WordPress Development Basics: How It Works and How To Start

WordPress has a large share in the CMS market, and hence it is a lucrative field for companies as well as freelancers. WordPress development, especially for somebody who is really new, can seem to be very difficult and daunting.

However, it is actually quite easy when you understand the basic concepts of how it functions and how you can get started with it.

Thus, in this article, we are going to talk about some of the fundamental concepts of WordPress development and how you can start with it so that you become a proficient word press developer.

WordPress development

How Does WordPress Work?

Before you understand WordPress development, it is important that how WordPress actually functions. There are majorly three components of WordPress, which include the core, themes as well as plugins.

The core code contains all the detailed functions which make up the WordPress Content Management System. This includes functions like password strength checking, managing the admin backend as well as scheduling posts.

Just like the core function is responsible for maintaining the backend of a website, themes are majorly responsible for the front-end look as well as feel.

Majorly the WordPress admin is used for creating posts, pages as well as other site content. You can either install and activate the pre-built themes or break the box completely by going out of the way to create custom designs.

A plugin, on the other hand, is majorly used for modifying the backend or front end of a website.

Areas of WordPress Development

With WordPress development, you need to work with majorly all the components mentioned above. So let us discuss them in detail.


img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-201710″ src=”https://www.sktthemes.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/Responsive-WordPress-themes.webp” alt=”responsive WordPress themes” width=”750″ height=”373″ />
By understanding how theme works, you can create a website as well as single pages sites that can balance content and dynamicity. It also helps you to get more client work and delve more into theme sales.

Though you might make less money as a theme developer at the start, learning the right skills and the working process can achieve a great feat.


Plugins are the major element in WordPress which transforms everything with just a push of a button. It gives you control over all aspects of your WordPress system and allows you to modify things according to your way.

The plugin marketplace is majorly owned by certain companies which also run the theme marketplace. WordPress currently has a free Plugin Directory with an inventory of around 60,000 plugins, and that is a great way to start.


Apart from the internal WordPress theme, there are almost 624 voluntary contributors to the WordPress theme around the world. You can contribute to the WordPress core if you like however you need a certain amount of experience for this.


wordpress rest API
The REST API is a relatively new feature in WordPress and mainly creates applications based on WordPress. This includes iPhone as well as Android applications. With REST API, you can connect to any website and ask for the latest five posts.

You can also delete users, create users as well as edit categories. Thus, with REST API, you can actually use WordPress as a database for information and accordingly build your front and backend.

How to Start with WordPress Development?

The following are some of the steps that you can do in order, to begin with WordPress development.

Have a Good Grip on Coding

WordPress is known for being a content management system that does not need its users to write code or know coding. However, as a developer, you should be well aware of the basics of CSS, PHP, HTML, and JavaScript, thereby extending the functionality of the platform.

You would be required to know the basics of PHP in order to resolve the errors blogs of WordPress on the client site. Similarly, it would be best if you also had a basic understanding of JavaScript so as to create an external link on a WordPress site to automatically open in a new tab.

Additionally, you would require certain skills in HTML and CSS in order to customize a WordPress starter theme.
The following are some of the details of the Coding Languages you need to know to be a WordPress developer.

    • CSS

Cascading Style Sheets or CSS is majorly used for styling your page as well as the content. It determines how the HTML elements are shown on the screen. This is majorly a stylesheet language that makes significant style to your website.

    • PHP

PHP is a powerful scripting language necessary for web development and majorly works by performing tasks in the server and then sending back the requests in HTML form. It has features like variables, array functions as well as comparison operators.

    • JavaScript

JavaScript is a web scripting language necessary for website development which is majorly involved in changing and customizing the content on a page.

    • AJAX

AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, is a technique that allows you to send as well as receive data without completely reloading a page.

    • jQuery

A well-liked JavaScript library is jQuery. This tool makes it easier to manipulate or alter a web page using JavaScript by enabling you to link numerous functions together at once. It will be simpler to read and “cleaner” code.

Read Through WordPress Resources

Once you have completed the basics of the coding, you can start reading up on WordPress-specific resources. The following are some of the resources that can help you regarding WordPress development.

WordPress Codex

This is the official manual of WordPress, which is majorly written by the developers of WordPress. It covers holistic information right from the basics to the technical aspects. For example, adding an AJAX functionality to your customized plugin.

WordPress Developer Resources

This is a list of developer resources for WordPress, which includes handbooks, code references, plugins, theme development as well as the block editor. You must have a look at it, especially if you are working on advanced WordPress sites.

Knowing the Code

This e-learning platform offers three different learning paths: one for plugin creators and two for theme developers for those who prefer training videos. This training is for experienced developers because you’ll learn how to create a plugin or theme from scratch.

Choose a Focus Area

As mentioned above, there are majorly three focus areas for WordPress developers, the core software, plugins as well as themes. If you are into dedicated offshore development, you may need to focus on core development.

Similarly, if you want to work in theme development or create individual plugins for clients, then you need to focus on plugin development.

Create a Suitable Environment for Testing

It is important that a development environment is set up. It not only enhances the development process but also helps to make up a better product. You need to set up a local environment which is essential for storing all the WordPress plugins along with the theme files.

Through testing, you can view changes in the browser accordingly. By creating a testing environment, you can collaborate with a team of other developers and accordingly debug issues before you release them in the market.

Be An Active Member of the WordPress Community

WordPress possesses one of the largest communities which is dedicated to improving the platform. By becoming an active member of the WordPress community, you can reach out to millions of members through support members and even meet them at community events and conferences.

By actively participating in the community, you can stay updated with any new updates related to WordPress, as well as announcements.

Build a Portfolio

If you want to build a career in WordPress development, it is important that you build a portfolio and provide all proof related to your skills and competencies. You can do this by developing a portfolio.

A portfolio helps you to showcase your entire work and thereby improves your chance of being hired as a full-time employee.

Develop a Technical Resume

Just like a portfolio, a technical resume plays a very important role if you want to apply for WordPress development. You can either create a resume and additionally attach your LinkedIn profile with it.

A technical resume is majorly made of certain important sections, which include educational qualifications, professional experience, projects as well as key skills. Additionally, try to make sure all the sections are clearly illustrated with the requisite skills.

Prioritize an Ideal Work Environment

Once you have all the requisite knowledge regarding WordPress and you start applying, it is important that you ask yourself questions like which projects you would want to work on, what administrative job you would be willing to do, the city and country you are comfortable to work, whether you want to work as a solo worker or as a team and whether you prefer a flexible work environment or a structured one.

Summing Up
One of the best things about WordPress development is that it can be a great way to foster web development skills and expertise. However, you must ensure that you have a proper skill set as well as an idea of how WordPress functions so that you can excel in this field.

About Sonnal S Sinha

Sonnal S SinhaSonnal S Sinha shares exciting WordPress themes, plugins and other WordPress related news for our viewers. He also posts selected WordPress developers interviews from time to time.