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Where to quality test plugins

Discussion in 'WordPress Theme & Plugin Development' started by Steven Gardner, Mar 23, 2016.

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  1. Hi,

    I develop themes and offer a free version for customers to trial. If they like the theme, they have an option to buy a premium version. The problem is the premium version is a new theme so all customization is lost and has to be re-done on install.

    I thought it would be great to start building plugins that extend the capabilities of the free themes and sell them instead of full themes. The problem I have is getting these plugins security checked and code checked. I've built my fair share of themes but only a couple of tiny plugins so I cant be sure I would be building my plugins in the best way.

    Does anyone use a testing service or "Plugin Checker" like the "Theme Checker" plugin that can be used?
    Or, how do you test your plugins for quality control?

  2. Hi Steven.

    When you refer to customisation, are you referring to theme options?

    Doesn't the free and premium version of the theme save options in the same database table?

    If that is not possible, would a settings export and import system be useful for those that upgrade?

  3. Hi Kevin,

    Yeah I'm talking about theme options.
    We use the customizer api 100% for theme options. The problem is the premium and free theme options save as a single input to different rows in the options table
    free theme: theme_mods_free_theme
    premium: theme_mods_premium_theme

    Its not a massive problem for customers as the vast majority understand these are two seperate themes but it would be nice if at any stage during the free version a customer can upgrade to the pro version with little hassle.

    My real issue is having my plugin work tested before going on sale. I'm confident enough with my theme building and process for testing those but plugins are a different story.

    When you build a plugin:
    Who reviews the plugin for code quality and security flaws?
    Do you have testers before it goes on the market?
  4. Is there a need for options to be saved to different rows?

    Would it not be possible to save options for free and premium theme users to the same row? If so, you could change the row to something theme_mods_theme and then then run a query when users upgrade to the next version of the free or premium theme.

    From a security and code quality point of view, your code would have to be reviewed by a good coder, however I am sure that some members of Rise Forums could quickly check your plugin and give feedback on it and highlight any usability issues or errors.
  5. I have to agree with Kevin, it seems you are unnecessarily making things difficult for your paying customers and increasing support overhead. As a customer I expect the free to pro process to be smooth and automated, any manual work I have to do will reduce my likelihood of recommending the pro version. If for some reason you do need these different rows in the database then do a simple automated import when the pro theme is installed to make your customers happy.

    As for your security and code quality of plugins, I am in a similar boat and will be asking around here and hiring a senior WP full stack developer for good measure.
  6. I'm unfortunately one of those people who saves options in individual rows rather than in an array (yeah I need to change it!).

    I have somebody who looks over my plugins from a quality standpoint. I'm fairly confident in my skills that I know what to avoid. I also have checks in place to highlight certain things (such as non escaped attributes etc). But I have somebody who looks over things for me (and vice versa). Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is a good thing!
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