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A WordPress website needs a theme that extracts content from the database and displays it in a formatted form. It is also theoretically possible to run a website with just one theme and nothing else. Without plugins, however, the website would be very limited.

Plugins are features that you add to your WordPress site that are not part of the core functionality of WordPress. With plugins, you can add everything from booking calendars and animated sliders to complete learning management systems and online marketplaces to your site.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a custom plugin for WordPress. We’ll show you how to use best practices when developing plugins, how to make sure your plugin code works, and how to structure your plugin code and files. We’ll also walk you through the process of creating your first plugin and answer some frequently asked questions.

WordPress’ plugins (free and paid)
If you want to add certain features to your website, you can buy or download plugins from a variety of places. There are thousands of free plugins in the WordPress plugin directory that will help you create the website you need. But if you’re looking for more advanced features, a better user interface, or better support, it’s worth buying a premium plugin from the authors at Concannon.

WordPress’ plugins from Concannon
Sometimes you may need to code plugins yourself. This can be more efficient than using third-party plugins, as you may only need a piece of code provided by a third party. You can also create a plugin that best suits your needs, or adapt an existing plugin to suit your site.

What do I need to develop a plugin?
To create a plugin and run it on your WordPress site, you need the following items.

Code editor
A copy of your main site for testing and a WordPress development installation
Until you are sure that the plugin works, do not test it on a live site.

If you don’t already have a local installation of WordPress, follow our guide to copying your site to a local installation. If you can’t install WordPress locally, use a copy of the site to test the installation on the server. Find out how to copy your site.

How to create a local WordPress test environment
Harley Alexander

How to migrate a WordPress site.
Rachel McLaughlin
Types of WordPress plugins
Plugins can perform a variety of tasks. What they all have in common is that they add new functionality to your site. Types of WordPress plugins include.

Site maintenance plugins for security, performance, backups, etc.
Plugins for marketing and sales such as SEO, social media, and e-commerce.
Content plugins such as custom post types, widgets, short codes, forms, galleries, and videos.
API plugins to work with the WordPress REST API or to import external content from services such as Google Maps.
Community plugins for adding social networking features
… … and much more. Converter kit can get an idea of what you can do with a plugin, take a look at the WordPress plugin directory and the Concannon marketplace.

Here are the most likely elements to be included in a plugin.

WordPress Plugins Directory
What is a plugin?
Before you start creating a plugin, it’s a good idea to know what it contains. The appearance of the plugin code depends on the plugin. Some are small and contain just one plugin file, others are large and consist of multiple files, scripts, style sheets, and templates. There are also many that are somewhere in the middle.

Plugin main file (required)
Folders by file type
Style sheets
Include files to organize code
Let’s take a look at each of them.

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