How to auto-install install plugins in wordpress themes

How to auto-install install plugins in wordpress themes

If you are a wordpress developer, and you use plugins in your developed themes, then you don’t want to give headaches to your buyers by having them to manually install plugins and activate them.

This process can take up time, and it’s very annoying especially for rookie wordpress users.

Luckily now there is an automated solution that gives you the possibility to auto-install plugins once your theme is activated.

But how can I do it?

Pretty simple. Download  TGM Plugin Activation Class.

Once you’ve downloaded the file and extracted, copy the class-tgm-plugin-activation.php anywhere inside your theme folder. I will use the folder inc in this tutorial, but you can use any folder you desire, you can even copy this in the root folder of your theme. It’s your choice!

After you copied the above file, you need to hook it up to your theme functions.php file. To do so open your functions.php file and add the following line anywhere inside your functions.php file (but make sure it’s outside a function):

[php]require_once (‘inc/class-tgm-plugin-activation.php’);[/php]

(Remember inc it’s the folder used in this tutorial – you can use any folder name)

Now, inside the same functions.php file,  you’ll need to create a function, which you will hook to tgmpa_register action. Inside the function you will need to register the required plugins, and some basic configurations.

Don’t be scared, I will list here the sample code, and all you have to do is replace the plugins with the one you use. So here we go:

[php]

add_action( ‘tgmpa_register’, ‘register_required_plugins’ );

function register_required_plugins() {
/**
* Register the required plugins for this theme.
*
* In this example, we register two plugins – one included with the TGMPA library
* and one from the .org repo.
*
* The variable passed to tgmpa_register_plugins() should be an array of plugin
* arrays.
*
* This function is hooked into tgmpa_init, which is fired within the
* TGM_Plugin_Activation class constructor.
*/
/**
* Array of plugin arrays. Required keys are name and slug.
* If the source is NOT from the .org repo, then source is also required.
*/
$plugins = array(

// This is an example of how to include a plugin pre-packaged with a theme.
array(
‘name’ => ‘TGM Example Plugin’, // The plugin name.
‘slug’ => ‘tgm-example-plugin’, // The plugin slug (typically the folder name).
‘source’ => get_stylesheet_directory() . ‘/lib/plugins/tgm-example-plugin.zip’, // The plugin source.
‘required’ => true, // If false, the plugin is only ‘recommended’ instead of required.
‘version’ => ”, // E.g. 1.0.0. If set, the active plugin must be this version or higher.
‘force_activation’ => false, // If true, plugin is activated upon theme activation and cannot be deactivated until theme switch.
‘force_deactivation’ => false, // If true, plugin is deactivated upon theme switch, useful for theme-specific plugins.
‘external_url’ => ”, // If set, overrides default API URL and points to an external URL.
),

// This is an example of how to include a plugin from a private repo in your theme.
array(
‘name’ => ‘TGM New Media Plugin’, // The plugin name.
‘slug’ => ‘tgm-new-media-plugin’, // The plugin slug (typically the folder name).
‘source’ => ‘https://s3.amazonaws.com/tgm/tgm-new-media-plugin.zip’, // The plugin source.
‘required’ => true, // If false, the plugin is only ‘recommended’ instead of required.
‘external_url’ => ‘https://github.com/thomasgriffin/New-Media-Image-Uploader’, // If set, overrides default API URL and points to an external URL.
),

// This is an example of how to include a plugin from the WordPress Plugin Repository.
array(
‘name’ => ‘BuddyPress’,
‘slug’ => ‘buddypress’,
‘required’ => false,
),

);

