Features of Mini Program Plug-Ins

Plug-ins are functional components that can be added to and directly used in Mini Programs. Developers can develop plug-ins in the same way as developing Mini Programs and use the plug-ins for other Mini Programs. In addition, developers can use plug-ins within Mini Programs to provide users with more diversified services, without having to develop additional plug-ins.

To develop plug-ins, read Developing a Plug-In. To use plug-ins, read Using a Plug-In.

Developing a Plug-In

Applicable Scope and Service Categories

Applicable scope: Mini Programs owned by companies, media, governments, and other organization entities

Developers can select one of selected categories for the current Mini Program account as the service category of the plug-in. The following table lists existing available plug-in service categories. More categories will be available subsequently.

Primary Category Secondary Category Notes
Express delivery and postal services All secondary categories
Education All secondary categories
Medical & Health care Medical services and Internet hospital Available only for medical and health care Mini Programs
Government and civil affairs All secondary categories
Finance Credit reporting and insurance
Travel and transportation All secondary categories
Life services Ticket services, living payment, and leisure & entertainment
IT technology All secondary categories
Catering Comment and recommendation, menu, queuing in restaurant, meal ordering platform, and takeout platform
Tourism All secondary categories
Entertainment Video, frequency modulation (FM), and radio 1. When the code of plug-ins in this category is submitted for review for the first time, the code needs to be approved by local Internet authority, which takes approximately seven days.
2. Video plug-ins are available only for Mini Programs owned by non-individuals.
Entertainment Music, audio book, and motion comic
Tool Bookkeeping, voting, calendar, weather, memo, office work, dictionary, calculation, quotation/price comparison, invoice inquiry, business management, appointment/registration, picture/audio/video, and information inquiry
E-commerce platform E-commerce platform
Social networking Note, FAQ, community or forum, and chat with strangers 1. When the code of plug-ins in this category is submitted for review for the first time, the code needs to be approved by local Internet authority, which takes approximately seven days.
2. Plug-ins in this category are available only for Mini Programs in the social networking category.
Social networking Livestreaming 1. When the code of plug-ins in this category is submitted for review for the first time, the code needs to be approved by local Internet authority, which takes approximately seven days.
2. Livestreaming plug-ins are available only for Mini Programs in the e-commerce platform and education categories.
Commercial services Recruitment/Job hunting
Automobile All secondary categories

Plug-In Development Access Process

The following content describes the plug-in development access process:

  1. Activate the Plug-In Feature
  2. Enter Development Information and Develop a Plug-In
  3. Complete Basic Information
  4. Submit for Review and Release
  5. Manage Application for Use of a Plug-In

Activating the plug-in feature

Mini Program developers can activate the plug-in feature in the Mini Program admin console without registering a new account. The feature is enabled after basic information is completed.

To activate the plug-in feature, open the Mini Program admin console and choose Mini Program Plug-In.

Enter basic information about the plug-in. This basic information will be displayed in the plug-in application process and on the basic information page of the Mini Program.

Entering development information and developing a plug-in

You can develop a plug-in via WeChat DevTools after setting plug-in information such as a server domain name and token.

For more information about settings of WeChat DevTools, see the Plug-In Development Guide.

Completing basic information

Before submitting a plug-in for review, ensure that the plug-in information such as the name, profile photo, and profile are specified and development documentation of the plug-in is uploaded to help developers access the plug-in.

How to complete basic information

Log in to the Mini Program console and choose Mini Program Plug-In > Basic Settings. Ensure that the plug-in information such as the name, profile photo, profile, addition method, and customer service contact information is complete.

Editing and uploading the plug-in development documentation

To allow Mini Program developers to quickly access plug-in services, plug-in developers can upload and release plug-in development documentation.

(1) Editing

In addition to plug-in code, a Mini Program developer can upload plug-in development documentation. This documentation must be stored in the doc directory in the root directory of the plug-in project. The directory is in the following structure:

doc
├── README.md   // Plug-in documentation in Markdown format
└── picture.jpg // Other resource files. Only images are supported.

