I’ve been overdue to implement a plugin on the Manolas Handmade Soaps site that would allow Melissa to input metadata for each item that would be used to automatically populate the PayPal button form. For simpler items, I asked her to put the price in the “Excerpt” field and I would generate the other unique fields from the item’s entry title and number. That was a pedestrian way to do it and I’ve found a much better solution.

I had seen Brad Choate‘s KeyValues plugin and was prepared to use it. However, when I was trolling the MT Plugins site last night I found Movalog‘s CustomFields plugin. It was more what I was looking for, since it allows the creation of per-entry fields of different types that are displayed in the Entry Editing screen. It’s going to be a lot easier for Melissa to use day-to-day. The other thing that it accomodates that KeyValues wouldn’t is the custom blocks of form code we’ll still have to input for the more complex items that require drop-down option fields. I couldn’t find an easier way to do that with either plugin.

I’ve created CustomFields for an item’s name, number, and price, as well as two optional fields for option lists. Now I’ve got to go to the category templates and add in the new template tags for the values. I like the fact that CustomValues creates unique template tags for each value; it’ll make the coding easy.

Thanks to both Brad and Movalog for creating plugins like this that help me use MT for our small business. Once successfully implemented, I plan on donating to Movalog for the plugin and may end up using it here, too.