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The Best WordPress Plugin Development Tutorials

By November 27, 2018 No Comments

WordPress Plugin Development Resources and Tutorials

WordPress is the most-deployed content management system on the planet and here is a list of the best wordpress plugin tutorials that are step by step. There are a number of reasons that it is so popular: it is easy to use, easy to host, free, and open source. A major driver of its popularity is plugins.

WordPress is extremely extensible. With a plugin, you can add nearly limitless functionality to your site. There are thousands of high-quality free and premium WordPress plugins available. But, sometimes, you need something really custom. Building a WordPress plugin gives you the ability to make exactly the features you need for your site.

If you have a little bit of coding background, or are willing to learn some PHP, building your own WordPress plugins isn’t that difficult. To help you out we’ve collected the best tutorials on the subject, along with links to helpful resources and important tools for plugin developers.

Starting to develop is the most important thing. It’s easy to be stuck in the tutorial mode learning and learning but make sure you actually code not just watch!!

Introductory Tutorials on Plugin Development

These articles, tutorials, and courses provide a general introduction to developing a plugin for WordPress. They approach the topic from different angles, and assume differing levels of prior coding experience — so try a few until you find the one that makes sense for you.

  • Plugin Developer Handbook is the new, expanded official WordPress Codex guide to plugin development.
  • Writing a Plugin is the original official WordPress Codex guide to plugin development — still definitely worth a read.
  • WordPress Plugin Development is a detailed introduction to plugin development that will give you a basic understanding of the process.
  • A Crash-Course in WordPress Plugin Development is a details-packed run through of the most important aspects of plugin development.
  • Create a Custom WordPress Plugin from Scratch describes the process of creating a plugin that fetches product information from an external database and displays it randomly on your site. Some knowledge of PHP coding is useful before getting started.
  • WordPress Plugin Tutorial is an easy to follow tutorial with lots of commentary and explanation, showing you how to build a plugin that displays Google Analytics data inside a post edit screen.
  • WordPress Plugin Development Tutorial is a 12-unit tutorial that covers a number of things not mentioned in many other introductory-level tutorials: internationalization, activation hooks, testing, and asynchronous JavaScript (AJAX). This tutorial might be a good fit for you if you’ve found most of the other “Beginner” guides too shallow, but you’re still not quite sure how to get a full-scale plugin off the ground.
  • WordPress Essentials: How to Create a WordPress Plugin is a basic overview of what a plugin is, how it works, and the major components. Not a full-scale tutorial, but good for a high-level view of things.
  • WordPress Plugin Development Tutorial Series is a 30-part tutorial series that really digs into how plugins work within the overall WordPress architecture, with excellent coverage on several internal APIs.
  • Getting Started With WordPress Plugin Development: The Ultimate Guide is a detailed tutorial covering the most important facets of WordPress plugin development, through the example of an application that integrates WordPress with the Facebook Open Graph.
  • How to Write a WordPress Plugin is a 12-part tutorial covering important facets of plugin development, including reasons to write plugins and how to get ideas for plugins, along with more practical issues like using AJAX and building admin panels.
  • An Introduction to WordPress Plugin Development is exactly that — an introduction, not an in-depth tutorial. Still, this article gives a very clear view of what a plugin does and how they work, so it is worth a read if you are just getting into plugin development.
  • How to Build a WordPress Plugin is a good introduction to plugin development, with lots of screen shots, code samples, and additional resources. Really good for visual learners and people who haven’t spent a lot of time staring at code.
  • How To Create A WordPress Plugin provides a straightforward, but pretty basic, overview of what it takes to build a plugin. This is a good introduction if you’re trying to figure out whether you are up to the task of building a new plugin, but you’ll need other resources to really figure out how to do it.
  • Anatomy of a WordPress Plugin is a deep tour of what should be included in a WordPress plugin and how it should be structured.
  • WordPress Plugin Development from Scratch is a five-part walk-through explaining plugin development, aimed at people with some web design (HTML/CSS) experience, but with little or no PHP or WordPress knowledge.
  • WordPress Plugin Development for Beginners is a straightforward tutorial aimed at “extreme beginners who are not familiar with WordPress plugin development.”
  • WordPress Development track is a 12-course, 21-hour track on WordPress development from premium tutorial provide Tree House. If you want to really dig into plugin (and theme) development for WordPress, this is a great series to work through.

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More Plugin Development Resources

If you’re looking for even more reading, tutorials or content, here are a few more resources the check out:

What Are WordPress Actions?
Plugin Development – Web Design for Optimization
A New Beginning in WordPress Coding
Simple to follow wordpress plugin development tutorials
WordPress Plugins Explained

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