WordPress has gone from strength to strength since it was released in 2003, and much of its success is due to the open source community’s commitment to plugin development. Take a look at the WordPress Plugin Directory, and you’ll see thousands of plugins that extend the WordPress core to do almost anything you can imagine.
Packt Publishing‘s WordPress Plugin Development is written by Vladimir Prelovac, a WordPress expert and developer of WordPress plug-ins such as Smart YouTube and Plugin Central. Part of Packt’s Beginners Guide series, the book focuses more on experimentation and learning by doing, and develops 6 real-world plugins throughout its 270 or so pages.
- Preparing for WordPress Development
- Social Bookmarking
- Live Blogroll
- The Wall
- Snazzy Archives
- Insights for WordPress
- Post Types
- Development Goodies
Aimed at developers who are familiar with PHP, the book wastes little time getting straight into coding. Chapter 1 gives an overview of plugin development, and details the six plugins that are developed throughout the course of the book.
- Digg This
The first plugin simply shows a Digg button in blog posts. It’s a good first plugin, since it shows the reader the fundamental Plugin concepts such as the WordPress API, filters and actions.
This plugin works at making the basic Blogroll a little bit more exciting. I enjoyed this chapter since it talked about integrating jQuery and AJAX into plugins.
The Wall is a plugin that creates a shoutbox on your blog’s sidebar, where users can leave comments and shouts. This chapter introduces widgets and the WordPress database.
This plugin beautifies blog archives, and hooks into posts and the administration panel.
The insights plugin increases blog post writing productivity by offering quick access to common information in the Write Post screen.
This plugin works closely with the WordPress back-end, and extends the platform’s CMS capabilities. Despite WordPress 3.0’s core functionality being extended in this area, it’s still a useful chapter.
As fantastic as WordPress is, a real sense of power can be gained from extending it. I particularly enjoyed this book, since it got straight ‘down to business’ and focused on the core concepts and practices that enable developers to create reliable, useful plugins.