The DailyDigi: Member Management

I’m very proud of this piece of software. It replaced a funky, clunky, junky box of hacks that was previously powering the Daily Digi.

But I’m proud of it for another reason; it’s the first time I ever built anything beyond a WordPress theme. It was a pretty big milestone for me. Most of the bits and pieces of it were things that I had made before, either as little proof-of-concepts or parts of actual work, but I had never tried to assemble them all into a working machine before.

Walk the coastline

The big chunks of functionality were clear at the outset; secure password storage and retrieval, new accounts, logins, PayPal instant payment notification, payment reports… basic paywall/recurring subscription service stuff.

What’s that they say about experience being the thing you get 5 minutes after you need it? If that’s the case, then this was a fantastic experience, if for no other reason than it was the first time that I ever went over budget or over deadline.

It taught me two valuable lessons:

  1. I can’t always rely on my ability to perform the unknown.

  2. Even simple things are probably complex.

Basically, the fact that I had to write an equation to help the script figure out if it was the last day of the month or not is something that I never, ever would have learned without working on this project.

I also wouldn’t have learned how unbelievably resilient PHP is. I know there are entire swaths of the coding community that hate it (which I don’t understand), but the site stays up and doesn’t just decide that it’s not going to work on a given day.