This is a spin of: how to create child WordPress plugin

I am using a plugin that I use and like a lot, but there is a feature that I need and it seems like the author is busy with life. I am a PHP developer so I could hard code my feature to his plugin, but this way on the next update I will not be able to update without loosing my changes. I have seen that there are some plugins out there that are addons/child to other plugins and they will not work unless you have the main/mother plugin installed.

So my question is what is best to do in this situation? What steps I should take to make sure that after updating the main plugin my child plugin will still work?

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    Great question! This is a common plugin paradigm that is seldom explained. As well, the question you reference does not make these philosophically practical considerations clear. Thanks for this! Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


Personally I'd either write my own plugin with a if plugin x exists clause or just edit it and send the code off to the developer saying "I have added a feature to your plugin, hope you like it" kinda deal.

Realistically though, in my own site I just edit the code and be done with it cause I know that plugin will be there cause I put it there and won't remove it. If he is too busy to respond to feature requests he is probably too busy to update his plugin so that shouldn't be a problem, just be sure to remember that next time he does update though.

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    This is not a practical solution, since the asker wanted to know how to avoid re-coding the wheel, and also wanted to avoid modifying the plugin. ...It's ok to not know the answer--at least you tried? It's been a few years since you answered...you may want to update your answer with more useful info, perhaps tips based on your monkey patching experience since then? Commented Oct 2, 2015 at 15:31

Write your own plugin. I am pretty new to wordpress plugin development and so I have faced the same issue. Luckily I got some good advice from someone who has been working in wordpress for 10 years. Creating your own plugin allows you to keep your own code separate. That will help you avoid reinventing the wheel as well as allow you to update the plugin and turn off your modifications for debugging purposes. If you end up developing something useful then you can forward that plugin to the developer and help them forward the progress of the plugin you found useful in the first place. This article has a pretty detailed breakdown of your options regarding this...


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