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7 AI Plugins for WordPress and Woocommerce

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7 AI Plugins for WordPress and Woocommerce

Out of all the websites on the internet, over 43% are powered by WordPress. With that kind of dominance over the market, there must be something WordPress has been doing right. Its user-friendliness, shallow learning curve, SEO-friendliness, massive community, thousands of themes and plugins, and cost-effectiveness has helped it gain millions of customers.

WordPress, the most prevalent content management system, can be used to create everything from a little single-page site to a comprehensive online store with little to no coding skills and expertise. So if you create your website through WordPress, is there room for improvement? Simply put, yes. Enter AI.

Although the concept of AI has existed for the past 6-7 decades, it is still one of the most significant technological advancements of this century. It helps people in everything, from searching for little things on the phones through AI assistants to self-driving cars.

Moreover, you can integrate AI into your WordPress and WooCommerce website to make it better in every way.

So in this blog, we will discuss AI and how it can be used in WordPress and WooCommerce websites via plugins.

Explain AI and its uses for your WordPress Website

Since Allen Newell, Herbert A. Simon, and Cliff Shaw came out with the first automated reasoning model, “Logic Theorist,” in December 1995, the field of AI has witnessed some amazing advancements (not counting JARVIS).

But nowadays, AI has seeped into every crevice of every industry, be it technology, healthcare, real estate, automotive, and so many others. From the AI assistants on your phones, tablets, laptops, and televisions to self-driving cars, they are all powered by artificial intelligence.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a virtual computer model designed to simulate human intelligence and perform complex tasks like learning, problem-solving, and decision-making with ease. AI is based on machine learning algorithms that understand data, recognize patterns, and make near-accurate predictions or recommendations based on the dataset.

Now blend with WordPress, and you’ll end up with an excellent website packed with performance, advanced features, and a captivating user experience.

Let’s check out the uses of AI in WordPress websites:

  • Chatbots: First off, the most obvious use of AI in websites and web apps is chatbots. AI-powered chatbots can be integrated into WordPress websites via plugins and provide customer service, answer FAQs, and in the case of eCommerce websites, assist with online purchases. Chatbots can be time-savers and drive engagement with better user satisfaction, thanks to immediate responses to inquiries.
  • Voice Search: Another common use case of AI for websites is voice search. Nowadays, especially in the case of eCommerce websites, everyone expects a voice search feature. You can click on the mic icon and say what you are looking for. Then, the AI will understand the context and show the most relevant results possible. That will help save time and be helpful when you can’t spell something, making the user experience much better.
  • Personalization: You can use AI algorithms to analyze the users’ behavioral patterns and preferences and personalize the offers and recommendations. That increases engagement, conversions, and customer loyalty.
  • Content creation: Although it isn’t a direct use, AI can help generate text, images, videos, and other types of content for the website. That can help save time and reduce costs for website owners while providing valuable info to the users in a more engaging way.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): There are several AI tools that can analyze a website for its content, keywords, backlinks, and other factors and optimize it for better search engine rankings. That will increase visibility and bring more traffic to the website.
  • Security: AI tools can also help detect and prevent cyber security threats like hacking, phishing, and malware to protect sensitive data and ensure the website remains operational.
  • Analytics: AI can help analyze website traffic, user behavior, and other metrics to provide insights into the website’s performance and recommendations for improving it. That can help website owners make data-driven decisions for improving their return on investment (ROI).

Looking at these use cases, you can see how AI can help improve every aspect of the website quite comprehensively.

AI Plugins For Your WordPress & WooCommerce Websites

One of the biggest advantages of WordPress and WooCommerce (itself, a WordPress plugin) is the thousands of free plugins in the official repository. They can help add a host of features and functionalities to your website without the need for coding.

Now, there are several WordPress plugins with AI functionalities. But before taking a look at the plugins, let’s see what kind of advantages they offer for your website.

  • Increased efficiency: There are several AI WordPress plugins that can automate crucial repetitive tasks like content creation, optimization, and scheduling, which frees up the time for you to handle other critical tasks.
  • Improved user experience: AI-powered chatbots can help provide 24×7 customer support, answer FAQs, and provide personalized recommendations, enhancing the user experience.
  • Enhanced content creation: AI plugins can analyze content to suggest improvements and generate new content based on keywords, topics, and other factors.
  • Better SEO: AI-powered plugins can analyze website data and suggest changes to improve search engine optimization, such as optimizing headlines, tags, and meta descriptions.
  • Data-driven decision-making: AI plugins can analyze website data and provide insights into user behavior, traffic sources, and other metrics, enabling data-driven decision-making.

