Paperback 278 pages [191mm x 235mm]
Release date February 2009
ISBN 13 978-1-847193-59-9
Author Vladimir Prelovac
Rapid development of the WordPress platform that we witnessed in past two years presented a challenge not only for potential WordPress plugin developers but for all users of WordPress who wanted to 'dig' under the hood a little and gain better understanding of WordPress inner workings. The reason being that no comprehensive guide existed that would incorporate all important areas of WordPress development, from hooks to plugin security.
So I gladly accepted the challenge from Packt Publishing to write a book on the matter and a year later, this book is available, both in paperback and in electronic (PDF) form.
About the book
The book consists of 8 chapters, six of which are dealing with development of actual plugins from scratch, some of them you may be already familiar with:
- WP Digg This - Adds a Digg This button to each post.
- Live Blogroll - Adds a recent posts popup for each blog in your blogroll.
- WP Wall - Displays comments on the sidebar without reloading the page.
- Snazzy Archives - Presents your site archives in a unique visual way.
- Insights - Access your articles and Flickr images from within the WordPress edit page.
- Post Types - Provides pre-defined post templates to quickly add a photo or a link to your blog.
Introductory chapter explains why engage in WordPress plugin development and shows the best tools for the job.
Final chapter deals with plugin localization, promotion, providing support and few other handy tips.
You can find the detailed information in the book's Table of Contents.
What you will learn from the book
- Get to know the WordPress code base, WordPress's plug-in architecture, and the plug-in application programming interface (API) and learn how to hack it
- Master the WordPress database and the API - access and manipulate data, handle user roles and permissions, posts, and so on
- Hook into the rest of WordPress using actions and filters
- Change the way your WordPress backend looks by customizing menus, submenus, and the plug-in admin panel
- Integrate AJAX and jQuery into your plug-ins to dynamically generate content
- Hook directly to WordPress edit pages and use AJAX to generate fast searches
- Integrate your plug-in with WordPress panels and the tinyMCE editor
- Access and work with third-party APIs like Flickr
- Implement localization support for users of other languages
- Maintain and manage your plug-in using SVN and publish it to the WordPress Plugin Repository
- Handle security issues and make your plug-ins safer to use
Who this book is written for
Anyone who wishes to engage in WordPress development, from beginners to seasoned developers. The examples grow in complexity so that beginners are able to easily follow and for the veterans out there I have couple of handy tricks (security, optimization and general programming) in every chapter.
These are book reviews that I am aware of in chronological order.
The book is organized around the development of six plugins. With each chapter a new plugin is started, developed and explained. None of the plugins are simple so this really is a book for someone who actively wants to learn. Vladimir has clearly decided that you can get a ‘Hello World!’ plugin tutorial from anywhere so, while he does explain what you will need to develop plugins, for example, where you can get free tools, and does include the basic ‘Hello World’ skills in the first tutorial, he kicks off the book at a fast pace.
If you are at all interested in WordPress plugin development, you should definitely get a copy of this well-written book. I would even recommend this book for current WordPress plugin authors because I’m sure there are plenty of things in there that you don’t already know. Personally I find that there are many best practices covered in this book that I have been neglecting in my own plugins.
And the book is a valuable resource. In just the first chapter I picked up a tidbit that fixed a troubling issue for me on a current project — so the book has already paid for itself! Working you way through the chapters will build your understanding of how plugins are structures, and how they interface with the WordPress core functions. It also builds an appreciation of how really robust a platform WordPress offers. With libraries like jQuery, rss parsing functions, and other goodies there is a lot to work with.
Whether you are a hard-core web developer or a hobbyist, if you have working knowledge of PHP, HTML and WordPress, and if you want to develop your own WordPress plugin, this book is an excellent choice for you.
But this book convinced me WordPress can be extended to do just about anything I would want to do on the web. Once I had done the tour through Prelovac's examples, I found it much easier to start looking through the code of other publicly-available plug-ins and figuring out how they work as well.
Hats off to you Vladimir! I really used your book until the ears got all coffee stained (and yes, I printed out all 700 pages from the pdf!).
Having a plethora of usage examples of the major WordPress API commands has been a real time saver and a fantastic launching point for future WP projects.
I recommend this book to WordPress junkies or anyone with a bit of curiosity on how plugins work with wordpress.
The book walks step by step through the development of 6 real life WordPress plugins, covering the various issues that arise for each plugin and how to resolve them. Using real life examples makes it much easier to understand the concepts that Vladimir is teaching.
In my opinion, Vladimir has done a great job of choosing plugins which allow him to demonstrate all the things he needs to, without having to contrive situations just to demonstrate something. He weaves all the complex information together, giving you a little bit at time but building on it and reinforcing it later.
As a trainer and writer I could see that the difficulty and complexity of the plugins followed a nice progression through the book, and gradually took you into all the deep nooks and crevices of WordPress.
The book is thorough, extensive and clear. It contains useful code examples and the reasoning that explains how and why things work as they do. It shows you how to develop some very specific, useful plugins, while also giving you the tools to go off and do your own thing. A reference section points you to relevant mailing lists, podcasts and websites.
WordPress Plugin Development is a truly practical book that is designed to teach people how they can write enhancements for the WordPress platform using real live examples. Rather than just giving small snippets of code with no real understanding, this book offers the entire script, and a complete walk through for the entire process. If you are looking for a true hands-on approach to writing scripts and publishing WordPress plugins, then you should rest assured that WordPress Plugin Development will allow you to write your own WordPress enhancements in absolutely no time at all.
On the whole, you can learn a lot from this book, whether you’re a beginner at WordPress plugin authoring or not. The breadth of WordPress plugin capabilities means that most experienced authors don’t know everything, so there’s almost certainly something here for you — but it starts simple, and within the first 30 pages you’ll already have a usable, practical plugin written.
My conclusion first, for those in a rush: it is a great book. It’s really rich. For people knowing the basics of PHP and willing to give WordPress plugins a first shot, it should be a fantastic read. I wished I could have read something like this five years ago when I began coding plugins for WordPress :)
As an experienced WordPress plug-in developer, I was pessimistic at the start – there is already a wealth of documentation and detailed tutorials on the web, who would need a book? However with Vladimir being a well-respected WordPress plug-in developer, I was curious to see his approach on the subject, and you never know – I may learn a thing or two? (hint: I did!)... In summary, WordPress Plug-in Development (Beginner’s Guide) is perfect for anyone who is interested in extending the functionality of WordPress – it goes without saying that a little PHP knowledge is required, but that isn’t a show-stopper, you can learn whilst you “hack”!
If you wrote a review of the book contact me to have it listed here.
You and the book
If you want to take a more pro-active role with this book, both Packt Pub and Amazon have affiliate programs which allow you to write about the book on your blog or site and earn a referral bonus for everyone that buys the book through your site.
Finally if you are representing a WordPress information portal (or any other similar site) and you would like to review the book, please feel free to contact me so I can arrange a review copy for you.