WP Tutorial: Your First WP Plugin

Here it is, a video guide to creating your first WordPress plugin (in under 5 minutes!). If people like this enough, I might do these kinds of tutorials on a regular basis.

Your First WP Plugin
Click here to watch

The tutorial assumes you have some very basic PHP knowledge… syntax, function declarations, etc.

545 thoughts on “WP Tutorial: Your First WP Plugin

  1. MichaelH says:

    Nice explanation. It makes me believe that I could actually write a plugin. Thanks for the great tuturial.

    • Anup says:

      Hi,
      Hey mark! I really like ur wordpress tutorial now i can create a plugin because of u.
      Ur a very good Teacher.

      Thanks,

  2. Great video tutorial – now I will also try to write my own plugin …
    hope you will do more of these video tutorials for plugins – very interesting
    thank you!

  3. Excellent, we need more like this for wordPress. This gives me some ideas for a possible “wordPress Theme building” video. I will now go write my very first wordPress plugin… FU to the BU.

  4. Nice work, Mark. Well, explained for people new to writing WordPress plugins – especially the space before and space after “headers already sent” error that so many people ask about all the time.

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  6. It loks very easy to write a plugin :) of course, when you want to do other thigs (the hard ones) wou’ll have problems (with “you” I mean us, the people who can’t right plugins or those who know nothing about php :P )

    Great video :)

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  8. I’d love more tutorials. Like how to tie into a database, how to get it to automatically how up at the end of a post or how to get your own page in the admin area. :D

  9. That is a great little demo. I had been wanting to look into making a plugin and this shows just how clean and easy it can be done.

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  11. Over the past few months, I have taught myself how to use WordPress and to install plugins, but I never understood how the plugins worked. Don’t know if I’ll ever write one, but now I can read the php script with some level of understanding. Thank you Mark.

  12. I love this tutorial. It is the best I have ever watched. Plus I really think you should do it on a regular basis. Please. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it. I used to think PHP was going to be loads of ugly coding but you saved my life.

  13. Mark, fantastic job! This answered many of the most basic questions that have kept me from getting started. It unfortunately left me hungry for more of this material!! Please do put some more of these together. I think you’ve hit a much needed area of material in the world of screencasting.

  14. VERY COOL! Thanks Mark!

    I had no idea that a plugin was just a standard php file with a bit of commented text at the top… identifying it as a plugin. That’s awesome! You’ve given me my first step in writing a plugin.

  15. Nice one, thanks!
    Makes writing WP plugins appear pretty simple. Assuming that there’s more to it than simply modifying headers and content, I sure would like to see more tutorials like this one.

  16. Thank you Mark! I was trying to do a little reverse engineering on my already-installed plugins to figure out how to make my own…your quick tutorial helped me get the basics down.

    I would love another tutorial that takes a plugin one step farther…for instance, update this plugin (foo to the bar) to allow for a “Plugin option” screen which lets you change what text you want to be filtered, and what text to replace it with. Inspired yet?

  17. I’m looking for “guide to create wordpress plugin” on google and found your site #1. Many many thanks for this free tutorial. Keep up the good work! ;-)

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  19. This is really nice video tutorial hope to see more examples soon so i m bookmarkin it :D!!

    And Thanx a loads for this lovely tutorial :)

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  22. Amazing… here I am a year later of when you posted the tutorial and it just gave me a giant insight of how to get started.
    Congrats on the tutorial.

    I noticed you mentioned in the post you would do more if you had some good feedback, i guess right now i’m going to go find any new stuff.

    Thnaks!

  23. That was a really nice intro to writing plug-ins.

    Can you now add some more videos so I can learn how to make simple plug-ins that take parameters in via a plugin set up screen.

    Thanks

  24. That was perfect – exactly what I was looking for. I was trying to write pretty much the same simple plugin, but hadn’t worked out the filters. Thank you!

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  26. Hi Mark,

    Wowwwwwwwwwwww!

    Thanks so much for the tutorial. That was the 5 minutes I ever spent.

    Please do more of these types of tutorials with more functions and plugins.

