WordPress – How to create a “Must-Use” plugin

A “Must-Use” plugin is like an ordinary WordPress plugin – it can contain code that shapes what WordPress does  –  but it runs earlier in the WordPress loop and cannot be deactivated.

Being ran earlier in the loop is important when you need to ensure your code runs before another plugin.

To create a “Must-Use” plugin you will need access to the files and folders on your server – this may be through your web host’s “cPanel” account or FTP.

  1. Browse to the wp-content directory
  2. Create a new directory called mu-plugins – so you have /wp-content/mu-plugins
  3. Browse to the mu-plugins directory
  4. Create a new text file and give it an appropriate name followed by .php – for example itsg_mu_plugin.php
  5. This leaves you with /wp-content/mu-plugins/itsg_mu_plugin.php
  6. Edit the file and add the following to the top of the file (you can change the details to suit)
  7. <?php
    /*
    Plugin Name: itsupportguides.com must use plugins
    Description: code that is used always
    Version: 1.0.0
    Author: IT Support Guides
    Author URI: itsupportguides.com
    */
  8. Save the changes – you now have a “Must Use” plugin!
  9. Code that you add to this plugin will be ran early in the WordPress loop – critically – before any other plugin is ran.

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