Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

The WordPress CMS has changed the face of our Internet and allowed a surge of new ideas to prosper, and its open-source movement holds a strong presence rooted in software and web development. WordPress is a blogging platform that has the ability to launch into many other scripts such as web forums, job boards, and even a classic webpage Content Management System. We’ll be going over a few ways to get started in plug-ins development for WordPress. The steps are relatively simple and don’t require immense dedication to study. A rudimentary knowledge of PHP would be useful even with a basic understanding of the WordPress file structure and Administration panel. In this brief tutorial, we’ll be going over the necessary steps required to create a simple WordPress plug-in. The functionality will be used to develop dynamic excerpts based on the number passed into our function call. You’ll need to upload the plug-in file and activate it from the Admin panel, then follow up by calling our function from whatever pages we want the excerpt to appear. Links to completed plug-in source code is already added later in this article 🙂 60 Most Wanted WordPress Tricks and Hacks (Updated) 60 Most Wanted WordPress Tricks and Hacks (Updated) Have you ever came across a WordPress blog, saw something you liked, and thought; how they did that,… Read more Why develop for WordPress? Plug-ins are a great way to enhance the functionality of your blog by adding extra features. These can be placed anywhere inside your template by function hooks. Over time the extensibility of WordPress’ plug-in system has allowed tremendous growth and hundreds of developer-submitted pieces of software. WordPress offers explicitly such advanced features in its CMS that unique plug-ins are few and far between. As a developer, you hold complete control over the backend specifics of your weblog. Hiring a PHP developer to create a system plugin would cost a lot more than you may imagine, and the API is relatively easy enough to work with and learn yourself. As a secondary argument, developing over WordPress is an excellent practice for tuning yourself into other areas. Building smaller plugins and sidebar widgets in WordPress will help you develop an understanding of how the backend system works. This isn’t just limited to WordPress, as you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the vast majority of Content Systems. 1. WP folder structure An introduction to the WordPress folder structure will show the primary app directories. Inside wp-content, you’ll find a plugins directory. Here is where all of your individual plug-ins will be housed, either single files or properly named sub-directories. For smaller plug-ins which only require a single .php file, you have the option to place this directly into the plug-ins/ directory. However, when you start developing more complicated applications, it’s much more useful to create a subdirectory named after your plug-in. Inside, you can house JavaScript, CSS, and HTML includes along with your PHP functions. A readme.txt file can also be useful if you’re planning on offering your plugin for download. This file should include your name and what the plugin does. As the author, you may also consider including details about each revision and which updates have come out. 2. Starting your PHP file When creating a new plugin, you’ll need to start with a simple PHP file. This can be named anything but should generally reflect your plug-in’s official name.  » Read More

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