WordPress Plugin Development: Beginner’s guide – Review

Sometime back, people from Packt Publishing contacted me asking whether I will be interested in reviewing their latest WordPress related book titled WordPress Plugin Development: Beginner’s guide by Vladimir Prelovac. Since the book suited my interests and also the topics which I write in this blog, I accepted, but got busy with RoloPress. Finally, I found some free time to read the book and here is my review. 🙂

Disclaimer: I just received a free copy of the ebook (in pdf format) for review. There was no condition that the review should be only positive and also I didn’t receive any payment for the review. So I am just writing what I felt about the book after reading it.packtpub-wordpress-plugins

About the author

As most of you would know the book’s author Vladimir Prelovac is a popular WordPress Plugin author who does WordPress development as a full time job. He is the “Been there, done that” kind of guy for anything related to WordPress (themes, Plugins, security etc.) and we can be sure that he knows what he is talking about (which is evident from the book).

About the book

The book consists of 8 chapters in which the author dissects and discusses about 6 of his Plugins explaining the code and concept behind them. The first chapter is a general introduction and in the eighth chapter he discusses about post-development activities for the Plugin like generating pot files, generating readme files, deploying etc.

Each Plugin (chapter) deals with different aspect of WordPress Plugin development like social bookmarking, using JavaScript and AJAX in Plugin, Widgets, shortcode API, custom templates, extending TinyMCE, custom post types etc.

Positives about the book

As Ozh says, this book is great for beginners who want to get their hands dirty and quickly learn the concepts behind WordPress Plugins. It can quickly put you on track and from where you can easily be on your own. (Even I wish I had something like this 4-5 years ago when I initially started with WordPress Plugin development)

In each chapter, the author gives a brief explanation about the Plugin and then gradually converts it into code. After each code listing he explains what the code does and how it does it, which would be very useful to grasp the fundamental concepts behind WordPress Plugin development.

Things which are not too good (for me)

The major thing which caught my attention was that, the book is slightly outdated in certain places. It doesn’t mean that the code in the book will not work, but what I mean is that there are certain new and better ways to do things. For instance, using old methods to parse RSS Feeds, having hardcoded paths to wp-content and wp-config.php file etc. Even some of the screenshots are pre 2.7

I wouldn’t blame the author or the publisher for it, because this is bound to happen to any technical book. But I would be really happy if there could be a v2.0 of the book with these changes. 🙂

The other thing which I didn’t like about the book is that most of the code samples doesn’t follow WordPress coding standard (especially camelcase function names). This is just a matter of personal preference but I would have loved if the author followed the recommended coding standards, since this book is meant for beginners.

Final Verdict

So my final verdict is that if you are a beginner or Intermediate WordPress Plugin developer then this book is a must have. It will easily get you on track.


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