Day 17: WordPress Coding Standards and Plugin Security

Module: Coding Standards and Best Practices, Internationalization and Localization, Basic WordPress Plugin Development
Topics: Peer Code Review, Security, WordPress Documentation Schema, Introduction to Plugin Development

Peer Code Review

Peer code review is important in WordPress plugin or theme development for several reasons:

1. Code Quality Assurance:

  • Ensure adherence to coding standards and best practices for consistent code quality.

2. Bug Detection and Prevention:

  • Identify and fix bugs, security vulnerabilities, and issues early in the development process.

3. Knowledge Sharing:

  • Foster a culture of learning by sharing knowledge and expertise among team members.

4. Consistency and Style Guidelines:

  • Maintain a uniform coding style for improved readability and collaboration.

5. Collaboration and Team Building:

  • Encourage collaboration, helping team members understand and work with each other’s code.

6. Code Optimization:

  • Suggest and implement improvements for better performance and efficiency.

7. Validation of Requirements:

  • Ensure that the code aligns with project requirements and specifications.

8. Early Detection of Design Issues:

  • Identify potential design or architectural issues early in the development process.

9. Continuous Improvement:

  • Use feedback from reviews to continuously improve coding skills and development processes.

In WordPress development, where community-driven collaboration is common, peer code review is especially valuable. It helps maintain the integrity and reliability of plugins and themes, contributing to a positive user experience and ensuring the long-term success of the WordPress ecosystem.


Security is paramount in WordPress theme and plugin development to safeguard websites from potential threats and vulnerabilities. Implementing robust security measures involves a multifaceted approach.

Security Measures in WordPress Theme and Plugin Development:

  1. Security Sanitization:
  • Data Sanitization:
    • Use functions like sanitize_text_field(), sanitize_email(), sanitize_url(), etc., to sanitize user inputs before saving them to the database. This prevents malicious data from being stored.
  • Database Queries:
    • Utilize $wpdb->prepare() for preparing and sanitizing SQL queries to prevent SQL injection attacks.
  1. Input Validation:
  • Form Validation:
    • Validate user inputs using functions like is_email(), is_numeric(), or custom validation functions. Ensure that inputs adhere to expected formats.
  • File Uploads:
    • Validate file uploads with functions like wp_check_filetype() and set proper file type and size restrictions.
  1. Escaping HTML Tags:
  • Escaping Output:
    • Use appropriate escaping functions like esc_html(), esc_attr(), esc_url(), etc., when outputting dynamic content in HTML, attributes, or URLs.
  • JavaScript Escaping:
    • Employ wp_json_encode() or json_encode() when passing data from PHP to JavaScript to prevent XSS vulnerabilities.
  • Outputting HTML in PHP:
    • If you need to output HTML stored in variables, use wp_kses() or wp_kses_post() to allow only specified HTML tags.
  1. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Prevention:
  • Regularly audit and sanitize user inputs, especially in places like comment forms, contact forms, and any other areas where user-generated content is displayed.
  1. Nonces for Security:
  • Use WordPress Nonces (wp_nonce_field() and check_admin_referer()) to validate requests and ensure they come from authorized sources.

Hooks and Actions

Hooks and Actions in WordPress Development:

In WordPress theme and plugin development, understanding hooks and actions is essential for creating flexible and customizable solutions.


  • Hooks are anchor points in the WordPress code where developers can attach their custom code.
  • They provide the ability to modify or extend the default behavior of themes or plugins.
  • Examples include action hooks and filter hooks, each serving different purposes.


  • Actions, a type of hook, represent specific events or moments in the WordPress execution lifecycle.
  • Developers can register functions to be executed at predefined action points.
  • Common actions include post-saving events, page loading, or user authentication.

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