Introducing the Simple Badges plugin (alpha)

Speaking of plugin releases, if you’d like you can have a look at the alpha release of Simple Badges, a fun new plugin I’ve been working on recently.

My goal with Simple Badges is to make the process of awarding badges to users on a WordPress website a painless process. See, Achievements is awesome if you’re using BuddyPress; often I’m not. CubePoints is something to look at if you want your users to accrue points that they can then exchange for things. But if all you want it the ability to award graphic badges for various things, display them on a user’s profile, and perhaps show off with a leader board, then Simple Badges could be for you.

Right now Simple Badges is in the middle of the development phase. I’ve had fun so far, and I’m learning a lot along the way. If you’re daring you can grab a copy from I wouldn’t recommend using it on any live sites at the moment, though.

Right now with Simple Badges you can:

  • create badges with descriptions and icons as simply as you would a new post,
  • manually grant badges to users on your site, and
  • browse badges and see which users have each of them.

I have a lot planned for this plugin, though. For the final release version Simple Badges will:

  • let you create automatically granted badges (based on post counts, registration dates, etc.),
  • allow badges to be hidden to users until they have earned them,
  • include a shortcode for displaying a leader board, and
  • offer up a default badge and template for creating your own.

There may be more on deck for future releases, but this should be enough to justify a full public release.

Fun fact: This was the first plugin I’ve written as a class rather than a series of functions. It was a lot of fun digging into a new technique, particularly when it’s something I should have dug into a long time ago.

I’ll be updating my development blog as I make progress.

6 thoughts on “Introducing the Simple Badges plugin (alpha)

  1. I just wish i could get this plugin to do something. It is installed and activated, and under Tools in the admin I have Badges. This appears to be just a custom post type and i can set a title, content and a featured image. But i don’t see any meta data box. Nor can i find any means to assign a badge manually. I must be doing something wrong – any suggestions?

    • The plugin’s still in the super early stages of development. I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time with it yet — I just wanted to get discussions about the idea of Simple Badges started up, and of course track development on dot org.

      I’ll provide more documentation and installation/setup guides once the plugin is ready for use.

      • It is looking very exciting and exactly what I am looking for. I re-read the instructions and was a little confused by this part:

        >>> When created (and after visiting and re-saving your permalinks under Settings > Permalinks) you can view a rundown of your badges at

        Not quite sure what you mean by revisiting my permalinks and how this makes a badge page appear.I guess i will have to wait and see what you deliver next.

  2. I think a simple badge system is a great addition to (most) CMS uses of WordPress and quite a few Blog uses. I would love to see it further developed and I’ll be sure to take the alpha for a spin later on. Cheers!

  3. Hey Ryan, this sounds great – down the road we will need need something like this on a major site here at work (Sears). We’ve been planning to build this using my Media Categories 2 plugin as a starting point – but if you have this rolling then I’ll try this out instead. Putting it on our Customer Service side would mean we would put it through one hell of a QA process, and we’de probably be able to contribute a bunch of stuff back.

    Good luck, I’m look forward to this plugin.

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