What’s this now? A new WordPress plugin called WP Table Pixie? Why yes, Options Pixie and Meta Pixie got together and made a baby!

So, when I introduced Meta Pixie my friend and colleague at Delicious Brains, Ashley Rich, had just two comments…

Nice, it supports user meta and everything.
How come you decided to make it a separate plugin?

Apart from obviously loving it ;-), his second comment was basically asking how come I released a brand new plugin for accessing metdata tables rather than adding the functionality to the Options Pixie plugin?

My answer boiled down to how the WordPress database’s “options” and various “*meta” tables are a different structure, the name “Options Pixie” didn’t really fit for tables like postmeta, and frankly it was nice to have more plugins for people to be able to purchase a Pro addon for and for me to cross promote.

A year and bit later, my opinion has changed in a number of ways, and I’ve decided to reboot work on my personal WordPress plugin development by merging Options Pixie and Meta Pixie into a single plugin called WP Table Pixie.

At first, WP Table Pixie supports the following tables: commentmeta, options, postmeta, termmeta, sitemeta (multisite) and usermeta. However, the name “WP Table Pixie” is obviously a little more generic than that initial list of tables might suggest. I’m not promising anything, and I haven’t figured out a good UI yet, but I’m keen to try and expand the plugin to handle more than just those options and metadata tables, plenty of plugins have custom tables that it would be nice to be able to drill down into and manage. If that’s something that appeals, let me know! However, I realised that although the options and metadata tables have obviously different structures, I could mung things a bit in the UI and swap out column labels such as “Related ID” and “Autoload” as appropriate as long as I did some jiggery pokery in the background to make things sane.

I’ve come to very much dislike how having two free plugins with Pro addons means a total of four plugins needing to be installed when wanting to inspect and edit both options and metadata for a customer (I use these plugins a lot when doing support for Delicious Brains).

Hence WP Table Pixie is now a single free plugin that can do the job of the free Options & Meta Pixie plugins to VIEW ALL THE THINGS, but can also be replaced by the Premium version to also EDIT ALL THE THINGS.

This means customers need only install the one plugin, there’s no need to install the free plugin before installing the version of WP Table Pixie they receive after purchase. And believe me, there’s a lot of benefit to developing a free and expanded premium plugin rather than an addon for a free plugin, I squashed many subtle and not so subtle bugs during the development of WP Table Pixie from a single codebase.

With WP Table Pixie I’m moving away from running my own store on my business site, and instead I am using Freemius for both in-plugin upgrades and sales initiated from the (really rough at the moment) product page. There are a few reasons why I’ve made this move from an Easy Digital Downloads based sales site to using the Freemius service, it feels like I should probably go into those reasons in a follow-up post.

If you’re an existing customer that’s bought the Pro addon for Options Pixie, Meta Pixie or both (thank you), am I leaving you out to dry? Of course not! By now every Options or Meta Pixie Pro customer should have received an email with a WP Table Pixie license for a multiple sites plan (because the previous plugins started at 10 site licenses) that expires a year after their current license expires. If you had bought both of the previous Pro addons, then you’re getting a two years extension to your license as big thank you!

If you have any comments or questions about WP Table Pixie, please drop me a tweet.