Where Sports Bench is headed after version 1.5

So Sports Bench 1.5 came out this week. And that means that it’s time to start looking ahead to what’s down the road with Sports Bench.

Among the things I want to tackle with future of Sports Bench is one crucial thing, Gutenberg, and a couple of things that will make Sports Bench much more powerful and useful. And as always, if you want features added to Sports Bench, you can suggest those to.

So, here’s what’s down the road for Sports Bench in the near future.

Gutenberg, duh

With version 1.5 out of the way, Gutenberg integration now takes over the top priority. I wrote more about this last week, but in brief, the plan is to covert the current shortcodes into Gutenberg blocks. Then once those are in place, the integration will grow so that you can create cool layouts with Sports Bench and Gutenberg for your posts and pages.

Add in front-end and back-end searching

But after that, I really want to add in search functionality in the backend and frontend. There’s already some search capability with the games, players and teams admin pages, but that’s extremely limited.

What I’m hoping to do is to allow users to search for specific games or games feature a specific team or teams. And that player and team stats would be search able so you could see who the all-time or season leaders on. Ideally it would be like Baseball Reference or Hockey Reference, except just for your league.

That would really take Sports Bench in a very cool direction.

Accessibility

I also want to make sure that Sports Bench, both the plugin and theme, are completely accessible. That means that people with disabilities, impairments or otherwise use screen readers can use sites that have the theme and/or plugin.

This wasn’t really on my radar until I heard Rachel Cherry talk about it on the WP Weekly Podcast in January. I hoped to get it in version 1.5, but unfortunately time ran out. But it will definitely be in version 1.6.

Add export functionality

Finally, Sports Bench 1.3 added import functionality. Now I want to add export functionality. This would allow users to export all of their data from all of the tables out into a zip file with the necessary CSV files. That way if you have to move sites for whatever reason, you can do that seamlessly.

So that’s what’s on my radar for Sports Bench as the year progresses. But, if you have a feature idea that you want added into the theme or plugin, feel free to leave it on the Feature Request forum. And who knows, it just might make it into an update.