SmashingMagazine has a great article that covers some tips on how WordPress plugin authors can create better readme.txt files. While the code within the plugin is important, the readme.txt file is what users are going to encounter first. It’s the means by which we discover plugins within the repository so it’s important that relevant information be written within the file or else you’ll end up with no one using the plugin. I’m happy to see that amongst their tutorial, they included how to add a changelog which is still something many plugin authors are failing to do. Speaking of changelogs, plugin authors should write them in such a way that the latest version appears at the top of the file and not at the bottom. Too much scrolling is a bad thing! ∞
By Jeffro on February 19, 2010
The readme file that is used by all plugin authors in order to be hosted on the plugin repository has been updated to include a new section called Upgrade Notice. This section gives plugin authors the opportunity to tell users why they should upgrade to the newest version. While a change-log provides the changes between versions, this extra addition provides the chance to go into more detail concerning those changes. One thing to keep in mind is that these messages should not be more than 300 characters.
Hat tip to Brad Williams.
By Jeffro on March 28, 2009
I saw this pass by on the WP Hackers Mailing list without much fanfare but I think it will help at least a few of you plugin developers out there. Sudar Muthu has created an online WordPress plugin readme file generator. The generator provides all of the necessary fields you need to fill out in order to have a properly put together readme file which is needed in order for the plugin to be accepted into the plugin repository.
Thanks to Sudar for creating and sharing this resource. Definitely one for the resources section of your bookmarks.
Know of any other Plugin readme generators? Let me know in the comments.