So, you’ve finished writing the code of your latest theme and now you’re ready to kick back and watch the sales fly through the roof? Not so fast. Once you’re done writing the code, there’s still one thing left for you to do – writing WordPress documentation. No matter how appealing the design of your theme is or how innovative the features are, if you’re the only one that understands the code, it won’t do you any good. Poorly documented themes will not only negatively affect the sales, but your reputation as well.
Good Developers Start Writing WordPress Documentation Before They Finish Coding
The bare minimum any developer can do when it comes to writing WordPress documentation is commenting the code while writing it. Imagine developing a WordPress theme and two years later deciding to update it, or implement new features. Code comments are likely to be the difference between you spending hours hunting down the specific code snippet and fixing the bug in a matter of minutes.
It’s not only you that can benefit from well-written comments. If you know other developers will be working on your code, either improving it for you, or using it to build their own theme, commenting the code should be one of your top priorities. Make sure you use terms other people will understand, and don’t use abbreviations only you use.
Include A readme File
The ultimate purpose of writing WordPress documentation is making it as easy as possible for your buyers to use and customize your theme. This means you’ll want to make sure you include a readme file, explaining all the features and including details instructions on how to set up and use them. To avoid getting buried under an avalanche of emails from your buyers, consider including a list of frequently asked questions and solutions for the common issues, so your buyers can troubleshoot on their own. This way you’ll be able to focus on what truly matters most to you – coding.
Taking It A Step Further
Another option for writing WordPress documentation, especially as your themes gain more significant user base and your popularity starts to grow, is setting up a website with all the documentation either freely accessible or available only to members. Not only will this be a great troubleshooting tool, but a marketing tool that can boost your online presence. You can also consider setting up some sort of a wiki for your themes, allowing your users to contribute with their own tips and tricks.