    Once again thanks for taking the time.

    Cheers,

  27. ah, thankyou very much. it’s basic but very enough to start..
    otherwise i would spend day or two to read all i need just to start…

    thnx bro’

    ha ha it seems that i’m 100. or around it :)

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  31. lee101 says:

    Nice tutorial :)
    I was expecting something like this to be really difficult, but with a bit of PHP knowledge it shouldn’t be hard at all to create a simple plugin!

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  34. jkolts says:

    I thought that tutorial was pretty good! I’m mildly surprised at the simplicity of creating a plugin, though i don’t know any php. thanks for the useful demo

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  36. Nice video, and wish I had php skills to apply what you have shown me. I find it amazing that this post is almost two years old and I have just stumbled upon it. The Internet is a wonderful helping aid, thanks to people like you…

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  40. I don’t even have speakers on this computer but i sat and watched it, paused the screen, typed out what you had and it worked like a charm. I’m using this now on a blog to change certain words to specific links. I want to figure out how to set this up to edit them in the wp-admin instead of doing them in the plugin coding itself. One day…. lol

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  42. GP says:

    Thanks for this! I just made my first plugin. All I wanted to do for my first plugin was print some text, but this intro has already made me want to start editing things. Awesome.

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  44. Engel says:

    Great tutorial for a beginner like me. Thanks a lot mark!
    Mark can you provide tutorials for admin plugin as well?

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  46. This is a really good tutorial on writing wordpress plugins. You make it seem so simple :-)

    You may or may not know but there is a chap called Robert Plank who is selling videos on how to write plugins for large amounts of money. You may want to consider doing something similar?

    cheers
    Tont

  47. Tony Kenobi says:

    by the way – you should check your comments above mine as they are spam comments. I hate spammers, grrrrrr

  48. theblaine says:

    Fantastic!! I’m new to WP, but am an experienced PHP developer. You have officially gotten me started on making plug-ins. I would love to see more!

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  50. Nice stuff! Thanks for making this screencast! Hoping you’d create another one showing how to create a slightly more advanced plugin, eg. one with a customization interface and a widget :)

  51. That’s a nice tutorial, Mark, but it doesn’t address the automatic argument-passing that takes place when the filter is applied and how that relates to the “accepted_args” parameter listed in the WordPress Codex (http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API#Hook_in_your_Filter) and the official documentation seems light on details and examples. Can you offer any information about that?

    I am trying to filter pre_option_stylesheet and I can return a value, but my filter function does not seem to be receiving an argument—at least not as shown in your tutorial. Do pre_option_(option name) hooks not result in string values being passed to filter functions in the same way as those you demonstrated?

  52. It looks like option(option name) is the one to use if you want to actually receive a value—at least for the “stylesheet” option; I tried it and it seems to be doing what I want.

    That still leaves me wondering about option(option name), though. What is the point of a filter hook if it doesn’t receive any input to filter? What am I missing?

  53. osu says:

    Hi Mark,

    Just wondering, is there a good resource to find out all the different ways you can interact with WordPress 2.6 (like about the different filters available for WordPress plugins)?

    I’ve held back from writing my own plugins because I don’t know about what you can do with plugins (despite my PHP being good enough to create one).

    Any advice appreciated.

    Cheers,

    osu

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  56. wordpresscrusher says:

    Hi Mark

    I’ve been looking for information on how to start building wordpress plugins. You’re video is perfect, in that it defines the very beginning process in building a wordpress plugin.

    Just the other day Robert Plank came out with a tutorial on how to build wordpress plugins and kind of picks up where you left off….really good stuff, you can see it at http://www.squidoo.com/wordpresscrusher or check out WordPress Crusher

    Let me know what you think….and keep cranking out this over the edge info….really love it!

    Take care,

    Scott

  57. tsgn says:

    Nice tutorial. I’ve built a bunch of widgets which led me to creating a new tool that so others don’t have to spend so much time. My new tool is at widgetifyr.com

  58. Puskal says:

    Thanks mate, its very useful video. I learned to write plugin in wordpress in a very short time with this one.

