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Custom Tables in WordPress

While the default WordPress database schema is perfect for most content related data types, there may be instances where you need to create custom tables in a WordPress database. One example of this is when a plugin has a specific use case that extends beyond what the custom post type functionality of WordPress offers. In this session, we will look at what you need to know to create and manage custom WordPress database tables, how to create and interact with these tables, and some maintenance considerations.

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Custom Tables in WordPress
Jonathan Bossenger
Learn.WordPress.org
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👋🏽 Welcome!
As you join, let everyone know in the chat where you’re
joining us from…
Hello!
○ My name is Jonathan Bossenger
○ From Cape Town, South Africa
○ Developer educator at Automattic
○ Sponsored to work with the Training Team
○ jonathanbossenger.com
Learn.WordPress.org
Custom tables in WordPress
Jonathan Bossenger
Announcements
○ Welcome, and thanks to Tracy for co-hosting.
○ Please let me know if you can’t see this slide!
○ We are presenting in focus mode, but please feel free to enable your video.
○ You are welcome to ask questions.
○ You are welcome to post questions in the chat, or unmute to ask questions.
Announcements
○ Make sure your local install is ready
○ If I am going too fast, please let me know!
○ We will be posting this session to https://wordpress.tv/ afterwards
○ For WordPress tutorials and courses please visit https://learn.wordpress.org/
○ For WordPress developer news and updates please visit
https://developer.wordpress.org/news/
Learning outcomes
○ The fundamentals of creating and managing custom WordPress tables.
• When you should consider a custom table
• Where to find documentation
• How to create a custom table
• How to select, add or update data in a custom table
• A brief overview of table updates
• Cleaning up your custom tables

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Custom Tables in WordPress

  • 1. 1 Custom Tables in WordPress Jonathan Bossenger Learn.WordPress.org
  • 2. 2 👋🏽 Welcome! As you join, let everyone know in the chat where you’re joining us from… Hello! ○ My name is Jonathan Bossenger ○ From Cape Town, South Africa ○ Developer educator at Automattic ○ Sponsored to work with the Training Team ○ jonathanbossenger.com
  • 3. Learn.WordPress.org Custom tables in WordPress Jonathan Bossenger
  • 4. Announcements ○ Welcome, and thanks to Tracy for co-hosting. ○ Please let me know if you can’t see this slide! ○ We are presenting in focus mode, but please feel free to enable your video. ○ You are welcome to ask questions. ○ You are welcome to post questions in the chat, or unmute to ask questions.
  • 5. Announcements ○ Make sure your local install is ready ○ If I am going too fast, please let me know! ○ We will be posting this session to https://wordpress.tv/ afterwards ○ For WordPress tutorials and courses please visit https://learn.wordpress.org/ ○ For WordPress developer news and updates please visit https://developer.wordpress.org/news/
  • 6. Learning outcomes ○ The fundamentals of creating and managing custom WordPress tables. • When you should consider a custom table • Where to find documentation • How to create a custom table • How to select, add or update data in a custom table • A brief overview of table updates • Cleaning up your custom tables
  • 7. Requirements ○ A local WordPress install ○ A text editor ○ A way to access your database • https://wordpress.org/plugins/sql-buddy/ ○ The wp-learn-database.php script in the root of your WordPress installation • https://gist.github.com/jonathanbossenger/d96520acd6225ea969f091752a3bca8b ○ An empty plugin
  • 9. Resources ○ https://codex.wordpress.org/Creating_Tables_with_Plugins ○ https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/register_activation_hook/ ○ https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/register_deactivation_hook/ ○ https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/classes/wpdb/ ○ https://wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/4852/post-meta-vs-separate-database-tables