5 Tips for WordPress Developers
WordPress is an open-source project with a customizable interface for any developer with some PHP skills. WordPress has basic files that run blogging content, but developers can freely add and edit any of these pages. Before diving into the world of WordPress development, here are five tips for WordPress developers to avoid common development pitfalls.
1. Always Test Your Code
It’s exciting when a new project is finally finished. Don’t rush into releasing the code just yet. Make sure you fully test the code, and for larger projects, ask someone else to test the new features. Ideally, the coder should not test his own products. Quality assurance (QA) testers find bugs that you won’t usually find on your own, because you know how the code works. When you’re too familiar with functionality, you miss common bugs.
2. Add the Project Name to WordPress Functions
Each WordPress plug-in installs its own functions. These functions are globally accessible to other functions. One PHP file cannot have the same function name as other files. Pages with the same function name will crash a client’s WordPress site. To get around this coder mishap, prefix each of your functions with the project name. This ensures that your functions are unique from any other plug-ins installed.
3. Add a Custom Admin Menu for Users
Custom admin sections let the user fully control the plug-in’s settings and content. WordPress includes a function to add a dashboard link to WordPress’ admin section. The “add_action()” function adds an admin link to the left WordPress navigation panel. The panel helps your users quickly find plug-in settings distinct for your plug-in, and it won’t interfere with other plug-ins’ settings.
4. Define Versions
It’s inevitable you will want to make changes or update your project to fix bugs. Versioning helps you keep track of each iteration of your software. You can also use version iterations to detect user issues and update software in your installation packages. Some older versions of your code won’t be compatible with the latest revision, and you can use your version iterations to detect old versions.
5. Separate Common Functions into “Include” Files
Code standards for PHP call for a common “functions.php” file for shared functions. The file contains all of the functions you use in more than one page. Include files make it easier to change code. Instead of changing the same function in several files, you change the function in only one file. Include files make your code cleaner and easier to make changes in the future.
These 5 tips for WordPress developers help you manage a plug-in project, especially if the plug-in becomes popular in the WordPress market. Keep code clean, versioned, and tested, and you can find some fun with WordPress coding.
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