What is Process of Developing a New Plugin?


(Faruk Erdogan) #1

Dear Friends,

I want to build a plugin on WordPress for a solution but I am not a technical guy. I want to hire a person/agency who experienced in building some plugin stuff. So, maybe I can use Codable or freelancer. However, I have really no idea about building plugins. I have some questions about this, could you help me on that topic? Maybe this topic can be very helpful for the future needs. And you can add any questions to this topic.

Beginning;

How should I start? Could you write your thoughts?

  • Should I write just features of a plugin?
  • Should I design screens from scratch?
  • Should I write process? (I mean; user register > choose a plan etc.)

Working with developer;

  • How can I set deadlines?
  • How should be the process?

After finishing plugin;

  • Do I need still a developer for bugs?
  • What should I do on updates from WP, a developer should update the plugin?
  • Should I deal with developer hourly or project based? What do you offer?

And could you share a brief for the plugin development if you have?

You can add what you want to this topic. I believe that this will be a reference source for who want to develop a plugin with a developer.

Thank you.


(Jeffrey Carandang) #2

I’m developing plugins and based on the options you’ve provided before here are my suggestions:

Beginning;

How should I start? Could you write your thoughts?

  • Should I write just features of a plugin? This is the most important part, you need to line up all the features first and decide which are the priority features that you can initially release.

  • Should I design screens from scratch? If you can integrate the designs with the core layouts then it’s better.

  • Should I write process? (I mean; user register > choose a plan etc.) You mean user onboarding process?

Working with developer;

  • How can I set deadlines? You can discuss this with the developer.

  • How should be the process? You can discuss this with the developer.

After finishing plugin;

Do I need still a developer for bugs? You definitely need the developer you’ll be hiring for additional features and updates.

What should I do on updates from WP, a developer should update the plugin?You definitely need the developer you’ll be hiring for additional features and updates.

Should I deal with developer hourly or project based? What do you offer? For the initial development with the first release I think project based is better then hourly for the updates and fixes.

I hope this helps.

Cheers,
Jeffrey


(David) #3

Hi Faruk,

I’m a WP developer (available for hire, btw).

As a developer, It’s usually a simple process. A single question you need to answer first (before anything else)

“What is the purpose of the plugin, and why you want to build it”

The “Why” part is important. So, let the developer know in details about this.

If you have other information, such as the “flow” of the plugin (how you want the plugin works), you can also inform the coder/developer.

If you have only rough idea, don’t over think it (don’t waste your time, because it’s possible that your “wireframe” might not be applicable at all, considering you might not have technical skill to back it up). Simply ask and let the coder come up with solution for your problem (the one you are trying to solve by building this plugin).

After that, I usually come up with estimate time (and schedule), also the cost to build the plugin. I assume, other dev have similar process.

I hope this can help you find a good developer to build your plugin.


(Kakoma) #4

Hi Faruk,
I’m co-signing both @phpbits and @turtlepod on the delivery; deadlines and processes would have to be discussed with the developer.

As pointed out, the key features you need in the initial version is the most important aspect. Wireframes are rarely needed unless your requirements are really unique.

I’m a developer on Codeable. It’s a great place to post something like this.


(Daniel Iser) #5

@Faruk - First before you go to a freelance directory or hiring service consider this: the chances you get a full on plugin developer who actually knows all the ins and outs of WP in the giant pool of developers who check PHP + WORDPRESS + PLUGINS is rare. To clarify many developers in PHP may check the box for WordPress simply because they use it for their blog, this in no way means they would be an ideal candidate for plugin development as they may not even use WP for work/coding purposes.

My suggestion there would be to use these forums as well as the plugin repo itself to find plugins/authors that you already either have a connection with, already use and like their other products etc. This way you get a dev who already knows the process and can speed you through development.

Any PHP dev can pick up WP, but at what cost to you. For example if they are not already 100% familiar with add_(action/filter) and the 1000s of available hooks & filters, you just lost dozens of hours if not more already so they can look up everywhere they need to tap in.

Onto your questions:

Beginning;

How should I start?

Absolutely all of those, write down everything you can think of for your idea and organize it. Include mock designs of how screens should look, lists of potential settings with details of how they should change things if needed, and any functionality should be clearly mapped out in a 1 -> 2 -> 3 style process including underlying processes like saving data. IE Add to cart -> Checkout -> Save row to purchase table -> redirect to confirmation.

Lastly make a second list for your MVP (minimum viable product). Determine what items from your other list are most important to the core product. IE what can you not live without. Then create v1 with only those items in mind and get it out for feedback. Quickly follow up with the addition of your other features from the first list.

Working with developer;

Depends on the developer. Many work well with constant communication & feedback/testing, others want you to leave them alone. Establish which you prefer and make sure they are ok with that and stick to it early.

After finishing plugin;

  • Do I need still a developer for bugs? 100% yes, WP changes, as do other plugins & themes you may need to stay compatible with. Even if you get 100% of your idea done in the first version (which you probably shouldn’t, see MVP above) you will need to keep up with those other changes you can’t account for.
  • What should I do on updates from WP, a developer should update the plugin? See above
  • Should I deal with developer hourly or project based? What do you offer? I personally don’t do spec work, and you may find lack of involvement over time that way. You may want to consider a partnership instead. Consider support, you may have to call on the dev to answer harder questions from time to time as well. Best to know they are always available when you need. A % partnership ensures that. You need a dev who can be there when stuff breaks to quickly get a patch out. If they are hourly or spec, likely you will have to reach out and schedule time to get a solution created. This could be costly. A partner dev is likely seeing the tickets before you are and has already pushed a patch before you had a chance to respond :wink:

And could you share a brief for the plugin development if you have?

Nice, nobody ever really leaves the floor open for you to talk about yourself haha. Keeping it short, reputation should speak for itself:

  • Popup Maker (freemium) - [repo] [website]
  • Ahoy (premium) - [website]
  • User Menus (free) - [repo]
  • Content Control (free) - [repo]
  • Easy Modal(free/retired freemium) - [repo]
  • Recipe Manager (freemium) - [repo] [website]
  • WP-JS-Form-Sample-Plugin - [github] I also write conceptual code like this sample plugin for admin forms which uses a JS based forms to render settings pages, metaboxes with minimal effort on the developers part.

If you opt to go the partnership route let me know. I have an extreme amount of effort/time put into boilerplate code which essentially jump starts any new project with instant functionality like settings pages, admin forms^ and more.

Otherwise hope this was helpful.

Take care.


(Faruk Erdogan) #6

Thank you, friends! @phpbits, @turtlepod, @kakoma, @danieliser

You shared great thoughts with me. And we drop a good resource for people who want to build a plugin.