Every social network has some sort of system for “following” other users, and also for other users to “follow” your profile. In this tutorial series, we are going to look at how to build a user following system plugin from scratch.

Through this series we will writing a complete plugin from start to finish that includes everything needed for a user follow system. Here are just some of the things we will cover:

  • A real-world example of where and how this is used.
  • Showing how the system works (where data is stored, how it is retrieved, etc)
  • Writing the main functions
  • Following a user
  • Unfollowing a user
  • Adding ajax to the plugin
  • Showing data from users we follow
  • Displaying all users we follow and that follow us

This entire tutorial series will be based off of the work I did for CG Cookie, INC. Their site has a complete following system primarily to let users follow the work of others submitted to the site galleries.

Here’s a screenshot of what a user’s profile page looks like on CG Cookie, including the follower/ing counts:

The page that shows all of the users that are following another user, or that a user is following, looks like this:

The look of our plugin will differ from what is shown in the screenshots above, they are just to give you a better idea of what we are creating.