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Creating WordPress Plugins: Fast start for PHP developers

Learn all the fundamentals and many of the not-so-obvious aspects of coding WordPress plugins for fun or profit.
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127 students enrolled
Created by Nick McCloud
Last updated 11/2013
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 Supplemental Resource
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
By the end of this course you will be able to create useful, functional WordPress plugins to agreed standards of quality & robustness
Learn how to create a plugin framework
Learn how to make WordPress function calls to modify posts, pages, layouts & more
Learn how to create a plugin settings page with JavaScript validation
Learn how to setup a self-contained development environment for coding & testing
View Curriculum
  • Basic understanding of WordPress setup & admin
  • Entry level PHP coding skills
  • Basic HTML & CSS skills
  • Basic understanding of JavaScript & JQuery useful but not essential
  • Access to a computer!
  • An idea for your own plugin, useful but not essential

You will get a through grounding in the fundamentals of creating WordPress plugins and be shown some of the not-so-obvious techniques that the master coders use.

  • If you are a WordPress developer that hasn't got to grips with the plugin system, this is for you.
  • If you are a PHP developer that knows a little WordPress and wants to get in to plugin development, this is for you.
  • If you are managing WordPress development and want to understand what it takes to get a plugin developed, this is for you.

Delivered by screen casts, you get to see a plugin being built up step by step from scratch with all the source code available for you to download to tinker with it and extend for your own plugin design. The shortcode section is recorded on Mac OS, the followup sections are on a mix of Windows 7 and Mac - development is entirely cross platform as you will see.

There is not a whole heap of complexity in the actual code base, it's all clear and straightforward, so you don't need PhD level PHP. The WordPress admin side isn't rocket surgery either. Most of the course outlines the structures & how things fit together, so you won't be bamboozled by complex arcane code that will leave you baffled.

The best bit is you get access to source code that is tried & tested and can act as the starting point for your own plugin - all free of charge and free to use for open source or commercial projects as you wish.

In theory you could blast through the shortcode module in just a morning and then refer to the videos as you create your own plugin in the afternoon - imagine, just one day to go from Joe Dev to WordPress Plugin Pro.

The course leader, Nick McCloud, from and a few other places, is an entrepreneurial programmer with over 35 years coding experience (pre-internet, pre-Windows, pre-iPod, pre-running water) and 20 years running his own businesses.

Come on board, cover the materials and ask questions. Questions will create FAQ's which create more videos! One of the team will pop by a couple of times a week to make sure questions are answered.

Who is the target audience?
  • WordPress developers
  • PHP developers
  • Anyone who wants an overview so they can supervise developers
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 17 Lectures Collapse All 17 Lectures 02:01:54
Introduction & Overview
2 Lectures 08:45

Overview, requirements, intro to your tutor and some housekeeping.

Preview 08:45

So we can supply a mix of PDF & source code, the files are available at

Downloading the course materials
1 page
Creating your own development & testing environment
2 Lectures 22:48

A quick overview on installing Apache, mySQL and PHP all in one convenient package for Windows, providing a self-contained development server environment that's superb for development and testing. Get it from

Internet Explorer 10 causes Apache to crash. Add this to the bottom of Apache.conf as per the screen cast:

# Fix IE crashing Apache
AcceptFilter http none
AcceptFilter https none
Preview 12:27

A quick overview on installing Apache, mySQL and PHP all in one convenient package for Mac OS, providing a self-contained development server environment that's superb for development and testing. Get it from

Preview 10:21
Plugin School 1: A simple shortcode based plugin
11 Lectures 01:19:45

Get a sneak peak in to the future and see what it is we are going to build

Preview 04:24

First step is to create the plugin header that allows WordPress to 'see' the plugin and display its details in the plugin admin screen.

Step 1: The world's most basic (but totally useless) plugin

Having got the plugin registered in the system, we add in the shortcode functionality and inform WordPress of its presence.

Step 2: Actually doing something useful

In this step we add in the code to receive parameters from the shortcode entry for customisation of the output.

Step 3: Adding in shortcode parameters

A little protection goes a long way in such a vast eco-system like WordPress - wrap your code in a class to ensure you play nicely with other plugins & themes.

Step 4: Introducing a class structure

Merge our shortcode code in to the class structure and we are all set for the next steps.

Step 5: Moving our code in to the class

We take away the hard coded default and save & retrieve it as a WordPress option.

Step 6: Adding saveable options

Now appearing no the left hand side of the admin section, our very own entry in the settings menu!

Step 7: Adding a settings menu

Here we divert mainly in to HTML land where we use the exact same code base that WordPress uses to display our settings page.

Step 8: Creating the settings page

We round off by providing some JavaScript validation of our settings entry.

Step 9: Adding in JavaScript validation for our settings page

Just a quick overview of what we achieved!

Summary of our shortcode plugin
Plugin School 2: Adapt & extend our capabilities
2 Lectures 09:36
Override the theme banner image

Override the theme CSS
About the Instructor
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127 Students
1 Course
Head Boffin of Own Business Empire

In no particular order: Entrepreneurial programmer, geek, glider pilot, husband, oenologist, cat herder, horse rider, lollipop sucker and devourer of knowledge.

Running the and a few other internet properties, I have over 35 years coding experience (pre-internet, pre-Windows, pre-iPod, pre-running water) and 20 years running my own businesses.

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