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The problem I do have however is that now I wish to further expand my out-the-box wordpress solutions. I know there are a variety of plugins but does anyone know of any good tutorials for developing your own plugins? I personally find the wordpress documentation to be very poorly written and have had better success following other tutorials. There may be no point in re-inventing the wheel though if I can find what I want elsewhere, so does anyone know of any decent sites or a better directory of wordpress plugins tthen the one at the official site?
First off, I am not recommending and have not read the book I'm about to mention and there may be others - this is just the first one that seemed really on topic. Okay?
With that disclaimer.... there is a book called WordPress Plugin Development (Beginner's Guide), by Vladimir Prelovac (looks like it just came out in January)
The reason I mention this is because after hemming and hawing for ages, I finally coughed up the money and bought John Van Dyck's Pro Drupal Development and by the middle of chapter 2 I was kicking myself for not having bought it the second it came out. It is just so much better - both the writing and the format - than the online resources. The amount of time I could have saved myself would have been immense. Before I even reached the halfway point, the book had saved me so much time already with an ongoing project that I felt I had easily been repaid the purchase price.
Obviously, that's a review for another book and it has nothing to do with your situation, just to say that a good book, that is well-thought out, will just save you so much time over the online resources in my experience.
It's funny, but I never felt any need to buy a book on PHP, for example, because it's just syntax and if you know a little programming, learning PHP is simple. But the internals of some of the CMS systems are complex and not at all intuitive (not illogical either, just very difficult to reverse engineer by looking at code).
So that's not a real answer, but hopefully a useful suggestion. If you do buy the book, it would be great if you came back and let us know whether or not it was as helpful to you as Pro Drupal Development has been to me.
Thanks for taking the time to reply though. I'll have a look around and see if I can find what I'm looking for, I would post the url here if I do but don't want to break TOS so will just have to remember it if anyone else wants the same information.
But as someone with a bit of a programming background, I nevertheless found having a book on Drupal really useful (Drupal, I would say, is quite a bit more complex than WP though).
Anyway, WP ships with the Hello Dolly plugin, which is essentially a Hello World plugin, packaged with WP simply to get you started on simple plugins. So that would be what you need.
If you search Google on "first wordpress plugin" you'll find a video by Mark Jaquith, one of WPs lead developers. Very basic, but maybe enough to get started.