Nov 24 2019
Nikolay Dyankov

Top 10 Free Resources for WordPress Plugin Development

WordPress is the most popular CMS (Content Management System) on the planet powering over 30% of all websites on the world wide web. Apart from helping regular users quickly establish an online presence, it has also created countless job opportunities. The open-source nature of WordPress allows third-party developers to create and sell WordPress themes and plugins to WordPress users.

Now, if you too want to create a WordPress plugin or theme, then you have come to the right place. Here we have put together a comprehensive list of the best free online resources to help you create your first plugin. No matter if you are new to coding, or an experienced programmer, you will definitely find a course or website that caters to your skill level and teaches you the bells & whistles of WordPress plugin development.

So without further ado, let’s get started:

WordPress Plugin Development Tutorials

Here we have some basic tutorials to help users get familiar with WordPress plugin development. Most of these tutorials are project-based, which should make it more practical and easy to apply.

  • WordPress Essentials: How To Create A WordPress Plugin - This isn’t technically a tutorial, but rather a birds-eye view on the different aspects of WordPress plugin development. By the end, you should have a clear idea of what essentially constitutes a WordPress plugin, how it works, and its major components.

  • A Crash Course In WordPress Plugin Development - Coming from Envato Tuts+, here we have a detailed rundown of the most important aspects of WordPress plugin development compiled into a single post with video playback and detailed screenshots. It starts from scratch and creates a functional blog post formatting plugin.

  • Developing a Plugin From Scratch - Here we have a beginner-friendly plugin development tutorial that caters to users without any prior WordPress development knowledge. However, you are required to have beginner level knowledge on HTML, CSS, JQuery, MySQL, and PHP.

  • Getting Started with WordPress Plugin Development - The tutorial serves as a guide or walkthrough on how to create a WordPress plugin that integrates with Facebook Open Graph. You should find a lot of useful information. But do note, fairly advanced level topics are handled here, so this wouldn’t be the first place to start if you are a beginner.

  • Devlounge: How to Write a WordPress Plugin - And for the final tutorial, we have this 12-part article series that covers in-depth information, starting from brainstorming plugin ideas, to integrating Ajax features and building the plugin admin panel.

WordPress Plugin Development References

Even if you know the ins and outs of WordPress plugin development, there is still so much information that it is going to be hard to remember everything. Therefore, it is good to keep some references handy which you can revisit as you build your plugin.

  • Writing A Plugin - Here we have the official WordPress plugin codex. It assumes that you are familiar with WordPress and PHP, and offers a basic guide to help you create better plugins, and also shares information on how to distribute and share your plugin.

  • Plugin Developer Handbook - This is the official WordPress Plugin developer handbook created by the WordPress community, for the WordPress community. It covers all key areas of plugin development in depth, catering to both beginner and advanced users.

  • WPSeek - Here we have a WordPress centric search engine curated for developers looking to find quick and relevant information on topics pertaining to WordPress

Community & Engagement

While developing your first or nth plugin, you are bound to face some issues or roadblocks. It is here when it is great to have a community that can guide you, or simply is of inspiration. Now, being the most popular CMS, WordPress has a massive and very helpful community of developers who are always eager to help and teach.

  • WordCamps - These are official gatherings where WordPress developers, users, and enthusiasts physically gather to discuss all things WordPress. If you do some digging, you will surely find a WordCamp event that happens near your city as well.

  • WordPress Development StackExchange - You must have heard of StackExchange, that website that discusses questions and answers on almost every single topic under the sun. Well, this is the WordPress focused subdomain with an active user base asking as well as answering various WP related topics.

Nikolay Dyankov

I’m Nikolay and I’m a top 50 author on CodeCanyon (username "nickys") and top 200 on the Envato marketplaces overall. I’ve been doing this for nearly 10 years as a fulltime job, mostly solo. Image Map Pro is my main product and I’m currently working on the next big thing for me.