Why Build a WordPress Plugin?

I’ve always been impressed with all the things you can do with plugins.

Remove the annoying bar at the top of the site? There’s a plugin for that. Want to collect emails on your home page? There’s a plugin for that as well. And yep, there’s even a plugin if you want to turn your site into a full-blown marketplace.

Ah, so much good stuff, so little time (and server space).

But if there’s already a plugin for everything WordPress, why should you build one yourself? After all, it’s not like plugins are hard to add to your WP site.

First, let me answer that from my own perspective.

Why I Built a WordPress Plugin

I’ve been working on WordPress sites for over 5 years now, mainly via our microjobs marketplace and some tinkering for side project. But I really haven’t made a plugin from scratch before and I wondered why.

Then it hit me that I’ve always been making plugins, just not in the usual way.

  • I modify free plugins all the time, making them my own. I add extra features, format the display and even sometimes remove code that doesn’t fit my needs.
  • I actually built a few one-file plugins (yes, you can do this!) but have since absorbed the code into the theme I use.

All those are nice for personal projects but I think it’s high time that I make something I can share to the world. After all, it’s bad manners to edit someone else’s work and push it as your own.

Why YOU Should Build a Plugin

So I made this plugin mainly because I wanted to learn WordPress plugin development. But I think even non-developers like digital marketers, creative freelancers, and consultants would benefit from building their own plugins.

Since you already own a WordPress site, why not discover how you can modify it to suit your needs?

  1. Building a plugin helps you understand how WordPress works. This way, you know what goes on when a developer tinkers with your site. It also gives you an insight how the non-coding side of WordPress works, like publishing to the plugin directory.
  2. Building a plugin teaches you how to modify other plugins to suit your needs. Often, you just need to change a single line of code to change a plugin to how you want it to work, much better than hiring a dev.
  3. Building a plugin means you make something new. There’s no better feeling than getting that first person to install your plugin and tell you that it works on their site without a hitch.
  4. Building a plugin also builds up your career (or business, as the case may be). You add one more skill to your toolbox and the plugin can be used to improve your site’s SEO, gather future customers, and expand the range of services you offer.
  5. Building a plugin means you solve other people’s problems. Sure, you can install an existing plugin to make your own site better. But what if you can make something, publish it, and help dozens of other site owners without any extra effort? Everyone wins!

To my last point, I think making plugins is all about being helpful. Software is the most scalable way I know to help others, and plugins are an easy entry point for anyone who’s familiar with WordPress.

If you’re a WordPress site owner but don’t have programming skills, don’t fret! Making a plugin is a great starting point if you want to learn how to code and get something useful out of it.

But I think the next question is: what plugin should I build?

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Glenn Santos

Published by Glenn Santos

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