Some time ago, a friend of mine wanted to start doing WordPress development. I created this resource for him and thought that many of you may also want to see this, so here it is:
There is a lot to cover here so I’ll break it down into:
- WordPress Community,
- WordPress Development
- My recommended talks
It will take some time for you to go through all the links, but there’s no rush, remember it is important that you follow your interests here as this is the best way to learn.
- How it all began and understanding the foundations of the WordPress community: https://wordpress.org/about/
- Note the spelling of WordPress ( always capital W and capital P ).
- Need a helping hand or if you’d like to help others: https://wordpress.org/support/
- Well known website built on top of WordPress: https://wordpress.org/showcase/
- Getting involved: WordPress is such a large project and has lots of sub focus groups which focus on a specific area of the platform: https://make.wordpress.org/
The most important thing to note is that you never, ever change any of the files that come with WordPress. You are welcome to read all the files from top to bottom, but if you wish to change WordPress you can do it via a plugin and if you want to change the look of your website you do this via a theme. That is the only options you have, but in combination, there is no limit to what you can do with WordPress (see these cool examples: http://pressbooks.com/ and http://www.happytables.com/ )
Here is a great list of how you can get started with Plugin / Theme development
- Install a theme: http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/how-to-install-a-wordpress-theme/
- Installing a plugin http://www.wpbeginner.com/beginners-guide/step-by-step-guide-to-install-a-wordpress-plugin-for-beginners/
- Note that the general rule here is: for functionality build a plugin and for styling build a theme. If you need both build a theme and a plugin. Never include heavy functionality within the theme. If you do keep it very minimal. Please read this for a great explanation: https://managewp.com/themes-design-plugins-functionality and also http://wptavern.com/why-wordpress-theme-developers-are-moving-functionality-into-plugins
- Build your first theme: https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/getting-started/your-first-theme/
- The meat of WordPress development is plugins. If you are more interested in code than graphic design I suggest you place emphasis on understanding this. I’d say build at least three small plugins before moving on, try to implement your own idea here. Create your first plugin: https://pippinsplugins.com/how-to-begin-writing-your-first-wordpress-plugin/
- When developing with WordPress it is really great to keep your finger on the pulse. When you are new you think you should create all the functionality but you’ll be surprised when you learn the functions already included within WordPress, make sure you always keep and eye out for this: http://codex.wordpress.org/Developer_Documentation. You will also find all the functions here.
- You will find that the more you do development you will want to alter some things within WordPress or another plugin. For this, we use Hooks and Filters: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/the-beginners-guide-to-wordpress-actions-and-filters–wp-27373. You will find that you can also create your own hooks and filters so other can hook into your plugins and themes.
You can read all you like but nothing gets you up to speed like a video. Here are some really nice videos you can watch that will help you become a better developer in general:
- People First: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i7Q6_ZnhUc
- Steve Jobs Confidential Metting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GMQhOm-Dqo
- Building and Maintaining a Successful plugin: http://wordpress.tv/2014/08/29/kevin-stover-the-candid-developer-developing-and-maintaining-a-successful-plugin-is-scary-2/
- Tooling for the modern web developer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3C5-LjRfomY
- Performance and scaling WordPress: http://wordpress.tv/2014/08/15/paul-clark-performance-scale-and-wordpress/
- Delivering the goods: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8W_6xWphtw
- Technology solutions do not always solve business problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7XAFa4wXgY
Finally, my friend, WordPress is continually changing, therefore:
Follow these WP focused twitter accounts as a start:
I hope these resources have helped you. If you know of any great resources please pop them in the comments below.