So, they’re clearly beneficial for your WordPress or WooCommerce website, from content to SEO, user experience to efficiency, and even analytics. That’s why the following AI plugins from the official library and other third-party marketplaces are quite popular:

1. Voicer: Text-to-Speech Plugin for WordPress

As the name suggests, Voicer converts text to speech with a human-like flow and a high-quality human voice. Moreover, it’s based on the Google Cloud Platform and uses advanced AI techniques, which ensures speed and reliability. With this plugin, you can have over 275 voices in over 45+ languages worldwide.

A few of the best features of Voicer are:

  • 45+ Languages Includes
  • More than 275 human-like voices
  • Support multilingual website
  • Works well with all WordPress Themes
  • 300+ human-like voices
  • Compatible with all WordPress Themes
  • Lightweight and Fast
  • Compatible with WooCommerce
  • Compatible with major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera, etc.
  • Great room for customization
  • Lightweight and Fast
  • WPML compatible

This plugin can be a great way to ensure a better user experience thanks to life-like interactions. That’s why some of the top WordPress companies use Voicer to improve their websites’ user experience and customer engagement.

2. WP-Chatbot

Wp Chatbot

This plugin helps add a chatbot widget that works with almost every major messenger platform. The live chat feature enabled by this plugin helps engage with your potential customers and convert more leads into sales.

You can customize this chatbot to match your website’s branding and set it up for features like lead collection, appointment scheduling, and more. The plugin also lets you track the performance of the chatbot platform through advanced analytics and reporting features so that you can make suitable improvements accordingly.

Features of WP-Chatbot:

  • Easy to install
  • Highly customizable
  • Automated responses
  • Effortless integration with platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Slack, etc.
  • Provides analytics and reports
  • Multilingual support
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • 24×7 live chat with visitors
  • Offers the ability to add custom fields
  • Easy integration with WordPress and WooCommerce

All-in-all, WP-Chatbot can be an excellent plugin for WordPress and WooCommerce websites looking to improve customer engagement and provide better support.

3. GetGenie

Getgenie

GetGenie is an excellent SEO and content assistant offering critical features like keyword and competitor analysis. That helps see where you stand against your competitors or how you can make your WordPress or WooCommerce website better than them.

Moreover, it includes an AI-powered content writer assistant that can be an excellent way to find new ideas for content, write articles, and optimize your content for SEO. Its SEO keyword analysis feature helps you identify the best keywords to make your content more search-friendly.

Features of GetGenie are as follows:

  • 30+ templates for Quality content and Copywriting.
  • Helps find trending and high search volume long tail SEO keywords
  • Provides SERP analysis data
  • Blog or content analysis
  • Idea generation for microblogs
  • Unique SEO title suggestions
  • Generates quick outlines for blog posts or content
  • On-page SEO score for better optimization
  • WooCommerce Product Description Writer
  • Elementor Advanced editor support

Finally, there’s also an AI-based chatbot that works as a virtual assistant to answer any questions from the users and customers and improve the overall user experience.

4. WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing and Discount With AI

Woocommerce Dynamic Pricing And Discount With Ai

As the name suggests, this plugin is designed for WooCommerce websites and uses AI-powered algorithms to analyze user behavioral patterns and make data-backed pricing decisions to create dynamic pricing and discount rules for online marketplaces.

It creates customized pricing rules based on the factors like customer behavior, purchase history, and product popularity. With this plugin, you can also opt to integrate a variety of discount options like percentage discounts, fixed discounts, and tiered pricing.

Features of this plugin are as follows:

  • Product-based Discount
  • Category-based Discount
  • Cart-based Discount
  • BOGO offer for Product
  • Tier Discount for Product
  • Shipping method-based Discount
  • Rule to make Plus Member

So with this plugin, you can optimize the pricing strategy, improve customer satisfaction, and increase sales quite effortlessly.

5. MyCurator Content Curation

MyCurator is a WordPress plugin that helps curate and customize high-quality content from websites and pages around the world so you can publish them on your website more quickly and easily.

