WordPress Geekery

It’s the End of the World Plugin

It’s the End of the World Plugin

If you’ve worked in WordPress for more than an hour, you’ve probably noticed the Hello, Dolly plugin. It’s just a happy little plugin whose only function is to offer you a line from the song in your upper right admin area. Cute.

When I recently started learning more about PHP, I was inspired by Michelle Frechette, who re-engineered the plugin into one that gives affirmations of beauty. She was even encouraged by Matt Mullenwig, the original author of the Hello, Dolly plugin. I thought that was pretty awesome.

So I decided a good place to start in PHP would be to tear down that simple plugin and see how it works for myself. Like mechanical things, I love taking stuff apart to see what’s on the inside. It’s why I love my 1966 VW Beetle. At least the plugin won’t squirt fuel into my eye when I put the fuel pump back on. A story for another time, perhaps.

A good way (maybe the only way) to start when creating a plugin is to think about what you ultimately want it to do. IN this case, I didn’t really need to think too much and I didn’t want to change the basic functionality. I just wanted a different song. So I decided it would have to be one of my favorites, R.E.M.’s It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel Fine).

It wasn’t too hard. I didn’t have to reinvent the wheel and it worked right away. But I loved looking at the code and seeing what it did and how it was written.

I’m not going to offer it up on WordPress, because it’s not actually a departure from Matt’s original. I just did it for fun. I’m sure I’ll do more, and on my list is to write my own original plugin. I just have to figure out what I want it to do.

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By D.J. Billings

I love to help bloggers and small businesses with their WP websites.

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