It goes without saying that I love WordPress plugins. I have so many of the little darlings that I often forget what I have. One of my up coming projects is actually to sort out my WordPress plugins into different categories (love you to death, love you lots, love you little and time to go).
I also love thinking about how WordPress plugins can be used to speed up and make life easier for an internet marketer.
If you have read my recent posts you will know that I have a few WordPress plugins afoot and plans for a lot more in the future. Usually when I’m thinking about a WordPress plugin I just have the plugin or theme created for myself. Generally, I have a problem and I need a plugin to solve that problem. If I find it useful on a grand scale then I might release it to the general public.
So, if you are thinking about diving into the world of WordPress plugin creation here are some tips for you:
So you are thinking about creating a plugin but have no ideas what? Then it’s simple just go to the places where users post requests like kvetch in the WordPress forums. If you don’t find anything that grabs you there search in the forums where the people in your market hang out. You will always find that there are people asking for a plugin that has not been created. Finally, if you are still striking out look in WordPress and see if there is a plugin that is out of date, very popular and lots of people begging for someone to please update it. That’s where you come in to save the day 🙂 There are tons of plugins like this available and tons of people (like me) wishing that someone would take over development.
So now you have your idea it’s time to do some research and see what is already available in the marketplace. First of all, you will need to search the WordPress repository using different search terms for a plugin that corresponds with your idea. Then repeat the same exercise in the WordPress forums and Google. When thinking of search terms use everything that you can think about that sets out the features or benefits of the plugin that you wish to create.
Now, if you have already found a plugin that is similar to your idea go through and see if you can improve on the idea in any way. Your improvement could be as simple as a change in interface to something that is more user friendly or it could add complimentary or additional features.
If you haven’t found anything similar to your idea through your research you will now be walking in uncharted waters. You need to assess whether people will actually be interested in your plugin before you proceed further. If only a handful of people would be interested it would not be worth your while developing the plugin. So, sit back, think and use your common sense about how many WordPress users would be interested in having a plugin like yours. If you are a member of a private forum (that is not indexed by the search engines) then ask fellow members for their thoughts.
If you want to start creating WordPress plugins do these steps now and we’ll catch up again later for the next part of the series which is the development phase.