Moving On From The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate

Over the last few weeks, I’ve talked about some of the changes that I’ve been looking to make over the coming weeks primarily so that I can re-focus my efforts. Specifically, I talked about this in this post and in this post.

One of the first changes that I needed to make was that of the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate.

About The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate

About four years ago when I first started to get into more professional WordPress development, I found myself using a lot of the same code to start a plugin whenever I was doing work for a client.

The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate on GitHub
The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate on GitHub

 

In order to alleviate the rote nature of the task, I created a small boilerplate that I was using for my projects. I added it on GitHub and it slowly began to gain a little bit of traction with other contributors. It was through this that I learned not only some ways of how to improve my WordPress development skills, but also some better techniques as it relates to object-oriented programming, and maintaining open source projects, in general.

Over time, I continued to develop the Boilerplate and to use it in other projects and I began to accept more and more pull requests and code reviews from others who were gracious enough to offer their input and their help as the project continued to grow.

Late last year, I released the third version of the Boilerplate which was a major rewrite of the project.

The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate Homepage
The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate Homepage

The updates included a greater separation of concerns, an attempt at a more modular design, and an implementation of stronger object-oriented concepts.

I also purchased a domain and built a homepage – with the artistic help of those like BungaWeb and Mickey Kay – for the project in order to make it a little more accessible for those who were less GitHub-savvy, and another developer – Enrique Chavez – even put together a really nice generator for the project that also maintained the same attitude, so to speak, of the Boilerplate itself.

At the time of this post, the project is watched by 261 people, maintains 2,730 stars, and has had 688 forks. I’m very proud of the Boilerplate, thankful for the people who have contributed to it thus far, and am happy that others have found it useful in both building their plugins and in using it as a way to learn more about WordPress development.

When it comes to maintaining an open source project, four years isn’t a long time, though I’ve had a great experience and am glad to have been able to work on this particular project. That said, this is one of the projects from which I was looking to pass on to someone else with capable hands and, as of yesterday, was able to do exactly that.

The Future of the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate

For those who are members of Post Status, you’re already aware of a lot of the following information (and if you’re not, consider signing up as a member!),

WordPress Plugin Boilerplate on Post Status

When looking to transfer ownership of the project to someone else, there were two particular things that I wanted to make sure I had done:

  1. I did not want this to be any type of acquisition, cash transaction, buy out, or whatever other term people like to apply to this kind of stuff. The project had been free for everyone so I wanted to make sure that I was able to transfer it to the next developer in the same manner.
  2. I wanted to find someone who was more than capable of taking it where I wanted it go, but wasn’t able to find the time to do so. Devin Vinson of Range had continually been offering his help throughout the lifetime of the project and seemed to be the person best suited to take the reigns.

So as of yesterday, Devin Vinson is now the official maintainer of the project and you can find it in his repositories on GitHub. The transfer was done with the ultimate goal of making it as smooth as possible not only for us, but for everyone who follows and uses the project as well. The site is still up and the repository redirects from my account to his (thanks to GitHub for making that painless :).

There are still some addition things coming regarding the Boilerplate that are geared towards helping others (though I’ll announce those whenever the resources have become available), and Devin is already aware of the roadmap that I had planned for what I wanted to do regarding documentation, providing example code, and so on and he’s prepared to take it from here.

Personal Thoughts On The Project

Initially, I had planned to write about some personal thoughts as it relates to moving on from maintaining a project like this, but I think that content is best suited for a follow-up post.

For now, I couldn’t be happier with the state of the project, the person who’s now leading it, and where it will head from here. Thanks to everyone who has to contributed to it over the years (and who will continue to do so over the life of the project).

10 Replies to “Moving On From The WordPress Plugin Boilerplate”

  1. Thanks for all you’ve done for WP developers with the Boilerplate. I use it as part of my curriculum with a young’en I mentor. It makes diving into plugin development that much easier for someone new to the WP world. 

    I’m happy you’re doing everything you can to keep it alive and healthy. 

    Thanks, Devin for stepping up!

  2. Tom — I just downloaded this last week, in preparation for developing a fairly complex (to me) client-specific targeted ad management plugin. I’ve looked over the code and just wanted to thank you for your awesome effort on this! It should save me a lot of time and effort.

    Very sorry to see you go but glad you found a step-dad for the Boilerplate.

    Best of luck to you!

  3. Tom, thank you so much for all the work you’ve put into the boilerplate and for sharing it. I’ve learned so much from studying the code.

    And thank you Devin for your willingness to take the reigns now.

  4. The boiler plate and I were very good friends for the most part of last year; that’s till my plugin grew quite huge and had to step away. But thanks a lot-you and all the contributors saved me several hours. I’m sure Devin will do a good job; thanks for gracefully passing on the mantle cough cough hint hint to other devs

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