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General Discussion

Jennifer Hinkle
Jennifer Hinkle
8,365 Points

what do I need to learn next?


I've learned the basics of web development through following the Learn Wordpress Track and Web Design Track. Through these, I have built a couple of websites with basic functionality. I know feel pretty comfortable with HTML, CSS, basic jQuery, and PHP.

Next I would like to build a website that has greater functionality. A friend has a private practice and would like to expand their online functionality.

I want the ability for the user to see available appointment times and be able to sign up for them. Like an open, interactive calendar. Also, I would like this functionality to be able to notify the client (my friend) of updates to the calendar. Also, for the client to be able to edit the calendar easily.

I understand this functionality is much greater than anything I've tackled so far, but it seems like a great project for me to do next in order to expand my skills. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I need to learn next in order to accomplish this?

I understand I need to learn more about server-side programming, so I'm guessing learning Ruby should help accomplish this goal?

Any advice on where to get started and what direction to take would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance and happy holidays! Jenn

I think Ruby on Rails is a good idea is patients of the practice are to have logins to enable them to check their appointment time and such like. Ruby makes it super simple to achieve systems like this then for the appointments look at this plug in on github. Sounds like a good idea I could see this for future of doctors with medical information easily obtainable by the patient aswel as other medical professionals.

Would be happy to lend a hand with anything on this project

That's a cool plugin, thanks for sharing that one.

no problem

2 Answers

Hi Jennifer,

So, I wanted to take a second and write to you in regards to a next path... the next path in any situation is exactly the path you are already on, which includes taking on more advanced projects (such as your friends practice and the online functionality they want to have) and learning to not just be comfortable with the basic capabilities of your current skills but to expand upon them.

Since you have a beginning understanding of both WordPress and PHP, my suggestion in regards to your friends website is to go with a WordPress / PHP solution. For one thing, WordPress will provide a strong base for content management, SEO and appearance, while your PHP skills (as they develop) can help enhance and extend the functionality of that website.

For instance, you can extend the functionality of the WordPress site with things like plugins and believe it or not there are dozens of compatible and well supported scheduling plugins (open source) for your WordPress site.

Free Plugins available right from your WordPress Plugin Dashboard:

  • Online scheduling plugin for WordPress website let leads and clients easily schedule an appointment. The plugin is Free! Meeting Scheduler.

  • Accept appointments from your clients 24x7x365 and wow your clients with our coolest interface. It's Free. Appointment Scheduler.

Premium plugins offered by WPMUDEV:

  • The most powerful, flexible and feature-rich bookings plugin available for WordPress. Appointments + does it all. It's paid, but this may be a total membership that you may want to be a part of... Appointments +.

  • They also offer guaranteed to work, always updated, top quality plugins. Beautifully coded, packed with features and easy to use. 350+ premium plugins & themes to be exact.

You can also extend WordPress to house a social or member like environment using BuddyPress and BBPress (Both Open Source and Free).

  • BuddyPress: ++ BuddyPress is Social Networking, the WordPress way. Easily create a fully featured social network inside your WordPress.org powered site.

  • bbPress: ++ bbPress is forum software with a twist from the creators of WordPress. Easily setup discussion forums inside your WordPress.org powered site.

Finally, the more you work with extending and developing PHP plugins to enhance or extend the functionality of WordPress, I would say you are not only on the right track, you are being successful.

Good Luck,


Jennifer Hinkle
Jennifer Hinkle
8,365 Points

Thanks so much for your advice! I agree I would like to become better with PHP and this seems like a great way to do it.

Thanks for all of these plugin suggestions! This is an excellent place to start!

Happy holidays and thanks so much to all! Jenn

Happy Holidays!

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

You don't need Ruby, if you are a strong PHP programmer you can use that.