18 Best WordPress Theme Development Documentation and Resources

This is 10th article in the WordPress Developer Tools Series. Find a curated list of best WordPress Theme Development Resources and links to documentation.

WordPress Codex is one of the best places to start looking for information about WordPress Theme Development. In this article, I am going to share a list of best WordPress Theme Development Documentation and resources.

You can find all information about different WordPress functions, theme development basics and advance topics, how to write better CSS for your themes and much more.

WordPress’ own documentation for developers is very detailed and one of the most authoritative sources for information about WordPress development (Plugin and Theme development).

Nevertheless, many developers especially beginner developers neglect this brilliant resource and try to Google everything.

The WordPress Codex has a plethora of valuable information on WordPress Theme and plugin development with references and guides to all sorts of things.

Some WordPress developers find the Codex very useful for reminding them of the syntax for commands. A WordPress developer Spike says that you have to know what you are looking for to and what you need to know in the Codex.

If you don’t know about the function, you might find it difficult to find exact information. Some developers say that StackExchange’s WordPress section is far better for finding information about WordPress development.

  1. WordPress Codex Homepage: This is where you will find all the information about WordPress. Whether you want to learn plugin or theme development or want to contribute to WordPress, You can find all the information here.

  2. WordPress Theme Development: Codex is the best place to learn how to get started with WordPress theme development. You can learn the basics of WordPress theme development, best practices and how different templates/files work in a WordPress theme.

  3. WordPress Blog/Site Design and Layout Guide: The professional look and feel of your theme make your website/blog look different from others. Here you can learn how to design a great theme for your blog or website.

  4. WordPress Child Themes Documentation: A child theme is a theme that inherits the functionality and styling of another theme, called the parent theme. Child themes are used to modify an existing theme. Read why child themes are important and how can you create one.

  5. WordPress Theme Tags: When you publish a theme at WordPress theme directory, You have the option to add a tag to your themes such as one-column, two-columns, accessibility-ready, and more. You can not add any tag of your choice. Find a list of all tags at this page.

  6. WordPress Functions Reference by category: WordPress has its own PHP functions for themes and plugins. For example, the_permalink function can display the link of the post while <?php the_author(); ?> function will display the name of the post author.

  7. WordPress Template Tags: are used within your theme files to display information dynamically. For example <?php get_header(); ?> tag used to call the header.php file which contains all the necessary code for the header section such as site title, tagline and menu.

  8. WordPress Template Hierarchy: The Template files in WordPress themes are modular, reusable files, used to generate the web pages on your WordPress site. WordPress themes can have so many different files such as single.php, page.php, category.php and many other files, each file can be used to display specific content. For example page.php displays the content of the pages.

  9. WordPress Conditional Tags: are used in the Template Files to alter the display of content depending on the conditions that the current page matches. You can use these conditional tags to display content under specific conditions. For example is_page( ‘About Me And Joe’ ) can be used to display some specific details about your and Joe.

  10. Navigation Menus are the most important part of any website. This page explains, how can you register and style new navigation menus in your theme.

  11. WordPress Theme Functions: The WordPress functions.php file is used to register unique features such as navigation menus, widget areas, custom web fonts etc to your WordPress theme. The functions.php file makes your theme more modular, extensible, and functional. You can even create custom functions plugin for frequently used site-wide features.

  12. WordPress Including CSS & JavaScript: Every WordPress theme file has a required style.css file and additional JavaScript files can be added to make navigation menus responsive. Here you can find how to properly register CSS and JavaScript files in your theme.

  13. WordPress CSS Fixing Browser Bugs: Want to make sure your theme looks great and works well on all browsers, find resources on this page.

  14. WordPress CSS Troubleshooting: A good resource for the absolute beginners to learn how to write modular CSS and what you need to avoid when writing CSS for your theme.

  15. WordPress Post Types and Custom Post Types: By default, WordPress lets you create posts and pages but you can also register additional posts types such as Movies, Brands, Cities etc.

  16. WordPress Function Reference/register post type: Learn how to register new post types.

  17. WordPress Advanced Topics and Techniques: This page has a lot of links to different pages. You can even find articles about Server and Database Information.

  18. Internationalization: Learn to make your themes translation ready so international users can use your themes in their preferred/local language.

  19. WordPress Theme Anatomy info graphic by Yoast that explains what is the purpose of different WordPress theme files.

Final Words

That’s all for this article. If you want to share any other resource, which think will be valuable for other beginner theme developers, please share with us by adding your comments below.

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