No matter how much you will be thankful to WordPress, it will always be less. The way it enhances your website through its via plugin sphere is evidence enough to prove its capabilities.
However, there are some plugins that don’t have a great reputation. Anyone who is using WordPress for a long time would have, at one stage or the other, found themselves cursing a particular plugin that has caused a number of issues.
However, this is a wrong perception about plugins and should at once be cleared. The problem is the bad coding and bad development practices, and these things could only be controlled by the developer.
With the above points in mind, we will continue with the article and focus on the basic things to consider in WordPress plugin development. This article would prove to be a great guide for the entry-level WordPress plugin developers.
So, let’s get started:
Should A Plugin Be Used Or Is There Another Alternative? As the code could be used either in a plugin or a theme, you might even find yourself wondering what the right move would be? Does the plugin need the coding, or are there other proper alternatives?
Know The Reason For The Code: If the new feature that you want to add will change the theme’s design, it could be added to the child theme. However, if the feature is meant to introduce or change a certain functionality, it could go through a plugin.
It should be kept in mind that there is not a clear line between design and function.
Plugins Don’t Depend On Themes: Any code that you will add to a child theme would disappear the moment you switch themes. It would be a big trouble to save the tiny bits of code that you had added. In several cases, you might not easily find the bits of codes.
This is where the plugins could overtake the changes that are made via child themes/or the functions.php file. Your code will be with you and could be deployed along with a new theme. It is very important for the user to be able to switch the designs without fearing the loss in functionality. If you don’t require the functionality, you could deactivate the plugin.
A Plugin Could Be Easily Scaled: Plugins are great in classifying the codes. You could get a small set of code that could be modified and scaled easily to suit your requirements. This particular aspect works wonders than putting codes into the functions.php file and being afraid of “white screen of death” as soon as the changes are saved.
Plugins could vary from being simple like Hello Dolly, to complex like WooCommerce that could bring about complete changes to your website. Thus, it makes scalability all the more important.
There is a also a deploying functionality hack through the plugins. You could release the plugin to the larger WordPress community, and perhaps even commercialize it in the future.
Is It Fine To Have Too Many Plugins? It is a myth that plugins are a bad thing for your WordPress site. This is not because of some of the limitations of plugins, but because these beliefs have no base at all.
Let’s have a quick look at some of the myths that are associated with the plugins:
- Code in plugins are not as efficient as code in themes
- Website becomes slow because of plugins
Plugins dominate most of the resources: There is absolutely no difference between a chunk of code that is executed by a theme or a plugin, except for timing. Plugins and the codes both will load the associated stylesheets, databases and scripts.
The problem usually is plugins loading non-required resources, or loading resources even if they are not needed. It only becomes problematic when users, or developers do not efficiently handle the plugins.
Conclusion: It could be very beneficial to know the basics of the WordPress plugin development. Once you become aware of the power of plugins, you could very well know the functionality and it could be easier once the power of plugins is embraced.