Pressbits 004: Don’t hesitate to release plugins

8 Comments

In this episode of Pressbits I discuss the hesitance I sometimes see in folks to release their code as WordPress plugins. Listen, I dare you:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

If you would rather download it directly you can do that too, or subscribe to this show via RSS or on iTunes. If you would prefer a transcript, you can also read that just after the jump.

Mine your work for plugins that you can release

Sometimes I get the sense that someone is shying away from releasing any of their work as a plugin. They will say things like “this isn’t that complex” or “this isn’t worthwhile or unique”. But the thing is, we (the community) need more plugins that are small, simple, and compact.

Dig into your functions file, your functionality plugins, or even stray code that you have within your theme files. Be watchful for what could become a general public plugin. If not for your own sake — some aren’t interested in maintaining plugins on WordPress.org, which I get — then release them for me. I want to see your awesome ideas, the ways you have solved your own problems, and whether they might be useful for myself or others. Some of my favorite plugins are not big and powerful, but small and very specific.

One thing I’ve learned by being a part of the WordPress community (or is it communities?) is that code you keep to yourself can end up stale and weak. Sharing code, on the other hand, using WordPress.org or Github (my two favorites) means that others can add to and improve on your code. It also helps to bring you further into the community and makes others aware of you and your ideas.

Personally I try to turn as many of my site’s features into plugins as possible (internally). They instantly become easier to manage and seem generally more organized than as scattered functions in a file or two. Now I just need to take my own advice and release a slew of my own tiny, purpose-specific plugins.

Are you sitting on any code (read: solutions to problems) that you could take a few minutes to release as a plugin?