • Output skin: Name of skin handler
    • Open links/posts in new window/tab: HTML link attribute target="_blank"
    • Enable noindex: <noindex> tag enable or not. Default is no (disabled). Useful for SEO sometimes.
    • Developer mode: If you encounter problems after tuning the plugin turn this option on to catch all of the API data in request and response. It helps to locate and catch possible errors. NOTE: works only with Moodle-based developer mode: Administration -> Site administration -> Development -> Debugging

Skins

WPFeed skin

Skin - output scheme of block posts list with own PHP class, CSS and JS files. The plugin has two base built-in skins located in skins folder: - default - bootstrap

Built-in CSS classes to customize output styles without custom skins

General WPFeed elements in the block have general CSS classes, some elements have their own CSS id. You can customize these styles by writing an external CSS code. Let's look at HTML structure of every WPFeed block content.

  • $SKIN_NAME: output skin from block settings.
  • $POST_ID: current post id from API
  • $POST_TITLE: current post title from API
<div class="block_wpfeed_wrapper block_wpfeed_wrapper_$SKIN_NAME">
    <ul class="block_wpfeed_list">
        <li id="block_wpfeed_list_item_$POST_ID" class="block_wpfeed_list_item block_wpfeed_list_item_$SKIN_NAME">
            <div class="block_wpfeed_list_item_wrapper block_wpfeed_list_item_wrapper_$SKIN_NAME">
                <!--some code from method $this->_item_wrapper_start() if specified in skin class-->
                <!--IF THUMBNAIL ENABLED-->
                <div class="block_wpfeed_thumbnail block_wpfeed_thumbnail_$SKIN_NAME">
                    <a href="if_thumbnail_as_link">
                        <img src="..." alt="..." some_attrs_like_width />
                    </a>
                </div>
                <!--/IF THUMBNAIL ENABLED-->
                <!--HTML CODE FROM $this->_output_item() skin method specified in skin class-->
                <!--some code from method $this->_item_wrapper_end() if specified in skin class-->
            </div>
        </li>
    </ul>
</div>

If you want to create your own skin with HTML, CSS, JS - you're welcome, read next.

Custom skins development

If you want to create your own output, don't edit the base skins files, create a new one! WPFeed supports custom skins: it's very simple if you know PHP bases and HTML. Simple steps to create an own skin:

1. Create a new folder in your Moodle FTP directory named wpfeed_skins

Go to your Moodle server/hosting via console or FTP to the folder where folders like admin, blocks etc are located and create a new one named wpfeed_skins

2. Create a subdirectory

Once you’ve chosen your custom skin name, ie myskin, you need to create subdirectory with that path name, ie wpfeed_skins/myskin

3. Create a PHP file with skin class extends to the base WPFeed skins PHP class block_wpfeed_skins

Create a PHP file in your skin folder named SKINNAME_skin.php, in your case is myskin_skin.php

In this PHP file you need to create a PHP class extends from base WPFeed skins class block_wpfeed_skins. Code example:

defined('MOODLE_INTERNAL') || die();

class block_wpfeed_skin_myskin extends block_wpfeed_skins {
    //code with overwritten code of some methods
}

IMPORTANT: your class name must be with template block_wpfeed_skin_ + SKINNAME

4. Overwrite some methods/functions of base skins class

Base skins class some methods that can be overwritten by skin developer:

protected function _output_item( $post, $link_attrs ): post item output function. Abstract in base class, need to be overwritten

  • $post: associated array with post item prepared data. Keys:
    • id: post internal id
    • type: post type
    • link: post link/url
    • title: post title
    • sticky: post sticky (true/false)
    • content: post content raw
    • excerpt: post excerpt raw
    • excerpt_trimmed: trimmed post content raw by plugin method trim_text. Symbols length taken from option Content excerpt length
    • date: post date from API
    • date_time: date time as UNIX timestamp string, ie 1456666480
    • date_time_str: PHP date function string with format from option Post date format
    • date_gmt: post GMT date from API
    • date_gmt_time: post GMT date as UNIX timestamp
    • thumbnail_url: HTTP-based path to the post thumbnail from API
    • categories: post categories prepared associative array (not API based). Category array item example: [0] => array( 'id' => 123, 'name' => 'xyz', 'link' => 'http://mysite.com/category/posts/', 'slug' => 'posts', 'description' => 'Super category' );
    • comments: post comments prepared associative array (not API based). Comment array item example: [0] => array( 'id' => 123, 'text' => 'My comment is the best' );
    • comments_count: post comments count

Example:

protected function _output_item( array $post, $link_attrs = array() ) {
    $return = '';
    //$this->name = SKIN NAME
    $return .= html_writer::div( html_writer::link( $post['link'], $post['title'], $link_attrs ), 'block_wpfeed_title block_wpfeed_title_' . $this->name );
    $return .= html_writer::tag( 'small', $post['date_time'] );
    $return .= html_writer::tag( 'p', $post['excerpt_trimmed'] );
    $return .= html_writer::tag( 'p', 'Comments:' . $post['comments_count'] );

    return $return;
}

protected function _item_wrapper_start(): Custom HTML code after <div class="block_wpfeed_list_item_wrapper">

Example:

protected function _item_wrapper_start() {
    return html_writer::start_div('divclass');
}

protected function _item_wrapper_end(): Custom HTML code before <div class="block_wpfeed_list_item_wrapper"> closed

Example:

protected function _item_wrapper_end() {
    return html_writer::end_div();
}

NOTE: It's highly recommended to that you use the Moodle based html_writer class to build HTML code strings.

5. (optional) add custom CSS files

If you need to use custom CSS files in your skin, you can require the ones:

  1. Create subfolder named css wpfeed_skins/myskin/css
  2. Add CSS files in this folder

6. (optional) add custom JS files

If you need to use custom JS files in your skin, you can require the ones:

  1. Create subfolder named js wpfeed_skins/myskin/js
  2. Add JS files in this folder

Contributing

You're welcome to make pull requests but against master branch. Thanks!

Changelog

Version 1.1.1 (2016042200)

  • instance_allow_multiple support added
  • define defaults instead config.ini parsing
  • pretty settings view

Version 1.1.0 (2016032200)

  • Moodle Travis code requirements compliable (>90%)
  • WordPress API v1 support (thanks for Dan Marsen issue)
  • Some small fixes

Version 1.0.2 (2016030300)

  • custom skins frontend files require fix

Version 1.0.1 (2016022900)

  • small fix with custom skins

Version 1.0 (2016022800)

  • initial release.

License

WPFeed is licensed under GNU General Public License v2 (or later).

Author

Much thanks to Douglas Lawrence for my English review!

Copyright 2016, Igor Sazonov (sovletig@yandex.ru)

Version information

Version build number
2016042200
Version release name
1.1.1
Maturity
Stable version
MD5 Sum
e76ef4b837c6f1c232debfcbc8bda9a0
Supported software
Moodle 2.7, Moodle 2.8, Moodle 2.9, Moodle 3.0
  • Latest release for Moodle 2.7
  • Latest release for Moodle 2.8
  • Latest release for Moodle 2.9
  • Latest release for Moodle 3.0

Version control information

Version control system (VCS)
GIT
VCS repository URL

Default installation instructions for plugins of the type Blocks

  1. Make sure you have all the required versions.
  2. Download and unpack the block folder.
  3. Place the folder (eg "myblock") in the "blocks" subdirectory.
  4. Visit http://yoursite.com/admin to complete the installation
  5. Turn editing on in any home or course page.
  6. Add the block to the page
  7. Visit the config link in the block for more options.