A Basic Guide To WordPress Development For Beginners

The immense popularity of WordPress has led to its emergence as a viable career option. People can earn a living by making websites or converting old ones to the platform. They can also become developers who specialize in crafting unique themes and plugins. In this post, we are providing some basic information about WordPress development for beginners. The internet is flooded with different kinds of material related to all aspects of the CMS. This huge volume of information can overwhelm new users who are just taking their first steps in the domain of WordPress development. In this article, we will discuss the basic things that you need to know in order to become a developer.  


Languages That You Must Learn


There are mainly four programming languages that have been used in the composition of the open-source CMS. Let’s take a look at each one of them.




HyperText Markup Language or HTML is the main language that is used for structuring websites. HyperText is what enables a person to navigate the internet. Hitting a clickable text in your browser takes you to another page. That clickable text content is a hyperlink that is named so because it does not facilitate movement in a linear manner. Tags are used to define an HTML code and there are various types of tags that are used for different functions. In WordPress, you will use HTML for defining the text that will be included in the header or the footer or anywhere else on the website. Learning HTML will enable you to write the basic code of a website. In the future, you may decide to specialize in a particular field like building themes or converting website to WordPress. Whatever you choose to do, you need to learn HTML to lay a strong foundation for your career.


2. CSS


CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets and this stylesheet language defines how markup elements will look. In WordPress, it dictates the appearance of HTML elements in a browser. Let’s say you want to add some text in bold red color on top of the page. Then you will have to apply CSS styling to the relevant HTML text. The code will help you define the color of the content apart from its dimensions. You can also align images or determine float properties through CMS. A CSS rule contains a selector that refers to the HTML element to which the style is being applied. It also includes one or more declarations defining a property name and a value.


3. PHP 


PHP is the recursive acronym for Hypertext Preprocessor which is a server-side scripting language. It forms the core of not only WordPress but many other CMS platforms. You will be wondering what a server-side language does. Let’s explain it with an example. You want to display “good evening” on your website. You create the relevant code in HTML. Now, HTML which is a client-side language, will immediately run and render the message in a browser. If the same code was to be written in PHP, then instead of evening, you will mention a command for the time of the day. The server will process it and decide what value should be displayed after “good” in a browser. All the data that a browser receives is HTML code that has been processed by the server. This language must be on top of the list of all people interested in WordPress development for beginners.


4. JavaScript


JavaScript is a client-side language that is used for adding dynamic features to a page and for asynchronous loading. You must have come across websites where some elements load before other items. This happens because asynchronous loading has been enabled that allowed some elements to load simultaneously. This feature helps in quickly rendering a page in a browser. JavaScript is also used for adding dynamic effects like animations to a webpage. Various JS libraries like jQuery and JSON are bundled with WordPress. The language is also used in many themes and plugins. However, it is not necessary for beginners to get a comprehensive knowledge of JS. They can start by learning jQuery to understand how the script functions and then can move on to other libraries.


5. MySQL


It will be helpful to know the fundamentals of MySQL which is the database management system that the CMS uses to store all your information. You may have to use database queries to retrieve or modify an element. It will be pertinent to know the format used by the system for running commands.


Tricks To Sharpen Your Skills


Once you firm up your basics by learning all the languages, you can take some steps to hone your development skills. There are two major areas of development in WordPress namely, themes and plugins. The following tips will help you improve your knowledge.


1. Learn WordPress Coding Best Practices


Access the official WordPress Codex to know about the coding best practices and PHP, HTML, CSS and JS coding standards. This will help you in writing efficient programs with minimum anomalies.


2. Disassemble Open Source Products


The WordPress universe is full of open source products. You can download a simple theme and plugin and take them apart to understand how things actually work.


3. Build Your Own Theme Or Plugin 


Write the code for a simple theme or a plugin. Then check how it works in a local development environment. Creating your own product will help you in getting valuable practical knowledge.




Beginners must try to strengthen their understanding of the major programming languages that form the structure of the CMS. They can then start experimenting with themes and plugins to know how things actually function. Adopting this kind of approach will help them in starting their career either as a freelancer or at a WordPress web development company, on a strong footing.