Seasoned WordPress developers typically have a collection of sites they frequent to get the latest news, product reviews and tutorials related to design, development, and coding. It’s the name of the game. The longer you’ve been in this business, the more familiarity you have with existing resources and what each one offers that’s unique.
Sorting through what’s out there can be time consuming, however, especially when you just want to get to the good stuff.
Whether you’re a long-time pro or just getting started, sometimes you need to reference a fact, a how-to video, or a code snippet to get your project moving along on schedule. With that in mind, the following ten resources are likely to be helpful in getting your sites up and running faster and more efficiently.
A no-brainer, right? Still, it needs to be mentioned – especially for beginners. The WordPress Codex is a robust resource that covers practically every aspect of the CMS. Following the articles here will help you get your very first website completed. It walks you through everything from installation to installing themes to writing your own plugins.
Did I mention it’s comprehensive?
A few key resources you should pay attention to here include WordPress.tv and Make WordPress. WordPress.tv features official videos from the WordPress team, interviews from the various WordCamp events that take place around the world, and more. Make WordPress gives users an all access look at the development of various aspects of WordPress, including Core, UI, Accessibility, and more. You can even get involved and contribute to the development of future incarnations of WordPress, if you’d like.
Obviously we’re a great resource that you should have bookmarked already. With helpful tutorials, great plugin and theme recommendations and important news about WordPress, WPExplorer is a fantastic place for you to look for the information that you need. We’ve spent years working on our blog, finding quality authors to share their knowledge and collecting hundreds of themes and plugins to recommend. Plus, we’ve created our very own top notch free WordPress themes that you can download and use whenever you wish.
Torque is a great WordPress news and community site that features up-to-date info and articles written by community experts. I frequent this site a lot because I enjoy the unique angle taken on the stories here. The writers think outside the box and often leave me saying “Hmm,” which is definitely appreciated. With so many WordPress sites online now, it’s rare you find one that makes you think, but Torque fits the bill.
There’s a business angle on many of the articles, too, so if you’re looking to turn your WordPress site into an online business, you’ll find what you need here and then some.
A true resource if there ever was one, CSS-Tricks gives visitors straightforward CSS snippets, tips, and tricks to implement on their sites. There are several other sites that offer similar resources but I particularly enjoy this one because of its intuitive design and straightforward approach. Don’t let anyone ever tell you an attractive design doesn’t matter — it most assuredly does and CSS-Tricks is a relevant example of just that.
You’ve got to appreciate a site that manages daily updates without sacrificing quality and that’s precisely what WP Jedi accomplishes. You can expect plugin and theme roundups, security solutions, SEO tips and more. It’s sort of like the content of many different WordPress sites all rolled into one. And anything that reduces the number of things I need to click on in a given day is a good thing. That might sound lazy but when it comes to working online, efficiency is key.
Pippin Williamson has a solid (and deserved) reputation as the developer of high quality plugins, and Pippin’s Plugins is his site. There are tons of tutorials available here for free to keep the budding developer busy. But if that’s not enough for you, there’s a paid membership option as well that opens you up to even more tutorials. Don’t forget to read a review or two and checkout the support forum, too.
This site is a time suck in the best way possible. Seriously, I dare you not to learn something.
Though updated less frequently than some of the other blogs I’ve mentioned here so far, WP Hub makes up for the lack of quantity with quality. You can expect lengthy lists of plugins and themes, in-depth tutorials, and a variety of resources that are designed to be relevant for a long time. Oh, and it’s worth mentioning that they sell themes and plugins, too. With nearly 700 themes and loads of plugins to sort through, you’d better hop to it. Well worth the bookmark if you ask me and well worth a regular look.
Looking for another good read to add to your list? Checkout WPKube. Devesh Sharma started WPKube back in 2010, and it’s become a great source of guides, resources and recommendation related to WordPress. And their posts are great for any technical level of WordPress user. If you’re a newbie or a hardcore developer, you can still appreciate posts about the Annoying Things About WordPress (And How To Fix Them), or 25 Women To Watch In WordPress.
Pardon the blatant self-promotion (as I am the editor), but the ManageWP blog is actually a really useful resource in its own right. We share the latest WordPress news, offer a selection of the top themes and plugins of the month, and provide in-depth analysis of the latest trends surrounding WordPress development.
There’s also tutorials and plenty of tips and tricks to keep you busy optimizing your latest site for the foreseeable future.
Speckyboy Design Magazine
Though devoted to design in general, Speckyboy Design Magazine has a WordPress section that I can’t help but love. The site also covers mobile development, UX, graphic design, freelancing, and even photography. And since the site’s overall coverage is broad, it acts as a nice segue to the next section. You thought you were only getting 8 resources, but I’ve put together a few “bonuses” to help expand your developer’s toolbox even further.
Bonus Resources to Keep Your Development Skills Sharp
As you progress in your development career, you’re going to want to continually try new things to further your skills and expand your knowledge base. The following “bonus” resources ought to help you stay on track:
- Tuts+ Code Tutorials: Covering everything from WordPress to mobile development to PHP, the Code section of Tuts+ encompasses everything you need to refine your coding and design skills and then some. A true resource that’s proven itself useful across industry for quite some time now.
- Graph Paper by Konigi: It’s exactly what it sounds like and is completely invaluable for designers across several different disciplines. Basically, it’s 8.5 x 11 inch graph paper made specifically for interaction designers, visual designers, and information architects to develop wireframes for websites that make sense. Go download it and you’ll see what I mean.
- A List Apart: Where would we be without this site? It’s all in the site’s tagline, “For People Who Make Websites,” and that’s proven time and time again through its unique take on web design, coding, content creation, UX, and more. The magazine style has real appeal, too. What can I say? I’m a sucker for good design.
While not everyone will find all of the sites I’ve listed here useful, they do have appeal across a wide variety of industries and have proven helpful in my own site development tasks, so I couldn’t resist sharing them with you here.
Over to you. What are some of your favorite resources that make designing and developing WordPress sites just a little easier or intuitive? What website could you just not live without? I’d certainly love to hear your feedback, so fire off your suggestions in the comments below. And who knows? Maybe they’ll be included in a future post.