The Best Resources for Learning WordPress Development

Once you decide to learn WordPress development, the first thing you’ll be faced with is selecting a learning resource. There are lots of one-off lessons, courses, books, boot camps, etc. But how do you know which are up-to-date, what is worth your time, and what is user versus developer-focused?

The resources below are ones that I’ve either used or vetted and are my recommendations as of March 2022.

Official Resources

  • Learn WordPress – Official resource for learning WordPress. Includes lesson plans and workshops for both developers and non-developers, so this may not be the best option if you aren’t sure where to start.
  • WordPress Developer Resources – Official developer-only WordPress documentation. A few sections are laid out like tutorials, but in general this is a reference tool that you will use if you just need a refresher on something.
  • – A collection of videos from WordPress events around the world. Again, this is a resource for developers and non-developers alike. If you know what you want to learn, you can easily find multiple videos from multiple presenters. Videos are dated so you can have an idea of how up-to-date the information might be.

WordPress Backend (PHP) Development

  • WordPress Plugin Development – A must-have resource for any WordPress plugin developer. The book is laid out so that it is easy to understand and you progress through the concepts in a logical order. Almost anything you need to know about plugin development is clearly documented with examples. You don’t have to read it cover-to-cover though as it is also a great reference when you need to dig in on a specific concept.
  • WordPress Design and Development – This book has a some overlap with the book listed above, but also covers WordPress theming concepts.
  • Know the Code – A great start-to-finish roadmap for backend WordPress development from Tonya Mork, who has been developing software for over 30 years.
  • WordPress Academy – A great video series on Skillshare with 8 hours of learning material. The latter half of the videos focus on PHP basics and theme development.
  • WPShout – They have a great paid course called “Up and Running”, but also have some free courses listed on that page as well. Their free courses are basically just detailed articles. The paid course includes an eBook and accompanying videos.

WordPress Frontend (JS) Development

  • JavaScript for WordPress – There are a number of courses, books, and even bootcamps taught by Zac Gordon hosted here. The only free course is the JavaScript Basics course. All the other courses cost money, but are by far the best resource for learning frontend development in WordPress. You can sign up for a membership to keep the cost down to about $25/month.

Notable Mentions

  • LinkedIn Learning – If you already have a subscription to LinkedIn Learning, then this is an obvious place to start. There are some great WordPress educators on here, so definitely worth a look.
  • WP Sessions – For $29/month you can get access to the entire video library. However, only a relatively small portion of the videos pertain directly to WordPress development. If you want to learn more about freelancing as well, this is a great option.
  • 10Up Engineering Best Practices – If you already know basic WordPress development concepts and want to write more professional code, this is a great (and free) place to start.

Other great ways of learning include:

  • Attending a WordCamp conference
  • Joining a local WordPress meetup
  • Finding a coding mentor
  • Working with a peer
  • Just building things!

If you know of any great resources I may have missed, please drop them in the comments!

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