How to Create WordPress Plugin: Development Guide!
Would you like to know how to create WordPress plugins, do not you?
Well today in this article you will discover how you can do it too starting from the basics. So even if you do not know anything about the PHP language , this guide can definitely help you.
You will find out what are the basics of starting to understand how to program the best and then we will also go to create together a simple WordPress plugin that will allow you to limit the number of characters visible within your article.
In the end you will be able to understand at least a good part of the code and this will allow you to go to develop more and more customized and complete WordPress plugins.
But before leaving with the development of the plugin…
Why Create Plugins for WordPress?
Personally I would like to answer this question like this: because it allows you to add a specific function based on what you really need to do on your website, without going to install other plugins that maybe have a lot of features that you do not need.
Currently there are thousands of plugins on the official WordPress database and you can usually find everything. But if you need to add some simple features to the site, then maybe it could be useful to go to create a WordPress plugin for you, so that it is light and functional.
Another good advantage that you will get if you learn to create WordPress plugins will be to learn a new programming language that will surely come in handy in the future. Maybe in the workplace because these sectors are great!
The WordPress folder structure
Now let’s see where exactly the folder is where you will have to go to insert the file containing the plugin that we are going to create together thanks to this guide.
Log in to your website via your FTP account or via cPanel (you can find it in your hosting service) and go to the / public_html / wp-content / plugins folder. Here you can find all the plugins you have currently installed on your website and it is here where you will go to insert the new plugin!
Usually for each plugin you create a special folder containing all the files necessary for its proper functioning but if your is a light and simple plugin like the one we are going to create, you can also go to insert it in the folder / plugin if you want, without going to create a sub folder.
After this brief introduction, let’s move on to the slightly more technical and fun part! I’m sure you’re super excited by the idea of being able to create a working WordPress plugin with your own hands.
We begin to write the PHP code
When you go to create a plugin you must necessarily go to create a new .php file. Usually you give it a name that is easy to remember but at the same time you can understand what it will do. For example, my basic code I called it: character reducer.
To create this type of file, I recommend downloading the CodeLobster program which is completely free and is very practical and functional. Alternatively you can create the file using the windows notepad and then go to change the extension from .txt to .php
The first lines of code to be able to create WordPress plugins must necessarily contain the necessary information in order to “dialogue” correctly with the WordPress platform. Without this data nothing will work, even if all the rest of the code has been well written.
Note that the plugin name will be the one that will also appear in the “plugin” section within the WordPress admin panel. The same applies to the details of the author even if those are not mandatory in order for the plugin to work properly.
Creating the WordPress Plugin
Very well, now it’s time to go and insert our function into our .php file. If you want to start rehearsing or just want to start studying a bit more seriously how to create WordPress plugins, I suggest you follow the documentation provided by WordPress, you can find it here: documentation.
The material may seem difficult because it is available in English but I can guarantee you that if you have a little ‘passion, after a while’ time everything will become natural and you will be able to better understand the various codes with more ease, I assure you!
Now let’s enter the code that will allow you to limit the length of your content to your liking. Specifically we will limit the number of visible characters within your article or web page.
All the code you have to go to insert immediately after the data related to the plugin and before closing the code ” ?> ” .
Now, I do not expect you to understand all the various functions and variables that I have included in this code, this will happen over time. My goal was to give you a general understanding on how to create WordPress plugins. Since you can understand some of these functions is already a big step forward, believe me!
Installation and execution of the Plugin
What you need to do is unpack the .zip archive and go upload the file to your FTP account on your website. Specifically you have to insert the file to this path: / public_html / wp-content / plugins .
Otherwise you can do it directly from your WordPress administration panel through the appropriate “Plugin> Add new” section. Remember that you need to upload the .zip file and not the .php file.
Once you have correctly loaded it, go to the “plugin” section in your WordPress admin panel and you will notice the presence of the new plugin you just created! Activate the plugin.
Once it is active, nothing will happen, this is because you have to go and manually edit the single.php file that is inside your theme (nothing difficult). To do this always from WordPress go to the “Appearance> Editor” section and open the single.php file .