It lets you search for relevant content based on keywords, sources, tags, etc. You can also create new, original blog posts or articles with the built-in editor, or you can combine the curated content with your own commentary to create something more unique yet proven successful.

Features of MyCurator are as follows:

  • Discover content from around the world based on keywords, tags, and sources.
  • Curate the contents and select the specific ones to publish.
  • Train the plugin to curate and publish the kind of content you prefer.
  • Customize the content to match the branding and style of your website.
  • Create new, unique content with the built-in editor.
  • Content calendar to schedule the curation and publishing of the content on the website.

You can integrate this plugin with popular social media and email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and Hootsuite to ensure your content reaches a broader audience.

6. WP Virtual Assistant

Wp Virtual Assist

WP Virtual Assistant is a WordPress plugin that helps integrate an intelligent virtual assistant into your website. It lets you sell the products more intelligently by recommending them based on the user’s purchase patterns and even guiding them through the website more effortlessly.

Features of WP Virtual Assistant are as follows:

  • Effectively help your customers with this incredible virtual assistant
  • Intuitive, powerful conditional system
  • Backend customization of the style of the assistant
  • Import/Export all your data
  • Easily replace the graphics of avatars
  • English & French backend translations
  • Easy translation of all your assistant texts from WPML

This plugin also includes a customizable chatbot that can help respond to specific questions and commands. You can also integrate it with popular payment and scheduling systems like PayPal and Google Calendar to ensure more streamlined business operations.

7. Aiomatic – Automatic AI Content Writer & Editor, GPT-3 & GPT-4, ChatGPT ChatBot & AI Toolkit

Aiomatic Api AI plugins for WordPress

Looking for an AI content writer plugin for your website? AIomatic is a groundbreaking solution that uses cutting-edge technology to generate high-quality content for your blog or website. Here are some of its most important features:

  • Auto blogging and automatic post publishing: With AIomatic, you can automate your content creation process and focus on other aspects of your website. The plugin uses AI technology to generate articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and more, saving you time and effort.
  • AiomaticAPI or OpenAI: You can choose between AiomaticAPI or OpenAI to power the plugin, depending on your needs and preferences. Both options are available, and you can subscribe to the API of your choice. The plugin will work seamlessly with either option.
  • Lower costs: If you choose to work with OpenAI, you won’t need to pay third-party services to funnel the content generated by the GPT-3 or GPT-4 model to your site. You can get the content directly from OpenAI, which lowers the price of each call. This is a significant advantage compared to other similar plugins that charge monthly fees and withhold their profit.
  • AiomaticAPI as an alternative: If OpenAI is not working for you, you can subscribe to AiomaticAPI, a specially created API for this plugin. AiomaticAPI will also handle AI content creation for you in the same way as OpenAI would.
  • Advanced technology: AI-generated content is a cutting-edge technology that challenges the status quo by questioning the relationship between art and human touch. With the development of artificial intelligence, we’ve managed to outsource meaningless tasks to machine learning in order to simplify our lives. AI-generated content is just one of the many ways we’re using AI to make our lives easier.
  • More about AI-generated content: AI-generated content has come a long way since the first AI program was developed in 1955. Today, AI can perform highly complex tasks that were once exclusive to the human mind. It has helped in the studies of numerous fields such as medicine, agriculture, and space exploration. As we slowly hit a standstill on those fronts, more people are curious about how far this technology can truly go. AI-generated content challenges the status quo by questioning the relationship between art and human touch. The content we consume only contains meaning due to the connections and emotions we feel.

BONUS: Quttera Web Malware Scanner

WordPress websites, especially WooCommerce ones, are visited by thousands of users and customers daily, and it’s the website owner’s responsibility to safeguard their data and privacy. So they can use the Quttera Web Malware Scanner to scan websites for web threats like malware, trojans, backdoors, worms, viruses, shells, spyware, etc.

It can also help detect issues like JavaScript code obfuscation, malicious code injection, exploits, redirects, hidden eval code, malicious code obfuscation, auto-generated malicious content, malicious iframes, and more.

Features of Quttera are as follows:

  • One-click Scan
  • External Links Detection
  • Investigation of WordPress files
  • Detection of injected PHP shells
  • Blacklist Status
  • Artificial Intelligence Scan Engine
  • Detailed Investigation Report
  • Detection of files infected by PHP malware

This plugin can help make the website more secure to ensure the user data and website information are protected against the web threats like the ones mentioned earlier.

