WPblab EP63 – Building WordPress plugins as a hobby w/ Andy Fragen

This week on WPblab we’ll be talking with surgeon Dr Andy Fragen about how he builds WordPress plugins as a hobby.

Andy Fragen
Geek Surgeon / Plugin Developer

Andy doesn’t do WordPress during the day, he does it as a hobby

Scratching your own itch has lead to making some plugins for favorite things

Some people go home from a crazy day at work and do puzzles to unwind…
Coding is a puzzle – figuring out how to accomplish something or meet a need with a plugin

Started using Git/GitHub mainly for version control for his own purposes … not primarily seeking help/input to start

Rachelle Wise: I’ve written a bunch of plugins, but they’ve been mostly specific to client sites and haven’t submitted anything yet, but I’ve been thinking about it. Any tips for submitting to the WP directory?
Andy Fragen: Use some batch script to make it easier – but definitely go for it! What’s the worse that could happen? You’ll have to support it 🙂

Use hooks, use filters, use the WordPress API

Try to test plugins in both single site and multi-site environments

Bridget: How do you handle support when it’s just a hobby / side job?
James Tryon: Brian Hogg had great advice about saying in the warranty “you only support the plugin on base WordPress with no other plugins installed and a default theme”… so you are not stuck with all the support

WordPress – Profiles – Andy Fragen

Great plugin:
Local Development

No meetups in Palm Springs?
There are some people who livestream their meetups – good alternative for people without a local meetup

Bridget: How do you start contributing?
Andy: Hang out in support forums and answer questions – if you have a product you really like, start there … more than one person has gotten hired by volunteering their time in support!

Use the proper tools – PHPstorm is a good one


Thanks to these people for helping us with these show notes!
Jen Miller @jenblogs4u
James Tryon – @jamestryon
Sherie LaPrade – @HeySherie


Weekly Watercooler Discussions about WordPress and it’s community.

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