  59. Over the past few months, I have taught myself how to use WordPress and to install plugins, but I never understood how the plugins worked. Don’t know if I’ll ever write one, but now I can read the php script with some level of understanding. Thank you Mark

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  61. I always thought and still do that people who can write plugins are geniuses. Now, I guess I can have a fair chance of becoming one myself.

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  65. Nice Sharing :). I couldn’t make my mind which plugin should I have to make, because I m not professional but want to make an interesting plugin and it is quite difficult to make an interesting nice plugin without having huge knowledge of scripts :(

  66. Mark,
    This was great. Thanks for the video.

    I also just caught your interview on Press This with Joost de Valk. It was great to hear about the coming change to 2.9.

    Thanks for your great work!

    Regards,
    Joe

  67. Some people require more specific explanation in words rather than watching video. Anyway, this is one way of posting tutorial. Great video! Thanks.

  68. Hey thanks for teaching me how to develop my first plugin. I am looking forward to working my way toward a plugin that does something cool.

  69. Hi Mark, this tutorial was really cool. I’m looking for a way to improve all the mess I have done in PHP with my blog and it seems that automating it with plugins is the way to go.

    Thanks!

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  71. Jaquith has a short-and-sweet screencast on how to create your first WordPress plugin in under 5

    Jaquith has a short-and-sweet screencast on how to create your first WordPress plugin in under 5

  72. Genux says:

    Yeah more tutorials on video is great you can follow them easier since you can “see” what is happening, nice one

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  74. Dee says:

    Very nice…the simplicity and to the pointness of the tut – makes it immensely empowering…good teaching.

  75. You genius.. I have been writing scripts to work with my wordpress site, but never actually thought of making it part of my plugins. Obvious… but for some reason never clicked.

  76. This is a very simple plugin.
    How about creating a video with some extra features like database interaction, admin menu, plugin widgets and any way to include plugin functionality within post or page.

    Thanks

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  79. Mark, thank so much, man a video goes so much further then trying to sift through the docs at wordpress. You have dymistified the process in 5 minutes with ease!

    Keep em coming, add a little donation link on here maybe?
    THank you!!!
    Sean

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  81. Matt says:

    I know this is an old post after seeing the WordPress version in the video, but it’s still helpful. Thanks!

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  84. Scot Manaher says:

    I have been wanting to build plugins for a few years now and learning php in my offtime. I would defiantly enjoy if you had more of these WordPress plugin tutorials Mark. Thanks for sharing.

  85. Hey Mark,
    This is an awesome tutorial and I highly recommend it to anybody that wants to learn how to create a plugin for word press. I am working on a plugin now because of this. Thank you for the wonderful teaching.

    Darin

  86. Very impressed with your post. I found it very useful where you posted your comments on wordpress. Keep up the good work. Cheers

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  88. yop says:

    Hi i can’t see the video, when i click It download a .mov that i can’t see too.

    can you please upload your video on youtube and just embed it il your page ?

    thx !

  89. very nice tutorial bro.. thanks for that…
    however I have a request.. I want to create a plugin to alter WP default [gallery] plugin, is there any tutorial available for that ?
    what I want to do is grab the gallery contents put them in my own for loop and generate my own code.. I actually want to generate HS code for whole plugin..like I want to put all the contents in JS array and then run some JS function on that array after page is loaded…

    thanks in advance….

  90. Hi i can’t see the video, when i click It download a .mov that i can’t see too.

    can you please upload your video on youtube and just embed it il your page ?

  91. Nice tutorial :)
    I was expecting something like this to be really difficult, but with a bit of PHP knowledge it shouldn’t be hard at all to create a simple plugin!

  92. Its really need to have good effort to build a new plug-in. I think this a best post ever i seen to create a plug-in with such a easy way. We have generated few online site builders and make some easy CMS for our user. I also start my first plug-in by last year but got failed

  93. I am so happy to see you and thinking that why I did not found you before. It was a great puzzle for me to create own plug-in. Now it’s looking soon I will have my own plug-in. Thank you so much for this video

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