Conclusion

These AI plugins for WordPress and WooCommerce can help create and customize more well-rounded and advanced websites to improve the user experience and customer engagement.

Since there are millions of websites based on WordPress and WooCommerce, it’s understandable to look for more advanced features and functionalities to take yours to the top. In that aspect, AI can be an excellent vertical to go for.

That’s why we have mentioned some of the best AI-powered plugins used by the top WordPress companies to integrate features like chatbots, voice search, SEO, content curation, advanced security, virtual assistant, dynamic pricing and discounts, etc.

So if you want to create the best website or online store, contact a professional WordPress development company and fill them in on your preferences and requirements.

These plugins can help take your website to newer heights much more easily.

Author Info

Archit has been working with WPWeb Elite since 2015 as a Content Manager. He is a passionate content writer and has a love for WordPress and Digital Marketing so he spends a significant amount of time writing about it.

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Do the Woo 4.0 – WordPress.com News

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Do the Woo 4.0 – WordPress.com News

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Bob Dunn, founder of Do the Woo, a podcast channel elevating voices of the WooCommerce and WordPress community.

It was early 2023, and I’d been searching for the perfect direction for Do the Woo, the podcast and site we first launched in 2016. I’d made some small steps, but I hadn’t yet found the grand recipe. I just knew that with the shows changing format, the site needed to as well.

Finally, it came to me, as clear as day. 

If I was going to do a major site redesign, I wanted it to be built on blocks. I wanted a full-site editor. And I wanted a hosting platform that would take care of things so I could focus on the content. That meant WordPress.com. 

So that fall, around the time of WordCamp US, I sent Matt Mullenweg a message. Just as I’d shared ideas with Matt in the past, I did so now—except now was my vision for the next Do the Woo, and the platform I thought it should be built upon. Incredibly, he saw what I saw, and not long after a dream partnership formed: I began working with WordPress.com’s special projects team on the next version of Do the Woo. 

Between then and now, a lot has happened. A lot of wireframes, a lot of discussion, a lot of iteration. The WordPress.com team has done incredible work throughout. During my visit to CloudFest in Germany, we even soft-launched the new site. But now it’s official. Today, on the first day of WordCamp Europe, I’m excited to announce Do the Woo 4.0: the podcast by WordPress and WooCommerce builder and business community, for the community. 

There are so many things I could tell you about the new site, but it’s all right there on DotheWoo.io, so head over there to learn about our launch. And stay tuned—there’s lots of exciting stuff in the works. 

This wouldn’t have happened without the folks from WordPress.com, WooCommerce, and Jetpack. I’m thrilled with what they’ve done with the site, and even more thrilled that my new home is on WordPress.com. I can’t wait for you to join our journey. Let’s do the Woo! 


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How to Start a Dropshipping Business and Earn $150k/yr: A Step-by-Step Guide

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How to Start a Dropshipping Business and Earn $150k/yr: A Step-by-Step Guide

Exposing the Lies of Dropshipping Gurus: How to Start a Dropshipping Business the Right Way

Are you tired of watching countless videos promising to teach you how to start a dropshipping business and make a fortune overnight? Have you followed their advice, only to see your e-commerce store fail miserably? If so, you’re not alone. The truth is, many aspiring entrepreneurs have been misled by dropshipping gurus who claim to have the secret formula for success.

We strongly recommend that you check out our guide on how to take advantage of AI in today’s passive income economy.

Dropshipping gurus often showcase their impressive revenue figures, claiming to have made thousands of dollars in a single day. They promise that anyone can easily replicate their success and start a dropshipping business with minimal effort. However, what they fail to mention is that these results are usually short-lived and unsustainable.

The reality is that building a successful dropshipping business requires far more than just selecting a winning product, setting up a store, and launching a few ads. It involves careful planning, strategic marketing, and exceptional customer service. Unfortunately, most gurus focus solely on the initial stages of starting a dropshipping business, neglecting the crucial aspects that determine long-term success.

The Pitfalls of Following Guru Advice

When you start a dropshipping business based on the advice of gurus, you may experience a brief period of success. You might make a few sales and feel excited about the potential of your new venture. However, this initial success is often followed by a sudden drop in revenue, leaving you confused and frustrated.

The reason for this decline is simple: the strategies taught by most gurus are not designed for long-term sustainability. They focus on short-term tactics, such as running aggressive ad campaigns and testing countless products, without considering the importance of building a strong brand and providing excellent customer service.

