WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?_
> Creating plugin files
> Using WordPress filter and action hooks
> How to properly use the Settings API
> Create a widget and Dashboard Widget
> Create custom shortcodes
> Data validation and plugin security
> Support language translation
> Publish a plugin to the official Plugin Directory
One of the main reasons WordPress is such a popular software platform is the ease with which it can be extended. Plugins are the primary reason for this and allow almost endless possibilities in extending WordPress. This chapter discusses everything you need to know to create amazing plugins in WordPress.
We're going to look at plugins from both a functional and structural perspective. Starting with the packaging of plugin files, we'll dig into the API hooks that connect your custom plugin code to the WordPress core and show how to integrate a plugin into various parts of the WordPress editing, management and display processes. Finally, we show how to publish a plugin for others to use. At the end of this chapter you build a WordPress plugin from the ground up. You'll utilize many of the features discussed in this chapter and learn the proper way to extend WordPress through a custom plugin.
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