Good day. I am Ajay D’Souza. I blog at http://ajaydsouza.com/ and http://techtites.com/. Those of you who have been following this blog for more than a year may remember my daily release posts as well as the A-Plugin-A-Day series. MBA life has kept me busy since then, but that’s another story.

As part of my new assignment out here, I’ll be looking after the Plugin Competition. I’ll be maintaining the WordPress Plugin Competition Blog as well as making weekly posts both here and at the Competition Blog.

With the WordPress Plugin Competition 2.5 beginning today, I thought I’d just write in with a few tips on making your entry.

Firstly, read the rules to be followed are listed in the post. Please make sure that your entry does not break any of them.

Getting Inspired

One of the important rules that we have is that the plugins should be new, i.e. no updates to already existing plugins. One great place to get inspired is WordPress Ideas. WordPress Ideas is a place where the people from the WordPress Community, both users and developers vote for what they would like included in WordPress. Some have been implemented, while some may actually appear in future versions and still others that may not be. So, why not make a plugin to accommodate for the latter two?

You can also hunt for ideas in these posts or this posting in our News Forum.

Offering the plugin for download

Something that many authors forget in their zeal to develop a plugin (or a theme) is its documentation.

Firstly, make sure your plugin zip file contains a readme.txt. If needed, include a full fledged help section as well. You can also put this on the plugin release page on your site.

Next, create a separate page on your blog / site dedicated for the plugin. Posts are a no-no! They get lost in the crowd.

Make sure the page has the following:

  • Overview
  • Requirements
  • Features
  • Installation Instructions
  • Download Link
  • License
  • Method to get support

When linking to the download file, one method I follow is to link to a file without any version etc. e.g. it reads simply pluginname.zip. The purpose of this is that I can always update the zip file with the latest version of the plugin without bothering to change the link.

Old versions of the plugin can be archived as pluginname_v1.0.zip, pluginname_v1.1.zip and so on.

Sending it to us

You’ll need to send your plugin to us via email. We will reveal the email address that you need to send the plugins to in the second month of the competition.

The competition is on for another two months, which gives you plenty of time to release a feature rich plugin.

Before that, release a well tested version to the public. Fix any bugs that come up, try to provide more features as requested.

The WordPress community is demanding and extremely helpful at guiding you down your path.

All the best for now.

To the WordPress Community

I’m sure you’ll love the competition and many of the plugins that stem from it. Authors are always hunting for ideas and who better to tell them than you. Please feel free to post your ideas in the comments section below.

Or, you can also post them in any of these two posts or this posting in our News Forum.

If you would like to sponsor a prize or donate some money to the competition, please contact us. Lots of eyes see these competitions and your encouragement goes a long way in helping provide incentives.

Stay tuned and please help spread the word.