A great way plugin let down by documentation
I love this module and how powerful it is but on the other hand I think it is a pain to get that information out once in there.
I know they’ve tried to update that but I think they should just stop EVERYTHING and focus on writing their own documentation and how-to’s, and gathering ALL their resources together in a consistent manner and then it could be a game changer.
Perhaps that’s why reviews are so polarised – it certainly irks me to spend hours trying to figure out something that is in the end trivial to do, but just hard to find out how.
Can you clarify which parts you were having trouble with? Were you working with Custom Post Types or Advanced Content Types?
We’ve spent a huge amount of time and effort this year on documentation, tutorials, and a new video tutorial series. So this isn’t something we aren’t paying attention to, we’ve been sinking a ton of time into it actually.
I think what may be the issue here is finding the correct paths to that information. We have pretty detailed pages of documentation for the areas you’ve described so far, could you expand with some additional constructive criticism so we can make it easier to find that information?
Where did we go wrong? I honestly want to be sure we can turn your rating around and you be confident in our project and it’s documentation. Any / all information would be helpful for future users/developers and existing ones alike. We appreciate your feedback and stand ready to act on it.
I would like to recommend one perfect tutorial for beginners (as I am the beginner): http://www.ostraining.com/blog/wordpress/introduction-to-pods/
I couldn’t find anything like this here and I was about to uninstall this plugin. But I am going to use it now and learn more and more 🙂 Your docs are more for intermediate users 🙂
Awesome! Thanks for giving us another chance, we’ll definitely add that link to our site and start thinking about how to direct beginners to some new begginner-oriented material.
That’s a good set of documentation links and the 4 YouTube intro videos are absolutely key, although I’d like to see them backed up by exact equivalent ‘text based’ pages (on YouTube the compression unfortunately makes the @ look like a #, but there’s not a lot you can do about that!)
It would also be nice to stretch the beginner articles to include ‘Pages’ as well, since Pages add the magic ability to deal with pagination which templates don’t, and which is a very important capability if you are going to use Pods seriously.
But I think the area that could be improved most – in terms of documentation – is organisation. So, I’m new to Pods, I go to documentation (http://pods.io/docs/) and in the Learn section I am greeted with a huge amount of info about the different types, but NOT about the usage of those types. i.e. very easy to see how to create Pods but not then to get them on screen. I really think that side of things could do with little more attention. The bottom link ‘Tutorials’ is the one I have to dig into to find how I actually get Pods on screen and then the first item in the list I see (no mention of excellent YouTube videos) is:
“Partial Page Caching and Smart Template Parts with Pods”
which is an advanced subject and not much help to a beginner and in fact off putting to a beginner. I dig through these and I come across
“Pods – Pages and Templates and More Pages OH MY!”
which basically looks like what I need, but it isn’t Pods originated content, is based on an old version of Pods and is, well appears, to be incorrect.
Can you add tags to the articles tutorials and reveal them, so then people could filter by beginner, advanced, creation, display etc. I know there aren’t many articles but it’s just a ‘what the heck’ when you see them all randomly on screen? Maybe just order them so they range from beginner to advanced from top to bottom?
And can you get the YouTube articles linked from an article within tutorials section as I didn’t seem them in there?
That’s some suggestions but just from my personal point of view, hope they make sense and might be of some use. I just feel there needs to be a little more in Pods documentation itself (i.e. written and controlled by you) about how to get pods on screen (as covered by the excellent YouTube walkthroughs, and on using Pages). And the documentation just needs to be better structured and more easily discovered.
My dream is for code on screen (that works and can be copied and pasted!) and instructions that you can walk through to deliver a simple solution to create Pods, then get them on screen, up to and inculding Pages; listed in the Sections | Learn list and then the more advanced stuff is fine covered as is. That way people can quickly get into it, understand the principles and off you go!
Hope that is positive feedback.
The tutorials section is getting reorganized, we’re adding more and more and need some better clearer paths for different cases. So on-top of that part 🙂
As for Pod Pages, we have two new video tutorials that are done and are pending release waiting on text-based equivalents, Josh will know more about the timeline on that.
We are planning a complete 2014 revamp of our site with better organization as the main focus. We just had a revamp in 2013, but we’ve added such a huge amount of doc pages that it’s already time to reorganize 🙂
I have just published a new page in our tutorials section rounding up all of our resources on Advanced Content Types. It includes link to tutorials and screencasts on using Pods Pages with Advanced Content Types, and SEO for Pods Pages. I genuinely appreciate any feedback you might have on these new resources and what you think we might still be missing.
The page is available here:
Your comment in this thread was very useful for Scott and I to think through the site re-organization. We were talking last night about the best ways to organize the tutorials section, with a new taxonomy or adding existing taxonomies to them. Your comment helped us see that we need both–a new taxonomy to organize tutorials by difficulty is needed in addition to including them in existing taxonomies, so they can be easily referenced from related documentation pages.
Thank you again for your feedback and I ask that you be patient as this reorganization is a major under taking that takes time to plan and execute. In the mean time we are available here, via the forums on pods.io and in our IRC chat to help you with any issues that you have.
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