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Submit WordPress Plugin โ€” Step-by-Step Guide

Submit Wordpress Plugin

Want to share your WordPress plugin? Learn how to submit & publish your WordPress plugin with this step-by-step guide.

TL;DR;

Looking to submit your WordPress plugin and share it with the world? Discover how to easily submit your plugin to the WordPress repository, upload it to the WordPress directory, and publish it for millions of users to enjoy. It’s time to showcase your creativity and make a mark in the WordPress community.

  1. Ensure your plugin has a README.txt & a license compatible with GPL.
  2. Submit your plugin to the WordPress.org directory.
  3. Add your plugin files to your WordPress SVN repository.
  4. Publish your plugin via SVN by tagging the version.

In just a few simple steps, you can submit your WordPress plugin, upload it to the WordPress repository, publish it to the WordPress directory, and reach a wider audience with your amazing creation.


Submit WordPress Plugin: The Guide

Excited to share your WordPress plugin with the world? Fantastic! The journey begins with registering your plugin on WordPress. Then, it’s time to submit your masterpiece to the WordPress Repository for distribution. Let’s dive into the process and get started:

Step 1: Plugin Submission Guidelines 101

Before submitting your plugin to the WordPress Directory, it’s crucial to ensure that your creation meets the WordPress Plugin Guidelines. These guidelines exist to maintain quality, security, and compatibility among plugins.

Adding a Block Only plugin? If you’re developing a plugin that focuses solely on blocks, it’s important to be aware of the Block Specific Guidelines. These guidelines are designed to ensure compatibility, consistency, and optimal performance for block-based plugins.

In a nutshell, let’s keep things above board and ensure your plugin plays nicely with the GNU General Public License. While any license compatible with GPL is acceptable, it’s highly recommended to use the same license as WordPress, which is “GPLv2 or later.” By following these guidelines, you’ll maintain seamless compatibility and a harmonious licensing ecosystem within the WordPress community.

Step 2: Include the Required README.txt

Once your plugin complies with the guidelines, it’s time to move on to the next step: including the all-important README.txt file. This file is required to submit a WordPress plugin & serves as a guidebook, providing crucial information and instructions for users and fellow developers.

The README.txt file acts as a snapshot of your plugin, offering an overview of its features, installation process, usage instructions, and any additional notes you’d like to share. It’s like a friendly conversation with your users, helping them understand what your plugin is all about.

To create an engaging and informative README.txt, consider including the following sections:

  1. Plugin Description: Provide a clear and concise summary of what your plugin does, highlighting its unique selling points.
  2. Installation Instructions: Guide users through the process of installing and activating your plugin. Make it as simple and user-friendly as possible.
  3. Usage and Configuration: Explain how users can make the most of your plugin’s features and any customization options available. Provide examples and use cases to help users get started quickly.
  4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Anticipate common queries and address them in this section. It helps users troubleshoot issues and find answers without having to reach out to you directly.
  5. Changelog: Keep track of updates and improvements to your plugin. Highlight new features, bug fixes, and any compatibility changes. This instills confidence in your users and shows that your plugin is actively maintained.

When creating your README.txt file, remember the importance of using clear and concise language to ensure users can easily understand and follow along. Enhance readability by incorporating headers, bullet points, and formatting. To ensure your README.txt meets the recommended structure and formatting guidelines, consider validating it using the WordPress Readme Validator. This helpful tool can identify any potential errors or inconsistencies, ensuring your plugin’s documentation is in optimal shape before sharing it with the WordPress community.

Once your README.txt is tested & ready, include it in the root folder of your plugin. This file will be displayed in the WordPress Plugin Directory and serve as a valuable resource for users who are considering installing your plugin.

README.txt Template

If you’re looking for a handy template to guide you in creating a valid and effective README.txt file for your WordPress plugin, look no further! WordPress has you covered with a comprehensive template that will help you structure your plugin’s README.txt and ensure you provide all the necessary information to users.

