WordPress has emerged as the most renowned and preferred CMS (content management system) in the world. This is why many businesses hire professional developers to create a strong online presence and engage their audience through a stunning website.
However, without integrating essential plugins, and themes, and investing in needed WordPress website maintenance services, this platform doesn’t function or run to its fullest capabilities. That is why the demand for plugin and theme developers is increasing to the next level.
If you want to become a proficient plugin developer, you need an exceptional skillset in the field to make big money. But, in order to reach this goal, you step into the right path and follow best practices as a developer.
Whether you are a seasoned developer or just a beginner. In this post, we will go through the most vital tips that you need to consider when developing a WordPress plugin. Let’s begin!
8 Best practices for WordPress plugin developers to follow
As a developer, getting accompanied by the best WordPress development practices will make the entire process way easier than you think. Adhering to these practices will help you polish your WordPress development skills and become an expert in your field.
Let’s begin with its basic concepts:
Hooks: Hooks allow developers to manipulate a specific point in the WordPress development process without altering or making changes to its core files. You can apply it to the filter hook and action hook.
Shortcodes: To present information to the user and communicate uninterruptedly with the WordPress theme, you need to use shortcodes. It enables you to insert an active HTML element into different web pages or posts.
Widgets: Widgets are another method to show your plugin information to the end user.
Now all these are the basic concepts of WordPress development that we have covered, let’s quickly explore the vital steps or tips while developing a custom plugin.
1. Outline requirements
The first tip that you need to consider in the WordPress plugin development process is to outline your development requirements. Once you start the process, make sure that the objective of the plugin is clear in your head. This is because when you have a clear idea of the solution to an issue, you can easily develop an efficient plugin.
Factors like features to be added to the plugin, ways to customize it, and its look, all have to be considered in this step.
2. Create a directory structure
WordPress offers a default WP directory to store plugin codes. The complexity of your plugin depends on the way you structure your plugin in this directory. It is recommended to have one PHP file that has all codes of your plugin.
If you are working on a complex plugin, create an MVC view with directories for model, view, and, control within your plugin directory. It helps you perform rapid debugging later.
3. Use the right set of tools
Using the right set of tools will help you begin the WordPress plugin development process quickly. You will require a comfortable text editor, a development server for testing the plugin, and an FTP client for swiftly shifting files between your system and the server.
4. Utilize boilerplate
Developing a plugin requires huge time and effort. To ease the process of plugin development, you should utilize a boilerplate. If you develop your plugin through a boilerplate, you will save a lot of time as it helps you reuse the codes.
5. Stick to WordPress coding standards
Developers can utilize the in-built functions and features of WordPress in all possible steps. If you do it, you can accelerate the process of plugin development and avoid reworking a specific step. You need to stick to the WordPress coding standards to make your project less time-consuming.
6. Use the MVC structure
For many reasons including modularity and maintainability, using the MVC structure is the most recommended option in plugin development. You can remain organized with your plugin architectures if you utilize MVC pattern design.
7. Configure the plugin
After creating your plugin directory and adding files to it, the next thing is to include a file header. It is a PHP comment block that includes data about your plugin. You can go to the WordPress codex to look for the information of a sample file header. Once you add the file header, you can see the list of plugins on your admin dashboard.
8. Add functionality to the plugin
By now, you must have created an empty plugin only which doesn’t help you accomplish your goals. To make it meaningful, you are required to add functionality to your plugin.
You can take help from the WordPress plugin handbook to get the right guidance on this. In this step, you will convert your idea into reality. You will create a WordPress admin page with the name of your choice. When you create this page, the menu item also gets added.
WordPress is the most preferred CMS worldwide. The user-friendly interface and ability to create stunning web pages in seconds make this platform most desirable for businesses.
WordPress is undeniably easy to learn tool but takes ages to master. Once you learn the required skills, you can make huge bucks by offering WordPress development services to your clients.
Developers who are on the verge of creating their first or many WordPress plugins know the challenge they face in the process. Creating a WordPress plugin from scratch needs a lot of effort and time.
To develop a plugin, you need relevant expertise, skill, and patience. The most important part of the process is pursuing the right development practices.
Following all the aforementioned tips will make your life easy. These steps will accelerate the process of WordPress plugin development process by making it less challenging.