Looking to improve your WordPress development skills in 2020?
Here at Elementor, we focus on making it a lot easier for you to design and develop WordPress sites. But using Elementor isn’t the only way to improve your WordPress development skills — you can also use the great resources that we’ve included in this post.
Below, we’ve included 15 helpful resources to aid you with WordPress development. Some are blogs and communities where you can read tutorials and ask questions, while others are straightforward references, like a huge directory of WordPress hooks and APIs.
Let’s dig in!
15 Helpful WordPress Developer Resources
Ok, I pretty much had to start this post off with the official Developer Resources subsite at WordPress.org. If you’re not familiar with this page, it’s packed with tons of WordPress developer resources like:
- Full documentation of the WordPress core codebase
- Coding standards
- Dedicated resources for the block editor, themes, and plugins
- Handbooks on the WordPress REST API and WP-CLI
So if you want to learn how a certain part of WordPress works, or what it does, you should start with the official resources.
If you’re a developer, you probably know Stack Exchange — it’s that place where you can make money on code snippets that others are looking to copy and paste.
But did you know that Stack Exchange has its own dedicated WordPress section?
On the WordPress development Stack Exchange, you’ll find tons of questions dealing with specific parts of WordPress development. And if someone hasn’t already asked a question that pertains to your issue, you can always post your own questions to get responses from the community.
WP Tavern is your resource for all the news on WordPress. It’s not so much a resource on WordPress development directly, but it does cover lots of topics WordPress developers need to know.
For example, if the Gutenberg team adds a new experimental feature to the plugin version of the block editor, WP Tavern will detail that feature so that you can be aware of it before it becomes part of the core.
Similarly, if there’s a new major or minor WordPress release, WP Tavern will document it and tell you what’s new and what you need to pay attention to.
Delicious Brains is the company behind a number of developer-focused WordPress plugins like the popular WP Migrate DB Pro and WP Offload Media.
Because their customer base is primarily comprised of WordPress developers, Delicious Brains does the smart thing and posts a ton of detailed WordPress development tutorials on the Delicious Brains blog. For example, you can learn how Laravel Valet works or how to use tmux for local development.
One of my favorite tutorials on Delicious Brains is a detailed “Hosting WordPress Yourself” guide which shows you how to self-host WordPress on DigitalOcean. This article has since been migrated to the SpinupWP site, which is another project from Delicious Brains that also includes WordPress development tutorials.
Codecademy is one of the most popular sites to learn how to code. If you want to pick up a new language to improve your WordPress development chops, it’s a great place to start.
WPShout is a popular blog focused on “In-Depth WordPress Tutorials for Developers.”
One of the nice things about WPShout is that they also include plenty of beginner-friendly tutorials for people who are just getting into WordPress development. That is, you don’t need to be a seasoned pro to get value from WPShout.
The writers of WPShout also publish their own courses — if you’re just getting into WordPress development, you might be interested in their Up and Running WordPress development course.
Advanced WordPress is a popular Facebook group with over 32,000 members.
As the name suggests, it’s focused on advanced WordPress topics, like WordPress development.
It’s quite active, so if you have a WordPress development question or just want to bounce ideas off other WordPress developers, it’s a great place to be.
Smashing Magazine is one of the most popular general web design and development blogs.
While it’s not 100% focused on WordPress, you can find plenty of WordPress-specific tutorials along with heaps of general web development and design topics.
Zac Gordon is a popular educator who makes a number of courses focused on WordPress development.
First — the important thing:
Most of these courses are not free, though he does offer a few free courses.
In total, you’ll find courses like:
- React Explained
- AJAX in WordPress
- The WordPress REST API
- Gatsby Basics
- Headless WordPress with Gatsby
- Gutenberg development
Business Bloomer is a great resource for one specific aspect of WordPress development — WooCommerce.
Rodolfo, the owner, posts tons of WooCommerce development tutorials. But one of the best resources here is Rodolfo’s Visual Hooks guide, which shows you exactly where all of the WooCommerce hooks apply using a real preview.
Here’s an example of the visual hook guide for the single product page:
So if you work with WooCommerce a lot, you’ll definitely want to check out this one.
CSS-Tricks offers exactly what its name says – a bunch of helpful snippets (tricks) for WordPress and web development.
In addition to the snippets themselves, CSS-Tricks also has a blog with development topics and tutorials.
Tom McFarlin is a solo blogger who has a popular longstanding blog on “practical WordPress development”. Every week (or so), Tom posts a new tutorial on some specific part of WordPress development.
Tom’s tutorials are usually pretty short, focused on very specific topics, and include plenty of code examples. For example, you can learn how to search post metadata in the WordPress dashboard or send authorization headers with WordPress.
Torque Mag is a general WordPress publication from the folks at WP Engine, one of Elementor’s recommended WordPress hosts.
It’s not fully focused on WordPress development — for example, you’ll also find general plugin roundups. But Torque does include a dedicated Development section that includes plenty of development tutorials. However, they don’t get into the nitty-gritty details too much as you’d find at Delicious Brains or on a more heavy-duty developer blog.
Envato Tuts+ is a set of blog posts, courses, and eBooks from Envato (of ThemeForest fame) that help you learn WordPress and web development.
Much of the content is available for free. For the content that isn’t, you can get access with an Envato Elements membership, which also gets you access to tons of Elementor templates and web design resources.
While its looks aren’t fancy, Hookr is a really convenient index for WordPress hooks/APIs.
In addition to documenting the core hooks (which are also covered in the official WordPress.org resources), Hookr also documents the hooks and APIs of tons of popular plugins and themes, which is super convenient if you’re working with one of those plugins or themes.
Become a Better WordPress Developer
That wraps up our collection of the best development resources for WordPress developers.
We tried to include a solid mix of tutorials and communities where you can learn about WordPress development, as well as resources like Hookr that you can consult when you just need some more information on a specific part of WordPress development.
However, there are definitely more than just 15 WordPress development resources out there — so if you know of a great resource that didn’t make this list, share it the comments!