WP plug-in development Beginners guide

When you see the WordPress official plug-in page you can see more than 50,000 plug-in available for you to download free of charge.

What is WordPress Plug-in?

When you work with WP number one the rule is ‘Do not modify the WordPress core file”. If you change the core file of the WP

  • When you update the WP to latest version  changes you made will be lost
  • If you change the core files functionality of the WP will break and it will keep your site at risk

So WordPress has a rich API which allows you to extend the core functionality of WordPress.

Plug-ins are packages of code which extend the functionality of the WordPress core. If you add some code to function.php to add more functionality your theme it is like developing plug-ins.

Please note that theme and plug-in are two different things although they have common functionality.

These plug-ins range from simple form submission to SaaS based complex web applications. All those plug-in are free of charge and you have to buy a more advanced version of these free plug-in or you can hire a developer to customize those plug-in according to your requirement.

Developers have created lots of WP plug-ins so that you can do anything with these plug-in.

If you have the basic knowledge of PHP, HTML and  CSS you can start developing these plug-ins which can be used in your wordpress site or you can share these plug-ins  with the world or you can sell the plug-in you developed and earn some good money for living.

There are plenty of ways you can earn money with WP Plug-in.

In WordPress, you have the theme which you can customise to make a good looking website for your business or portfolio.  WP theme has a built-in option to change the appearance of the website but you can use this option to customize the theme.

If you want to add more functionality to your website you have to use a plug-in. For an example if you want to use the Support Ticket System for your website you have to install a plug-in and configure it.

Rather using an existing plug-in you can build your own plug-in easily with WP.

If you are going to create a Support Ticket System using WordPress.

  • You can create custom post type for the support tickets with relevant fields
  • You can use the existing user management system in the WordPress
  • You can use the email sending features of the WordPress
  • You can change the status of the ticket using custom fields of the ticket

What is WordPress API?

API stands for Application programming Interface. So WordPress has an API exposing its core functionalities for the developers.

When you develop a plug-in you use API to call the functions of the WordPress. So you do not want to write the code from scratch and it will save your time since you can use the pre written code.

You have following common API

Options API – stores data in the database

HTTP API – allows you to work with HTTP protocol

Plugin API – assists you to develop plug-ins

How to start building plug-ins

In this guide we will ses how to create WP plug-in from scratch. You need only PHP, HTML,CSS and Javascript knowledge to become a good plug-in developer.

Before starting building a plug-in we will see how to name your WP plug-in properly.