Writing a WordPress Plugin – HEWeb Southeast

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Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of reworking and reprising one of my old workshops. At HighEdWeb Southeast, at Frances Marion University, I presented a half-day workshop explaining the basics of developing a WordPress plugin.

The plugin implements a very basic functionality allowing you to insert a greeting along with the user’s name. The first phase of the workshop goes through the process of creating a new plugin, and implementing the shortcode.

Once the attendees understood how to implement a new shortcode, we moved on to phase 2 of the plugin. The second phase introduced users to the basic Settings API within WordPress. I taught the attendees how to build their own Options page within the administrative dashboard, and add various settings to the system, allowing their users to specify some basic defaults for the plugin. At some point in the near future, I’m hoping to develop a post/tutorial explaining this process in a little more depth.

Finally, in the third phase of the plugin, I taught attendees how to go about turning their shortcode into a widget.

If you’re interested in checking out the workshop slides, you can view them online. One of the final slides has a link to download the three phases of the plugin code so that you can check it out. The code itself is purposely not commented, as part of the workshop is to allow users to comment their own code once they’ve gone through the slide notes and determined how and why the code is doing what it’s doing.

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