Lately as I delve deeper into plugin development, I’ve been keeping a WordPress installation where I have a few of the most exemplary plugins installed and activated. That way, when I have some doubt about user interface, or how to perform a particular piece of functionality, I can always refer to one of these plugins.
There comes a time when you have to stop reading books and articles about WordPress, and actually dive head first into code.
I’ll be sharing some of these plugins in this list, and updating it as we go along. Feel free to suggest any other exemplary plugins, that can serve as ‘role models’ for us when building our own plugins.
I dig the user interface of these plugins:
- Easy Digital Downloads
- Advanced Custom Fields
- WP Reviews Pro
- Gravity Forms
- WP Migrate DB Pro (includes an excellent AJAX saving feature for settings)
- WP Job Board
Object Oriented Programming
I’m still starting out with developing OOP plugins for WordPress, but I’ve been looking at the following as examples:
Core + Addons Model
This is my favourite model for developing WordPress plugins. It consists of developing a core free plugin that will solve 80% of potential users needs, but for the 20% of the users who want advanced functionality, you create premium (paid) add-ons. By developing extensible plugins you are also allowing third parties to easily add functionality to your core plugin.
- Custom Content Portfolio
- Genesis (a theme but still a superb example of how commenting should be done)
Terms and Conditions
Here are some terms and conditions for major plugins, mostly for reference:
Asking for Donations
Sound like a strange heading? Well, not all plugins are premium, in fact many of them are free, and it’s always nice to give a token of appreciation to the developer who spends so many hours doing something and giving it away for free. I love how Tobias does that in TablePress, very friendly and non-intrusive.
Here’s a screenshot:
These are not plugins per se, but useful classes you can use within your plugins:
- TGM Plugin Activation (Require or recommend other plugins)
- WP Thumb (Image resizing on the fly) – plugin also available
- Plugin Class Demo
I also love referring to wpgear.org for goodies such as plugin or widget boilerplates and many other fantastic tools.
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