The Importance of Customer Satisfaction

One of the most critical factors in running a successful dropshipping business is customer satisfaction. When you start a dropshipping business, your primary goal should be to provide an exceptional experience for your customers. This includes offering high-quality products, timely shipping, and responsive customer support.

Unfortunately, many dropshippers overlook the importance of customer satisfaction in their pursuit of quick profits. They focus solely on driving traffic to their store and making sales, neglecting the needs of their customers once the transaction is complete. As a result, they often face a high number of complaints, refunds, and chargebacks, which can quickly erode their profits and damage their reputation.

Building a Sustainable Dropshipping Business

To start a dropshipping business that stands the test of time, you need to shift your focus from short-term gains to long-term sustainability. This involves investing time and effort into building a strong foundation for your business, rather than chasing the latest trends or relying on questionable tactics.

One of the key elements of a sustainable dropshipping business is a well-defined niche. Instead of trying to sell a wide range of unrelated products, focus on a specific category that aligns with your interests and expertise. This will allow you to establish yourself as an authority in your niche, attract a loyal customer base, and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Another crucial aspect of building a sustainable dropshipping business is branding. Develop a unique brand identity that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from other dropshippers. This includes creating a professional logo, designing an attractive website, and maintaining a consistent brand voice across all your marketing channels.

Prioritizing Customer Service

To ensure the long-term success of your dropshipping business, you must prioritize customer service. This means going above and beyond to meet the needs and expectations of your customers, even if it requires additional time and effort on your part.

Start by providing clear and detailed product descriptions, including accurate shipping times and return policies. Respond promptly to customer inquiries and complaints, and be proactive in addressing any issues that arise. Consider offering personalized thank-you notes, free gifts, or discounts to show your appreciation for your customers’ business.

By focusing on customer satisfaction, you’ll build a loyal customer base that will not only make repeat purchases but also recommend your business to others. This word-of-mouth marketing can be incredibly valuable in driving sustainable growth for your dropshipping business.

Automating Your Dropshipping Business

As your dropshipping business grows, you may find it challenging to keep up with the increasing demands of customer service and order fulfillment. This is where automation comes into play. By implementing automated systems and tools, you can streamline your operations, reduce manual labor, and focus on scaling your business.

One effective way to automate your dropshipping business is by using a reliable order fulfillment service. These services handle the entire process of storing, packing, and shipping your products, allowing you to focus on marketing and customer service. They also provide real-time tracking information, which can help reduce customer inquiries and improve the overall shopping experience.

Another area where automation can be beneficial is customer support. Implementing a chatbot or a comprehensive FAQ page can help address common customer questions and concerns, freeing up your time to handle more complex issues. You can also use email automation to send personalized order confirmations, shipping updates, and follow-up messages, keeping your customers informed and engaged throughout the buying process.

Starting a dropshipping business can be a lucrative and rewarding venture, but it requires a strategic approach and a long-term mindset. Instead of falling for the empty promises of dropshipping gurus, focus on building a sustainable and customer-centric business that can withstand the test of time.

Begin by carefully selecting your niche and products, ensuring that they align with your interests and target audience. Invest time in creating a strong brand identity and developing a professional website that showcases your unique value proposition. Prioritize customer satisfaction by providing exceptional service, responsive support, and high-quality products.

As you start a dropshipping business and your business grows, continuously monitor your performance and make data-driven decisions to optimize your operations. Implement automation tools and systems to streamline your processes and free up your time to focus on growth and expansion.

Conclusion

In conclusion, starting a successful dropshipping business requires more than just following the advice of self-proclaimed gurus. It demands a commitment to providing value to your customers, building a strong brand, and continuously adapting to the ever-changing e-commerce landscape.

By prioritizing customer satisfaction, focusing on long-term sustainability, and leveraging automation tools, you can start a dropshipping business that not only survives but thrives in the competitive online marketplace. Remember, success in dropshipping is not about chasing quick profits or replicating someone else’s tactics; it’s about creating a business that genuinely serves your customers and stands the test of time.

So, if you’re ready to start a dropshipping business the right way, ignore the hype and focus on the fundamentals. With dedication, hard work, and a customer-centric approach, you can build a profitable and rewarding dropshipping business that you can be proud of.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can a beginner start dropshipping?

