Chapter 5: Creating Simple Plugins from Scratch
In This Chapter
Creating a valid plugin
Adding shortcodes and widgets
Creating a plugin settings page
You can extend WordPress functionality through plugins and themes without modifying any of WordPress core files. This allows for customizing WordPress while still permitting easy upgrades when new versions of WordPress are released. By using the WordPress software built-in action hooks (placeholder functions that allow plugin developers to execute code hooked into them) and filter hooks (also placeholder functions that you can use to apply parameters to filter results), you can create just about any functionality you can imagine.
This chapter takes you on a crash course in creating plugins. The plugins I show you how to build start off simple and iteratively introduce new concepts as the functionality gets deeper and more involved. Having a foundational knowledge of PHP is helpful for getting the most out of this chapter; however, even beginner PHP developers should be able to get value out of each project.