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How to Write a Simple WordPress Plugin

It is a misconception that WordPress is merely a blogging platform, when in reality it is also a powerful CMS tool with a huge capacity for innovation. One of the commonly used programming functions on WordPress is writing a plugin. This is how it can be done.

Step 1

The first step while writing a plugin on WordPress, is to assign a unique name to your plugin. For example,’ Hello-World’. After this is done, a new folder has to be created and named ‘hello-world.’ Within the folder, create two documents- readme.txt and hello-world.php.  The content within these files will be added later.

Write a Simple WordPress Plugin

Step 2

Now at the very basis of a plugin are two programming functions known as add_action ($tag, $func) documentation and add_filter ($tag, $func) documentation. The difference between the two lies in the fact that the add_action performs a specific action at various points of an execution of WordPress, while add_filter performs filtering of the data (e.g. escaping quotes before mysql insert, or when output is done to the browser).

Step 3

Once this is done, open the hello-world.php file and add the following information:

<?php

 

/*

 

Plugin Name: Hello-World

 

Plugin URI: http://yourdomain.com/

 

Description: A simple hello world wordpress plugin

 

Version: 1.0

 

Author: Balakrishnan

 

Author URI: http://yourdomain.com

 

License: GPL

 

*/

 

?>

 

Now save the php file.

 

Step 4

Now place the hello-world folder to the plugins folder in wp-content sub-folder of the WordPress directory. Now, go to the WordPress admin panel and enter the plugins panel. There you will see the hello-world plugin ready to be activated. An example is here, in the screenshot.

Simple WordPress Plugin

Step 5

The finals step is to actually make the plugin worthwhile and make it to do something. For example, we can make the hello-world plugin write the words hello-world, whenever we call upon it.  To do this, we place the add_action code below the entered plugin information in the recently created hello-world.php file.

<?php

 

/*

 

Plugin Name: Hello-World

 

Plugin URI: http://yourdomain.com/

 

Description: A simple hello world wordpress plugin

 

Version: 1.0

 

Author: the_author_name

 

Author URI: http://yourdomain.com

 

License: GPL

 

*/

 

/* This calls hello_world() function when wordpress initializes.*/

 

/* Note that the hello_world doesnt have brackets.

 

add_action(‘init','hello_world');

 

function hello_world()

 

{

 

echo “Hello World”;

 

}

 

?>

 

 

 

 

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