ISO a wp shopping cart plugin without all the ecommerce

(John Cory) #1


I’m looking to develop or use an existing plugin that can help me help visitors to my site create “cut sheets” (as we used to call them). From a high level, I’m looking for a shopping cart, but there’s no transaction. There’s no money, no prices. The goal is to help visitors create a custom PDF of our site’s content that they can download.

I work in an industry in which the site visitor looks for “portfolio builders” – functionality that lets you go around my company’s site and add custom post types and custom taxonomies to a “shopping cart,” for lack of a better word, and then download a PDF (yep, a PDF) of the content you favorited.

Our “company” is sort of a design agency and our “customers” or site visitors are like buyers. They visit our sites to do research for a CEO who makes a final call on whether to hire us. If we don’t have a portfolio of Projects (Custom Post Type), a roster of Vice Presidents (Custom Post Type), relevant News (Custom Post Type), and catalog of Services (Custom Taxonomy Terms) to choose from, they don’t have much to report. So, we want to help them pick a few of each of these things assemble them in a given order on a page and then help them download or email a PDF they can print.

I made one once that used sessions and it was very clunky. This is the closest thing I’ve ever seen, but I’ve got to believe other people have made these, especially with the PDF maker.

I’m lost for terminology on what other people might call this.


Tool to collect content on website (images, text)
(Leland Fiegel) #2

Trying to grok what you mean here. Would you say “self-serve proposal builder” is an accurate description?

Since custom PDF creation is a central to what you’re proposing, something like Gravity PDF might come in handy. I haven’t used it before, but combined with some creative use of Gravity Forms functionality, I’m sure there’s some way to build what you’re envisioning.

(John Cory) #3

Hi Leland,

Yeah, a “proposal builder” is very much what I’m thinking.

There are a couple of plugins that do “favorites” and “bookmarking.” Adding Gravity PDF to the mix, as you suggested, might be the way to go. At least I’ll try to examine what it does. My other adventures into PDF-building have been soul-crushing. A lot of caveats in this world, at least as of 2 years ago.

I should probably pick something a bit simpler for my first plugin, but I may need to do this myself! Any suggestions on plugin developers/collaborators for hire much appreciated. I have a great graphic design team and know exactly how this should storyboard.

BTW, thanks for mentioning wpchat at the last meetup. I’ve been looking for a place like this for years.


(Leland Fiegel) #4

If the “favorited” posts could be somehow hooked into a dynamically populated field in Gravity Forms, you’d be well on your way to getting something like this working.

I’m not exactly sure how all the pieces would fit together, but I have a feeling it’s possible with pre-existing tools and a lot of experimentation.

Of course! I’m glad you are finding it useful.

(Henning) #5

@cory Did you find an existing solution / modified + mixed some functionality or did you have to build a plugin of your own for this? How did things work out?

I am asking since I myself am looking for a similar feature to use on an architect’s site which includes grabbing posts / images / texts and render those as PDF.

Thanks for your update!

(John Cory) #6

Hi, Henning.

I was not able to find a good, existing easy solution. I ended up cobbling something together but I can’t really distribute it. Deadlines, yay.

I didn’t follow Leland’s advice but I would go back to it if I had the time.

Sorry. If I can find some time in the next Q1, I will try to break this down. I need it too often.