A great feature about WordPress plugins is that you can easily release updates for your plugins in the Plugin Directory. When a new plugin version is released, a notice is displayed on any WordPress site that currently has that plugin uploaded to its server, whether or not it is activated. The user can use the automatic upgrade process to easily upgrade the plugin to the latest version. This is especially important if there are security patches in your plugin to help keep WordPress secure.
To release a new plugin version, make sure you copy the updated plugin files to the /trunk directory you set up earlier. This folder should contain all files for the updated plugin version. Once you have verified that all of the updates plugin files exist, simply right-click the trunk directory and select SVN Commit. Remember to type in a brief message such as "Committing version 1.2.'' TortoiseSVN should have already selected all of the files that have changed, but if not, select all of the files you want to publish and click OK.
The final step is to tag your new version. To tag your new release right-click the trunk directory and select TortoiseSVN O Branch/tag. For this example the URL would be http: //svn.wp-plugins . org/wp-brad/tags/126.96.36.199. Remember to write a brief log entry such as "Tagging version 1.2'' and click OK. That's it! Your new plugin version will be published in the Plugin Directory within 15 minutes. After the new version has been released your plugin will appear at the top of the Recently Updated Plugins list on WordPress.org.
The WordPress Plugin Directory is a great source for inspiration and reference when building custom plugins. Don't be scared to look at another plugin source code for reference. Find a plugin that functions similarly to what you want and see how the plugin author structured the code or used hooks to interpose his or her plugin ideas in the WordPress core processing.
Plugins are only half of the WordPress extensibility story, giving you the power to add custom functions and event-driving processing to your site. If you want to change the look and feel of your site, change the way in which WordPress displays posts, or provide slots for those widgets you created, you'll extend want to WordPress through theme development.
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