Step 3: Submit WordPress Plugin to the Directory

Congratulations on reaching the exciting step of submitting your plugin to WordPress.org! By doing so, you’re opening doors to a vast community of WordPress users who can benefit from and appreciate your hard work. Here’s a guide on how to navigate through the submission process smoothly:

  1. Create a WordPress.org Account: If you haven’t done so already, start by creating an account on WordPress.org. This will grant you access to the submission process and various community resources.
  2. Prepare Your Plugin Files: Ensure that you have the latest version of your plugin files ready for submission before you submit WordPress plugin. This includes the main plugin file, readme.txt, and any other necessary files or assets.
  3. Navigate to the WordPress Plugin Submission Page: Once you’re logged in to your WordPress.org account, head over to the plugin submission page. You can find it under the “Plugins” section of your account dashboard.
  4. Complete the Plugin Submission Form: Fill out the required fields in the plugin submission form. Provide an enticing title for your plugin, an engaging description that highlights its unique features, and appropriate tags to help users discover it. You may also be asked to select the compatible WordPress versions and indicate any specific requirements or dependencies.
  5. Upload Your Plugin Files: Use the provided option to upload your plugin files. Make sure to select the correct version that matches the files you prepared earlier.
  6. Submit Your Plugin for Review: Once you have filled out all the necessary information and uploaded your files, submit your plugin for review. The WordPress.org team will carefully review your submission to ensure compliance with guidelines and security standards.

By following these steps, you’re taking a significant leap toward sharing your plugin with millions of WordPress users worldwide.

Step 4: Add Plugin Files to Your SVN Repository

Congratulations on getting your plugin approved! Now it’s time to add the plugin files to your SVN repository as mentioned in the approval email. Follow these steps to seamlessly upload your files:

1. Create a local directory for the SVN repository using this command:

mkdir plugin-name

2. Check out the pre-built repository using the command:

svn co https://plugins.svn.wordpress.org/plugin-name plugin-name

If you encounter an SVN error related to Xcode, such as “Failed to locate ‘svn’” or “The subversion command line tools are no longer provided by Xcode,” resolve it by installing SVN via Homebrew:

brew install svn

3. Navigate to the plugin-name folder using the command:

cd plugin-name

4. Add your plugin files to the trunk/ directory of the local repository. You can use command-line copy/paste commands or simply drag and drop the files.

5. Once your files are in the trunk folder, inform Subversion that you want to add these new files to the central repository using the command:

svn add trunk/*

By following these steps, you’ll smoothly integrate your plugin files into the SVN repository, bringing you one step closer to a successful plugin launch. Keep up the great work!

Step 5: Publish Your Plugin on WordPress.org

You’re almost there! Now it’s time to publish your plugin on WordPress.org. Follow these simple steps to successfully check in your changes to the central repository:

1. Execute the following command to commit your changes:

svn ci -m 'Initial release version of the plugin'

Encountering an ‘Access forbidden‘ error during the commit? No worries! Add your username and password to the check-in command as shown below:

svn ci -m 'Initial release version of the plugin' --username your_username --password your_password

By following these steps, you’ll successfully publish your plugin on WordPress.org. Congratulations on reaching this milestone! It’s time to share your creation with the WordPress community and watch it shine.

Enhance Your Plugin’s Visual Appeal

To enhance the visual appeal of your plugin and make it more enticing to potential users, submit your WordPress plugin with eye-catching screenshots and a captivating banner image. The assets folder in your plugin serves as a hub for storing various visuals such as headers, icons, and screenshots, all of which enhance your plugin’s display page. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Folder Structure: Place all asset files within the assets directory of your SVN folder, alongside the trunk directory. Avoid placing assets in trunk/assets or tags/1.0/assets.
  2. CDN Caching: Remember that all images are served through a CDN and are heavily cached. While updates typically take a few minutes to reflect, occasional delays of up to 6 hours can occur during peak load times.

Let’s dive into the specific image sizes and formats you can upload.

Plugin Banner Image Sizes

  • Normal Banner: assets/banner-772x250.jpg/.png
  • Normal Banner (right-to-left): assets/banner-772x250-rtl.jpg/.png
  • High-DPI Banner (retina): assets/banner-1544x500.jpg/.png
  • High-DPI Banner (retina, right-to-left): assets/banner-1544x500-rtl.jpg/.png

Plugin Icon Image Sizes

  • Normal Icon: assets/icon-128x128.jpg/.png
  • High-DPI Icon (retina): assets/icon-256x256.jpg/.png
  • Preferred SVG Icon: assets/icon.svg (Remember to provide a PNG fallback for compatibility)

Screenshots

Lastly, let’s talk about plugin screenshots. These powerful visuals showcase your plugin’s admin dashboard or provide live examples.