A beginner can start a dropshipping business by following these steps:

  1. Choose a niche and research products that are in demand.
  2. Find reliable suppliers who offer dropshipping services.
  3. Create an e-commerce website using platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, or Magento.
  4. List your products on your website and set competitive prices.
  5. Market your store through various channels, such as social media, paid advertising, and email marketing.
  6. Process orders and coordinate with your suppliers to ship products directly to your customers.
  7. Provide excellent customer service and continuously optimize your business based on performance data.

How profitable is dropshipping?

The profitability of dropshipping varies depending on several factors, such as your niche, product pricing, marketing strategies, and operational costs. Some dropshippers earn a few hundred dollars per month, while others generate six or even seven-figure incomes. To maximize your profitability, it’s essential to:

  1. Choose products with healthy profit margins.
  2. Negotiate favorable terms with your suppliers.
  3. Optimize your pricing strategy to remain competitive while ensuring profitability.
  4. Continuously monitor and reduce your operational costs.
  5. Invest in effective marketing campaigns to drive targeted traffic to your store.

How much do I need to start a dropshipping business?

The cost of starting a dropshipping business can vary greatly depending on your approach and the tools you choose to use. However, here are some general expenses to consider:

  1. E-commerce platform subscription (e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce): $29 to $299 per month.
  2. Domain name registration: $10 to $20 per year.
  3. Website hosting: $10 to $100 per month.
  4. Product sourcing and samples: $50 to $500, depending on your niche and product types.
  5. Marketing and advertising: $100 to $1,000 or more per month, depending on your strategies and target audience.

On average, you can expect to invest between $500 to $3,000 to start a basic dropshipping business. However, it’s possible to start with a smaller budget by opting for more affordable tools and focusing on organic marketing strategies.

Can you do dropshipping in Nigeria?

Yes, it is possible to start a dropshipping business in Nigeria. However, there are some challenges and considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Payment processing: Not all international payment gateways are available in Nigeria, so you may need to use local payment options like Paystack or Flutterwave.
  2. Shipping and logistics: Shipping times and costs may be higher when dropshipping to Nigeria, so it’s essential to find reliable suppliers and logistics partners who can handle international shipping.
  3. Import duties and taxes: Be aware of any import duties, taxes, or regulations that may apply to your products when shipping to Nigeria.
  4. Internet connectivity: Ensure that you have a stable internet connection to manage your online store and communicate with suppliers and customers.
  5. Market demand: Research the Nigerian market to identify products that are in demand and can be profitably dropshipped to the country.

Despite these challenges, dropshipping in Nigeria can be a viable business opportunity, especially if you focus on serving the local market and adapting your strategies to the specific needs and preferences of Nigerian consumers.

We strongly recommend that you check out our guide on how to take advantage of AI in today’s passive income economy.

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Making a WordPress plugin extensible with PHP classes

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Making a WordPress plugin extensible with PHP classes

WordPress plugins can be extended with additional functionality, as demonstrated by popular plugins like WooCommerce and Gravity Forms. In the article “Architecting a WordPress plugin to support extensions,” we learn there are two primary ways to make a WordPress plugin extensible:

  1. By setting up hooks (actions and filters) for extension plugins to inject their own functionality
  2. By providing PHP classes that extension plugins can inherit

The first method relies more on documentation, detailing available hooks and their usage. The second method, by contrast, offers ready-to-use code for extensions, reducing the need for extensive documentation. This is advantageous because creating documentation alongside code can complicate the plugin’s management and release.

Providing PHP classes directly effectively replaces documentation with code. Instead of teaching how to implement a feature, the plugin supplies the necessary PHP code, simplifying the task for third-party developers.

Let’s explore some techniques for achieving this, with the ultimate goal of fostering an ecosystem of integrations around our WordPress plugin.

Defining base PHP classes in the WordPress plugin

The WordPress plugin will include PHP classes intended for use by extension plugins. These PHP classes might not be used by the main plugin itself but are provided specifically for others to use.

Let’s see how this is implemented in the open-source Gato GraphQL plugin.

