How To Create A WordPress Plugin?
WordPress offers you a number of plugins for your website. You can always choose the plugins already available, or choose for creating them yourself. This isn’t as hard as it sounds. It may seem a tedious task, but anyone with a basic skill set or knowledge to write PHP and modify themes can easily create a plugin. Before diving into how to create wordpress plugin, it is important to understand how they work. Once you know the basic working, you are ready to create and install your own plugin.
With WordPress Plugins, you can improve the functionality of your website. You can easily access features beyond what’s available on the platform, without doing any changes in the coding. The WordPress plugin directory offers you more than a thousand plugins. But, when you opt for creating your own plugin, there is room for customisation where you can add functions which are not available in pre-designed plugins available.
How do Plugins work?
Let’s start at the basics. A plugin has one or more number of functions which are written in the PHP language. PHP is the principal language for writing scripts on WordPress. It includes four components through which this entire process works:
WordPress Action is a term which signifies a particular activity which will take place at a specified time. Actions allow you to add functionality to your plugins. Now, all the functions that are attributed to the action will be implemented when the action takes place.
The term WordPress Filters are basically hooks that accept one or more variables, and then are sent back after being modified. With filters, you can change the content which is visible to the readers.
Shortcodes in simple terms are bits of codes available to the users who visit your website. They get easy and quick tools to add customisation and functionality to their sites. You can place shortcodes in posts, pages or widgets.
You can simply use WordPress widgets to enable better functionality for your plugins. All you need to do is add to the WP_Widget class and you have created your Widget. An object-oriented design approach is followed by WordPress for widgets. This means that functions and values are filed in one single entity of class.
Create wordpress Plugin
The task of create WordPress plugin has become easier because now you know all the essential elements necessary for the process. Whenever you create WordPress Plugin or edit an existing one, it is advised to have a staging website where you can try and test cautiously without worrying about breaking your main website. Let’s start with the development process for WordPress plugins.
1. Selecting a Plugin name
The first thing to do is selecting a Plugin name which is like the official name for your Plugin. So, choose a name which is unique but also matches with the functionality of the Plugin. You can go through the WordPress Plugin Directory and make a Google search to ensure that there are no other Plugins available with the same name that you have decided. How you do this is completely up to you. You can also come up with abbreviations for your plugin. Make sure to choose a name which can be abbreviated easily to develop a unique identifier.
2. Creating the Plugin folder and PHP file
Here we basically create a destination for your Plugin to exist. So, you have to create a folder for it. Go to wp-content/plugins folder, and make a new folder like amazing-plugin (your plugin name, using hyphens to separate the words).
Now, you need to create a PHP file inside your Plugin folder. For the naming procedure, you will follow the same steps and use hyphens to differentiate words. Now, the number of files depends on the complexity of your Plugin. You may have a single PHP file or may end up with multiple files.
3. Adding the file Header
After creating your PHP file, the next step is adding a File Header. This is a PHP block comment which has the metadata about your plugin. We have provided a sample code below which will have to be replaced by the details of your respective Plugins. If your Plugin has multiple files, you need to add a header to only one of the files.
* Plugin Name: Your Plugin Name
* Plugin URI: http://yourdomain.com
* Description: Add a description of what your plugin does here.
* Version: 2.0.0
* Author: Your Name
* Author URI: http://yourdomain.com
* License: GPL2
The minimum requirement for the File Hearer is to have your Plugins name. But, you can also add other details here like author license, name and such. Don’t forget to save the changes you have made. After completing these three steps, your plugin will be added to the WordPress site. To find it, open your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to plugins.
4. Programming your Plugin Functionality
Till now, you have created the basic framework required for the Plugin. It’s time to program the Plugin using the four essential elements which we discussed in the beginning. Now, there are a lot of ways to create a Plugin, but we have chosen the one which is easiest and simple.
5. Running your Plugin on WordPress
The last step is activating and running your Plugin on the website. To add the Plugin on your site, go to Plugins>Add new> Upload plugin> Choose File. If it is already added, you just have to activate it – Plugins Screen> Activate Link.
Creating your own WordPress Plugin sounds difficult but isn’t. You get tons of benefits by using your own customised Plugin. With myWPguys, create your unique website on WordPress. Our team of professionals will aid in your building customised Plugins to add a number of powerful features for your website. We are always eager to help our clients help in every way possible. Contact us immediately for assistance.