If you are a developer who has just created a plugin then writing documentation is what you need to engage the users. This is a unique guide that helps people to understand your WordPress product essentials, way of usage, and the plugin development stages. No matter how wonderfully you design your plugin if you are the only person who understands how it works. In this way, the plugin documentation plays a crucial role in the user’s decision to activate or purchase your digital product. So, this article will tell you how to write plugin documentation for WordPress from scratch.
Why Plugin Documentation for WordPress is Important?
First things first, documentation is the best solution to demonstrate how your digital product works. Users will surely appreciate a guideline that aims to pass them through a presented solution. Besides, it showcases the whole development process to your users in an understandable language. That is why, before purchasing or installing a WordPress plugin people prefer to read well-prepared and comprehensive documentation.
By creating good docs for your WordPress product you make sure that clients get regular assistance to use the plugin. So, this shows your pleasant attitude and seriousness toward your users.
As you understood, documentation is your hidden work behind a great product you introduce on WordPress. Thus, this unique guide can help you to stand out from your competitors with your well-documented plugin full of developer APIs, graphic screenshots, deep technical tutorials, and examples of used cases.
In order to understand what type of information you should include in your product docs it is essential to understand what are the interests of your target audience. Some of them probably prefer to learn by watching visual images or screenshots, diagrams, charts, or symbols. Some others like to learn by watching or listening to tutorials. The ideal solution for them will be presenting video tutorials deeply describing your product or uploading some helpful podcasts.
Other users can highly appreciate the mixture of good visuals and understandable text. For them, the best documentation should include ordered and unordered lists, highlighted headings, links, etc.
Based on these user types there are many kinds of WordPress plugin documentation.
What Are The Different Types of WordPress Plugin Documentation?
In order to decide which type of documentation you choose you need to analyze your product first. Then you have to try to understand who are your targeted audience. The majority of WordPress products are designed mainly for WP users rather than for developers. So, keeping this in your mind you can create a reference, glossary, and step-by-step tutorials. As well as you are able to present guides, FAQs, screencasts, troubleshooting guides, requirements and tips, infographics, etc. The types of documentation vary. So, you must find a suitable one to reach your product users more closely.
How to Write Plugin Documentation for WordPress?
Writing documentation for your WordPress product is a bit tricky. At first, your product should be developed at all 100% before writing a doc for it. You should not start creating this important guide if you are still adding some new features to it or doing some changes in the core code.
Besides, you must build your documentation structure before starting to write it. Whether it should include tutorials, a step-by-step usage guide, or use case examples, you have to decide beforehand. Moreover, cooperating with a developer when writing product documentation is a must. You as a doc writer must learn the product features first by asking for some details from the developer and then start writing it.
In some cases, documentation plays a great role in digital product marketing. So, you should define the points of the articles thoroughly to understand whether it is just a guide to assist WP users or it is a unique Marketing tool.
WP Plugin Documentation Writing Tips
Although the information included in the documentation is crucial, there are simple tips you need to take into account to make it simple and understandable for a custom user who does not have coding skills. Thus, keeping the doc text simple and clear is your number one requirement.
In addition, to make the technical text-reading process more convenient for your users you can refer to them in the second person. Also, thinking about the tone and logical order while writing the tech text is important. People must feel as if you are talking to them by sitting in front of them right now. Moreover, you can provide the best user experience by formatting the text and adding some bolded expressions and keywords, dividing the content into separate headings and paragraphs, etc.
Having a good eye for detail is also recommended. So, in order to avoid textual errors it is highly required to proofread documentation before publishing it.
Research and topic preparation must be crucial to start writing your doc. Write down your product features, decide on an installation guide, and have all the resources and references in hand, define the main type of guide you want to present to your customers.
In the next paragraph, you will notice the steps to complete when writing plugin documentation for WordPress.
Step 1 – Introduction
First, you need to put yourself in your users’ place. What you will understand more simply, what questions you will ask when reading the document.
So, the introductory part is one of the first things to write down in your guide. This tells people what your product’s aim is and why people need it. Also, it will be a great plus to put a table of content at the very beginning of your documentation so that the users understand what they are going to read afterward.
At this point, you can also mention the WordPress or device requirements list. This will help people understand whether the tools with which they are going to use the product are up to date or not.
Then you need to give users an explanation of what they will receive when using your plugin. And finally, mention all the resources people have to obtain to complete the desired action with your product.
Step 2 – Main Content
This is the most essential part of your documentation. It covers the tips to use your plugin. So, you should divide the main body of your doc based on your product features into separate parts carrying different headings.
Then comes the tutorial part which should be presented logically. So, starting from the download plugin tutorial to its used cases and feature analysis – each section must be put in its own place.
You can also engage your readers with such paragraphs as “Useful tips“, “References“, “Definitions“, etc.
In order to be more understandable for all types of users including the visuals, too, you can present advanced screencasts, process screenshots, and result page photos. Also, it will be much more beneficial to mix a variety of methods. These include photos, videos, and written content in one section to reach a wider audience.
Step 3 – Conclusion Part
As you wrote the above-mentioned two sections it is time to move to the conclusion part. Here you should remember one important aspect. If you covered a lot of topics in single long-form WordPress documentation then reminding the readers about the mentioned info is what you should include in the conclusion. Also, you can provide the readers with important URLs and references. Mentioning a support forum, as well as demo and tutorial links is also recommended. Overall, the conclusion part can also showcase all the results that users can achieve by installing your WordPress plugin.
Also, it is important to update your product documentation once there are newly added features or other changes.
Who Can Help You to Write Plugin Documentation for WordPress?
If you are a plugin producer who is always busy with product updates or developing new features or simply does not know how to write engaging massive WordPress documentation then reading this part is mandatory.
In case you do not know how to start writing effective documentation for WordPress then top-notch technical writers from WPGlob can assist you in this important process. Having reviewed and documented a huge quantity of WordPress products including various plugins and themes, WPGlob professionals can collect the best list of your product features and make well-organized and attractive documentation.
Find out WPGlob Documentation Writing Services now.
To Wrap Things Up…
Developing a good WordPress plugin is just a beginning of a long path to gaining new customers and selling your product. Along with the marketing campaigns, you apply for your newly developed product it is important to have documentation which is a unique instruction guide. It is meant to inform the users about the development journey, main features, and used cases of the plugin.
You can write your product documentation by following the above-mentioned points or cooperate with a Content Marketing Agency. In this case, WPGlob provides high-quality content writing services. The technical content specialists contribute to making detailed, thoroughly prepared, and researched guides for your WordPress plugin.