15 Things Every WordPress Plugin Developer Should Know!

WordPress is an excellent tool for creating various kinds of portals, blogging or a regular website. It is much more than just a CMS because many WordPress Plugin developers take it to a whole new level.

To make WordPress more than just a CMS, themes and/or plugins are commonly used. Plugins are a major part of why WordPress has millions of powers of blogs and sites around the world.

Each WordPress developer dealing with code needs to have several functional plugins that will help him in his workflow. Basically, all WordPress plugins are designed and developed by people who need to solve a particular problem. So, you need to make sure that there should be no problems with installing plugins.

Working with WordPress code means you have your own set of tools. So, if you are plugin developer of WordPress, then there are a few things, you should never forget.

Here are the 15 things you should know as a WordPress Plugin Developer.

Consider Plug-In Creation Elements

WordPress Plugin Development

You should be very selective while choosing the plug-ins to install on your site. Every plugin you install can leave a mark that is difficult to remove, especially if it is poorly coded. When it comes to installing plugins, you should remember a few key elements like:

  • Number of downloads
  • Average rating
  • Reviews
  • Developer
  • Evidence of active support

The fact is that you are not just installing the plugin, but you are installing some of the functionality that you would like to use in the future. If the plugin works now, make sure that it will work in the future perfectly.

Prefix Functions with a Unique Tag

Many developers do not prefix their functions and due to this fact, they easily get confused between your code and code written by others. In addition, each function must have a unique identifier. It is a good habit of prefixing your code with an identifier so that you can quickly recognize each function. All you need to do is add your function with a unique name.

Update Your Plugins

WordPress Plugin Development

It is worth remembering that updating your plugins is necessary for the security and functionality of your site. Outdated plugins are key points for those looking for security holes. You do not only regularly update your plugins, but you also need to periodically check your plugins to make sure they have been updated recently. You should consider removing obsolete plug-ins, those that have not been updated for a long time. Ideally, you should regularly update your plugins.

Create Your Own Global Paths to Makes It Handy

Writing PHP code, including images, CSS, and maybe a little javascript make your plug-in to work. But how do you code the plugin, so that it can always find these files? Therefore, the best way is to create your own global paths which can be used anywhere in your plugin code. It is recommended that always create four global variables for plugins like:

  • Directory path
  • Plugin name
  • A Path to the plugin directory
  • Plugin address

These global paths allow writing code in your plugin anywhere. So, create a global path while adding the plugins to your WordPress page.

Don’t Develop without Debugging

WordPress Plugin Development

The first thing you need to for WordPress plugin development is to enable debugging. Turning on debugging also includes WordPress notes. It is important because that is how you will know if you are reusing any obsolete features. Obsolete features may be removed from future versions of WordPress, and almost every WordPress release contains features planned to die in late terms. If you see that you are using outdated functions, it is best to find a replacement for it and use it instead.

Update the Deactivate Plugins or Delete them

WordPress Plugin Development

It is recommended that even if the plugin is not active on your site, then you need to make sure that it is still being updated. The inactive plugin is still living on your site in the sense that it can be used as a weak point in security. Honestly, if the plugin is not active on your site, and you have no intention to use it in the future, then remove it. This is the thing that you want for your site to become a graveyard of unused plugins.

Deactivate Backend Plugins When Not In Use

Most plug-ins create a load on the resources of your site, even if this load is negligible. Therefore, it is recommended that activate plugins only when they are needed. A WordPress database dump plugin is a great little plugin that makes it easy, returning all or part of your WordPress database to its default state. However, the WordPress database reset plugin should only be active when you launch a reset. it can be deactivated at any other time. In a nutshell, every active plugin on your site should be used by your site. If not, deactivate it.

Install Light & Perfectly Coded Plug-Ins

A plugin is just an additional code that is implemented on your site. To some extent, you can add the same code to your functions.php file and achieve the same effect. Thus, the number of plugins installed and activated on your site is not the main problem. The main problem is how well your plugins are coded and demanding.

WordPress Plugin Development

It would be much better for you to have light and perfectly coded plug-ins installed on your site than one bloated, resource-intensive and vulnerable plug-in. In fact, you should worry more about which plugins you install, not how many.