/**
* Array of configuration settings. Amend each line as needed.
* If you want the default strings to be available under your own theme domain,
* leave the strings uncommented.
* Some of the strings are added into a sprintf, so see the comments at the
* end of each line for what each argument will be.
*/
$config = array(
‘default_path’ => ”, // Default absolute path to pre-packaged plugins.
‘menu’ => ‘tgmpa-install-plugins’, // Menu slug.
‘has_notices’ => true, // Show admin notices or not.
‘dismissable’ => true, // If false, a user cannot dismiss the nag message.
‘dismiss_msg’ => ”, // If ‘dismissable’ is false, this message will be output at top of nag.
‘is_automatic’ => false, // Automatically activate plugins after installation or not.
‘message’ => ”, // Message to output right before the plugins table.
‘strings’ => array(
‘page_title’ => __( ‘Install Required Plugins’, ‘tgmpa’ ),
‘menu_title’ => __( ‘Install Plugins’, ‘tgmpa’ ),
‘installing’ => __( ‘Installing Plugin: %s’, ‘tgmpa’ ), // %s = plugin name.
‘oops’ => __( ‘Something went wrong with the plugin API.’, ‘tgmpa’ ),
‘notice_can_install_required’ => _n_noop( ‘This theme requires the following plugin: %1$s.’, ‘This theme requires the following plugins: %1$s.’ ), // %1$s = plugin name(s).
‘notice_can_install_recommended’ => _n_noop( ‘This theme recommends the following plugin: %1$s.’, ‘This theme recommends the following plugins: %1$s.’ ), // %1$s = plugin name(s).
‘notice_cannot_install’ => _n_noop( ‘Sorry, but you do not have the correct permissions to install the %s plugin. Contact the administrator of this site for help on getting the plugin installed.’, ‘Sorry, but you do not have the correct permissions to install the %s plugins. Contact the administrator of this site for help on getting the plugins installed.’ ), // %1$s = plugin name(s).
‘notice_can_activate_required’ => _n_noop( ‘The following required plugin is currently inactive: %1$s.’, ‘The following required plugins are currently inactive: %1$s.’ ), // %1$s = plugin name(s).
‘notice_can_activate_recommended’ => _n_noop( ‘The following recommended plugin is currently inactive: %1$s.’, ‘The following recommended plugins are currently inactive: %1$s.’ ), // %1$s = plugin name(s).
‘notice_cannot_activate’ => _n_noop( ‘Sorry, but you do not have the correct permissions to activate the %s plugin. Contact the administrator of this site for help on getting the plugin activated.’, ‘Sorry, but you do not have the correct permissions to activate the %s plugins. Contact the administrator of this site for help on getting the plugins activated.’ ), // %1$s = plugin name(s).
‘notice_ask_to_update’ => _n_noop( ‘The following plugin needs to be updated to its latest version to ensure maximum compatibility with this theme: %1$s.’, ‘The following plugins need to be updated to their latest version to ensure maximum compatibility with this theme: %1$s.’ ), // %1$s = plugin name(s).
‘notice_cannot_update’ => _n_noop( ‘Sorry, but you do not have the correct permissions to update the %s plugin. Contact the administrator of this site for help on getting the plugin updated.’, ‘Sorry, but you do not have the correct permissions to update the %s plugins. Contact the administrator of this site for help on getting the plugins updated.’ ), // %1$s = plugin name(s).
‘install_link’ => _n_noop( ‘Begin installing plugin’, ‘Begin installing plugins’ ),
‘activate_link’ => _n_noop( ‘Begin activating plugin’, ‘Begin activating plugins’ ),
‘return’ => __( ‘Return to Required Plugins Installer’, ‘tgmpa’ ),
‘plugin_activated’ => __( ‘Plugin activated successfully.’, ‘tgmpa’ ),
‘complete’ => __( ‘All plugins installed and activated successfully. %s’, ‘tgmpa’ ), // %s = dashboard link.
‘nag_type’ => ‘updated’ // Determines admin notice type – can only be ‘updated’, ‘update-nag’ or ‘error’.
)
);

tgmpa( $plugins, $config );

}
[/php]

As you can see, the function register_required_plugins is hooked to the tgmpa_register hook.

Inside the function register_required_plugins, you can see an array of plugins. There you will need to add your own plugins.

1.You can add plugins that come pre-packaged with your theme (like premium plugins such as Revolution Slider, Visual Composer etc) – as seen in first example.

2.You can add plugins from a private repo in your theme – as seen in second example

3.And you can also add plugins from the WordPress Plugin Repository – as seen in third example

You don’t need to modify nothing in the $config array, only if you want to. There are just messages that users receive about the required plugins.

As you see in the code above, each parameter of plugin is commented and explained in the code, so I will not take any more of your time by telling you what each does.

After adding all the plugins that your theme require, when users activate your theme, they will receive a notice just like in the image bellow (please note that this is a just a screenshot so you can make an idea, plugin names may vary depending on which one you use ) asking them to install all the required plugins. After users click Install the plugins are automatically installed.

install-required-plugins

Auto Install WordPress Plugin To Developed Themes

That’s all. Good luck developing your wordpress themes!

1 Comment

  1. Lycia - January 6, 2017

    Hi ! Great tutorial ! I have a question : can I use that to make a child theme to save time when I re-use it ? Thanks

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