WordPress plugin

What are rules that you have to follow for WordPress plugin development?

Every day, more plugins and themes are added to the WordPress ecosystem. The official WordPress.org repository has more than 60K plugins right now.

If you want to add your plugin to that number, make sure to use the best coding practices so that it will be accepted.

WordPress is an open-source platform that focuses on the contributions and benefits of the WordPress community around the world. So, to meet the global standard, you need to follow a set of rules.

This article will show you how to make a plugin that works well by following the best WordPress development practices.

Before we do that, let’s take a quick look at the main steps in making a WordPress plugin.

What are the most critical steps in making a WordPress plugin?

Before making a plugin, you should ensure it will be helpful in the WordPress ecosystem. First, get your basics ready, and then start coding. During the R&D process, you need to know how to answer the following questions:

  • Do people who use WordPress need this add-on?
  • What will make your plugin stand out from the rest?
  • How can users benefit from these features?
  • What will the front of the car look like?
  • How will it work with the plugins and services that are needed?

Make a WordPress plugin once you know what you’re doing. The most critical steps in making a WordPress plugin are:

  1. Choose a name and think about trademarks
  2. Make a folder for the plugin and set up its structure.
  3. Add the file header to your plugin.
  4. Write the code your plugin needs to work.
  5. Put your plugin into action on WordPress.

7 Tips for Making the Best WordPress Plugins

When it was first made in 2003, WordPress was just a website for publishing blogs. Its development is significant because it can now support much web content, such as forums, membership sites, and online stores. It’s no wonder there are currently about 500 million WordPress websites worldwide.

To get to such a high level of success, many things came together, starting with its massive library of plugins. With more than 55,000 plugins for WordPress, you can change your website to look like your business or company.

But not all plugins are made with the highest level of skill. A plugin created by a clumsy designer can make your website less safe and trustworthy. You can avoid these kinds of problems by making your plugin. If coding is too hard for you, you can hire a team of people who make WordPress plugins. No matter what, we’ll talk about the tips and tricks you need to know for a successful WordPress Plugin Development.

Best Practices for Making WordPress Plugins

No matter how experienced a WordPress plugin developer is, you should try the following tips to make the best plugins for your website.

1. Come up with a plan: – Instead of going straight into making plugins, it’s best to take a step back and develop a good strategy.

Survey your potential users to learn more about your audience. What does the plugin have to offer? Will it make it easier for people to use the site? Will it make it easier for your users to find their way around? Is it worth taking the extra time?

Wait to start building the plugin until you know the rules to these questions. Also, you should look through the official WordPress plugin repository to see if there are similar plugins. If there isn’t one already, you can make your own. You can focus on a different plugin instead.

2. Use a standard set of rules: – If you don’t want to start from scratch when writing code, you can start with a boilerplate.

What is a boilerplate code, though?

A boilerplate, also called boilerplate code, is a group of directories and source code files that can be used to build a project. These directories put the files that make up the source code in a structured way. It helps you arrange your code in a way that doesn’t make any mistakes.

As far as WordPress plugins go, the function definitions, code comments, and values are all in the source code files. You can get better code quality, maintenance, and development, and others can add to your code to improve the plugin’s quality.

3. Follow the WordPress Coding Standards: – If you are a WordPress developer, it should be second nature to work while keeping the WordPress Coding Standards in mind.

Keep a close eye on the spacing, variable names, indentation, and short comments when writing your WordPress plugin’s code. It will make it easier for you to read, edit, and fix errors in your code. You can also get a good start by reading the WordPress Coding Standards handbook. Adding a unique prefix is the best way to keep your plugins from getting mixed up with others. Add one or two adjectives to make your plugin stand out from the hundreds of other choices.

4. Invest in security for plugins: – As we already said, a poorly made plugin can put your WordPress website in danger. It is precisely why the people who make WordPress plugins spend extra time ensuring they are secure.

Learn about the following:
  • esc_url_raw
  • esc_url
  • esc_attr
  • esc_html
  • wp_filter_kses
  • esc_textarea
  • wp_insert_post
  • $wpdb->insert 
  • $wpdb->update

These things will help you clean the data and stop SQL injections. Validation and Sanitization will also keep your plugin safe from any data that users enter. Cross-site request forgery attacks can’t get through if you use Nonces to protect the plugin.

Keeping your whole team on the same page is another way to check the security of your WordPress plugins. If you are making a plugin that only certain people can use, it is best to give the roles to the admins. Also, it’s best to eliminate any plugins you don’t use. If the plugin uses a directory where the user’s files are kept, ask them to set a password to protect it.

5. Reach people worldwide: – Since your WordPress site will be accessible worldwide, you should consider internationalizing your plugins. This will help you reach your target audience, even if they live in a country other than yours. You can do this by writing correctly and not using slang. Avoid putting weird control characters and markups or useless HTML markups into a translated string. Text domains, domain paths, basic pluralization, and other methods are also used. You can learn more about this with the help of the WordPress Internationalization Guide.

6. The most explicit folder structure possible: – When making a WordPress plugin, it’s a good idea to use a standard folder structure. It will make it easier for you to understand the whole workflow and for everyone on your team to stay on the same path.

You can use the structure of the sample folder below as a standard.
  • /plugin-name
  • plugin-name.php
  • uninstall.php
  • /languages
  • /includes
  • /admin
  • /js
  • /CSS
  • /images
  • /public
  • /js
  • /CSS
  • /images

7. You must have a Readme.txt file: – Once your WordPress plugin is ready, you will need a readme.txt file to share it. If your readme.txt file isn’t suitable, it might show problems with your plugin code. Also, it could mean that the person who made the WordPress plugin needed to pay more attention to the details. A readme.txt file is suitable for everyone. With a readme.txt file, you can show off what your plugin can do. It also makes it easier for people to install your plugin and use it without any extra trouble. Even as a user, I’d be more likely to download your plugin if it had the correct information.