10 Tips for WordPress Theme and Plugin Development

By WP Saviour •  Updated: 02/27/21 •  13 min read

You get up, and the very first thing that involves your thoughts is “I gotta end that WordPress plugin or theme.”

Whilst you nonetheless love your job and it is a superb supply of revenue, generally it simply appears such as you’re not getting something completed, and it’s driving you loopy. It’s easy; for those who don’t end the undertaking, you received’t receives a commission, and for those who don’t end sufficient initiatives you received’t receives a commission sufficient. You need to discover a solution to wrap up initiatives sooner, and we’re right here to assist with some easy-to-implement recommendation.

There are a number of tips that you may grasp to ease this ache and make you like your job once more. Learn on to see how one can pace up improvement and get your plugin or theme on the market in file time.

1. Develop Your Focus First

There is no such thing as a level in making an attempt to begin something for those who’re head isn’t within the sport. You’ll simply find yourself endlessly scrolling the web whereas concurrently making an attempt to keep away from spoilers for the brand new GoT episode. 5 minutes in, you might be in all probability annoyed, and getting issues completed is unimaginable.

Procrastination isn’t a straightforward factor to sort out, however you’re not alone, and there are strategies to cope with it. Understanding the time of the day whenever you’re most efficient, alert and desirous to work is a straightforward optimization anyone can do. Modify your schedule.  In case you are an evening owl, do your chores and household stuff earlier than you begin working. In case you are an early chicken, get right down to work as quickly as you end that morning jog!

2. Make a Plan

You might merely dive in at this level since you might be prepared and all fired as much as stuff completed. The reality is, which may not be the very best plan of action. You’ll probably find yourself misplaced within the undertaking, and stepping again and redoing stuff will likely be inevitable. And a whole waste of time.

Earlier than you begin, just remember to know what you’ll be doing each by way of micro duties and the larger image. You probably have any questions left unanswered, earlier than you begin is the time to ask them to both your self or your boss or consumer. This may occasionally sound like one other delay, nevertheless it pays off in the long term.


Utilizing any type of a planner, undertaking supervisor or just a solution to notice issues down is healthier than utilizing nothing. The great previous pen and paper work wonders. Software program that’s not specialised for any particular area of interest like Trello additionally works wonders. Simply be sure you use one thing as a result of irrespective of how good your reminiscence is writing stuff down offers you readability.

Having a plan will prevent hours of figuring “The place do I am going from right here.” In case you are utilizing Trello, you additionally get an additional kick of endorphins as soon as you place the duty in “Achieved”, which will provide you with the wanted motivation to your different duties.

3. Preparation is Half the Battle

When you sit down and get to work, the worst factor that might occur is that you just forgot to seize a glass of water or to should make a fast run to the lavatory. If the identical occurs along with your instruments, you might be in huge hassle.

Trick 1: Bookmark the Pages You Typically Use and Save Your Code Snippets

This trick goes particularly for brand spanking new builders, however even essentially the most skilled ones should get a second opinion at times. No disgrace in that, by any means.

Nonetheless, if you need to search the web for that precious piece of data you noticed two days in the past, and now you badly want, you in all probability misplaced an excessive amount of time already (and also you received’t discover it). Bookmark the assets you typically use to be taught sooner and scale back the time wasted looking.

One other preparation tip is to maintain your code snippets shut always. It’s an enormous timesaver. For those who discover that you’re typing the identical code time and again, it’s in all probability for the very best to reserve it someplace, in order that they’re at hand when you’ll want to use them once more.

Trick 2: Create a Listing of Your Most Trusted Plugins

Similar to with code snippets and bookmarks, there are undoubtedly a number of plugins that you just hold utilizing on a regular basis, both for improvement or testing.

Preserve observe of the important plugins you employ. Upon getting your record from this tip arrange, the event of your subsequent theme or plugin extension won’t require you to do that once more. Simply go forward and skip this step. That provides as much as even faster improvement.

4. Get the Proper Textual content Editor

You’ll be spending most of your time with a code editor, so it higher be one thing you might be comfy utilizing. Your alternative may very well be a easy textual content editor, or it may very well be one thing extra highly effective and associated to what you might be engaged on in the meanwhile.

Many builders swear that any textual content editor that has syntax highlighting is nice sufficient. They like simplicity that comes with editors like Coda, or Elegant Editor.


Utilizing an IDE (built-in improvement setting) however will provide you with extra energy and instruments beneath the identical roof. Visible Studio Code is a relatively new, free product from Microsoft that we will’t advocate sufficient. It’s quick and completely suited to WP improvement.  It has loads of WP particular add-ons, and it’ll prevent hours of dev time.

5. Set Up the Testing Setting

With WordPress plugins and themes, it’s all about testing. You can not simply take a look at it anyplace, particularly for those who haven’t arrange the staging setting. Setting it up manually is not any simple job. So, seize a superb instrument.

For those who’re pondering of simply making an attempt issues out on a dwell web site, to your sake, please don’t. As a substitute, use a staging web site. Most of the greatest WordPress internet hosting choices already embody staging websites, so all you’ll want to do is log into your internet hosting account and click on a button

But when your internet hosting doesn’t provide this, think about the WP Staging plugin. This plugin will make your life a lot simpler. As a substitute of going with any of the overcomplicated options on the market, or those which have particular server necessities, this one can have you prepared for testing in a matter of seconds. Set up it on a dwell web site you’ll want to work on and watch it do its magic.


It can create a replica of your web site in a subfolder of your authentic WordPress set up. With it, you may take a look at away till you might be completely happy, with out risking everlasting injury to the dwell web site.

