How to add a parameter to a Joomla 2.5 plugin

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In our last few tutorials, we have been creating our own Joomla 2.5 plugin. The plugin is a simple Hello World plugin that prints Hello World before each article. We’re going to make this plugin even better by allowing the user to specify custom text. If the user doesn’t want to display “Hello World”, they can display anything else they want, such as “Howdy Internet!

In this Joomla 2.5 plugin tutorial, we’re going to show you how to add a simple parameter to your plugin. Our parameter is going to be called “Alternative Text”, and will allow the user to type in another message besides Hello World.

Step 1: Add the new parameter to your XML file

New parameters in Joomla 2.5 plugins are contained within fields and fieldsets, which are added to the plugin’s xml file. We’ll show you the basic code for adding a new parameter below, and in another tutorial we’ll go into further details about how it works.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<extension version="2.5" type="plugin" group="content">
        <name>Hello World</name>
        <author>Brad Markle</author>
        <creationDate>June 18th, 2012</creationDate>
        <copyright>InMotion Hosting</copyright>
        <license>GNU General Public License</license>
        <authorEmail>[email protected]</authorEmail>
        <description>This is my very first plugin! Simple Hello World Plugin that prints "Hello World" at the beginning of every article.</description>
                <filename plugin="helloworld">helloworld.php</filename>
                <fields name="params">
                        <fieldset name="basic">
                                <field name="alt-text"  type="text" default="" label="Alternative Text" description="Besides Hello World, you can specify other text here to print to the screen instead." />

Step 2: Add a value to the parameter


Now that that we have updated our xml file with a new attribute, we will give this attribute a new value. To do this, go to your Joomla 2.5 plugin manager and save a new value. Refer to the screenshot to the right to see where we entered our Alternative Text Howdy Internet!

Step 3: Accessing the Plugin Parameter from PHP

Now that we’ve saved our new plugin parameter, we can use it in our code! Accessing a plugin parameter can be done using the following code:


The following is our updated php code in helloworld.php:


// no direct access
defined('_JEXEC') or die;

class plgContentHelloworld extends JPlugin
        public function onContentAfterTitle($context, &$article, &$params, $limitstart)
                // If the user has entered alternative text to use
                // besides "Hello World", then return that instead.
                        return $this->params->get('alt-text');
                        return "<p>Hello World!</p>";


As you can see in the screenshot below, as we saved alternative text, it now shows instead of the standard Hello World text.

0 thoughts on “How to add a parameter to a Joomla 2.5 plugin

  1. Hi,
    Is there any why to add dynamic parameters to plugin?

    For instance, we have one textbox and button.

    Write browser name in textbox click button, that name is being stored drop-down.

    and again we can add multiple browsers using this textbox and button.

    and finally on save button we can save all browsers name in plugin parameters.


    Is it possible? Please guide me on this, Thank you.

    1. Hello Ronak,

      That is unfortunately beyond the scope of this tutorial, but you may find guidance in following this forum post. The example they provide may be the answer you need.

      If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.

      Arnel C.

  2. Can you explane? Or give me a link

    what does every parameters of method means

    onContentAfterTitle($context, &$article, &$params, $limitstart)

    Do I correct understand usind umpresand for having ability to edit this things? not copy of them

  3. Where can I find all of functions what exist for rebuilding them? And may be are some materials(articles) in Internet which describe this functions (what every of them does)? To insert a text in anoser plase for example.

  4. Tell me please. When we white this code in method onContentAfterTitle, PHP take this and add to original function or create new function? where can I see original code of this function?

  5. Scott,

    I figured out the issue I was seeing (or rather not seeing).  At the point <fieldset name=”basic”> I had made a syntax mistake and had a name for the fieldset that included a space like this <fieldset name=”Additional Fields”>. Rather than an underscore like this <fieldset name=”additional_fields”>.

    Once I switched to underscores I was able to see my fields. 

    1. Hello Walt,

      At that point, the standard coding torubleshooting techniques would apply.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

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