For many, wordpress plugins are a hobby or a side thought. Here at BePro Software, plugins are how we pay bills. This article takes a look at how our BePro Software team creates and releases plugins.
For this discussion, we will use our BePro Listings plugin as an example. It is distributed 100% free on wordpress.org. Revenue is generated by the, addons, subscription content and support.
BePro listings has lots of features that can be controlled via the admin or completely turned off. This facilitates very custom implementations of the plugin, allowing users to create unique listing experiences.
We get request everyday. This creates the first bottleneck where our team prioritizes requests. This process includes considerations like:
- Is this a fatal error. I.E. does it stop the plugin from working entirely
- Is this a localized error i.e. does it affect more than one feature
- Is this request in line with wordpress plugin guidelines
- Will this benefit the entire plugin user base or just a small subset
When we release a feature, we think of the most secure way to release a basic version. Then over time, we expand on that basic version with advanced features and options.
BePro listings already has tons of options. So we are constantly tasked with finding the easiest method of facilitating control over a new feature. This is a second bottleneck.
Lastly, before releasing, we try to test. Doesn’t always catch all issues. However, its a process that takes time. This process has evolved over time and some are closely held company secrets. However, we can share some aspects
- We install the plugin on a basic stock theme
- We install the plugin in one of our themes, designed for BePro Listings
- We install the plugin on one of our production sites using BePro Listings. Yes we use our own plugins too
- We test the specific features that have been altered or added
Hopefully this provided a little insight into our plugin development operations here at BePro Software. We see every review, comment and forum post. You can be assured that customer requests are, important to use, discussed in our weekly meetings and go through a standard process.