AbstractPlugin class:

AbstractPlugin represents a plugin, both for the main Gato GraphQL plugin and its extensions:

abstract class AbstractPlugin implements PluginInterface
{
  protected string $pluginBaseName;
  protected string $pluginSlug;
  protected string $pluginName;

  public function __construct(
    protected string $pluginFile,
    protected string $pluginVersion,
    ?string $pluginName,
  ) {
    $this->pluginBaseName = plugin_basename($pluginFile);
    $this->pluginSlug = dirname($this->pluginBaseName);
    $this->pluginName = $pluginName ?? $this->pluginBaseName;
  }

  public function getPluginName(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginName;
  }

  public function getPluginBaseName(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginBaseName;
  }

  public function getPluginSlug(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginSlug;
  }

  public function getPluginFile(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginFile;
  }

  public function getPluginVersion(): string
  {
    return $this->pluginVersion;
  }

  public function getPluginDir(): string
  {
    return dirname($this->pluginFile);
  }

  public function getPluginURL(): string
  {
    return plugin_dir_url($this->pluginFile);
  }

  // ...
}

AbstractMainPlugin class:

AbstractMainPlugin extends AbstractPlugin to represent the main plugin:

abstract class AbstractMainPlugin extends AbstractPlugin implements MainPluginInterface
{
  public function __construct(
    string $pluginFile,
    string $pluginVersion,
    ?string $pluginName,
    protected MainPluginInitializationConfigurationInterface $pluginInitializationConfiguration,
  ) {
    parent::__construct(
      $pluginFile,
      $pluginVersion,
      $pluginName,
    );
  }

  // ...
}

AbstractExtension class:

Similarly, AbstractExtension extends AbstractPlugin to represent an extension plugin:

abstract class AbstractExtension extends AbstractPlugin implements ExtensionInterface
{
  public function __construct(
    string $pluginFile,
    string $pluginVersion,
    ?string $pluginName,
    protected ?ExtensionInitializationConfigurationInterface $extensionInitializationConfiguration,
  ) {
    parent::__construct(
      $pluginFile,
      $pluginVersion,
      $pluginName,
    );
  }

  // ...
}

Notice that AbstractExtension is included within the main plugin, providing functionality to register and initialize an extension. However, it is only used by extensions, not by the main plugin itself.

The AbstractPlugin class contains shared initialization code invoked at different times. These methods are defined at the ancestor level but are invoked by the inheriting classes according to their lifecycles.

The main plugin and extensions are initialized by executing the setup method on the corresponding class, invoked from within the main WordPress plugin file.

For instance, in Gato GraphQL, this is done in gatographql.php:

$pluginFile = __FILE__;
$pluginVersion = '2.4.0';
$pluginName = __('Gato GraphQL', 'gatographql');
PluginApp::getMainPluginManager()->register(new Plugin(
  $pluginFile,
  $pluginVersion,
  $pluginName
))->setup();

setup method:

At the ancestor level, setup contains the common logic between the plugin and its extensions, such as unregistering them when the plugin is deactivated. This method is not final; It can be overridden by the inheriting classes to add their functionality:

abstract class AbstractPlugin implements PluginInterface
{
  // ...

  public function setup(): void
  {
    register_deactivation_hook(
      $this->getPluginFile(),
      $this->deactivate(...)
    );
  }

  public function deactivate(): void
  {
    $this->removePluginVersion();
  }

  private function removePluginVersion(): void
  {
    $pluginVersions = get_option('gatographql-plugin-versions', []);
    unset($pluginVersions[$this->pluginBaseName]);
    update_option('gatographql-plugin-versions', $pluginVersions);
  }
}

Main plugin’s setup method:

The main plugin’s setup method initializes the application’s lifecycle. It executes the main plugin’s functionality through methods like initialize, configureComponents, configure, and boot, and triggers corresponding action hooks for extensions:

abstract class AbstractMainPlugin extends AbstractPlugin implements MainPluginInterface
{
  public function setup(): void
  {
    parent::setup();

    add_action('plugins_loaded', function (): void
    {
      // 1. Initialize main plugin
      $this->initialize();

      // 2. Initialize extensions
      do_action('gatographql:initializeExtension');

      // 3. Configure main plugin components
      $this->configureComponents();

      // 4. Configure extension components
      do_action('gatographql:configureExtensionComponents');

      // 5. Configure main plugin
      $this->configure();

      // 6. Configure extension
      do_action('gatographql:configureExtension');

      // 7. Boot main plugin
      $this->boot();

      // 8. Boot extension
      do_action('gatographql:bootExtension');
    }

    // ...
  }
  
  // ...
}



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