Aware of Plug-Ins Quality

Installing the number of plugins on your site can be a problem and that is called conflicts. The more plugins on your site, the more conflicts you will find with one and another. While dealing with plug-ins conflicts, developers are constantly confronted with a problem, because there is an almost infinite number of installation combinations in all WordPress installations.

Most WordPress blogs are completely unique in terms of the combination of installed plugins. So, although you should be aware of the quality of the plug-ins that you use, you should also monitor their number in order to simplify the work.

Plugin Security & Nuances

The security of your site should always be high. Remember that a small group of hackers can hack your site. There are many different steps you can take to enhance WordPress security. However, if you want to save time, then, in this case, you can use the simple security plugins. These plugins are available in free and paid versions. And also, these are able to scan the site for the presence of malicious programs, as well as repel coarse attacks, and of course, you can see all this.

Automate Your Backups

WordPress Plugin Development

Backups are a fallback if something went wrong. With the help of backups, you can easily and quickly restore your site to its original state. It is most convenient to manage backups through a plugin. If you are looking for a more automated solution, then, in this case, you can use the VaultPress and BackupBuddy service. These tools are amazing when it comes to restoring from a backup in the event of a site crash.

Using dbDelta() To Create/Update Database Tables

It is necessary to change the tables while the plugin executes on the customized database table for relevancy of the future version of the plugins. It may become a little harder to manage if you are not careful, but WordPress helps solve the problem by providing dbDelta()function. Using the dbDelta() requires a few tricks, however:

  • You must put each field on a separate line in the SQL statement.
  • You should have two spaces between the words PRIMARY KEY and the definition of the main key.
  • You must use the keyword KEY, not its synonym INDEX, and you must include at least one KEY.

A useful feature of the dbDelta() function is that it can be used both to create and update tables, but on the WordPress code page creating tables with plugins is a little easy.

Know When to Use Actions & Filters Hooks

WordPress Plugin Development

In regards to the execution of code, the WordPress allows coders to use Actions and Filters. Actions allow WordPress to invoke an action at certain points during the execution of code or as the result of certain events. On the other hand, filters allow WordPress to modify text before inserting the text into the database or before displaying the text on the screen. As you know, the use of Actions and Filters is quite broad. Therefore, study & examine the possibilities for using these hooks.

Create Admin Menu or Setting Page

Usually, many developers provide access to a setting page so that users can customize the plugin easily while using it. Therefore, if you want to create your plug-in in the WordPress, then you will likely need to give preferences to user choices and configurations in a settings page. This way the developers can accomplish or establish the feat by creating a stand-alone settings page for the plug-in.

In addition, you can also add custom options to the existing top-level admin menu. In other words, you can say that to present the user with such a screen, you need to create an administration menu item. It will allow the user to access that settings screen from all the Administration Screens.

Use Action Links as Shortcuts in Your Setting Page

By adding the settings shortcut, or any other functions, to your plug-in listing and description, you and your user can easily perform the task regularly. The settings action link will appear next to the default action links of Deactivate and Edit button. From the plug-in listing, this thing will allow the user to quickly access the settings page.

Bottom Line

As you noticed, there are many ways to transform WordPress. These plugins will make your WordPress development easy. But, keep in mind that if you add plugins carelessly, then it may create some risk to your WordPress site. There are always the conflicts between a new plugin and the one you have been using. In addition, if you will not update your WordPress plugins consistently, then it can break your site by creating error messages that distract and confuse the visitors.

Moreover, hackers often use plugins to gain unauthorized access to your site and damage your data via sending malware, spam links, or malicious redirects to your site. There are some plugins that can slow down your site. For that, you need to simply check the page load time after installing a new plugin. Only, this way, it will make you sure that whether the new plugin is working properly or not.

All of these risks can be managed by simply doing little research and reading reviews. And, then choose and install the tested and positively reviewed plugins so that it will work well within your WordPress theme. So, the above-mentioned things you need to keep in mind while adding a plugin to your page. This can help you to increase your conversion rate, lower your bounce rate, and get more search traffic and social signals.

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  1. Hi Marie Thomas,

    Definitely! Above-mentioned things you need to keep in mind while adding a plugin to your page. This can help you to increase your conversion rate, lower your bounce rate, and get more search traffic and social signals.

  2. Great article, thanks for sharing valuable informmation.

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