8 Resources for Learning to Code for WordPress

You certainly don’t need to know how to code in order to use WordPress, but having some coding knowledge is valuable when it comes to customizing the way WordPress works for your membership site. In this article, you’ll find a collection of nine resources for learning to code for WordPress, including free and paid options.

Even if you don’t want to do any coding yourself, a better understanding in this area can help you more effectively choose plugins and themes for your website, as well as more clearly communicate with developers.

So let’s get started with our collection of the best free and paid resources for learning WordPress development.

8 Resources for Learning to Code for WordPress

With a mixture of free and paid resources, including interactive lessons, video tutorials, paperback books, and advice from qualified and experienced developers, you’re sure to find something to help you on your journey.

Get to Grips with PHP at W3Schools


The W3Schools website is packed with free interactive tutorials to help you learn the many aspects of web development, but mastering the PHP tutorials is essential if you want to try your hand at WordPress development.

There are plenty of tutorials to work through, with the ability to set your own pace as you move through the lessons. You can also take an exam to qualify for a W3Schools certificate, but that’s optional. Whether you take the test or not, there’s no doubt a firm understanding of PHP will help you make the most of the other WordPress development resources featured here.

View the PHP tutorials at W3Schools

WordPress Development for Beginners from WPMU DEV

Learn to Code for WordPress

Want a free resource that takes you through the basics of WordPress development? This series from the WPMU DEV blog is a great place to start. Knowledge of HTML and CSS is assumed, making this a useful resource for those with a design background or experience in basic website editing.

The content covers learning PHP, building themes, working with widgets and menus, and creating plugins. With all this information, you’ll find you’re well equipped to begin WordPress development and customize the way your website looks and works.

View the WordPress Development for Beginners series

Learn WordPress Development with Envato Tuts+

Tuts+ for WordPress

This sequence of video tutorials from the popular Envato Tuts+ website guides you through the basics of coding for WordPress and beyond. The courses in this series explain the different aspects of WordPress-theme customization, understanding PHP in the context of WordPress development, and writing your own functions for your WordPress website.

Unfortunately, access to the courses isn’t free, but for a monthly fee of $19.99 (plus local taxes), you can take over 1,140 video courses, access over 240 ebooks, and download content from Envato Elements.

So if you need any graphics, videos, illustrations, layouts, or WordPress themes for your projects, investing in Envato Tuts+ and Envato Elements is a smart move.

View the Learn WordPress Development videos

WordPress Development Courses at Udemy

Learn WordPress Code at Udemy

The Udemy platform offers courses on just about every topic imaginable, including WordPress development. Although not a free resource for learning to code for WordPress, Udemy courses are often heavily discounted, especially for new users.

For example, for just under $20, you can access a nineteen-hour video course on WordPress development for themes and plugins, or a guide to customizing WordPress themes using HTML and CSS.

The most popular WordPress development resources at Udemy have hundreds of positive reviews from people who’ve taken the courses, giving you a good idea of their quality. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you some peace of mind when choosing a course.

View the WordPress development courses at Udemy

WPSessions Library of Courses on WordPress Development


The WPSessions website offers a number of courses on WordPress development from a range of authors. These course creators are experienced WordPress coders, many of whom have created well-known plugins for WordPress and worked on high profile projects.

Like the Envato Tuts+ courses, WPSessions works on a monthly subscription pricing model, with fees starting at $15 per month, which gives you access to all of the courses, tutorials, and other resources on the WPSessions website. Also, all the content is WordPress-focused, so there’s lots of relevant material to consume.

View the courses at WPSessions

Professional WordPress: Design and Development Book

 WordPress Development Book

If you prefer learning via textbook, best-sellingProfessional WordPress: Design and Development is the authority on coding for WordPress. In it, coauthor Brad Williams, of WebDevStudios.com  and AppPresser.com, shares his hands-on experience with developing websites using WordPress.

With chapters on the WordPress Loop, theme development, and data management, this could be your go-to book when it comes to learning to code for WordPress. Positive reviews from readers say this is a resource you should definitely consider.

View the Professional WordPress book at Amazon.com

Up and Running WordPress Development Course

Up and Running Course

WordPress developers David Hayes and Fred Meyer have created what they believe is the ultimate course on WordPress development. Designed to give you a holistic picture of how everything works, along with an in-depth look into the advanced details, Up and Running aims to be your one-stop shop for learning to code for WordPress.

Check out the free WordPress educational content from the duo to get a good idea of what to expect from the main course before you invest. If you do sign up, you’ll gain access to a full ebook that includes illustrative diagrams and video tutorials.

View the Up and Running WordPress Development course

WordPress Codex Developer Documentation

WordPress Codex

Once you’re familiar with a few of the resources in this guide, or if you already have some programming skills, Developer Documentation at the WordPress Codex can help you apply your knowledge to your website.

View the WordPress Codex Developer Documentation

Final Thoughts

Ready to get started on your WordPress coding journey? No matter where you are, from a total beginner to someone with a knowledge of WordPress development, these resources will help you get to the next level or at least point you in the right direction.

Whether you’re looking for free material to help you better understand the topic of WordPress development, or you’re willing to pay to access the best learning content, you’ve got plenty of options.

Attending local WordCamps and WordPress-related meetups is another great way to further your education, as well as connect with like-minded individuals.

Which resources will you use to learn to code for WordPress?

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About Joe Fylan

Joe uses WordPress to create websites of all types and loves sharing his experiences of using this software with other users. If you need a steady stream of great content for your website, or you want the latest WordPress news and reviews check out his writing services and WordPress blog.