At it’s heart, the Readme.txt file is pretty basic. You put in the information, it generates a WordPress page. Of course, it’s not all simple magic, and there are some weird things to be aware of.
To help people better understand how it works, the Plugin Directory documentation has been updated, but here’s a quick primer:
If you use Tags, so will the directory
If you put the stable version of 1.2.3 in your readme, the rest of the content will be pulled from
/tags/1.2.3 and not the trunk folder.
Readmes use Markdown (mostly)
Most Markdown calls work as expected. Tables do not. But this means don’t put JS or CSS CSS is an acronym for cascading style sheets. This is what controls the design or look and feel of a site. in your readme. It will break things.
A YouTube or Vimeo link on a line by itself will be auto-embedded. It’s also possible to embed videos hosted on VideoPress using the wpvideo shortcode A shortcode is a placeholder used within a WordPress post, page, or widget to insert a form or function generated by a plugin in a specific location on your site..
(File) Size Matters
If your Readme is over 10k, weird parsing things happen. Some tips to keep it small:
- Move your previous versions’ changelogs to their own file –
- Self-host seriously intensive documentation
- Make your readme a ‘how to’ and ‘why this is awesome’ but not a sales pitch for your pro version
- Don’t keyword stuff (someone dropped their readme by 4k when they cleaned it up)
Well written readmes get more users
Want to rank higher? Write a good readme. It’s actually much less about keyword stuffing than it is keeping users. After all, we’ve all seen a 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 with 20k downloads but only 10+ active users. That means you’re getting people’s attention and not delivering. So write a good readme that sells what you do, and sells it well. Don’t embellish, like saying you’re the ‘best’ contact form plugin. Ditch the hyperbole and just write good. If you can’t, hire a copy writer. It’ll pay off.