Why clean code matters in WordPress Plugin Development?

If you have 2 to 3 years of experience in WordPress development, You have felt that sometimes you slow down by other developers or your own messy code.

Suppose you are giving the service of WordPress WebSite Development. A client who developed a website from you 2 or 3 years ago came back and requested a few tweaks, and you are wasting hours finding where and how you should achieve these minor tweaks because you forget where you have written your code logic! You are embracing bad code.

If you are in a WordPress Product (Plugin or Theme or Saas) for a long time, You may feel that your productivity is slowing down day by day due to bad code.

The difference between developing a code in other PHP frameworks and WordPress is that WordPress doesn’t insist on a specific code structure. Other PHP frameworks like Laravel, Symfony, CakePHP, and Zend force developers to write code in a certain way. WordPress gives developers to write code in their own way. WordPress gives the flexibility to developers to develop code in any way. But this flexibility comes with great disadvantages. Each plugin developer structures code in their own way. There is no standard structure to develop a code in WordPress. Some WordPress developer writes code in a procedure styles others are in OOPs styles. The same inconsistencies can be seen in the Plugin and Theme files structure.

Some Plugin development companies understand these messes of code later when their plugin codebase grows vastly. If a developer tries to add a new feature, The Plugin release occurs with 2 to 3 bugs. If a developer tries to fix these bugs, They introduce new more bugs, and the WordPress plugin falls into a vicious cycle of bugs. The developer will fall in a spiral cycle of bugs, and customers of the plugin start complaining, making tickets, asking for refunds, and giving bad reviews to Plugin. These will affect plugin revenues. One side developer of the Plugin has near-zero productivity, and the Plugin owner companies’ revenues growth decrease and support load increases. At this time, the Plugin owner company start to hire new developers. New developers learn the existing messy code system and add a new feature. At the Starting of the phase of new developers giving enough productivity because they have learned messy code base and make more worst messier code. At this time, Old developers resign from the company or are thrown away by the company due to their productivity issues. After some time, the new developer reaches the same level of lacking productivity as the old developer. This way company has new developers every 2 to 3 years. These developer’s cycles hurt the company. New developer requires time to familiar with the plugin codebase.

Bad messy code requires more time for the new developers to be familiar with the Plugin codebase.

The messy code degrades plugin quality day by day and loss customer respect. The customers are starting to look at alternative plugins.

Until now, We understood that bad quality code affects you and your plugin company very worst. Later, We will discuss the solution to overcome the bad quality codebase.

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Prashant Baldha