Readme Files and Screenshots

Along with the PHP file(s) containing your plugin's code, you are required to include a readme.txt file in plugins uploaded to WordPress Extend. Readme files use the Markdown syntax. Each main heading is surrounded by two equal signs ('==') and will become a linked tab on the plugin page. Subheadings use fewer equal signs. Listing 9-30 shows an empty readme file with all the possible headings. If you prefer filling in form fields to dealing with Markdown, you can use the online readme file generator at sudarmuthu.com/wordpress/wp-readme.

On the Contributors line, list your username on wordpress .org along with the usernames of any collaborators you have. If you have a page on your own site for your plugin, give the URI in the Plugin URI line; otherwise you can omit the line or use the address of the plugin's Extend page. If you accept donations, use the Donate link line to provide the URI of the page where users can send you donations.

The Version line refers to the version of the plugin accompanying this copy of the readme file. You could upload an alpha version for testers, in which case the Version would be something like 1.1-alpha while the Stable tag remains 1.0. This way, your alpha version would be available under "Other versions" but end users would not be prompted to upgrade from the Plugins screen.

"Requires at least" and "Tested up to" refer to the versions of WordPress on which this plugin is known to work.

Listing 9-30. A sample readme.txt file

Plugin Name: My Plugin Contributors: sillybean Plugin URI: http://example.com Author URI: http://example.com Donate link: http://example.com Requires at least: 2.8 Tested up to: 3.0 Stable tag: 1.0 Version: 1.0 Tags: posts, pages

Describe your plugin here.

[wpvideo fft9IGgw] == Installation ==

1. Upload the plugin directory to ~/wp-content/plugins/~ 1. Activate the plugin through the 'Plugins' menu in WordPress 1. Go to Settings → My Plugin to set the options

You should upgrade to 1.0 immediately because there was a serious bug in 0.9. == Screenshots ==

1. The caption for screenshot-1.png 1. The caption for screenshot-2.png

* Beta release for testers

== Frequently Asked Questions ==

Answer.

Note that numbered lists can use "1" for each list item. Markdown will correct the numbering so you don't have to renumber your entire list if you add a step in the middle. If you prefer, you can number your lists the usual way. You may also use HTML (including entities like →) if you wish.

See wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/readme.txt for a readme.txt file filled with dummy text. It has a number of Markdown syntax examples. See daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/ for a complete guide to Markdown.

You may embed video files in your readme. If you have published a screencast to YouTube or Vimeo video, simply enter the video's URL. If your video is hosted on wordpress.tv, enter the video's ID, as shown in the Description section above.

When you're finished with your readme file, you should run it through the validator (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/about/validator/) to avoid unexpected formatting problems on your Extend page.

If your plugin includes an option page or generates some kind of output (a template tag, a JavaScript effect, etc.), you should take a screenshot or two and include them in your plugin directory. They should be named screenshot-1.png, screenshot-2.png, and so on. The dimensions are up to you.

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