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Learn about the latest in Web Development – as soon as I do.

WordPress Plugin Week

By • Dec 6th, 2008 • Category: PHP, Scripts, WordPress

As my subscribers already know, the week before last was Plugin Week – that’s when I publish one WordPress plugin per day for one week. And I managed to pull it off too – there is a list of all the plugins released on that week…

Eventr WordPress Plugin

Eventr plugin lets you use your blog as an event management tool. You can create an event – the plugin will let people sign up for the event – it can also show a list of all the attendees. Once the event is done, you can deactivate the event and no more signups will be allowed.

Autofields WordPress Plugin

AutoFields Plugin will auto fill the Excerpt and add an Image custom field based on the data you entered into the contents editor. This plugin will set the first paragraph of the content as the excerpt and take the first image(if there are any) and set it as the ‘Image’ custom field(needed for some themes – like Mimbo – my theme). When you hit the publish button, it will check to make sure that excerpt and Image custom fields are filled. If not, it will ask you to confirm before publishing the post.

Pollin WordPress Plugin

Pollin wordpress plugin will let you add polls to your blog. It can be shown to your visitors who will be able to vote in the poll. You can add the poll in a post by including the HTML comment <!– POLLIN 1 –> in the post. Here 1 is the ID of the poll to be shown.

Surveys WordPress Plugin

The Surveys WordPress plugin lets you add surveys to your blog. You can let the visitors take surveys and see the result from the admin side. The user who take the survey can enter their details at the end of the survey – or leave it as an anonymous result.

Quartz WordPress Plugin

Quartz Plugin lets you show random quotes/tips/links/pictures/something else to visitors. These quotes can be added from the admin side. You can add these one by one – or you can bulk import the stuff from a text file.

Quizzin WordPress Plugin

Quizzin WordPress Plugin lets you add quizzes to your blog. This plugin is designed to be as easy to use as possible. Quizzes, questions and answers can be added from the admin side. This will appear in your post if you add a small HTML comment in your post.

What I Learned

I am helpless without my frameworks

After I releasing a beta version of my plugin, I got some feedback about those. To my great surprise, I found that I was making a lot of novice PHP mistakes – stuff like…

  • not using escaping/validating user input
  • not using stripslashes
  • and more…

Needless to say, it was very embarrassing. In all my other applications, my framework takes care of it automatically. When I am developing outside my framework, I feel like a fish out of water. Now I am slowly adapting to coding without the framework. But it will take more time to get fully used to it.

I still have a lot to learn about WordPress plugin development

I only found out about the deltaSql() function after the plugin week. This is a very useful function if you create a distributable web app(like Nexty). Only problem is that its GPL code – I am not sure if I can use it in my BSD application. Anyway, I found that function when I was trying to release an update to one of the plugins – after the plugin week. There is a lot of stuff I still have to learn about WP plugin development.

Putting strict deadline to write code is not(always) a good thing.

As I said earlier I made a lot of blunders when creating the plugins. One of the main reason was I was too used to my framework. The other reason was the deadline. It forced me to write some code that was not all that great. But then again, the deadline had its advantages too – I would not have written the plugins had I not been forced to do that due to the plugin week. In conclusion, you get quantity – but not quality with deadlines.

Learn a bit of Marketing – even if you are a programmer

I used to scoff at articles like ‘The One Thing Every Software Engineer Should Know [How to market]‘ – but now I understand the rational behind that.

Don’t release plugins just before a new WordPress version is going to be made

I am sure the next wordpress(2.7) will break a few of my plugins. In hindsight, I should have waited until that release was over before doing the plugin week. Because I did the plugin week before the release of WordPress 2.7, I’ll have to do a Plugin Fix Week later – a week when I fix all my plugins for WordPress 2.7 compactability ;-)

WordPress suppresses errors by default.

Something to keep in mind if you are developing a plugin – SQL errors are suppressed by default. I sent a lot of time trying to figure out the cause of an error before realizing it was an error in the SQL query. You can turn on SQL errors using the code $wpdb->show_errors();.

Thanks for all your support…

Quite a few people supported my effort by linking to me. This is my way of saying ‘Thank You’…

If I have missed anyone, please add a comment with the link to the post where you talked about plugin week and I’ll add you to the list.


14 Responses »

  1. Niyaz says:

    Great work Binny.
    Plugin week was a real feather-in-the-cap of this blog.
    Waiting for more awesome stuff from you.

  2. [...] the success of Plugin Week, I have decided to do it once again. So, without further ado, Welcome to Plugin Week 2. If you [...]

  3. [...] may wonder what the hell this guy is talking. Actually a LAMP specialist dedicated for WordPress made WordPress Plug-in last December for about a [...]

  4. [...] developer based in India, started off his second round of “Plugin Week“. Last year, he released 6 WordPress Plugins in a week. He is going to do the same this [...]

  5. [...] Week is a week when I publish a new plugin each day for an entire week. I have already one this one time – so this is Plugin Week 2. This is the second plugin released this week. The first is [...]

  6. [...] concept called plugin week, the idea is to release plugins for an entire week. After the success of plugin week 1 which happened last december (2008) he started week 2 now. But there is a difference in this new [...]

  7. [...] Week is a week when I publish a new plugin each day for an entire week. I have already one this one time – so this is Plugin Week 2. The plugins released so [...]

  8. [...] Week is a week when I publish a new plugin each day for an entire week. I have already one this one time – so this is Plugin Week 2. The plugins released so [...]

  9. [...] Week is a week when I publish a new plugin each day for an entire week. I have already one this one time – so this is Plugin Week 2. The plugins released so [...]

  10. [...] Week is a week when I publish a new plugin each day for an entire week. I have already one this one time – so this is Plugin Week 2. The plugins released so [...]

  11. “learn a bit of marketing even if you are a programmer” truer words could not be spoken. I also would like to say that I hear a lot of complains from plugin developers that they don’t get the kind of donations they require, I suggest charging for customizations and high end support (instant access no email wait 3 days for a reply).

    Great post! Deadlines are often a pain and strict deadlines can be a burden but for some people without them, a project will never even get released. Its like some programmers think they can work on a corporate level and spend to much time working out bugs and not enough time putting out releases.

  12. micael says:

    Nifty little plug that Quizzin one!

    If you ever make a Quizzin v.2 plug it would be awsome to be able to set up questions that have multiple choices where one or MORE alternativs could be set as “true”

    /Pax

  13. Diana says:

    Binny you’re a great developer! I think you could develop a plugin able to post recent wordpress blog posts on Yahoo Meme. No one ever made this I think…yet.

  14. Jonathan says:

    Hi,

    I’m looking for a quiz plugin for my site and stumbled upon some great reviews of your QUIZZIN software. I tried adding it through the wordpress framework (add new plugin, install, etc) and received the following error message:

    PCLZIP_ERR_BAD_FORMAT (-10) : Invalid archive structure

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

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