analysis, analyzing, beaker

Clinical Trials Database

This was a project to create a plugin for WordPress that would provide the following functionality:

  • Import a spreadsheet of clinical trial data on a regular basis. The data might contain new records, updates to old records or both.
  • Create or import new, sub-trial content that refers to a specific trial from the imported data while having its own discrete fields.
  • Present the content from the two trial-types in a way that expresses the link between them.
  • Allow searching of the data in a fast and user-friendly way that also follows the relational link between the two trial-types.

This was a great project. I really enjoyed thinking about the different ways that WordPress could be used to solve the specific requirements and went through a few different ideas. In the end the system was modelled on WordPress’ hierarchical page structure. The main imported trials are created as a page-like custom post-type and the “sub-trials” are created as their descendants.

Custom taxonomies were created to handle fields where the same content would be applied to many trials and standard custom fields were set up for data that is likely to be unique to each trial.

Another aspect to this job was the requirement to implement the design for the site. I worked from the designer’s mock-ups to create the theme customisations and CSS; another job that I enjoyed a lot on this project. The style is simple, clean and generous and really doesn’t get in the user’s way.

This project can currently (05/04/2021) be seen in action at


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