Make A WordPress Plugin Now! – Plugin Generators of Doom

I’ve been following WP plugin development-related news for a week or two now, and I’ve noticed something that could make creating a plugin easier – plugin generators. These tools can create a handy template for your new plugin so you don’t need to start completely from scratch; you still need to know (at least) PHP to make your plugin do anything useful, though.

In this post I’ll review three WordPress plugin generators I’ve come across.

WordPress Plugin Maker

This is a primitive WP plugin that can take the information you supply and write the standard WordPress plugin header to a new file in your wp-content/plugins directory. You can then use the WP’s built-in plugin editor to add some functionality to the newly created plugin. Not that I know why anyone would want to do it this way – with the built-in editor you have no syntax highlighting and no handy keyboard shortcuts (personally, I just can’t live without Ctrl-S).

Strangely enough, this thing got nearly 500 votes on Digg. I guess most of the voters weren’t developers at all.

Fun With Plugins

This is definitely the best plugin generator I’ve seen to date. It can generate decently structured, object-oriented plugins. It can also create stub methods for handling various WordPress filters, hooks and actions. Other features include database support, the possibility to add a widget to the plugin, adding admin menus, localization support and more.

What more can I say? Well, you still need to be knowledgeable about WP plugin development and PHP to make good use of the features. And it’s in “beta”. And there are too many steps in the generation process (it would probably be possible to condense some steps to a single screen). Overall, it’s still good 😛

WP Plugin Generator

Just for completeness, here’s another plugin generator – the aptly named WP Plugin Generator. It looks a bit outdated, but supports some common plugin features, like adding something before/after posts and handling plugin-specific <!–tags–>. It’s also simpler than the Fun With Plugins generator, so may be worth a look.

If you’re a WP plugin developer, or looking to create your first plugin, you might also find the WordPress Plugin Framework project interesting.

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4 Responses to “Make A WordPress Plugin Now! – Plugin Generators of Doom”

  1. Keith says:

    Thanks for the mention of the WordPress Plugin Framework on your website. If you would like more information about this project (for a full post or a follow-up) just let me know (via email) and I would be more than happy to oblige.

    You can also take a look at the current WPF development at the WPF Google Code project by following the link below.

  2. s.karal says:

    I am very excited by 2.5, I am keeping mum about the new features which I do not know of. The idea of reducing 2 plugins for my blog with 2.5 is a huge bonus – Gravatars and Tags management. Way to go WordPress, I can’t wait for March 10.

  3. Nico says:

    Have you ever seen the Typo3-Extension-Kickstarter? That is really good software. It’s a pitty that WordPress haven’t got something similar.

  4. Jānis Elsts says:

    No, I hadn’t seen that before. It does look impressive. I noticed there’s also Extension Builder, which appears to be even more advanced.

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