A 3 step guide to getting your WordPress plugin onto WordPress.org

I recently got my bm-custom-login plugin accepted onto the Wordress plugin repository. In order to get it online I had to use subversion – something I’ve never used before.

I found the “using svn page” on wordpress.org to be rather intimidating. For example the first section “getting started” jumps straight into telling you what commands to type without even mentioning the basic things such as what to download. This seems to go against the simple software the WordPress team try to promote so I thought I’d work it out for myself and document the process. It was considerably simpler than expected.

Before we start

Since this is a tutorial for uploading WordPress plugins I think I should point out that you will need a WordPress.org account, and to have submitted an application for them to host your plugin. Once you get the confirmation email (which seems to take a couple of days) you can move on.

Step 1 – Get the software

I knew from the start that I didn’t want to mess around with the command line. I won’t be using svn (subversion) often enough to need to learn it, and I don’t want to have to remember all the obtuse commands. This meant my first port of call was some visual svn software. A 30 second search on Google showed me that TortoiseSVN was by far the most popular so I figured I’d use that – you can download TortoiseSVN here.

After downloading, install TortoiseSVN. This package contains everything you’ll need to manage your files. If you want to create an SVN server then you will need Subversion itself but that’s outside the scope of this tutorial.

Step 2 – Check in the initial files

When you register a plugin on wordpress.org the svn folder is created for you so you can skip that. All you need is to create a folder on your pc for your subversion files. I created an SVN folder then a bm-custom-login folder – I will then place all future plugins in the same folder. Right click on your plugin folder, and select “SVN Update”, you will be asked where to update the files from (use the url sent to you when your wordpress plugin was approved) and the existing files will be downloaded. Remember, anybody can download these files, but only you can upload them…

Step 3 – Update your plugin

Create a readme.txt file using this as an outline. This file outlines what will be displayed on your plugin page. Save the readme.txt into the same folder as your plugin.

Go back to your main plugin folder (in my case ‘SVN/bm-custom-login’), right click and press “SVN Commit”. You will now be asked for your login information, which is the same as your wordpress.org login details. Press ok, and your plugin will be uploaded. Now wait a short while and your plugin will be live on WordPress Extend.

In the future…

Now that I have the plugin online I have decided to forward all download requests through this page. Doing this will ensure people always have the latest version, it also means I only have to update one set of code. Finally having the code on wordpress.org means that should I update the plugin people using it will be informed via the built in plugin update notifications.

Since I now have the know how, I will be releasing some of my other custom plugins fairly soon.

Was it good/ useful/ a load of old rubbish? Let me know on Mastodon, or BlueSky (or Twitter X if you must).

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