Creating a basic plugin

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This tutorial will walk you through the creation of a basic plugin that opens a javascript alert box with the text "Hello World" in it on every page of your website (annoying, I know, but at least you'll know it's working).

Download the example plugin

You'll need...

  1. A website with Soholaunch (Pro or Ultra) installed on it.
  2. Your favorite code editor (for php)
  3. Comfort editing basic php code
  4. Some comfort with Soholaunch's file structure will help, but is not essential.
  5. FTP access to your website

Create a folder for your plugin

Create a folder on your computer called hello-world. All of your plugin's files will go in this folder.

Find the hook you want to attach your custom file to

Open Your FTP client and log-in to your test site. For this example, we're going to add code to your soho-created website's html. The file below builds the website's html...


Open that file, and scroll all the way to the bottom. You'll see this line...

# Add stuff to final html

That's what a hook looks like in the Soholaunch source code. This is where your file will be included. The text inside the hook() function call (pgm-realtime_builder.php:add-to-final-html) is the hook id that you need for your plugin's install_manifest.php file.

Create your include file

In your hello-world folder, create a file called hello-world.php (note: actual filename doesn't matter). This file will contain add a javascript alert to the $template_footer variable's contents. The $template_footer variable contains all of the website html from the page content downward (so all content that gets swapped-in for #content#, as well as the template html that follows #content# in the template file).

Contents of hello-world.php...

$template_footer .= '<script>alert("Hello, World.");</script>';

Create an install_manifest.php for your plugin

The install_manifest.php is the configuration file for your plugin. Every Soholaunch plugin has an install_manifest.php. This file is read by Soholaunch when the user installs the plugin. It tells Soholaunch how to display your plugin (title, author, etc), and where to hook its files into.

There are two types of content in any given install_manifest.php:

  1. Information - plugin title, author, etc
  2. Instructions - "hook me in here, here, and here"

Here's what our install_manifest.php is going to look like...

# This should match your plugin's folder name
$plugin_folder 		= "hello-world";

# These are just for display to the user, you can define them however you see fit (html allowed)
$plugin_title 		= "Hello World";
$plugin_version 	= "2.0";
$plugin_author 		= ", Inc.";
$plugin_homepage 	= "";
$plugin_description 	= "Adds drag and drop 'Hello World' item to the Page Editor";

# This creates a link on the admin panel to the script specified (helloworld_settings.php)
$plugin_options_link = "helloworld_settings.php";

# This creates a button & description on the admin panel to the script specified (helloworld_settings.php)
$data['enabled_button_link'] = "helloworld_settings.php";
$data['button_caption_text'] = "Hello World Settings";
hook_special("main_menu_button", $data);

/* Include my hello-world.php file at *this* location (specified by hook id found in the Soholaunch source code) */
hook_attach("hello-world.php", "pgm-realtime_builder.php:add-to-final-html");

Optional: Plugin icon

If you'd like your plugin to have it's own icon displayed next to it's name in the Plugin Manager (instead of the default puzzle piece graphic), include the image file in your plugin folder, and add a line like this to your install_manifest.php...

$plugin_icon = "my_plugin_icon.gif"

Optional: Plugin Options Link

This adds a link to your plugin's settings page. The .php file should be inside your plugin directory. $plugin_options_link="my_plugins_settings.php";

Recap: This is what your plugin folder should look like

At this point your plugin is essentially done.

Your plugin folder should look like this now...


Using winzip, winrar, or other similar archive app, zip-up your hello-world folder (the folder itself, not just the contents). In Windows, you'd right-click on the hello-world folder and click "Add to archive..."

For purposes of example, name your .zip file **

You're ready

Your plugin is finished and ready to rock. Log-in to /sohoadmin and upload/install your via the Plugin Manager.

Then view your website, and you should see the "Hello, World" javascript alert.

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