WordPress is undoubtedly the king of CMSes, mostly because of the ease of use that WordPress offers. However, there are some commonly observed errors that users make in WordPress development, which can actually make them frustrated and anxious. However, the good news is that the error that you are facing, or you have made, is most likely been reported by someone else before you. Luckily, there are various WordPress development companies that have a lot of experience in providing WordPress related solutions and they have already resolved these errors in most of the cases.
Here are some of the most common errors that WordPress developers make at the time of WordPress Plugin Development. We have also included a quick guide on how to fix these errors.
- Breaching the Official WordPress.org Guidelines:
There is a set of rules that is to be followed if one wants to submit their plugin to the WordPress.org directory. They are the official WordPress.org guidelines and are followed by WordPress development company. If there is any breach of these guidelines, your plugin could be banned from the official Repository. These guidelines are for the purpose of security, in order to prevent any malicious plugins. However, sometimes during WordPress Development, you could make a goof, and the plugin may be identified as malicious and can be banned. In this case, an email is sent to you, asking you to fix the plugin, and again give it to review. Thus, you must take care that you follow these guidelines.
- Forgetting the Compatibility While Writing Code
The first and foremost thing you require to do before beginning with the coding is to figure out the version of WordPress and PHP for which you would be developing your plugin. This can be a reason for various errors in your developed plugin. The decision behind your selection of the platform and its version should be based on your potential customer base and your targeted market. Let us say if you are planning to make a website for providing support for WordPress 4 and above, you should not code with anything that has been introduced in its version WP 4.3. As per figures of WPcentral, PHP 5.2 is used by 15% of the WP users. Hence, if you have used any such thing in your code, you offer 85% WP user an opportunity to use your plugin.
- Lack of Strategy to Prevent the Risk of SQL Injection
All the WordPress plugin developers lack a proper strategy in order to prevent the risk of SQL injection. However, this is the first opportunity for hackers to get access for the valuable information from the database. As we know every SQL injection process can make your plugin vulnerable to attack as hackers can embed commands into an HTTP request and start fetching data from your database. Therefore, avoid using the parameter received from user input AS IS in SQL queries.
So, for your next development project, keep in mind the need to create a strategy to prevent the risk of SQL injection. You can use the WordPress core prepare() function which will let you sanitise parameters of SQL queries.
- Forgetting to Use WordPress Nonces
Using a WordPress nonce is a necessity for every developer. It plays a major role in protecting URLs and forms and prevents its misuse. If a user wants to perform any kind of actions like deleting a post or any other, this tool identifies the person and provides confirmation. It can be said that this tool is a unique identifier for any user and plays a vital role in preventing the misuse. For creating the nonce, you need to use the wp_create_nonce() function.
CSRF attacks on your WP website can be prevented by using nonce to the URLs and then add them to forms as a hidden field through wp_nonce_field(). These are made in the form of hash that includes the user’s ID. It becomes very easy to find out which user has requested to perform a specific action as every user has their own unique nonce. So, in order to protect your website, never miss out on using the WordPress nonces.
- Forgetting to Turn the DEBUG On While Development
This is one of the major mistakes made by the developers at the time of WP plugin development. As debugging is the most important configuration, this mistake should be avoided. You can turn on and off a boolean constant, i.e. WP_DEBUG, in your wp-config.php file in your WordPress install. It lets you see PHP notices to improve your development skills.
Here, almost all the general mistakes are included so that you may not repeat the same while developing.