Examining an Existing PlugIn

As we mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, WordPress itself is a PHP application, so it's more than logical that additions to the core software are also written in this language. In the rest of this chapter, we're going to look closely at a popular plug-in, FollowMe.

WP-FollowMe (just FollowMe going forward) is a simple plug-in that adds a badge to your site connected to your Twitter account page. Clicking the FollowMe badge on your blog allows visitors to see your recent tweets, and follow you if so inclined. Besides the basic functionality that we discuss here, FollowMe lets you change the badge's default color of Twitter blue to something more compatible with your existing color scheme, and place the badge where you like.

FollowMe is available through the WordPress Plugin Directory, and at the website of its creator, http://wpburn.com/wordpress-plug-ins/wp-followme-plugin. Once you've installed it, you can use the Plugin Editor to view and change the plug-in code. From your Administration page, click Plugins to see your currently installed plug-ins. Click the Edit link under FollowMe to open the plug-in editor (see Figure 15.4). You can also open the file wordpress\wp-content\plugins\WP-FollowMe\followme. php in any text editor to view the code.

This file is not as well commented as it could be, but you can clearly see what each section of the code is intended to do.

a caution

Be sure that your plug-in is not activated when you open it in the editor. Any changes you make could corrupt the working plug-in. This would likely be disruptive for your visitors, and could potentially bring your whole blog down until it's fixed.

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