Ok, so I want to learn WordPress plugin development. I’ve put that into the universe and decided to get started. Now what?
The first task for this project is to set a goal. It’s not enough to say I want to learn. How deeply do I wish to learn and by when? I’m not necessarily, at this stage, looking to become an expert. My goal is to be able to develop the plugin ideas that I have had over the years, to a standard where they can be submitted to the repository so others will use and like them, and using code that wouldn’t embarrass my University-educated brain. Lol!
How long am I giving myself for this process? Well, I think a 3-month time frame will give me enough time to get comfortable with the basics and begin digging deeper so I can start my first official plugin. It could, of course, be done in a shorter time, but I have to be realistic about my other commitments.
So now for the how part. This kind of learning could be done in a few ways:
- Official references – I could start with the official WordPress documentation on plugins (Codex, Plugin Handbook) and just wade through and learn as I go. Many have done it that way, so it is possible.
- Tutorial junkie – I could do every tutorial I can find and put together what I learn so I can build the things I want to.
- Student approach – Go through a structured book/course designed to teach the basics and build on those concepts to build something.
- Apprentice – Find an expert who’s willing to teach me what they know.
All of these methods could conceivably teach me WordPress plugin development, but with a focus on my learning objectives, I will likely use a combination.
Official references are important as those will help to ensure that I stick to the requiring or recommended standards. But I prefer more directed learning, so tutorials and courses work well for me. Tutorials are great for covering some ground quickly, so I will likely start there just to get a feel for the process before diving into something more detailed and structured.
Apprenticing with someone would be pretty interesting but that’s an approach I think would work better for me once I have some basics. And, of course, the experts out there are very busy and in many cases have already written tutorials and courses to share their knowledge with beginners.
So with an idea for how I want to learn, it’s time to see what’s out there in terms of resources to use for this learning process.