Top 6 WordPress Plugin Development Tutorials

This blog is powered by WordPress. It’s a custom design, yet available to anyone who’s got $45 to spend on a premium theme. It contains a lot of custom widgets and plugins. They both fall under the same category. If you want to create something that you can call your own – you need to learn WordPress plugin development.

The best part is that you can always submit you creative work to WordPress plugin directory and get featured in front of millions of bloggers. There are currently around 30,000 WordPress plugins available to the public. That is a staggering number, when you think about the fact that many bloggers only have a maximum of 10 plugins per blog, and very often they’re the same plugins over and over again.

There is always something available to everyone. I myself – sometimes – like to browse the newest additions to the plugin database, and I’ve found some interesting stuff that has sparked ideas in my mind to create something new, or explore a new area. You could very well be that person sparking my creative passion if you are a WordPress plugin developer.

WordPress Plugins Directory

Development is all about coding, and WordPress is written in PHP. In order to create for WordPress, you need to have at least the basic knowledge and understanding of HTML, CSS & PHP. The rest is fairly easy and doesn’t take long to understand. You could be creating WordPress plugins within four weeks if you tried even a few hours a day.

[Tweet “Without trying and failing we cannot learn.”]

These tutorials have been gathered from around the web, more specifically – blogs that talk about web design and development. I’ve hand picked these, but I welcome any additions to the list in the comment section. These are the typical starter tutorials that will suit both beginner, intermediate and even experienced developers. There is always something to remember about.

1. Beginner’s Guide To WordPress Plugin Development [HongKiat]

Beginner’s Guide To WordPress Plugin Development
The first one comes from the popular web development blog HongKiat. The author of this tutorial is Jake Rocheleau, who loves to freelance, write and create new stuff. This tutorial will teach you all of the basics like file and folder structure, filters and actions. WordPress is always changing, so remember to read the official documentation about certain functions and hooks.

2. WordPress Plugin Development from Scratch [1stWebDesigner]

WordPress Plugin Development from Scratch
This is a four part tutorial that will guide you through pretty much all of the stuff you need to know when it comes to developing WordPress plugins. They’re all hosted by Rakhitha Nimesh – a freelance and software engineer from Sri Lanka. You’ll fully learn how to structure and analyze your plugins, how to create a basic plugin template, integrating a slider within your WordPress and how to use addons to enrich your plugin development. This is a great guide for both beginners and intermediate users.

3. A Crash-Course in WordPress Plugin Development [Tuts+ Code]

A Crash Course in WordPress Plugin Development
This one is rather old. In fact, it’s almost 5 years old. It’s okay. It’s packed with a ton of useful information, and I know that some people simply prefer different approach to things. The tutorial is led by Jeffrey Way – who is now an owner of Laracasts, a Laravel community. I’ve written about Laraven in this and this post before.

You’ll learn how to create a simple wrapper plugin, how to produce it and how to make it go live. Great tutorial and tons of helpful tips within it.

4. Learning how to Create a WordPress Plugin the Right Way [Chris Lema]

Learning how to Create a WordPress Plugin the Right Way
This is not a direct tutorial, rather Chris (who is a chill dude) is pointing out some of his own treasures from which you can learn WordPress plugin development. I’m including this in the list instead of linking directly as it would seem very pointless, and Chris has included a small summary of the whole thing anyway.

5. WordPress Essentials: How To Create A WordPress Plugin [Smashing WordPress]

WordPress Essentials How To Create A WordPress Plugin
If you know Smashing Magazine, you’ll know that only quality content can be found there, and this introductory guide on how-to create and develop plugins is worth taking a look at, if only for the great feedback and advice in the comment section. It’s a full guide from Daniel Pataki – who’s a passionate web developer.

6. WordPress Plugin Development [SitePoint]

WordPress Plugin Development - SitePoint
This tutorial is by Tim Smith who is a web developer / designer from UK. This WordPress plugin development tutorial is really easy and quick to get through, and there a couple of great comments to learn from as well.

WordPress Plugin Development

We’ve got more than we should have when we’re just starting out on developing and learning how it all works. I wanted to provide as much variety as possible, as different coders use different coding style – and what might appeal to others, might not to the rest. I hope you’ll be able to learn something new, and definitely let me know if I missed any good tutorials! :)