Web Development has been revolutionized to a great extent because of the WordPress CMS. WordPress is a blogging platform and has allowed several new ideas to spring up in time. Today, WordPress is one of the most popular web development platforms with over 30% of the total websites and web pages built in same.
Being a well-recognized WordPress development company in India, we have gained extensive experience in WordPress customization services. This has helped us design a detailed yet simple tutorial to help even the novices code their plugin. Since it is very popular, we at Serve One Tech bring you a simple guide to starting with your extension development with this WordPress plugin development tutorial.
WordPress Plugin Development Tutorial From Scratch
And before we start, you need to have some basic knowledge of PHP and understanding of the Admin System for a start. You will understand about coding the plug-in all by yourself and then upload it on the Admin System to call the code function on the pages you like.
Plugins or extensions help in enhancing the looks as well as the functionality of a given website. A coded plugin can be easily placed in the template.
Over the years, WordPress has become one of the most advanced and user-friendly CMS with unique features. With a basic knowledge of PHP, you can easily bypass the need of custom WordPress development services for simple plug-ins and tweaks. After all, hiring an expert from a top WordPress web development company can be very expensive.
WordPress Folder Structure
The WordPress folder structure is important to understand.
The first important folder of the structure is the
wp-content folder which contains the
plugins directory. Here, your coded plugin will be installed and used from.
If the plugin you code is too small, you can simply use a single PHP file and place it directly in the directory. If your plug-in is planned on an extensive level, it is always preferred that you make a sub directory.
Starting with PHP
Start a simple PHP file and name it after your plugin. The first few lines of your plugin will always contain the extremely important comment information to be parsed by the engine. Without this, WordPress is unable to process the file. Here is a look at an example-
Plugin Name: Write_your_Plugin_Name
Plugin URL: <a href="http://www.pluginurl.com">www.pluginurl.com</a>
Version: Current Version
Description: Brief description of your plug-ins and its features.
The plugin name shows up in the Admin panel when you activate the extension. You can skip the version description, but it makes your plugin look professionally developed.
Conventions and Best Practices
There is a conventional way to name and structure your plugins. Good developers create a class system to avoid confusion or collision with several functions and variable names. If you are a beginner and are unknown to the OOP functionality, it is better to write the code in a sample function.
First, write a simple code for a function to hose the data. You can define a few variables to be implemented in the template.
Filters and Actions
Actions and Filters might be interrelated while developing a plugin but the truth is- they are completely different concepts. They can help in manipulating the plug-in data. Filters and actions enable the developer- in this case, you, to update the information of plug-in through the Admin panel itself.
What is a filter? A filter is a part of the plugin used on text being passed to the WordPress engine. As the name suggests, you can filter the content with it and write your custom functions.
Let’s say you create a filter to change the $ content variable set by WordPress. You can shorten the length of the character using his filter. Filters become crucial especially when you are trying to set a customized look for your blog.
Actions are quite similar to filters. However, actions usually target the pre-defined areas in the template as well as the admin panel. An action can be applied as soon as you update the page’s content. WordPress has several actions as documented in the API documentation. You can know some of these to hit the right target areas in your template.
The Plugin logic
The final function of your plugin will go into the plug-in file. If you have advanced questions or doubts, you can consult the API documentation of WordPress for the solution. It might be difficult to understand the documentation in its technical aspect, but once you understand the underlying concepts, it will be easy for you.
Now the function you made should be placed under the header comment. Now this can also be placed inside the PHP file of the theme’s function. This code will help you create some dynamic content based on limited characters.
Now as this is your first plugin, it is not compulsory for you to understand the internal variables or any of the functions. All you need is a basic understanding of how the functions should be written. If you find it too hard, you can always go for WordPress web development services from experienced experts.
Installing the Plugin File
Now you need to put the code into a PHP extension file and then upload the file to the WordPress plugin directory. The directory address is
wp-content/plugins directory. After you have done this, you need to go and access the WordPress admin panel and then browse the set of plugins recently installed. Activate your plug-in after which you will receive a successful notification of activation.
Do not forget to add the plugin in the function call manually. This can be done by navigating to the Edit menu through Appearance bar.
So hopefully, you would be able to see your first plugin successfully installed on the system. It is not always easy to get it right the first time. So if you face any problem, feel free to contact Serve One Tech, the master of custom WordPress development in India. At Serve One Tech, we provide you with the best possible WordPress CMS Development in India to help you learn and launch your site with plugins in no time.