Keys to Creating a Successful WordPress Plugin

August 30, 2019 7:58 am

WordPress currently powers over 33 percent of the websites existing over the Internet. Its huge popularity can be easily owed to its amazing Themes and Plugins. While these WordPress themes provide the right design architecture to a website, the WordPress Plugins make sure that a website never falls short of any functionality that it might need for its seamless functioning. This popularity has led to many plugin developers coming up with their own plugins, getting them approved, and uploading them to the official WordPress plugin repository.

WordPress plugins

If you are one such plugin developer who is looking to create that one successful WordPress plugin and making it popular across the platform, you might have a lot to learn. From the initial experiences of some plugin developers, it can be easily figured out that they worked their way to create a successful plugin by trial and error. However, that does not have to be the case with you as a new plugin developer. In this blog post below, we have talked about the best approach towards creating a successful WordPress plugin. 

So, here are the main pointer keys that will help you create a successful WordPress plugin.

Creating a plugin in demand

You will be amazed to learn that there are over 50,000+ WordPress plugins in the official directory, with new ones being added daily. This means that there are already enough WordPress plugins for users to help them with their diverse website functionality requirements. The purpose of these plugins ranges from helping users with their site’s spam, SEO or simply help them in setting up a blog. So, is your plugin idea really unique or wanted enough?

To answer this question, begin with some research and figure out if there are already popular plugins in the category of the plugin that you are looking to develop. You must move ahead with the idea only if this plugin of yours is going to cater to a real user problem or fix the shortcomings of other similar plugins available in the official repository. 

If your plugin will cater to the common issues such as SEO and design elements, you will really have to be exemplary. However, if your plugin idea adds a complex and desirable feature to websites, you should move ahead. 

Design of the plugin

The most common trait of all the existing successful plugins in the market is their great design. If you are starting out as a new plugin developer, you probably have a long way to go when it comes to the design of your plugin. You will obviously not get everything right in the first go. However, with some hard work and market research, you should be able to arrive at a plugin design that is truly desirable and functional. 

Especially if your plugin works to provide visual enhancements to the WordPress site, you will have to be extra cautious. The use of the color scheme and other design elements must be carefully done. Don’t overdo your plugin design and try to keep it as clean and modern as possible.

The User-Experience offered by the plugin

We cannot emphasize enough on the relevance and importance of this point if you are looking to create a successful WordPress plugin. Your plugin will gain popularity only when you choose to offer excellent user experience to your plugin users. 

It is also imperative to figure out your plugin’s UX in the initial development stages of your plugin. The User experience of your plugin shouldn’t be secondary but it should be the foundation of your code. Your plugin should be designed in a manner that it should be ready to get started only in a few clicks. An over-complex plugin design will only discourage your users from setting it up. This will eventually keep new downloads at a low. Under the user-experience of your plugin, you must also ensure that your plugin is lightweight, fast, and optimized. 

The coding BTS

A great plugin runs on solid code. In order to be a successful plugin developer, you will have to ensure that you are an expert coder. And we are not just talking about lines of codes here, we are talking about the quality of your code. You must also make sure that your code follows the WordPress plugin development guidelines. A poorly coded plugin that does not follow the standards will immediately get disapproved by the plugin review team and will never get to see the light of the day.

Plugin description and documentation

If you want your plugin to occupy a popular position in the market, you will have to come up with a great and detailed description for it so that you are able to communicate its purpose in an instant. You will not be able to sell your plugin if you do not furnish complete information about its functionality and setup.

This description must include information about the functions served by your plugin, its target users, FAQs, and a directive for helping users easily set it up. A well-documented plugin will always be quickly downloaded and installed. Just make sure that your description for the plugin is clean and is in the simplest way possible. This will help users easily understand what the plugin does and why it is different from other similar plugins available in the repository.

The right pricing

Now, based on the purpose and functionality provided by your new plugin, you can either let it out on a freemium basis or make it available for interested users as a completely free plugin. However, for the first time plugin developer, it is recommended that they begin with a free version of the plugin. If the plugin finds enough traction, a freemium model can be put into the place. Also, if your plugin does a lot of work, you can make it available to the users for a specific price.

Marketing/Promotion of your plugin

You should effectively use WordPress-specific social media groups and forums to market and promote your new WordPress plugin. If your plugin is a premium one, you will have to put in extra efforts. The landing page for this plugin promotion must be specifically designed with great attention to detail so that more and more users come on board with the idea and the download of the plugin. Get a domain for your plugin so that people can directly reach the plugin’s website and download it if they want to.

Active support system for the plugin

A lot of new WordPress plugin developers often tend to underestimate the importance of quality support and fail to provide it to their plugin users. You must take note that great customer support quality highly impacts your users. A satisfied plugin user will further market your plugin in their personal circles.

You must also pay close attention to the feedback received on the performance of your plugin. Listening to your users will immensely help you improve your overall plugin quality and performance. Always be proactive with your plugin support via email or live chat to solve users’ plugin-related queries. Spending anywhere close to 2 hours daily towards addressing these support issues will take your plugin a long way.

Updating the plugin

When your plugin is up and running, your work isn’t over yet. At the end of the day, constantly keep updating your plugin so that no performance issues can creep in and affect the performance of your plugin. This is crucial because a lot of users don’t trust outdated plugins due to the fear of vulnerability and malicious code. Hence, make sure that you keep your plugin up-to-date with the latest WordPress version.


Becoming an expert WordPress plugin developer is not a cakewalk. It requires you to stay on your feet when it comes to the performance of your plugin. You must also be aware of the smart strategy that can help you create successful plugins. So, if you want your plugin to see an amazing number of downloads and numerous 5-star rating reviews, follow the approach mentioned above and keep building successful WordPress plugins.

Author Bio:

Madan is a blogger at WebPrecious and a digital marketing strategist helping clients to resolve their website woes. When not busy with all things, you may find me occasionally watching movies, traveling and spending time with my family.