Apps called WordPress plugins let you extend the features and capabilities of your WordPress website. They function similarly to smartphone apps, in other terms.
The WordPress.org plugin directory currently offers about 60,000 free plugin extensions. From third-party services like Github, thousands more are accessible.
How Does WP Plugins Work?
The way WordPress is written makes it possible for other developers to contribute their own code to it. The WordPress plugin API provides a robust collection of hooks and filters that allow developers to modify or add new functionality to current WordPress functionality.
Developers can also keep data in the WordPress database using WordPress. WordPress content types, taxonomies, and custom fields can all be used by plugins to store various kinds of material other than just posts and pages.
Every WordPress plugin that you have loaded on your website is listed in the WordPress database. They are always up for activation and deactivation.
Each time you visit, WordPress establishes a database connection, loads the base program, and then loads any current plugins. The user’s browser receives all of this code after it has been processed on your website.
10 Best Practices for WordPress Plugin Development
1. Having a Plan
It’s crucial to carefully plan your custom plugin development procedure. The complexity of your plugin will also have a big impact on how you arrange your code.
There is less work required if your plugin interacts with WordPress Core files very little unless you anticipate it growing considerably in the future. The use of classes, separate style sheets, and script files, on the other hand, helps large plugins with a lot of group-able code to keep the code organized and will undoubtedly make the long-term maintenance of the plugin simpler.
2. WordPress coding guidelines
Working with the WordPress Coding Standards in mind should become second nature once you become a WordPress coder.
Keep a close watch on the spacing, variable names, indenting, and brief comments when writing codes for your WordPress plugin development. This will keep all errors at bay and make it simpler for you to read, modify, and debug your code. For a solid basis, you can also consult the handbook for the WordPress Coding Standards.
It is best to give a special prefix to prevent your plugins from getting confused with other already-existing ones. Add a few adjectives to make your application stand out among the hundreds of other choices.
3. Flexible Plugin Development Methodology
Have you ever encountered a plugin that you wanted to modify but were unable to do so without breaking the code? You discover that you are unable to see any action or filter hooks that the plugin developer gave to increase the plugin’s functionality.
To ensure that your plugin meets standards, you should always offer action/filter hooks so that users can expand its functionality to suit their requirements. There is a ton of documentation on this, but this article is an excellent place to start.
4. Prioritize Plugin Security.
As we already stated, a poorly made plugin can seriously endanger your WordPress website. It is for this very reason that WordPress plugin writers take extra care to keep their plugins secure.
Become familiar with:
These will aid in data sanitization and help guard against SQL attacks. To defend the plugin against cross-site request forgery assaults, use Nonces. Additionally, validation and sanitization will protect your application from any user-provided data.
Keeping your complete team in the loop is another security check for WordPress plugins. It is best to give the admins the roles if you are creating a restricted plugin capability.
5. Begin with the boilerplate code
A new plugin must be built from scratch, which requires a lot of time and work. You can begin by using a template. The base for creating plugins is boilerplate. For WordPress developers, it offers clear and consistent rules. Using a well-known boilerplate has the benefit of making it simple for others to add to your plugin.
6. A Must-Have Readme.Txt File
Once your WordPress application is complete, a readme.txt file must be included in order to distribute it.
An insufficient readme.txt file might indicate plugin code flaws. Additionally, it might reflect the dearth of attention to detail on the part of the WordPress plugin developer.
You can highlight the characteristics of your plugin in a readme.txt file. Additionally, it removes all extra obstacles from the installation and use of your plugin by users.
Even a user would be more likely to obtain your plugin if it has accurate details about it.
A readme.txt file serves everyone’s interests in a manner.
7. Utilizing the wpdb Class
The purpose of the wpdb class is to offer methods for interacting with databases. Use of this class rather than writing raw requests is advised. The class secures the handling of user input and eliminates all dangers related to crafting simple SQL queries. To ensure that your code does not make the website vulnerable to SQL injection, you should also take into account the features offered by this class.
8. Only Include What Is Required
9. Reporting Errors
Make sure your plugin doesn’t produce any errors of any kind because they may disclose system directory paths and code logic. Always run a WP_DEBUG test when testing your application. An effective method for identifying errors and logging them to a file should be in place on a production site. (A handy plugin to manage this for you is WP Debug Logger).
WordPress is well-liked because of its sizable and largely open community. Without all of us, who are considering ways to make this platform more user-friendly and powerful, it wouldn’t be nearly as well-liked as it is right now. Therefore, if you have any additional suggestions for how to make the process of creating WordPress plugins simpler and more effective, please share them with us.
10. Use Resources & Tools as Necessary
Utilizing WordPress plugin development tools will make the process of creating your plugin simpler.
A staging environment, an FTP client, and a text editor are needed to implement the codes. When creating WordPress plugins, you must use these three tools and platforms.
Agile development techniques can be used all throughout the development process to hasten release.
We advise using software testing tools to evaluate the state of your component. Using this tool, you can assess your product’s coding compliance and decide how the user experience will be.
The Ideal Testing before Launching Your WordPress Plugin
You must take into account both technical and feature factors when performing the testing process.
Technical Competency Testing
On the technical end, you should check for two items in particular:
- Check the plugin’s compatibility with the WordPress version you’re using as well as any additional plugins and templates you may have set up.
- Performance: Check to see if the component affects your website’s speed or creates any other performance problems.
Feature and usability testing
The next step is to perform usability and feature element tests. Does the plugin truly accomplish its stated goals, in other words? Is it also simple to use?
You must review the settings and options the plugin provides and ensure your satisfaction with what you see in order to evaluate features and usability. Asking yourself the following queries as you use it:
- Does the application fulfill my needs?
- Does each function operate as intended?
- Is the application user-friendly?
- Is the user experience clear? Do I know what to do and where to do it?
- Can I use this app without having the requisite expertise or knowledge?
It’s important to choose WordPress plugin development, but is it simple? It is best to employ WordPress plugin developers to handle the grunt work if you have no technical experience or if coding isn’t your thing.
The superb WordPress plugin developers at Hybrid Web Agency will create specially designed plugins for your websites that will feel like an extension of the essence of your company. You will undoubtedly receive a unique website that will promote your company and bring in money thanks to their many years of expertise in the web and mobile app development sector!