Ensure that every line in your readme.txt under == Screenshots == file corresponds to a screenshot description. Update the descriptions in the repository assets directory, and they will automatically become the captions for each screenshot on your plugin’s page.

== Screenshots == 
1. This a the first screenshot description for this plugin 
2. This is the second screenshot description for this plugin

Important: Remember to use lowercase filenames for all plugin screenshots, as uppercase names won’t work.

By optimizing your plugin’s visual assets, you’ll create a more compelling and engaging experience for users. Let your images tell the story of your plugin’s value and functionality. Get ready to captivate your audience!

Plugin Developer Tools

When it comes to developing and submitting a WordPress plugin, having the right set of developer tools at your disposal can make all the difference. These tools not only streamline your workflow but also ensure that your plugin is well-prepared for submission to the WordPress Plugin Directory.

  • Debug Bar: Adds a debug menu to the admin bar that shows query, cache, and other helpful debugging information.
  • Debug Bar Actions & Filters Addon: This plugin adds two more tabs in the Debug Bar to display hooks(Actions and Filters) attached to the current request. The actions tab displays the actions hooked to the current request. The filters tab displays the filter tags along with the functions attached to them with respective priority.
  • Query Monitor: Query Monitor is the developer tools panel for WordPress. It enables debugging of database queries, PHP errors, hooks and actions, block editor blocks, enqueued scripts and stylesheets, HTTP API calls, and more.

With these plugin developer tools in your arsenal, you have the power to enhance your workflow, fine-tune your plugin, and confidently submit it to the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Mastering Plugin Editing

Congratulations on publishing your plugin! As you continue to enhance its functionality or fix bugs along the way, you’ll need to edit the code. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Keep Your Local Version Up-to-Date

Ensure your local copy is synced with the central repository. Run the following command:

svn up

This will download and merge any changes made in the central repository into your local copy.

Step 2: Dive into Code Editing

With an updated local repo, you’re ready to edit or add files to your plugin. To check the modified and added files, use:

svn stat

Review the differences using:

svn diff

New files will be marked with a question mark (?). To add them, specify:

svn add [directory/file-name]

Step 3: Publish Your Updated Plugin Files

If everything looks good, it’s time to check in your changes to the central repository:

svn ci -m "Fixed some bugs & added some new features"

Congratulations! Your trunk is now updated in the central repository. The final step is tagging the new version.

Step 4: Tagging the New Release

When you’re ready to publish a new version, ‘tag’ it for easy access. Follow these steps:

  1. Copy your code to a subdirectory in the tags/ directory. Ensure the subdirectory resembles a version number (e.g., 2.0.1.3). Use svn cp instead of regular cp for SVN’s benefits: svn cp trunk tags/2.0
  2. Check-in the changes: svn ci -m "tagging version 2.0"

Don’t forget to update the Stable Tag field in trunk/readme.txt after tagging a new version.

By seamlessly editing and updating your published plugin, you’ll continually refine its features and ensure an exceptional user experience. Let your creativity shine through your code!


Wrapping Up

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of this fun and informative guide on submitting and publishing your plugin to the WordPress Plugin Directory. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’re well-equipped to share your amazing creation with millions of WordPress users worldwide.

Remember, it all begins with ensuring your plugin complies with the WordPress Plugin Guidelines. Next, create a compelling README.txt file, providing users with valuable information and instructions. Finally, submit your plugin to WordPress.org, where it will undergo a review process before being listed in the directory.

As you embark on this journey, don’t forget to engage with the vibrant WordPress community, seek feedback, and continuously improve your plugin based on user insights. Keeping your plugin up to date and maintaining its compatibility with the latest WordPress versions will ensure a positive user experience and ongoing success.

So, go ahead, submit your WordPress plugin, and let your creative genius shine! The WordPress Plugin Directory awaits your masterpiece, ready to help millions of users benefit from your innovative solution. Happy coding and best of luck on your plugin’s exciting journey!

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