How to start WordPress Development
Are you a web developer and has frequently seen the word WordPress with blogging topics? Want to take the WordPress development as a career, you can go ahead. WordPress was initially made as a blogging platform, but extensibility and wide user base of the platform has made it the real giant. WordPress today is the most used CMS in the world. There are many popular websites with millions of visitors are made with WordPress. So we can assume it is not going anywhere sooner.
So, first you should gauge your skills,
At which level you consider yourself.
Have you ever used WordPress before?, are you a blogger who uses WordPress but don’t know its internals? Are you a web template maker who wishes to go ahead and continue the WordPress theme development as a Career.
So, let’s decide your level
- Has no coding experience at all.
- Has no or little knowledge of HTML/CSS/JS
- No experience with any programming language or has no code editing skills
- Know the basic web development stuffs – has coded in HTML and css
- Like to play with the structural part of the WordPress / html themes
- No programming knowledge
Advanced Rookie developer (Open to alternate suggestions)
- You know basic frontend development (HTML/CSS/JS)
- You know basic PHP and you can edit code.
The complete beginner are those who has zero knowledge about the code or even html –css stuffs
You have a lot of the work to do, First get familiar with the web and how it works.
Know the basics about how browsers work and how contents are rendered into the browser. You can also setup the web development environment in your own computer; The only thing you should install is a software stack for php development,
Environment for Windows Users
If you are using some version of the windows operating system, then you have many options to choose from. There are two options which I will show you.
1. Wamp Server – Wamp server is the complete mysql , php development environment which allows you to code and develop web applications on your own computer
2. Xampp Server – Pretty much same as wamp
For Mac User
If you are using some version of the mac OS, you can install MAMP which can be dubbed as Mac Apache Mysql PHP.
Using these local development softwares, you can quickly code, deploy and test your code locally. If you are complete beginner, you can use some recommended sources like Code Academy and Udemy.
For Intermediate User:
These are the people who are not actually new to the web development, but somewhat familiar with the HTML and CSS works. You can use some fancy tools like Code editors, IDE or Basic text based code editors. You know how to use the browser inspect and debugging feature to minimal. You know what php is (but may not how it works), you can put some php variables in to templates as directed by a developer or shown in the template manuals.
In the above case, you are an intermediate user. The first thing you should do is install php development environment in your pc.(check above point)
Learn basic server-side web development. Make small php-mysql website, create registration form, some posting, user management (CRUD operations). Once you get little confidence try moving up towards the image manipulation (use library) and file management. Learn a little by little about functional and OOP based php web development methodology. Some resources are,
Code Academy has some really quick and effective php development tutorials with basic code examples.
Code course is a free source of the php web development tutorial. The course offers many different view of working on php with great content.
Treehouse is a premium web development cources directory. The Tree house has more than 20-25 hours of recorded video tutorials
For Rookie Web developer
You know front end programming and you have the basic php coding knowledge, you are a php Rookie developer. You are familiar with how wordpress functions and main loop works.
Start Learning Wordpress Themes and Plugins development.
Now, as you know php, file handling and how the general web development is done, you start learning WordPress theme development. You can use online Tutorials available on the Youtube, you can subscribe to some premium tutorial such as offered by TreeHouse, Tut+ and Udemy, like
Theme Shaper (https://themeshaper.com/)
Theme Shaper is official website where, the team of wordpress theme development team from Automattic shares their thoughts and tutorial about latest theme development trends. There are many WordPress topics covered deeply.
Tut+ wordpress Theme development tutorial
Tut+ is a premium web-development tutorial website, there you can find many tutorials on developing new WordPress website and customization.
WordPress codex is the official functional reference to the WordPress framework code. The site may not look promising, but it is the best source for new beginner to start over using the WordPress in-built functions and hooks.
Strengthen your Foundation:
As you start development with WordPress, you will come to know about the different tricks required with HTML/CSS and JS.
Try learning some advanced js framework like Jquery which is by default bundled with WordPress. And we all know that it has played a crucial role in the core WordPress usability. Play with Jquery for a while.
Experiment with Plugin Hooks and actions, try to add new features to your website like, custom excerpt, custom post type, tracking view of the visitors of particular post, adding the custom advertisement between the post content etc.
Help and Guidance
There are many blooming WordPress community, you can ask your question on various places to find answers and get to the peers.
Stack Overflow: Stack overflow is a programmers google for solving their problems, here you can find answers of almost any of the currently used tech, each of the community has really large userbase and supportive culture
Reddit has some dedicated channels for the WordPress development topics.
Start doing WordPress development now.