In a constantly evolving ecosystem, whether you’re a WordPress beginner or seasoned developer, it’s important to stay abreast of recent developments to remain competitive.
One of the biggest reasons for the widespread success of WordPress as a platform has been its embrace of open source principles. However, as with anything open source, WordPress suffers from the problem of information overload. There are so many sites out there posing as credible resources for all things WordPress, it’s hard to know where to begin and who to trust.
In this article we’ve gathered together 12 of our favorite WordPress resources for 2015 (well, 13 really since WPExplorer.com should be at the top or your list). Each site contains a wealth of material to help beginners pick up vital skills and experienced users take things to the next level. We’ve split our list into three sections:
- Premium themes and plugins.
- Professional WordPress help.
- Learning and training resources.
Best Resources for Premium Themes and Plugins
If you’re looking for a theme to build your latest WordPress site, where better to start than the largest marketplace for WordPress themes known to mankind? ThemeForest offers a huge range of themes categorized by functionality, along with comprehensive support. Products on the marketplace come from third-party developers and go through a comprehensive review process to ensure standards remain high.
CodeCanyon is one of the largest sources of premium WordPress plugins around. With 3,877 WordPress plugins (and more being added everyday), it’s a potentially vital tool in the armory of any serious WordPress site owner or manager.
3. Pro Plugin Directory
Anybody who’s spent time building or managing WordPress sites will know just how difficult it is to source decent premium plugins. There’s been a need for a quality database of premium plugins for some time now, and it looks like we may finally have a solution in the form of Pro Plugins Directory.
Launched just a few months ago, the directory already boasts more than 150 plugins. The user experience is impressive and provides an easy transition for those used to the official WordPress directory. The submission process for developers is straightforward and allows quick and easy user review. This is definitely one to keep an eye on for the future.
Best Resources for Professional Help with WordPress
Remember when you wanted to make that small tweak to the way your homepage looks but didn’t know how to edit the theme code, or weren’t confident enough to do it? Well, Codeable is there to get you out of precisely these predicaments.
It’s a marketplace where you can hire freelance WordPress developers for tasks of any size. With a robust review process for contractors, Codeable is one of the most reliable outsourcing services for WordPress and 98.9% of completed projects receiving five-star reviews from clients.
5. WP Curve
WP Curve is another outsourcing service for handling WordPress tasks. Unlike Codeable though, WP Curve is not powered through third-parties but runs its own internal team of developers. For as little as $79 per month, WP Curve will take care of your entire set of WordPress support needs (for 1 site). There’s a great overview of the kind of tasks you can assign to WP Curve in the testimonials section of their site.
6. Envato Studio
Envato Studio is another alternative you can bank on for professional help. Unlike our previous two entries here, Envato Studio isn’t just a WordPress-specific marketplace. You can also use it to hire professionals for a range of different coding, content, graphics, video or marketing tasks. Services on offer on the platform are individually reviewed by the Envato Studio team.
One of the striking features of this platform is the fact that details such as turnaround times, and the number of allowed revisions, are pre-decided between buyer and seller. This is a big difference from other platforms where it can be more difficult to nail down such items.
Best Resources for Learning and Training
7. WP 101
WP 101 is one of the pioneers in WordPress skill-training and offers well-paced videos about every basic aspect of the WordPress ecosystem. It’s not a resource geared at teaching you how to custom-code a WordPress site however – this is more for bloggers and content-creators who are new to the WordPress platform.
There are three kinds of packages available: 30 day access, annual access and a lifetime option. Along with those wanting to fine-tune their own WordPress skills, WP 101 is also useful for professional site designers or managers who have the option of white-labeling their videos and offering them as add-ons to clients via a simple plugin.
8. WP Beginner Videos
WP Beginner is a great resource for people just starting out with WordPress. Similar to WP 101, the content you’ll find here is unlikely to be intermediate level. Although the website offers useful content across various formats – written articles, guides, and glossaries – it’s the video section that really stands out. The video section is members only but membership is luckily free.
Treehouse caters to a wider audience than our previous two entries and is a great solution for people of all experience levels looking to up their coding game. There’s a huge amount of topics to explore on the site including WordPress, PHP, Ruby and App Development.
Treehouse modules are impressively interactive with quizzes and assignments built in as standard, along with videos, transcripts and forum boards. With plans starting at just $25 a month – and the sheer amount of training resources available – Treehouse is easily one of the leading names in this space.
Best Resources for Developers
10. Query Posts
Query Posts is a better organized and friendlier alternative to the official WordPress Codex. Developers will find the chronologically and alphabetically arranged listings of WordPress functions far easier to navigate and use than their official counterpart.
11. WP Seek
WP Seek is like a WordPress-specific Google. It’s a tailored towards helping developers search for WordPress functions, template tags, actions, and more. Similar to mainstream search engines, WP Seek incorporates auto-suggest and also allows users to search for multiple keywords – massively useful when writing custom code or making changes to theme elements.
12. 10up Engineering Best Practices
This project provides guidelines on best practices to follow for every aspect of coding, from setting up a local environment to grappling with PHP, design elements, WordPress-specific functions and more.
We hope our list of resources helps point you in the right direction in terms of expanding your WordPress skill set and getting help with your sites. Let’s recap our main categories:
- Use premium themes and plugin sites like ThemeForest and CodeCanyon to spice up your site.
- Dive deeper into WordPress with sites like WP 101 and Treehouse.
- Take your development game to the next level with sites like 10up and WP Seek.
There’s never been a better time to be involved with WordPress and there are many other excellent sites out there which we had to grudgingly leave off this list.
We’re curious to hear your thoughts. Are you already using any of the resources we’e mentioned? Or do you have your own picks that should have been on the list? Get in touch via the comments and let us know.