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A WordPress Plugin To Trigger Netlify Builds

January 2, 2022

WordPress plus Netlify logos

This site is built as a headless site, using WordPress as a backend for content, and Next.js hosted on Netlify for the front end. As most pages of this site use static props for page content, sometimes triggering a new Next.js build on Netlify is required.

While this could be accomplished by visiting the Netlify dashboard, I wanted a way to trigger a build from my WordPress admin area. So I built a small plugin for this.

It is worth noting that others have built tools for this. I just wanted to take my own approach.

Inside of the Netlify dashboard, you are able to quickly create an endpoint that you can POST to and trigger a build. My plugin adds a sub menu page under the “Dashboard” page and has a button to “Trigger Build”. Instead of storing the POST endpoint in an option in the dashboard, my plugin requires that a constant is added to the wp-config.php file.

I kept the code simple and straightforward. Since this is such a small, utilitarian plugin, I did not use object-oriented PHP. It also uses procedural jQuery logic to handle AJAX requests and the related DOM manipulation.

Other Details:

  1. Uses aria live regions to announce to screen readers the status of the AJAX request
  2. Includes an optional field to add a “Trigger title” for describing the trigger in the Netlify dashboard
  3. Uses techniques to make translating the page’s text more logical (placeholders, context, etc.)

View the plugin on GitHub

Future Development

I would like to add some hooks and filters to make this plugin more extensible. I would also like the ability to automatically trigger a build when a particular action occurs (updating a post or option, for example). Finding a balance between features and simplicity will be key.