WPTavern: Hookr Plugin Rebrands as WP Inspect, Project to Shift to a Module-Based Architecture
A year and a half after the initial release of the controversially-named Hookr plugin, its creator, Christopher Sanford, has rebranded the plugin as WP Inspect. The plugin provides a WordPress hook/API reference for developers and displays the actions and filters that fired as the page loaded. At launch Sanford was fairly committed to the Hookr brand, despite criticism, due to an oversaturated market for WordPress developer plugins. After 3,500 downloads, Sanford decided to rebrand and put the plugin in the official directory.
“Based on the usage and positive feedback, I wanted to target a broader audience, which led to both the re-brand and submission to the WordPress Plugin repository,” Sanford said. “Leveraging the plugin repo, it will be much easier to coordinate/communicate updates, which is somewhat lacking today.”
The 1.0.0 release of WP Inspect includes mostly bug fixes and technical debt cleanup with two major enhancements:
- WP Inspect will only be active under specific roles, with Administrators being enabled by default. (Previously it was active for everyone.)
- Action detail now requires no additional clicks. (Before, if users wanted to inspect an action, they would have to click the action name.)
Sanford said WP Inspect will be migrating to a module-based architecture that will allow users to create their own tooling. He is also planning to release several commercial modules that will expand the debugging capabilities of the plugin. He said he doesn’t anticipate the type of demand or usage that would warrant a marketplace for third-party modules, but he’s open to the idea.
With the plugin now rebranded and released, Sandford is using his time to create the infrastructure to offer Hookr as a SaaS product for commercial theme and plugin developers.
“Depending on membership level, users can interface with HookrAPI to get additional details for debugging,” Sandford said. “Users may submit their current codebase for ‘comment coverage’ analysis, which is great for determining the quantity and quality of inline code documentation. Finally, users may submit their projects to HookrAPI for real time code parsing and documentation to be included with their commercial theme or plugin.
Sanford plans to launch a sister site to the online Hookr.io reference, under another “G-rated” name with a simplified interface, as well as an offline version of Hookr. These will lay the groundwork for the next item on the roadmap: native mobile applications with offline data.