On my flight to Prague, I got the chance to read the book Professional WordPress Plugin Development by Brad Williams, Ozh Richard, and Justin Tadlock. After 9 hours of intense reading, all I can say is that I was amazed. This is one of the best resources I have seen to date for plugin developers who want to learn to do things the right way.
This book is a dream come true for anyone who is just starting out developing plugins for WordPress. Normally you have to spend countless hours of digging through code, google search results just to find half-finished instructions. This book is a handy resource full of best practices that I wish were told to me when I started coding.
This book is a great resource for freelancers who want to expand their knowledge and skills. While it has tons of best practices and examples, it also helps you understand the inner workings of WordPress functionality.
Professional Plugin development book starts out by explaining what is a plugin, why they are important, and how you should install and manage them. It then dives into explaining the plugin foundation, sanity practices, coding standards, and development checklist. The book extensively covers WordPress action and filter hooks as well as showing you how to create your own custom hooks. It later dives into showing you how to create a user-interface for your plugin settings by adding meta boxes, creating widgets, adding menus and sub menus, and more. There is a very useful chapter that goes into plugin security which included data sanitization, nonces, user permissions, security good habits etc. There is a chapter which explains all about the WordPress APIs including the options API, settings API, transients API and such. My personal favorite chapter was the one that dealt with users and custom post types. IT shows how you can set specific functionalities for pre-defined user roles, limit access, customize roles and such. The custom post types chapter focused on how to extend your plugin functionalities to custom post types and taxonomies.
The book also had crash courses on HTTP API, Shortcode API, jQuery and Ajax and Cron events. There was a very good chapter on debugging and optimizing your plugins for errors and bugs. I’m certainly going to be using this chapter a lot for my future plugins. There was a chapter that showed you how to marketing your plugin and submit it to WordPress.org. What Brad forgot to mention there was that if you create a plugin, and you let us know at WPBeginner, then we will do an article about it for you. Giving you a little boost from our audience.
The last chapter was the developer toolbox which included tools, resources, and websites that you can use to learn more.
Brad, Ozh, and Justin are all amazing developers with tons of experience and awesome plugins that you probably are using on your WordPress install right now. They have worked with numerous big name clients and are highly reputed within the WordPress community for their contributions.
I would give this book a 5 out of 5 for clarity and quality content. If you want to learn a bit more about plugin development and best practices or expand your horizon and skillset, then this is the book you need to read.