This comes up now and then so I thought we should have a quick post about what your plugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party zip should be when you submit.
Keep in mind, if we email you and tell you we cannot download or open your zip, please don’t just say “Well it works for me!” The fact is, we’re smart people. If we cannot get the zip to open, there actually is a problem. Check the link and check the zip. Attach the zip to your email reply.
It should be a zip file
I know, that’s obvious, but we actually force you to send a zip for a number of reasons. I strongly urge you NOT to use anything fancy like winrar to compress it, because that can make your zip un-openable on Mac or Linux boxes. Protip? We all use Mac or Linux.
Use a real URL A specific web address of a website or web page on the Internet, such as a website’s URL www.wordpress.org
Don’t use localhost. Don’t use your dev environment. Don’t try to upload the zip. It’s a link to where your zip is publicly accessible. No more, no less.
Be very careful when you use ‘free’ upload sites. If they open up a dozen popups, we’re not going to risk them. We don’t like viruses.
The link should be one that’s accessible to NON-logged in users
Bitbucket folks, this means you, eh? If you’re using GitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/, you can link us to the zip they make UNLESS you’re including submodules. Surprise! Github’s autogenerated zips don’t include that. Drives me nuts. I know.
Test the URL in an incognito window, just to be sure. It takes a second and you’ll see exactly what we see.
The zip should be only the plugin
It should be exactly what you would upload manually to WordPress to test (which you did test, right?) because that’s what we are going to do! Don’t include themes or other zips or required plugins. All of those requirements should be accounted for in your plugin by making checks and properly informing users as to what they need to do.
By the way, please don’t nest your zips. Seriously. We see a lot of zips that have a readme.txt and then a second zip file. That means we have to open the zip, extract the other zip, check that it’s right, and then upload it.