Referenced image resources cannot be network images and must be stored in this directory.

(2) Uploading

After README.md is edited, a Mini Program developer can use WeChat DevTools to preview the plug-in documentation and separately upload the plug-in documentation.

To upload the plug-in documentation, find the button on the lower right corner of the README.md file.

(3) Release

The plug-in documentation is not immediately released after being uploaded via WeChat DevTools. You can log in to the Plug-In Admin Console with your account name and password, and choose Mini Program Plug-In > Basic Settings to preview and release plug-in documentation.

The plug-in documentation can be repeatedly modified after release.

Managing plug-in versions

Developers can upload code via WeChat DevTools and develop and debug plug-ins via the Mini Program Plug-In Development Assistant. Note that plug-ins are unavailable in the test version.

After uploading code via WeChat DevTools, a developer can open the Mini Program admin console and choose Mini Program Plug-In > Development Management to manage plug-in versions.

A plug-in must be submitted to the WeChat Mini Program team for review and can be released only after approval is obtained.

Before submission, a plug-in developer must enter the following information: the plug-in service category, tags, preview, and feature description.

Plug-in service category: One of existing approved Mini Program service categories can be selected for the plug-in. For the available categories, see Applicable Scope and Service Categories.

Tags: Enter tags associated with the service provided by the plug-in.

Preview: To help users understand features of the plug-in in advance, you can upload a preview of the plug-in, so that it can be displayed on the plug-in details page after release.

Feature description: To help the review team to experience and review the features of the plug-in, developers should enter brief introduction and usages of the plug-in.

Managing applications

Plug-in developers can process plug-in access applications in the Mini Program admin console by choosing Mini Program Plug-In > Application Management and selecting Approve or Reject within 24 hours.

Introduction to the Plug-In Payment Feature

The payment capability is available within plug-ins to help plug-in developers provide closed-loop services.

The access process is as follows:

(1) Activate the WeChat Pay capability for the Mini Program where a plug-in is located. For more information, see the Guide to Activating WeChat Pay for a Mini Program.

(2) Select an appropriate payment model based on application scenarios by referring to the following table.

Payment Model Applicable Scope Application Scenario Access Process
Service provider Plug-ins that provide services such as commodity sales and fee collection on behalf of contracted merchants. In other word, commodities are not provided by plug-in developers. The e-commerce platform provides shelves, shopping carts, and other services for contracted merchants, and the catering platform provides ordering and payment services for offline contracted merchants. 1. Apply to become a WeChat Pay service provider. See Feature Description of the WeChat Pay Service Provider and Access Guide to the WeChat Pay Service Provider.
2. Create a sub-merchant account for a merchant.
3. Link the sub-merchant account to the account of the Mini Program where a plug-in is located. For more information, see the Development Documentation.
4. Initiate payment by using the sub-merchant account in the Mini Program.
Common merchant Plug-in developers produce and sell paid services and commodities in plug-ins. On the plug-in-based payment application page, you must offer information about existing online services (including but not limited to the Official Account, website, app, and Mini Program) and production and sales certificates for self-operated products, such as purchase invoices.

(3) In the plug-in adimin console, submit an application for the plug-in payment capability. After the application is approved, the WeChat Pay capability can be used within plug-ins.

Using a Plug-In

Mini Program developers can conveniently add plug-ins to their Mini Programs to enrich Mini Program services. When using the Mini Programs, users can use the services provided by the plug-ins within the Mini Programs.

Applicable scope

All Mini Programs

Access process

  1. Add a plug-in via the Mini Program admin console

    In the Mini Program admin console, a Mini Program developer can choose Settings > Third-Party Service > Plug-In Management to search for a desired plug-in and apply for permissions to use it. The Mini Program developer can use this plug-in within the Mini Program if the plug-in's developer approves the application within 24 hours.

  2. Use a plug-in in Mini Program code

    For more information, see Plug-In Development Documentation.