Professional WordPress Plugin Development review

Cristian Antohe
Last Updated: 22/03/11

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed books on this blog and I think it’s about time to start doing that again. And I couldn’t have chosen a better book to start with then “Professional WordPress Plugin Development” written by Brad Williams, Ozh Richard and Justin Tadlock.

This is the book I’ve been waiting for ever since I started to work with WordPress 3 years ago. As a theme designer and developer you really have a lot of documentation online. However, the instance you need to do some wild things with WordPress you realize there just isn’t enough information to go on. I’m talking about stuff like plugin security, proper way of handling plugin settings, ajax in WordPress, cron, the rewrite API and developing for multisite.

Professional WordPress Plugin Development review

A lot of Codex pages are just stubs with almost no information what so ever.

Here are some of the dark corners of WordPress this book brought light to them:

  • Addresses how to integrate into WordPress, save settings, create widgets and shortcodes, and implement uninstall
  • Learn the proper techniques for storing data, customizing user roles, and security best practices
  • Shares techniques for using custom post types and creating and using custom taxonomies
  • How to create plugins for WordPress Multisite networks
  • Integrate user and role management
  • Explores the HTTP API, JavaScript and AJAX, Cron, the Rewrite API, and more

The authors went into so much detail that after reading it you really get start looking at WordPress as a full fledged application framework and not just a simple CMS to display your company portfolio.

Most other book to date that talked about WordPress Plugin Development went around coding examples and solving particular problems. That’s ok, but you’ll never have a birds eye view of the entire API ecosystem. This is where “Professional WordPress Plugin Development” shines. Each little api function that is available in WordPress is explained in a consistent way and also shows how it interacts with the rest of the system.

Another great thing is explaining WordPress plugin development best practices. If you don’t have a lot of experience with WordPress plugins and don’t have the time to really research how to do things you can end up writing code that can be handled by the WordPress API in such a fashion that’s future proof. Take for instance the Plugin Settings options – if you manage them through the API any future changes to the WordPress UI will be reflected in your plugin as well.

All in all this book is a MUST READ by all plugin developers and theme developers alike. If you ask me all the information in this book should be added in the Codex (although that wouldn’t be fair to the writers). So go ahead and get your self a copy from Amazon and start reading it today. (You can get it as a Paperback or digital download – great for code copy&paste)

3 thoughts on “Professional WordPress Plugin Development review

    Nice review! Thanks for this 🙂 Note that for those who prefer the paperback, all code mentioned in the book is available for download on, so copy/paste is easy too 🙂


    I saw this book at the bookstore, there is even a chapter about ajax integration and integrating modules and add-ons, great buy


    […] WordPress Plugin Development received another awesome review. This time from Christian Antohe of […]


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