WordPress needs no introduction. It has been in the world for quite a long time. And up till now, it has given a tough fight to leading web development technology. The main reason behind its remarkable success is, it is highly customizable and also SEO-friendly. Other benefits include open-source technology, security, user-friendliness, and the thousands of free plugins it offers.
Talking of WordPress plugins, are a piece of software that enables you to add more features to the website. They are easy to integrate into your website and don’t hamper the performance of the site. WordPress, as a leading technology, has to offer many out-of-the-box plugins.
However, not always the WordPress would be able to meet your all needs. Hence you have to customize the WordPress plugin to provide you the functionality you wished. WordPress Plugins are easy to install and customize. You don’t have to build the solution from scratch and that’s one of the reasons why small and medium-sized businesses love it. It doesn’t need a hefty investment or the hiring of an in-house development team. You can use the core functionality of the plugin and expand it as your like.
In this blog, we would be talking indepth about the plugins and how to customize WordPress plugins to improve the functionality of your web applications.
Developing your own plugin requires you to have some knowledge of the way they work. It ensures the better functioning of the customized plugins and avoids any mistakes that can hamper the experience on your site.
- Hooks Plugins operate primarily using hooks. As a hook attaches you to something, the same way a feature or functionality is hooked to your website. The piece of code interacts with the other components present on the website. There are two types of hooks: a. Action and b. Filter.
If you want something to happen at a particular time, you need to use a WordPress “action” hook. With actions, you can add, change and improve the functionality of your plugin. It allows you to attach a new action that can be triggered by your users on the website.
There are several predefined actions available on WordPress, custom WordPress plugin development also allows you to develop your own action. This way you can make your plugin function as your want. It also allows you to set values for which the hook function. The add_ action function will then connect that function to a specific action.
They are the type of hooks that are accepted to a single variable or a series of variables. It sends them back after they have modified it. It allows you to change the content displayed to the user.
You can add the filter on your website with the apply_filter function, then you can define the filter under the function. To add a filter hook on the website, you have to add the $tag (the filter name) and $value (the filtered value or variable), this allows the hook to work. Also, you can add extra function values under $var.
Once you have made your filter, you can execute it with the add_filter function. This will activate your filter and would work when a specific function is triggered. You can also manipulate the variable and return it.
Shortcodes are a good way to create and display the custom functionality of your website to visitors. They are client-side bits of code. They can be placed in the posts and pages like in the menu and widgets, etc.
There are many plugins that use shortcodes. By creating your very own shortcode, you too can customize the WordPress plugin. You can create your own shortcode with the add_shortcode function. The name of the shortcode that you use would be the first variable and the second variable would be the output of it when it is triggered. The output can be – attributes, content, and name.
Other than the hooks and shortcodes, you can use the widgets to add functionality to the site. WordPress Widgets are a good way to create a widget by extending the WP_Widget class. They render a user-friendly experience, as they have an object-oriented design approach and the functions and values are stored in a single entity.
There are various methods to customize the WordPress plugins. Depending on your need, and the degree of customization you wish to make in the plugin, choose the right option for you. Also, don’t forget to keep in mind that it requires a little bit of technical knowledge too. So find an expert WordPress plugin development company in case you lack the knowledge to do it by yourself.