Greyhound Timetable Search

Old Greyhound Site

Old Greyhound Site – timetable search

Please note that I have, and had, NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with developing the payments side of greyhound. I don’t even know who did that job for greyhound.

Not too long ago, I did a job for Greyhound where they needed a method for users of their service to download their timetable. To do this, I implemented a nice submit/retrieve form; the user enters their address, the system give back the day of waste collection.

Then my friend redeveloped their website from greyhoundrecycling.ie to web.grehound.ie. In the process, they moved from a non-content managed solution to using WordPress as a CMS. As a result, I needed to integrate a search function again.

I decided to turn my php script into a WordPress plugin, and somewhere in that process I decided to make it shortcode enabled. That way, if they need the search code on a different page in the future, it’s really easy to accomplish.

Greyhound WP Timetable Search

Greyhound WP Timetable Search

While I was at it, they also wanted to make it more simple to use. The old system had bins and bags as separate searches, so we integrated the two into the one search. Now, you enter your house name or number, and street into the form, and it brings back a result set. It then tells you what day your collections are on, and gives you a direct link to your calendar. At first, it was a jumble of words and links and looked extremely messy, but with a bit of css magic, things were looking much better than they were before, and were easier to navigate.

Luckily for me, I have done WordPress plugins before, and have worked with shortcodes, too, so this wasn’t a huge task. The main issue with this was making it look nice. In the end, I pulled the pdf filename from the database for each house, and then ran it through a switch statement, and changed all the names to user-friendly ones such as “Wednesday – Green, Black & Brown Bins”. This makes the whole process easy to understand from a user’s perspective, and is done using a switch statement which gives good efficiency.

The skills I employed while doing this job were:

  • PHP5
  • CSS3
  • WordPress Plugin API
  • WP Plugin Shortcodes
  • MySQL
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