We’ve talked about how incredibly dominant WordPress can be as a web platform to publish your content. But, for all its features and functionality, some people still want more. While programmers and developers have been feverishly working to come up with every kind of plug-in and function imaginable to make WordPress easy and engaging to use, there are some jQuery plugins that simply do it better.
However, as plugins and API’s go, they are non-standalone software that implement functionalities into standalone software. If you didn't follow that right away, here is a succinct way of putting it: the person who made your jQuery plugin didn't make it for WordPress, and WordPress hasn’t updated their platform to seamlessly integrate the same kind of feature functionality you are looking to use.
That's why, today, we are going to be taking a look at the five simple steps you can take to convert a jQuery plugin into a WordPress plugin – so it seamlessly works within your WordPress site.
Get Your jQuery Plugin Organized
For the purposes of this article, we are going to assume that you have a jQuery plugin in mind that you want to convert into a WordPress plugin. Let's pretend it's a very slick way to sideswipe and navigate between website pages using your thumb and your ring finger. It's irresistible, easy, and unfortunately, only something that has been made using jQuery at this point.
Once you have the plugin downloaded, create a folder on your computer and title it with the name of the jQuery plugin. Next, take the uncompressed version of the jQuery plugin folder and place it as the subfolder in the folder just created. Lastly, remove all other files from the subfolder except for the “source” folder. This folder typically contains all the necessary scripts, images, and CSS the plugin needs to operate.
Move Your New Plugin Folder Hierarchy Into Your WordPress Folder Hierarchy
With your new parent folder selected, move all the files we just discussed into the root of your WordPress plugin folder. Simple enough, but very important.
Create an Original WordPress Plugin PHP File and Customize it as Necessary
PHP reigns supreme at this step in the process, and it’s the language to use throughout the creation of your original WordPress plugin.
Open a text editor program, and create a new file in your WordPress plugin folder with the title of the plugin. Except, this time, you are going to give it the extension “.php”.
Next, type in the following PHP tags:
Copy and paste your plugin script between the tags. Adjust your CSS files based on the code as necessary. It should look something like this:
<?php /* Plugin Name: [NAME] Plugin URL: http://www.jdmweb.com/resources/[NAME] //Url of your choice Description: [NAME] for Wordpress Version: 1.0 Author: [AUTHOR NAME] Author URL: http://blogurl.com License: Applicable License Info */ ?>
Follow this up by adding in a wp_register_script. This registers the script to communicate seamlessly with WordPress. Additionally, use a wp_enqueue_script to link the jQuery script you are converting to your current WordPress theme. Finally, an add_action script can be used to line everything up and set the function to work with Wordpress.
The last thing you are going to want to do here is to specify a location URL so that WordPress knows where and when to activate the plugin.
Integrate Your New Plugin With WordPress
Right click on the folder containing your new plugin script and compress the folder. Navigate to that folder using the “Add New Plugins” sidebar feature on the WordPress admin page.
Install the zip file and make sure it’s activated.
Test and Repeat
That’s the short and fast way to convert your jQuery plugin into a WordPress plugin. Make sure you publish the plugin and view it in your browser to make sure everything works properly. Do this often to make sure everything stays intact.
There are many different features and functions that plugins serve, but it is a known and widely accepted idea that not all plugins were created equal. jQuery can empower some pretty slick user experiences, but that does not mean that WordPress users should be left out. Using the steps above you can convert your jQuery plugins into WordPress plugins easily.