WordPress plugins are PHP scripts that modify your website. The changes could be anything from the easiest twist in the header to a more extreme makeover such as modifying how log-ins work, activating emails to be sent, and much more.
WordPress Template or Plugin
If you have worked around with a theme, you will know it has a functions.php file, which gives you a lot of control and enables you to create plugin-like functionality into your theme. So, if we have this functions.php file, what is the need for a plugin? Or when we should use the plugin? Or when should we build our own? The line here is hazy than you might think, and the answer will open reliable on your needs. If you just want to change the default length of your posts’ passages, you can securely do it in functions.php. If you want something that allows users to message each other and become friends on your website, then a plugin would better go with your needs.
The major difference is that a plugin’s functionality continues regardless of what theme you have allowed, whereas any modification you have made in function.php will stop functioning once you change themes. Also, grouping associated functionality into a plugin is often more suitable than leaving a mass code in functions.php
Build Your First Plugin
Step 1: Setup a space for your plugin
WordPress plugins are located plugins folder inside wp-content folder.
First we have to install wordpress if you havent done it. If you already have wordpress installed. Navigate to plugins folder inside wp-content.
Step 2: Create a folder with plugin name
Create a folder and name it as you wish. It is always recommended to keep your plugin name as your folder name. So at later stages you can recognize it easily. my-first-plugin is my folder name.
Step 3: Create PHP file
The core and required file to create a plugin is to have a php file with the plugin name. So I created “my-first-plugin.php”
Step 4: Add estential information to the plugin
WordPress cannot recognize it as a proper plugin without any essential information. As we do in theme creation, plugin also need essential comment block. It is the place where we allow WordPress to understand more information about our plugin.
<?php /** * Plugin Name: My First Plugin * Plugin URI: https://www.example.com/ * Description: My first WordPress plugin. * Version: 1.0 * Author: Your Name Here * Author URI: http://yourportfoliourl.com/ **/
Step 5: Verify your plugin is recognized by WordPress
Go to WordPress admin panel/dashboard. Navigate to plugins from the dashboard. You will be able to see all the available plugins. Search whether “My first plugin” is there or not. If you are done with all the above steps you will be surely able to see the plugin. smile 🙂 else don’t worry you may have made a mistake. Try repeating the above steps carefully. You will be able to see the plugin.
Step 6: Customize your plugin
Now you have made a entirely new customized plugin. Now you have to bring out the desired functionality. Always try to use universal coding so that it can be reused or extended by someone else or by yourself.
Safety Measures for Plugin
If you think to give out your plugin, then safety is of utmost importance, because now you are cheating with other people’s websites, not only your own. All of the safety measures you should take value your article, so keep an eye for a future piece on how to safeguard your plugin. The security of your plugin normally depends on the firmness of its two legs. One leg assures that the plugin does not allow spreading negative data. The second leg assures that the user has the control and purpose to perform a given action, which means that only users with the admin power can delete any data.