Are you searching for a comprehensive guide on WordPress plugin development that will walk you through all of the necessary procedures and hold your hand the entire way? If that’s the case, you’re in luck. This article will cover the fundamentals of building your own plugins as well as some suggestions on best practices.
Getting Started WordPress Plugin
A WordPress plugin is a PHP file containing a WordPress plugin header comment at its most basic level. It is strongly advised that you establish a directory. For your plugin so that all of its files are properly arranged in one location.
Follow the instructions below to begin building a new plugin.
- Go to the wp-content directory of your WordPress installation.
- Open the plugins directory.
- Make a new directory and call it the plugin’s name (e.g. basic-plugin).
- Open the new plugin’s directory.
- Create a new PHP file (it’s also a good idea to name it after your plugin, for example, basic-plugin.php).
On the Windows command line, the procedure looks like this:
wordpress>cd wp-content wp-content>cd plugins plugins>mkdir plugin-name plugins>cd plugin-name plugin-name>vi plugin-name.php
In the example above, vi is the name of the text editor. Use whichever editor is comfortable for you.
You’ll need to include a plugin header comment now that you’re changing the PHP file for your new plugin. This is a PHP block remark with metadata about the plugin, such as its name, creator, version, license, and so on. The plugin header comment must meet the header criteria and must at the very least include the plugin’s name.
The header comment should be in only one file in the plugin’s folder — if the plugin includes several PHP files, the header comment should be in only one of them.
You should be able to see your plugin displayed on your WordPress site when you save the file. Log in to your WordPress site and select Plugins from the WordPress Admin’s left navigation pane. This page lists all of the plugins installed on your WordPress site. That list should now include your new plugin!
Hooks: Actions and Filters
WordPress hooks allow you to alter how WordPress acts at certain locations in the code without editing any core files.
Within WordPress, there are two sorts of hooks: actions and filters. Filters allow you to edit material as it is loaded and shown to the website user, while actions allow you to add or update WordPress functionality.
Hooks aren’t only for plugin authors; they’re also utilized frequently by WordPress core to offer default functionality. Other hooks are unused placeholders that you may utilize if you need to change the way WordPress operates. This is what allows WordPress to be so adaptable.
Basic Hooks. As a result, Activation, Deactivation and Unsatlling hooks.
Activation Hook: When you activate your plugin, the activation hook is called. This would be used to offer a function for configuring your plugin, such as generating some default choices in the options table.
Deactivation Hook: When you deactivate your plugin, the deactivation hook is called. You’d use this to create a function that clears any temporary data your plugin has saved.
Uninstall Method: These uninstall techniques are used to clean up after you’ve deleted your plugin through the WordPress Admin. You’d use this to clear out all of your plugin’s data, including any choices added to the options table.
Adding Hooks (do_action)
With do_action(), you may create your own custom hooks, allowing developers to expand your plugin by sending functions through your hooks.
Removing Hooks (remove_action)
You may also use call remove_action() to get rid of a previously created function. If your plugin is an add-on to another plugin.
For example. You may use remove action() with the same function callback that the prior plugin added using add action(). In these cases, the order in which actions are executed is critical, as remove action() must occur after the original add action().
When deleting an action from a hook or changing its priority. Be cautious since it can be difficult to predict. How these changes would affect subsequent interactions with the same hook. We strongly advise that you test regularly.
In this website’s Hooks article, you may learn more about hooks and how to interact with them.
WordPress Plugin APIs
WordPress has a variety of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) available. These APIs can significantly reduce the amount of code you have to write in your plugins. You don’t want to recreate the wheel, especially when so much of the work and testing has already been done for you.
How WordPress Loads Plugins
When WordPress loads the list of installed plugins on the Plugins page of the WordPress Admin, it looks for PHP files containing WordPress plugin header comments in the plugins folder (and its subfolders). If your plugin is made up entirely of a single PHP file, such as Hello Dolly, the file might be placed in the plugins folder’s root. Plugin files, on the other hand, are usually kept in their own subdirectory, which is called after the plugin.
Sharing your WordPress Plugin
It’s possible that a plugin you make is exclusive to your site. However, many WordPress users like sharing their plugins with the rest of the community. One thing you must do before publishing your plugin picks a license. This informs your plugin’s users on how they may utilize your code. It is suggested that you choose a license that is compatible with the GNU General Public License (GPLv2+) to keep WordPress core compatible.