Professional WordPress Plugin Development

Professional WordPress plugin developmentAs you might have noticed I’ve recently started reviewing WordPress plugins. I do this for free, because I think both users and developers benefit from peer reviews of plugins. I’m not saying all my plugins are perfect, they’re not. I try hard though and if someone reviews my plugin I’ll happily learn from what they find.

What I did find though, is that there are lots of developers out there who don’t know how to use all the powerful API’s that WordPress provides them with to develop plugins. This is why I also immediately started a WordPress development best practices section in which I’ll highlight the most important things. The issue is that there are quite a few development best practices that you should know about if you’re intending to be a real good plugin developer.

Professional WordPress Plugin Development: the book!

This is where a new book, by Ozh Richard, Justin Tadlock and Brad Williams comes in, it’s aptly titled Professional WordPress Plugin Development (aff link). It’s a big fat book that covers each and every bit you need to know to become a super developer of WordPress plugins. All you need after that is creativity and good ideas.

I have to admit, I am a bit biased, as I wrote the foreword for the book, but I’ll also admit to having been incredibly honored when these guys asked me to write that. You see, these guys have been my source for interesting articles about WordPress for years and they were the perfect team to write this book. Having now gone through it completely, I’m 100% sure: if you’re interested in WordPress plugin development, whether or not you want to do it professionally, you should buy and read this book.

So what are you waiting for? Go order that book!

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16 Responses

  1. M.K. SafiBy M.K. Safi on 16 April, 2011

    I’d love to know how this book compares to Digging into WordPress — if you’ve read that one, too.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 16 April, 2011

      Both are awesome, this one is more technical and aimed at plugin developers, DiW has more theme related “stuff”.

      • M.K. SafiBy M.K. Safi on 16 April, 2011

        Ah, more technical and more focused on plugins than themes. Then Professional WordPress Plugin Development is probably the book for me!

    • Tom HermansBy Tom Hermans on 17 April, 2011

      Digging into WP is an awesome book and has lots and lots of info. This one is really geared towards plugin dev. Ordered mine last week, should be here any day now ;)

      • Darin RomanBy Darin Roman on 17 April, 2011

        I agree, Digging into WP is an excellent book (love the spiral bound hard copy) with lifetime updates to the included PDF version. Jeff Starr & Chris Coyier have also just released an enhanced widescreen edition of the PDF for WP 3.1.

        Brad Williams, one of the authors of Professional WordPress Plugin Development, and some of his WebDev Studios team members had recently presented best practices and fielded questions on beginning plugin development for our WordPress NYC Meetup group. This book looks promising for those of us looking to get started in developing plugins and themes with added functionality. I will be picking up a copy soon.

  2. MaxxBy Maxx on 16 April, 2011

    Fantastic. Will certainly help me understand plugin development.

  3. Robert JakobsonBy Robert Jakobson on 17 April, 2011

    I received the book three weeks ago and have acquainted myself with it since then, from time to time.

    First of all, the most important thing to notice about this volume is that it will develop your skills as a developer very quickly through quick and well structured chapters that cover the essential facets of WordPress plugin development.

    However, I dare not call this book the ultimate reference guide to building your dream WordPress plugin – it is not as thorough as one would expect. I have, personally, a couple of plugin ideas and this book alone is not good enough to take me from Step Zero to completion.

    This is understandable – it seems to be a standard of the publishing industry that guide books for developers are not any bulkier than 400 to 440 pages, and this book follows that rule (I know there are exceptions). However, all of the 400 or so pages of the book are well written, consisting of substantial material which I think quite often developers will be able to use during their projects

    Perhaps it should, and some day certainly will be, accompanied by an advanced version of the book that dwells deeper into, for example, integrating payment systems, security, javascript effects (let me say for example image manipulation via javascript to point the way towards what I am thinking of) and incorporating custom PHP / MySQL development into WordPress plugins.

    Do not get me wrong, all in all, this is a great volume. An intelligent beginner will find this book an excellent introduction and experienced developers can keep this tome on their office desks to remind them of best practices and code snippets. Well worth the price, even if one would have to pay double the expected price.

    By the way, Joast, would it not be fun if for comments on plugins and books the people commenting could also give a rating for reviewed item, just beneath their personal details and above the text field that I am currently writing into. Maybe there is a plugin for that? :)

  4. zimbrulBy zimbrul on 22 April, 2011

    You definitely need to fix the WP SEO plugin as for some themes the article title keeps replicate from an aleatory post.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 22 April, 2011

      You definitely need to start posting issues on the right forums AND you need to not blame a plugin developer for the fact that your theme sucks.

      • zimbrulBy zimbrul on 22 April, 2011

        Well mate I’ve posted my question in the right forum and I didn’t get any answer (probably there isn’t one). My theme sucks…his theme sucks…her theme sucks…is just me that see there IS an issue with the plugin?

  5. zimbrulBy zimbrul on 22 April, 2011

    Sorry mate, I was wrong: you’ve answered my comment: “This is a result of bad code in your theme, I’m quite sure. I’ll try to control for it a bit better in the next version of the plugin, but don’t blame a plugin if you use a crappy theme, it’s working well for tens-of-thousands of people”.
    I totally agree with you, the plugin works well with thousands of themes but to be good (and probably made comercial) needs to work with ALL themes I’m afraid.

    • Joost de ValkBy Joost de Valk on 22 April, 2011

      It’s not going to be commercial. There will be some commercial modules. And nothing ever works with all themes, because some theme developers forget about WordPress standards and best practices all the time. I can’t help that. You can hire me to fix it :)

  6. zimbrulBy zimbrul on 22 April, 2011

    OK, I understand now. I thought this will go commercial soon as the complexity of the plugin and its functionality would make this plugin a must for serious WP users (I exclude myself from the list).

  7. Matt VaroneBy Matt Varone on 22 April, 2011

    Amazing book, really enjoyed the read. Heartily recommend it for all WordPress developers out there.

  8. BJ WrightBy BJ Wright on 22 April, 2011

    Yoast, thanks for all the awesome plugins & sharing wordpress strategies, I’ve really learned a lot from them & have already started to see good results. I’m in the process of transferring all my sites to VPS.net & hope to have the transferred today.

    Do you plan on doing any Facebook plugins in the future?

  9. Joseph DowdyBy Joseph Dowdy on 1 May, 2011

    You should give a 5-Y (like a 5-star) rating so that people who own the plug-in can boast your rating. This was VERY smart of you to start doing this.