The Weight Tracker plugin lets you keep track of your weight history on your WordPress website. Your progress can be displayed in tables and charts, with a history going back as far as you’d like.
An Easy to Use WordPress Weight Loss Tracker for Everyone
Not only can you use Weight Tracker to document and plot your own weight, but site members can also use it.
Losing weight can be a difficult process, one that can be easier when you go through it with others. Adding a visual representation of your progress can be a great motivator.
The Weight Tracker Plugin is easy to use, so it’s a valuable tool for weight loss communities of any size.
Let’ get down to business and install the plugin so we can start using it.
How to Add Weight Tracker to WordPress
1. Installing the Weight Tracker Plugin
Log in to your WordPress admin panel.
In the left column navigation, mouse over the “Plugins” link and click the “Add New” link.
In the “Search plugins…” box, enter “Weight Tracker.”
When you find the plugin, click the “Install Now” button.
Now the plugin is installed, but it has to be activated before you can use it.
Click the “Activate” button.
That completes installation and activation. Now let’s move on to getting the plugin up and running on your website.
2. Configuring Weight Tracker
When the plugin is activated, it will prompt you to use a setup “wizard.” The wizard doesn’t do much actual wizarding though. It just shows you some links, so you can dismiss it.
Instead, we’ll move on to a couple of important global settings to tend to before getting started.
In the left column navigation, mouse over the “Weight Tracker” link and click the “Settings” link.
There are several settings tabs, but most of the control settings for the paid version of the plugin. We’re using the free version, so we’re mainly concerned with settings in the “General” tab.
Specifically, the “Default units/formats” section.
This is where we’ll select the weight units and date format that we’d like.
Since I’m in the U.S., I’ll set “Weight Units” to Pounds and the “Date format” to US (MM/DD/YEAR).
Settings are available for kilos and even stones, which is apparently how some people gauge their weight.
A more enlightened colleague has just informed me that a stone is an ancient and respected unit of measurement that equals 14 pounds, so I’ve learned something new today. As you can see, the plugin is already proving to be educational.
Whenever making any settings changes, be sure to scroll down and click the “Save Changes” button.
3. Creating the Weight Tracker Interface
Now the plugin is installed and configured, but there’s no way to use it yet. So let’s create an interface.
Create a new page and add the [wlt] shortcode to it. You could also add the tracker to a post. Since we’re using a shortcode, you can add it wherever a shortcode will work.
Now when you save, you’ve got a new page where website users can enter weight information. It’s available to logged-in users only, not anonymous visitors.
4. Using the Weight Tracker Interface
The weight entry interface is pretty simple, with fields for date, weight, and notes. Click the “Save Entry” button after entering a date and weight.
If you have a past record of dates and weights, you can enter then into the form. You can add entries from any date in the past.
As you add dates and weights, a graph is automatically generated.
In this example, I’ve added dates going back nine months.
To see your entries displayed in a table, click the menu icon.
Then click the “History” link.
Now your weight data is presented in a table.
There are group options available in the paid version of the plugin. For the free version, only the logged-in user can see their own weight tracker graph.
5. How to Add the Graph to a WordPress Widget
The paid version of the plugin creates a configurable custom Weight Tracker widget. The free version does not create a widget, but you can enter the shortcode in a text or HTML widget.
In the left column navigation, mouse over the “Appearance” link and click the “Widgets” link.
Here I’m selecting a text widget and adding it to my widget area (the footer in this theme).
Then I’ll add the [wlt] shortcode to the widget and save it.
Now the graph and weight entry form appear in the widget area.
It’s not easy to show the footer in a small image, so you’ll have to take my word that the graph is indeed in the footer. 😉
The shortcode can only appear once on a page or post, so it won’t work on the Weight Tracker page that we created.
6. Using Shortcodes to Access Some Features
Not surprisingly, most of the interesting advanced features are only available in the paid version of the plugin. But the free version can use a few shortcodes to display data.
Here’s a list of the shortcodes and what they do.
- [wlt] – we’ve already seen what this can do. It’s the basic weight entry page.
- The [wt-difference-since-start] shortcode displays the total weight lost by the logged-in user as a number. For example, “-20lbs.”
- [wt-start-weight] displays the start weight of the logged-in user. For example, “200lbs.” This value is based on the earliest weight entered by the user.
- [wt-latest-weight] shortcode displays the most recent weight entered by the logged-in user.
- The [wt-target-weight] Displays the logged-in user’s current target weight.
- [wt-difference-from-target] Displays the difference between the logged-in user’s most recent weight entry and their target weight. So if your target weight is 150 and your latest weight entered is 155, this will display “+5lbs.” because you’re currently five pounds over the target.
What Happens if You Uninstall the Weight Tracker Plugin
If you uninstall the plugin, pages and posts that used the plugin will be affected.
- Pages you created to display any of the plugin features will no longer display weight data.
- The plugin shortcodes will stop working, so the shortcodes themselves will be displayed as text anywhere they were used.
The plugin creates database tables that are not removed when the plugin is uninstalled. If you want to delete them, look for tables with the “WS_” prefix.
The above issues are what I found in the course of my use and testing. There may be other issues that my testing did not uncover.
Tracking Your Weight Can Be a Great Tool
Because weight loss is such a gradual process, it’s encouraging to see a graph that trends downward over time. And if you can gain input and support from like-minded people at the same time, it’s a win/win situation.
At first, it can feel a bit odd and disconcerting to make public something that’s traditionally been private. Our weight is one of those traditionally private things, like our income or our personal relationships.
But the benefits of being out in the open can easily outweigh (no pun intended) any potential downsides. And who knows, you could even serve as an inspiration to others.
Do you use an app to track your weight? Do you see a benefit to making your weight information public?
Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.
Author: Michael Phillips
Michael Phillips is a web hosting industry veteran, helping people make the most of their web presence since 1995.