A skeleton WordPress plugin


This is a skeleton WordPress plugin that can scaffold a WordPress plugin. This template includes a base plugin file, autoloaded PHP files, unit tests powered by Mantle, front-end assets compiled via Webpack, and Continuous Integration via GitHub Actions. Actions are configured to test the plugin and also build it for releases. A built tag workflow will create *-built branches as well as a built release workflow that will build and tag/release the plugin automatically. The built branches and releases will include any compiled front-end assets (if using them).

The plugin supports front-end assets which can be enqueued inside src/assets.php or from within an entry points index.php file. For plugins that don't require front-end assets, the configuration script below will prompt you to delete the front-end files if you don't wish to use them.

Getting Started

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Press the "Use template" button at the top of this repo to create a new repo with the contents of this skeleton.
  2. Run make (or php ./configure.php) to run a script that will replace all placeholders throughout all the files.
  3. Have fun creating your plugin! 🎊

Create WordPress Plugin

Contributors: author_username

Tags: vendor_name, create-wordpress-plugin

Stable tag: 0.0.0

Requires at least: 5.9

Tested up to: 6.1

Requires PHP: 8.1

License: GPL v2 or later

Coding Standards Testing Suite

A skeleton WordPress plugin.


You can install the package via composer:

composer require alleyinteractive/create-wordpress-plugin


Activate the plugin in WordPress and use it like so:

$plugin = Create_WordPress_Plugin\Skeleton\Example_Plugin();


Run npm run test to run Jest tests against JavaScript files. Run npm run test:watch to keep the test runner open and watching for changes.

Run npm run lint to run ESLint against all JavaScript files. Linting will also happen when running development or production builds.

Run composer test to run tests against PHPUnit and the PHP code in the plugin.

The entries directory and entry points

All directories created in the entries directory can serve as entry points and will be compiled with @wordpress/scripts into the build directory with an accompanied index.asset.php asset map.

Scaffolding an entry point

To generate a new entry point, run the following command:

npm run create-entry

To generate a new slotfill, run the following command:

npm run create-slotfill

The command will prompt the user through several options for creating an entry or slotfill. The entries are scaffolded with the @alleyinteractive/create-entry script. Run the help command to see all the options:

npx @alleyinteractive/create-entry --help

Visit the package README for more information.

Enqueuing Entry Points

You can also include an index.php file in the entry point directory for enqueueing or registering a script. This file will then be moved to the build directory and will be auto-loaded with the load_scripts() function in the functions.php file. Alternatively, if a script is to be enqueued elsewhere there are helper functions in the src/assets.php file for getting the assets.

Scaffold a dynamic block with create-block

Use the create-block command to create custom blocks with @alleyinteractive/create-block script and follow the prompts to generate all the block assets in the blocks/ directory. Block registration, script creation, etc will be scaffolded from the create-block script. Run npm run build to compile and build the custom block. Blocks are enqueued using the load_scripts() function in src/assets.php.

Updating WP Dependencies

Update the WordPress dependency packages used in the project to their latest version.

To update @wordpress dependencies to their latest version use the packages-update command:

npx wp-scripts packages-update

This script provides the following custom options:

  • --dist-tag – allows specifying a custom dist-tag when updating npm packages. Defaults to latest. This is especially useful when using @wordpress/dependency-extraction-webpack-plugin. It lets installing the npm dependencies at versions used by the given WordPress major version for local testing, etc. Example:
npx wp-scripts packages-update --dist-tag=wp-WPVERSION`

Where WPVERSION is the version of WordPress you are targeting. The version must include both the major and minor version (e.g., 6.1). For example:

npx wp-scripts packages-update --dist-tag=wp-6.1`

Releasing the Plugin

The plugin uses a built release workflow to compile and tag releases. Whenever a new version is detected in the root composer.json file or in the plugin's headers, the workflow will automatically build the plugin and tag it with a new version. The built tag will contain all the required front-end assets the plugin may require. This works well for publishing to or for submodule-ing.

When you are ready to release a new version of the plugin, you can run npm run release to start the process of setting up a new release.


Please see CHANGELOG for more information on what has changed recently.


This project is actively maintained by Alley Interactive. Like what you see? Come work with us.


The GNU General Public License (GPL) license. Please see License File for more information.