A WordPress Plugin is a program, or a set of one or more functions, written in the PHP scripting language, that adds a specific set of features or services to the WordPress weblog, which can be seamlessly integrated with the weblog using access points and methods provided by the WordPress Plugin Application Program Interface (API).
Thousands of WordPress plugins available for use in your website. To make full use of them and to get truly professional results often requires proper configuration and customization.
Few points which should be kept in mind while Customizing a wordpress Plugin are:
1. Follow WP Coding Standards: When customizing existing plugin, one must remember to follow WP coding standard. . This includes things such as using underscores instead of camelCase in function names, and dashes instead of underscores in all filenames. Try to use hook instead of editing any default functions. Functions used in plugin must be unique and plugin should be user friendly.
2. Store the Plugin Version for Upgrades: When it comes to WordPress plugins, one of the things you’ll have to deal with sooner or later is upgrades. For instance, let’s say the first version of your plugin required one database table, but the next version requires another table. How do you know if you should run the code that creates the second database table? I suggest storing the plugin version in the WordPress database so that you can read it later to decide certain upgrade actions your plugin should take.
3. How and When to Use Actions and Filters: WordPress allows developers to add their own code during the execution of a request by providing various hooks. These hooks come in the form of actions and filters:
• Actions: WordPress invokes actions at certain points during the execution request and when certain events occur.
• Filters: WordPress uses filters to modify text before adding it to the database and before displaying it on-screen.
4. Add Your Own Settings Page or Admin Menu:Many WordPress plugins require users to enter settings or options for the plugin to operate properly, and the way plugin authors accomplish this is by either adding their own settings page to an existing menu or by adding their own new top-level admin menu to WordPress.
5. Provide a Shortcut to Your Settings Page with Plugin Action Links:In much the same way that adding your own custom admin menu helps give the sense of a well-rounded plugin, plugin action links work in the same fashion.
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