Since its humble launch in 2003 as a content management system, WordPress has grown into a massive ecosystem worth billions of dollars. It drives more than a quarter of all websites globally and sustains a thriving marketplace for web designers, front-end developers, server-side programmers, and other talent. The demand for themes, plugins, applications and site administration support remains vibrant and promises a fulfilling career, passion or hobby for everyone who knows how to translate creativity into a digital product.
While business and career opportunities are abound, so is competition. If you’re a WordPress developer or intend to become one, there are legions of other people like you vying for the same customers or employers. To get ahead, you need the right tools that will uplift not only your productivity but also the quality of your output.
Below are a few WP core tools and plugins that we believe will help you work faster and smarter in the exciting world of WordPress as a developer.
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GenerateWP – Tools for WordPress Developers
Brute-force coding can easily sap your energy, especially if you’re juggling multiple projects at a time or building one complex website, theme, or application. If a major project has many layers, components or functionalities, coding it from scratch is highly impractical and time-consuming.
Whether you’re a beginner or someone who has formidable coding chops, you can work smarter by auto-generating snippets of code for your WordPress project. GenerateWP is a handy set of tools that help you generate high-quality and standards-compliant code for widgets, sidebars, metaboxes, toolbars, menus, taxonomies, custom post types, and other site elements.
Brackets – Modern Editor that Understands Web Design
Every person who writes code for fun or for a living needs a text editor. If you’re into front-end development, you might want to check out Brackets, a lightweight, open source editor that’s purpose-built for web design. It works on all major platforms (Windows, MacOS, Linux) and comes with visual tools that turn your creative process into a seamless workflow. Brackets’ inline editors, live preview, and preprocessor support are just some of its productivity-boosting features.
Theme Check – Test WP Theme for Latest WordPress Standards
WordPress themes are not only fun to create, they can also put extra money in your bank account. But there’s a huge caveat: only the catchiest and UX-optimized themes that work consistently in all environments make the cut and become steady revenue sources for their developers.
Moreover, even the most experienced theme developers make mistakes, some of which can lead to rejections in WordPress.org’s official theme repository. Bug-ridden themes also cause user problems that tend to be trumpeted in product reviews, denting your brand’s reputation. This makes Theme Check an indispensable tool for theme builders. This free plugin provides an easy way to test whether your theme complies with all the standards and best practices in the WordPress universe.
WordPress Plugin Boilerplate
A decent WordPress site that doesn’t use a plugin is very rare indeed. Because administrators need to customize their sites for various reasons (better content management, e-commerce support, or customer engagement, for examples), they turn to plugins to extend the functionality of a core WordPress site.
If you create plugins on a regular basis, the WordPress Plugin Boilerplate will help you avoid creating buggy and resource-hungry plugins that can potentially become a show stopper in your company’s or customers’ online operations. This free boilerplate provides a solid, object-oriented platform for you to work on, ensuring that your codes use best practices and adhere to current standards.
Monster Widget – Add All Core Widgets to Sidebar
There’s a wide chasm between widgets and themes that tend to erode the visual appeal and usability of a WordPress site. Fortunately, Monster Widget aggregates 13 core widgets into one super widget that allows you to check the compatibility of your theme to the most common widgets in WordPress. Because it significantly reduces the steps in populating a sidebar, Monster Widget helps you align your theme specs faster.
Sage – WordPress Starter Theme
Upgrade Your WordPress Cred
More often than not, the tools we use determine how far we go in whatever field we’re at. Plunging into the WordPress ecosystem without the right tools will make your journey bumpier and increase your risk of missing out on good opportunities.
Explore the tools we cited here as well as those from other sources. Adopt tools that benefit your specialization and discard the ones that offer minimal value. Explore further until you have a tool set that’s optimized for your development efforts.
Do you have a favorite wordPress development tool? Please tell us more about it.