20 things to take care while developing and submitting WordPress plugin
WordPress plugin development can be both intimidating and exciting. But while plugin submission you will need to take care of some guidelines without it your plugin may be rejected by WordPress.
Generally WordPress plugin approval process is smooth and simple where they are often the plugin will be approved easily but here is the checklist to make sure your plugin will have definite approval from WordPress:
- Do not include illegal or morally offensive content
- Do not embed external links like “Powered By”. Yes you can add any link in description section of readme.txt but should not be like promotions.
- Do not include “Sponsored by” links.
- There should be no more than 12 tags in readme.txt (Although there are many plugins having more tags than 12 but WordPress may reject your plugin with this reason). You can always add more tags while in plugin updates is another way to add more than 12 tags.
- Do not commit updates frequently as it can be seen as gaming with them.
- Always use Commit Message instead of blank message. In case of more commits with blank message they will just not disapprove the update by may remove the plugin from repository as well.
- Submit the complete WordPress plugin first time so editors can take a look on whole plugin. It is the best way to get approval instead of providing just a part of WordPress plugin while submission.
- Do not use “WorePress” in domain name. Do not violate their trademark either in link or if possible then in plugin name also. You can find more information here http://wordpressfoundation.org/trademark-policy/
- Maintain code quality and standards (There are many cases where WordPress plugin rejected with this reason)
- All code changes to a plugin that has a Stable Tag of “trunk” must result in the version number being upgraded.
- No obfuscated code should be used in plugin.
- Plugin must be compatible with “GPLv2 or later” http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html#GPLCompatibleLicenses
- WordPress do not reserve plugin names for future usage. So once your WordPress plugin approved commit the code through SVN as soon as possible. Otherwise the name can be taken away with automatic disapproval of the WordPress plugin.
- Plugins should not hijack the blog admin. Unless special cases where need to inform administrator about upgrades or other important notification do not include code to show such information on dashboard.
- Executing third party code is allowed in plugin but make sure that is specific and very carefully considered case. Other wise it can be a reason for plugin rejection with the reason of security risk.
- Do not collect any data automatically(like administrator email address) but instead ask administrator to enter or ask for confirmation that you are using it.
- Trial-ware is not allowed and WordPress plugin having just features for trial versions will be rejected while submission or may be removed after approval. Instead you can provide basic features and ask users if they need more facilities.
- All assets (mainly images and banners) should be included in plugin. If the plugin require that data is loaded from an external site this should be made clear in the one of the plugin’s screen or in description.
- In general advertising like banner or text link should not be anywhere in a plugin. Links to plugin author’s site or social media sites will be allowed but other third party advertisement site links can be a reason of plugin rejection.
- Always validate readme.txt before WordPress plugin submission at https://wordpress.org/plugins/about/validator/
Above list is not complete and there can be several more reasons for plugin rejection. But these are main key points to consider before plugin submission to WordPress.org. I also faced few of them like exceeding number of tags, assets location, advertising issues, etc…
If you have any questions/comments then please feel free to add your comments. You can always contact me with details from here https://freelancer-coder.com/ and I will get back to you as soon as possible with solutions.
Plugin Submission and Promotion: http://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_Submission_and_Promotion
Example readme.txt: https://wordpress.org/plugins/about/readme.txt
Plugin submission page: https://wordpress.org/plugins/add/