Introduction to WordPress Developer Tools
It goes without saying that there is a lot that goes into developing your own WordPress theme. You must sketch out what the final product looks like, developing your theme’s functionality, picking colors and fonts, finding the right images, and so on and so forth, but one of the biggest challenges in building your theme is choosing the right tools. After all, there are a lot of tools out there that you can use. Some of those tools can be very beneficial while others won’t help you one bit. So, this week, I’m going to go over some WordPress developer tools. This list is more geared towards developers who are just starting out, but it might show some experts some undiscovered tools that could help them decrease overall development time.
By the way, if you ever need help developing your WordPress website or fixing WordPress Developer Tools, feel free to contact us for professional WordPress help.
The Best WordPress Developer Tools
We will always make a mistake no matter if we’re new to development or a knowledgeable warhorse. Experience is one way of fighting against this inevitability. Another way is by using a scanner that alerts you to errors and provides solutions much like our first entry Theme Check: a WordPress diagnostic plugin for developers
Designed to be easily useable, Theme Check scans your theme using the same methods WordPress uses in ensuring that a theme can be distributed on its marketplace. After it completes a scan of your theme, it will show a list of errors it has uncovered and offer up suggestions on how to correct them. Theme Check performs this through automation.
Theme Check’s last update was 9 months ago, but it is still used by many developers today. If you have any questions on using Theme Check you can go to its active forum from the WordPress plugin market. Theme Check how to videos can be found on YouTube and there are several tutorials you can find on the Internet.
A final note though. Theme Check is designed for themes that are in development. Using it on an already developed and ready to be downloaded theme will result in errors.
Up next in our WordPress development toolbox is Generate WP. A major difficulty in developing your own theme is the time element. You have to design, develop and deploy your code from the ground up and that does take a lot of time to do, but what if you could decrease development time by using pre-made code or can whip up code through a generator?
GenerateWP.com is a service that allows you access to its public library of code snippets and use them. Finding the code you need is easy with their search function. You can, of course, generate your own code through the use of their proprietary code generators. All you have to do is fill in a few blanks, hit enter and the generators will create the code for you.
What services you can and cannot use is determined by your subscription. You can use their services for free but are limited only to public code generators as well as storing your code snippets on a public forum. For $120 a year you can use their basic as well as premium code generators, you get priority support and you can store your code privately if you wish.
Diagnostics and code generators are tools that any WordPress developer would find useful, but an essential WordPress development device is backup storage. Most people invest in simple backup storage programs, but developers need something more. This is where Duplicator comes in. As stated by its developers, “Duplicator gives WordPress users the ability to migrate, copy, move or clone a site from one location to another and also serves as a simple backup utility.”
Duplicator is a plugin pure and simple, and like all WordPress plugins, you simply install and activate. Along with its migration and cloning abilities, Duplicator can package your site for distribution and it can bring your site down for local testing or it can deploy it live. What’s more is that it can work with hosting providers like cPanel. It can handle large sites with many sub sites woven in or it can handle a rather small or regular size website.
Even though this article is geared for the beginner you should read their documentation first and have some WordPress knowledge before using.
What are some words that can describe WordPress developer tools? There are the ones I’ve already listed like diagnostics, code generators, and backup systems, but how about a WordPress developer’s foundation? Almost any professional programmer or developer has a blank template in their arsenal of goodies. I myself have a basic HTML template that says “hello world!” and whenever I start a new project I just make a copy of that template and fill in what I need to fill in. The developers over at Underscores.me says the same thing can be done with their product – Underscores.
To put simply, Underscores is a theme that has nothing to it what so ever. There are no bells and whistles, no images, no sounds, no unique functionality. It is nothing more than a template for you to build upon. As they say on their website, “Use it to make something cool.” One would think that a starter theme would be really simple to make and would take no time at all. The developers would disagree as this is a project done by the WordPress community in general. Underscores is found on GitHub so you can contribute to its development if you wish or talk with any of the developers if you have any problems with it.
What WordPress Theme is That?
Last on our list is developer binoculars that you can use to scout the competition. It’s something we’ve seen in movies and television or maybe have done ourselves. Using a pair of binoculars, we’ll see what the competition is up to and formulate some sort of game plan from that. What WordPress Theme is That becomes our pair of binoculars that we can use to see what theme a WordPress site is using along with its plugins and nothing else. Seeing what the competition is using helps you to decide if you should follow suit or do something different.
In Conclusion on WordPress Developer Tools
There is a host of tools out there for you to choose from. As I said before, some of those tools are lifesavers while some are just okay while the rest is not worth the trouble. It all depends on the situation. Experiment. Learn what else is out there. See what you can do with what is available. If it costs money, then you might consider investing as you never know when you might need to use it.
The greatest WordPress Developer Tools that will always help you growing your range of experience. So practice, ask questions, experiment, do what you can in order to get as much experience as you can so it can help you with future projects.