Advice on getting custom functionality for my website

I’m looking to get some custom functionality for my website. Here’s the problem I want to solve. I’m in the acne niche and I often write about studies showing promising results with this or that ingredient (say vitamin C or green tea extract). The problem is I don’t have good way to help my readers to find these products. So I want to build a database of skincare products into my site.

Having never done anything like this, I was hoping the experts here could set me on the right track before I get started.

Here’s the data I would like to see for each product:

* Product name and image

* Price

* Link to the product

* Star rating

* Brief commentary on the product

* Expert reviews from other websites, basically a brief summary of the review and link to the site

* Ability for users to leave their own reviews

* Average customer rating

* Active ingredients with data for each ingredient being pulled from the ingredient database entries

These fields would be filled manually when I create the entry for each product

I think this would require 2 types of database entries:

* The product itself

* Entry for each ingredient. The ingredient entries would contain description of efficacy and perhaps links to supporting studies.

I would also need custom post types or page templates for displaying the data for each product and ingredient.

Could this be done with Custom Press plugin? Do I need to get a custom plugin built for this? Or should this be handles outside WP?

  • Brashell
    • The Bug Hunter

    Wow. Your quite an ambitious fellow now aren’t you. That is why it pains me to tell you its not that simple and will cost you a pretty penny if you don’t know what your doing. With that said I shall continue. You have several option I can think of. One make a blog post for each and give it a taxonomy than make a search area that searches only those taxonomies. Thus it would be of sorts a database. You could also create a custom post type with custom fields (i.e. in woo commerce you can type in a price etc.) then make a page template which is a bit complex. You aren’t going to be able to do this yourself, I am sorry to say. This is a bit more difficult then I think you will be able to understand. My best suggestion is to hire someone, ask for references that are american and proof of work. Look them up, get reviews, and ALWAYS do it though somewhere that has buyer protection and never ever ever ever leave the site with buyer protection no matter what they offer. Cause they can take your money and send you a piece of junk and be screwed because you won’t have buyer protection. I recommend using oDesk as they have buyer protection. Do yourself a favor and spend a little extra on someone from the UK, USA, or Canada who has taken tests to prove they know their stuff. Only accept people with high testing scores. Look for WordPress 3.6 ; PHP; Javascript and if they have more great. If they have a score of 80% or less skip em. Read their reviews. Simple stuff. Good luck, hope all works well for you.

  • PC
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Hey there,

    Greetings and thanks for posting on the forums.

    I see that you should be able to use our MarketPress plugin along with CustomPress to achieve most of what you are looking for.

    MarketPress will allow you to create products on your site and CustomPress will allow you to add custom fields to the products and show them on the frontend.

    For ratings and review, you can use any plugin which supports the rating system on custom post types.

    Did you try that combination ?



    Sales &Support

  • seppo
    • Flash Drive

    @brashell, thanks for the reply. I realize I can’t do this myself and I wasn’t even thinking about it.

    Do you have any idea how much work building this as custom plugin would take? Are we talking about days? Weeks? Months?

    Without enough experience on this kind of work, it’s possible I don’t just realize how complicated this is. I just don’t know why this couldn’t be done with custom fields and custom post types in WP. Basically create a ‘post’ for each product and populate most of the data to custom fields. And then have a custom post template to display it all. Mostly we are just talking about displaying text. It’s not that different from a movie listings database, for example.

    The biggest complication I see would be integrating database entries for ingredients and products. Because the listing would have to pull data also from the ingredients database entries.

    In a pinch I could even drop the ingredient database and just use ‘tags’ to denote the ingriedients each product has, so I would have a tag for ‘vitamin C’, ‘green tea extract’, etc. That would make it easier for people to search products by ingredient.

    @pc, I’ll play around with MarketPress and CustomPress and see how far they can take me. The review section would be nice, but not that important.

  • PC
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    I should clarify that I’m not selling these products myself. Rather, I’d like to provide listings of suitable products for my readers and from each product link to the vendor’s website, preferably using affiliate link.

    MarketPress can take care of this too. You can use it as a listings only cart and link the products to the vendor site using your affiliate or direct links.

    I’ve been playing around with CustomPress and this can be done almost completely there, except for the reviews.

    For ratings, you can use something like :



    Sales &Support

  • mbeneteau
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus


    I can understand what you are looking for.

    I think it can be done with WP Robot, here is a link to the site:

    Check the Features, Module and videos and you will get your answer.

    Here is the link to the module it supports:

    And it will get you products related to your niche and keywords and too will embed the product with your affiliate link. You can create an account at Amazon, Ebay, Clickbank and Commission Junction too and can use your affiliate link with products on your site.

    Everything will be automated, so you just have to install WP Robot and make the settings, that’s all, and you are ready.

    If you want a copy of WP Robot maybe I can help you up with it, so that you don’t have to pay for the License.

    I am always here to help, Let me know if the above suggestion of mine works for you.


  • seppo
    • Flash Drive

    @pc, thanks for your suggestions. I’m not sure what’s the advantage of MarketPress over custom-built custom post types? I’ll have to play with it again and see what it can do, but based on my testing this is fairly simple to implement with custom page types.

    @mbeneteau, thanks for the suggestion, but I don’t really see how an auto-blogging plugin would help here.

  • PC
    • WPMU DEV Initiate


    If you are getting what you need with ease, then its always good to go ahead with the current solution. If you don’t need MarketPress features, then you can simply go ahead with the custom post types itself.



    Sales &Support

Thank NAME, for their help.

Let NAME know exactly why they deserved these points.

Gift a custom amount of points.