This article goes through the steps for taking a plugin that you have created (see Writing a Plugin) and getting it distributed widely.
Submitting to the WordPress Plugin Directory
The fastest, easiest and best way to get your plugin out there is to upload your plugin to the WordPress Plugin Directory. Having it there will let you easily push out automatic upgrades to all your users when you find a bug, it will save you worrying about bandwidth and it will give you slick stats about downloads and stuff.
Promoting and Documenting your Plugin
Create a Plugin Home Page or Readme File for Extend
To submit and promote your plugin to the WordPress Community, first create a page for the plugin on your site with complete and well written instructions. Include a link to this explanation page in the plugin's header, so people can easily check for updates and more information and help. Instructions should include the following:
- Clear and detailed explanation of the purpose and usage of the plugin.
- Explicit instructions on installation.
- Explicit instructions on how to use any tags or make modifications to the template files. Be specific about where to place the tags and in which template files, and if the usage must be within the WordPress Loop.
- Show code, when applicable, that is clear and easy to read and copy as a whole, without texturized quotes or apostrophes.
- Provide clear examples of use, including examples of tag parameters, screenshots, or links to examples of the usage and end results.
- When possible, provide more than one way of downloading the plugin code. A phps/text file is fine (with instructions on how to copy and paste and upload), but also include a zip file as an alternative option.
- If you have changed or upgraded the plugin, do not make a new page for the plugin unless the change warrants it. Simply edit the page and add Updated information at the bottom of the post so people will know.
- If you choose not to support your plugin, state this in your description. This means that the plugin is to be used at the user's own risk and you will not respond to inquiries or be updating the plugin on a regular basis. Consider closing comments on that post. It does not negate the usability of the plugin, it just gives people information they need to know.
If you choose not to host the information about the plugin on your site and take advantage of the WordPress Plugin Directory, follow the above guidelines for describing your plugin on the main page for your plugin on the Repository.
If you choose to submit your plugin to the WordPress Plugin Directory, also make this information as clear as possible so they can categorize and help others understand the usage of your plugin.
Note: If you want your plugin to be "found" by WordPress users, make sure you use words within your description that users will use to "find" your plugin. Do not abbreviate "WordPress" to "WP" as people usually don't search for "wp plugins". Help search engines find your plugin by giving a good description, clear purpose, and explicit usage.
Announce Your Plugin
To announce your plugin, there are a few methods and ideas.
- WordPress.org visitors
- Users who visit the main WordPress.org site to find plugins will end up at either http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ or Plugins, so you might want to see if you can list your plugin in resources listed on those pages.
- Submit to wp-plugins.net and wp-plugins.org
- Submissions to these two websites (http://www.wp-plugins.net and http://www.wp-plugins.org) are monitored by feeds and other WordPress websites which make announcements about WordPress activities. They may make a mention on their site if they see a new posting. Many WordPress users start looking for plugins at these two sites.
- Add your plugin to the Plugins/Plugin Compatibility lists.
- Submit to WordPress Activities and Announcement Sites
- While these sites often monitor other WordPress sites for new plugins, consider submitting information about your new plugin directly to them. They include:
- WordPress Forum Plugins and Hacks
- The WordPress Forum Plugins and Hacks section is a good place to announce your plugin. Provide a link and a good explanation of the plugin's purpose and usage. Search engines scan the WordPress Forum frequently and if you want your plugin to get noticed, include the words that will help people find your plugin when they search, either within the Forum or with search engines.