wordpress development tools
  • 18 WordPress Development Tools You Probably Aren’t Using

Featured Image Caption: Wordpress Development Tools

Over the past twelve years, WordPress has grown from a simple publishing platform to a powerful multi-purpose CMS. According to W3Techs, today it powers nearly 31% of the all websites and has CMS market share of 59.9%. Hence, the number of people (designers, developers and bloggers) who make a full time living from WordPress is also increasing rapidly.

Apart from offering free themes and plug-ins to end-users, WordPress has quite a number of resources and tools for developers as well. If you’re a developer, you might already be using most of them but there are some others you probably would not have ever heard about. This blog post will introduce you to 18 such WordPress tools that will make your WordPress development much easier and faster.

Let’s start!

Theme Check:

If you’re a WordPress theme developer, then you must install this invaluable plug-in. Not only it measures your theme against the latest WordPress theme review standards but also shows you required elements which you might have missed in the theme. Theme Check ships with 40+ built-in tests that need to be performed before submitting any theme to the WordPress theme directory.

Debug Bar:

Debug Bar is a must have for every WordPress developer. Once activated, this plug-in adds a new menu “Debug” to the admin bar that displays helpful debugging information like memory usage, total queries, cache and total query time etc. Even, it can also track PHP Warnings and Notices if you’ve enabled WP_DEBUG.


If you often feel tired of writing WordPress code manually, then GenerateWP is made for you. As the name itself suggests, GenerateWP allows you to create high-quality, custom code that you can use in your WordPress projects directly. Currently, it offers over 20 tools and generators to help you enhance your development workflow.


Did you know you can control WordPress from the command line? Only WP-CLI provides you this functionality. With a couple of commands, you can accomplish almost all your WordPress related tasks within no time. For instance, you can install WordPress in just 10 seconds which is quite faster than the famous 5-minute install. That’s the power of WP-CLI!

Debug This:

This plug-in gives you a sneak peek of the page information from your WordPress installation via the admin bar. Packed with forty-nine debug modes, Debug This keeps you from writing complex unit tests and hard-coding debug snippets for small functionality. Right from the admin bar, simply flare up what you actually need.

WordPress Hooks Database:

As a developer, you would definitely know the importance of hooks in WordPress. To assist you figure out which hooks are currently available, Adam Brown’s website hosts an extensive list of WordPress hooks in a searchable database. Even though the interface looks quite outdated, you can’t ignore the usefulness of this tool in plug-in and theme development.

Monster Widget:

Monster Widget plug-in provides you an easy and quick way to test your widgetized areas. By consolidating all core widgets into a single widget, it enables you easily create multiple instances without any setup. This plug-in proves to be quite useful when you have more than one test site. Just add a single widget to your favorite sidebar and you’re good to go.

WordPress Plug-in Boilerplate:

The WordPress plug-in boilerplate, created by Tom McFarlin, is a great time-saving resource that provides you a solid foundation for building high-quality WordPress plug-ins. Built with an object-oriented approach, it adheres perfectly to both WordPress Coding Standards and Inline Documentation Standards. Means, you don’t need to hunt them down.


Underscores is a fully-functioning blank starter theme built and maintained by Automattic’s theme division. Covering bases like header, footer, sidebar and comment page, it lets you concentrate on building a unique theme that delivers users a great experience. You can use it to generate the base for your next theme project.

Log Deprecated Notices:

This plug-in displays a list of all deprecated functionalities used in a plug-in or theme and offers their alternatives if available. Even, it also logs the usage of incorrect functions, which WordPress reports since version 3.1. Moreover, there is no need to use WP_DEBUG since this plug-in also logs deprecated notices that are usually exposed by WP_DEBUG.

RTL Tester:

Since many WordPress users read and write text from right-to-left (RTL) direction, you should consider testing your plug-in or theme in RTL mode as well. Using RTL Tester plug-in, you can switch from LTR to RTL with a new button added to the admin bar.

User Switching:

User Switching plug-in allows you to instantly switch between registered users in WordPress, absolutely without entering usernames and passwords. Once activated, it adds a new menu “Switch Off” to the WordPress toolbar wherefrom you can switch to any user. This plug-in is virtually indispensable for test environments where you repeatedly switch between different user accounts.


Since most of the themes and plug-ins include jQuery, it becomes crucial to debug JavaScript for professional WordPress development. Firebug, a Firefox extension, offers a wealth of development tools to let you edit, debug, and monitor HTML, CSS and JavaScript on any web page in real-time. Alternatively, you can try Chrome’s Console to debug a web page.

Theme Unit Test:

WordPress’ Theme Unit Test proves to be quite useful for creating a testing environment. With a downloadable XML file, you can quickly test whether or not you’re formatting data correctly. To check the performance of a theme or plug-in against live data, all you need to do is to download test data and import it to your WordPress install.


With InstantWP, you can turn any Windows PC into a fully-functioning WordPress development server in just a few minutes. Unlike XAMPP, it provides you an easier and faster way to install WordPress with dummy content. You just need to launch the application for creating a temporary development server. Even, it allows you to carry your development and testing work on a USB key.

Shortcodes Ultimate:

Shortcodes Ultimate plug-in offers over 50 professional looking and highly customizable shortcodes to help you supercharge your WordPress theme. With this easy-to-use plug-in, you have the ability to create boxes, tabs, quotes, lists, galleries, buttons and other elements. You can further extend plug-in functionality with premium add-ons offered.

Query Monitor:

Query Monitor is a debugging plug-in that comes with a bunch of advanced features which generally are not available in other debugging plug-ins. After activation, this plug-in integrates a new toolbar with the admin bar and displays query data along with other features – like Hooks, Transients Set, HTTP Requests and PHP Errors – to make development process easier.

WordPress Gear:

WPGear is a community-driven compilation of handy development tools for WordPress. This website is filled with links to developer centric resources, including PHP Boilerplates, basic and debugging tools, Meta fields, theme tools and boilerplates, and much more. The tools featured on WPGear are enough to fulfill all your WordPress development needs.

Ashish Kumar

By Ashish Kumar
who is an experienced web developer working with XHTMLJunction – PSD to WordPress Provider. He always tries to keep himself up with latest web development trends and technologies to boost his productivity and capabilities.

Member since June, 2018
View all the articles of Ashish Kumar.

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