Inquiry cart plugin for WordPress

Update: 1-Feb-2014

I’ve been receiving requests for updating this plugin for WP for over a year now. I don’t work with WordPress anymore. I now program in Ruby, mostly with Ruby on Rails. I would highly recommend every WordPress dev do the same. Life is better on this side of the fence.

WordPress is a great blogging platform, and I still recommend it to people who want a blog. If you have paying clients who insist that you make their website using WordPress, and they definitely want it to have an inquiry-cart, then please get the source code from here and update it yourself. It is open-source licenced. If you do update this and get it working, I would be glad to have the updated code available on the same repository, so that it benefits other people. Its not a lot of code, and if you are hell-bent on doing work in PHP this plugin isn’t a big deal; its only about 4 files doing the work, and things are (I think) neatly seperated.

But I did just have a look at it, and looking at PHP made me cringe. Please do not ask me to update this code myself. I am no longer a WP developer. Its just 4 files of PHP; if you are a WP developer, please just update it yourself.

Inquiry carts in WordPress

I’ve been asked by a client to include an inquiry cart into a website. I’d never heard of inquiry carts before, so I looked it up. Its a fairly simple idea that takes the principle of ‘Make things easy for the end user’ just a little bit further.

Who would want something like this? People who do customized work, thats who. Examples would include

  • Artists – Publish a sample of your work, and people can ask for variations on it.
  • Hardware installers – If you want people to ask for a quote on delivery, installation, and service of a particular piece of machinery.
  • Service providers – If you make short-films (Or design dresses, furniture, parking lots (They can be creative too), etc), and you want to make it easy for people to ask you questions about your projects

Basically, anyone who does work or sells a product that can’t simply be put in a box and mailed to the end-user would want to use something like this.

I tried looking for something that satisfied this need of my client. And all I came up with was this, which seemed to be perfect. Till I got to the point where its not actively developed anymore and it doesn’t work with the latest WP.

My own inquiry cart plugin

So I decided to take that and hack it till it does work on the latest WP. Easier said than done. The source code suggests to me that this plugin is a hack of another plugin that seemed to have taken care of favourite posts for the registered users of a website. So its got a bunch of complexity that simply isn’t needed for the inquiry cart functionality. And since I had it with trying to debug that code, I decided to just make my own. Kudos to the Church Media Resource people for doing the original one, though. Its simple and straightforward, which is just what it should be.

My plugin is (Imaginatively) called ‘Inquiry cart’ and the code can be found on github, as always. Its going to be a pain dealing with’s SVN requirement, but thats life.

Once its up on the servers, I hope I’ll get requests for features to add to this. I don’t want to deal with adding features that aren’t going to be used by people.

As of right now the plugin uses shortcodes to allow the sysadmin of the website to ‘add products’ to be used by the inquiry cart form that sends the email to whoever is going to be working with end-user inquiries. Basic, and it works.

Leave a Reply