(originally posted on Bring Your Own Design)
Recently, I pushed my first plugin to the official WordPress Plugin Directory called Simple Wistia Embed. In the past, adding your plugin to the directory has been no small feat, but with the streamlined process, it’s now easier than ever to get your plugin in the official plugin repository.
- Build your plugin. Simple enough, right? Even if your plugin is extremely simple and lightweight, there are still some things that you’ll want to keep in mind. For example, having a README.TXT is required; it helps to populate information about your plugin in the WordPress Plugin Directory. There are also a number of other requirements and suggestions for your plugin that are spelled out in the Codex. Read them carefully, since you don’t want to go through all the work to get rejected for something simple as a formatting issue!
- Submit your plugin. Once you’ve done all the preliminary work of documenting your plugin according to the formatting requirements, the actual submission process itself is quite easy. Simply compress your plugin into a zip file, and visit the Add A Plugin page over at WordPress.org (login required). You’ll need to upload the actual plugin zip file to your own hosting account, so be sure to complete that first. Give your plugin a unique name, describe the method for using your plugin, and paste the link to the zip file.
- Once you have approval, you’ll upload to the WordPress SVN. Once your WordPress plugin is approved, you’ll get an email with instructions on how to upload your completed plugin to the WordPress SVN. This is where you’ll eventually upload updates and patches to your plugin in the future, so take some time to become very familiar with the process if you’re not experienced with tools like Git or Subversion. Most IDEs support one or both, but there are plenty of standalone clients if you need them.
- Promote your plugin! Now that you’ve got a plugin out in the universe, get people to use it! Be sure to take problems and suggestions seriously, since absent development support can quickly destroy a plugin’s credibility. Updates are critical, since WordPress displays how often you’ve updated and if you’re indicated whether or not you’ve tested with the current version. Outdated plugins get abandoned in favor of up-to-date ones, even if the updated plugin might be a better one.
Hopefully this short post has shed some light on the process of submitting your plugin. It’s always a great feeling to see your work being used by many people to accomplish a task that previously may have been difficult or impossible, so take ownership of your plugin seriously. If you have questions or problems submitting your plugin (or need a custom built plugin), get in touch!