6. Begin from Scratch in a Matter of Seconds

You’ll be testing your new theme or plugin, and one thing will go flawed – it’s within the nature of improvement. If nothing ever goes flawed for you, name us. We should always play the lottery collectively.

When issues to go flawed, for the following spherical of testing you want a recent WP setting. For that, use a reset plugin like WP Reset. With a click on of a button, it resets WP supplying you with a pleasant, clear web site to check once more, and once more. It gives extra superior choices too, like reactivating plugins after resetting, so that you don’t should do it manually.


With WP Reset, you can too create much-needed “checkpoints”, due to the database snapshots function. You possibly can create a snap of the database you might be comfy with, in a matter of seconds. After testing, you may roll again to a specific snap as many instances as you’ll want to.

7. After Testing

There is no such thing as a level in testing except you want to enhance the efficiency of your plugin or theme. After it, there may very well be a bunch of causes you may nonetheless find yourself engaged on the identical plugin. There are a number of methods you can make this course of as easy as potential.

Motive 1: Debugging

If every little thing is operating easily, by all means, put it on the market for the entire world to see and use. Nonetheless, if there’s a glitch, you may wish to appropriate that earlier than you hit the market.

It’s potential that almost all of your time goes on debugging, and that’s what is taking you so lengthy. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t compromise the standard of your plugin for pace. Simply discovering the glitch appears to be an excessive amount of of a piece.

You should use Question Monitor that can assist you out right here. This very talked-about plugin presents the knowledge in a structured menu within the admin bar and allows you to see what’s accountable for the problems you might be experiencing.


This data helps tremendously with debugging every little thing from PHP errors, hooks, and actions, to HTTP API calls, with some superior options corresponding to debugging of Ajax or REST API calls. It helps tremendously with finding the issues, because it permits you to slender the knowledge primarily based on a selected theme and plugin. You possibly can examine what’s performing poorly in a matter of seconds.


You might additionally go forward and set up Debug Bar. For those who adopted Tip 3, you in all probability obtained all of it along with the Developer plugin. Debug bar, in its essence, provides a debug menu to the admin bar. Within the menu, it is possible for you to to see the question, cache, and different data that may be really useful with debugging. One other nice good thing about utilizing this plugin is that there’s a bunch of extensions accessible, for instance, Debug Console, or Debug Bar Rewrite guidelines. Every of them is including a bit extra performance to the desk.

Motive 2: Take a look at for All Browsers, Simply in Case

Don’t look forward to tickets as soon as your plugin goes dwell. Guarantee that your plugin or theme works on all of the browsers impeccably, and that your theme doesn’t mess with the responsiveness of the web site. Although over 63% of individuals use Google Chrome, working nice simply on this browser leaves fairly a p.c of them sad.

You do must hold updating, and you can be pondering that you may come again to it later if want be. The reality is, it’s definitely a lot better to have the fundamentals absolutely ready and prepared for transport so to go on to including new options relatively than going again and correcting the identical factor once more.

Motive 3: It May Be All for Nothing

In case you are growing your WordPress theme, you wish to guarantee that it’s based on these guidelines which you shouldn’t break. For this, there’s a plugin that you can use that can assist you out.


The primary checker that you need to be utilizing is the WordPress Theme checker. This one is extraordinarily helpful as a result of it helps you see in case your theme is as much as par with different WordPress themes on the market. It permits you to run the testing instruments that WordPress would use whenever you submit your theme.


As soon as the checks are completed, which can take a second, you may see if something in your theme isn’t based on the WordPress requirements. You possibly can accommodate WordPress’ greatest practices simpler, with out having to spend ages studying them up prematurely.

8. If You Get Interrupted

In case you get interrupted, which occurs ever so annoyingly if you’re working along with somebody, attempt to not toss stuff at them.

The extra frequent case is that you just took a break, or one thing extra vital got here up, so that you needed to go away your station. Getting again to it simply a few hours later might take you hours to get again into the sport and work out what adjustments had been made. Even worse case is the chance that these annoying coworkers made some adjustments when you weren’t there.

Be sure to put in the Easy Historical past plugin. As soon as this plugin is put in and activated, it is possible for you to to see it in your dashboard.


So if another person has put in something, or made some other adjustments, you may simply see them right here. It can allow you to plan your subsequent steps accordingly.

9. Preserve Observe of Your Velocity

One other endorphin-related tip that might create the drive you can be lacking: Time your self.

Now, at first, this might appear considerably counter-intuitive. You in all probability know roughly how lengthy it takes you to finish a theme or plugin, and it’s not a quantity you might be happy with and seeking to share. Nonetheless, there isn’t any purpose for you not to do that. To say it plainly, it is best to compete with your self.

Timing your self may very well be an ideal indicator of what’s slowing you down. If you find yourself on the clock, it’s a lot simpler to see which points of your improvement efforts want bettering. A few of them may be taking you far longer than you estimated them, and others will turn into a lot simpler.

As soon as you realize which elements are essentially the most troublesome, then you’ll know which of those plugins is the suitable match for you. Till then, be certain to put in and activate all of them, simply in case. In spite of everything, you may at all times hit the reset button!

10. Make Positive to Have Enjoyable

The most important killer of your productiveness is if you’re engaged on one thing you aren’t all for otherwise you discover boring. Play some music, gamify your duties, watch some cat movies and consider applicable rewards for work properly completed. No matter works for you, so long as you don’t hate one thing you used to search out so pleasing!

WP Saviour

I am a WordPress specialist. My mission is to help you create beautiful websites with ease!