La Vie en Code Podcast

014: The Newbie Dev’s Intro to WordPress Development

014: The Newbie Dev’s Intro to WordPress Development

Today, we’re talking all about WordPress development. What WordPress is used for, some common misconceptions about it, a little overview of how it works and why you may want to consider becoming a WordPress developer.

With over 76 million hosted blogs and 50,000 sites being launched daily – we can’t deny the fact that WordPress is an OG! Whether you use WordPress or not, there’s just no way we can avoid it.

In this episode, Nicole shares some of her thoughts on WordPress as an intermediate WordPress developer. She’ll be delving into themes, plugins, templates and so much more that by the end of the episode, you should have a pretty good idea of what WordPress is capable of and whether or not it’s the right platform for you.

Hey folks! I'm so excited to bring you my second techy episode, and first WP-centered episode. I really have a soft spot in my heart for WordPress, because it acted kind of as “training wheels” that actually got a little bigger so you can really learn to handle the bike before you take them off and cruise. There are people who make a living out of riding bikes with training wheels.

See, training wheels should never have a negative connotation. They stabilize you in one area so you can focus on others. For me, this meant I always had a place to start with WordPress. Rather than aimlessly building an entire site, then giving up when it got too hard, I started with building some WordPress themes and templates.

Now, expanding further into PHP, I'm dipping my toes into the world of plugin development to build a comfort level with Actions and Hooks. We don't cover these topics in this episode, but fall firmly under the area of “advanced” WordPress development.

If you have any questions about WordPress, post them below! I'd love to hear them, and answer them if possible. If I can't, we'll learn something new together. 🙂

A note about these “techy” episodes

This is the second “techy” episode I've done to date, the first being 009: Introduction to JavaScript and the Document Object Model (DOM).

I just want to remind listeners really quick that my overall intention in these “Intro” episodes isn’t to go into depth, or even to “teach” people. I want to create curiosity for these types of topics and pose the questions that these topics provide answers to.

There are literally a million and one tutorials and templates out there for WordPress that are fantastic, and I will happily round the best that I’ve found up for you to continue on your journey of question-asking and answer-seeking in the world of web development.

What we’re doing here is creating valuable context. Context aids in learning. If you like what you hear about WordPress, follow the links included, and you’ll find that even if you’ve never heard about WordPress before listening to this episode, your brain has now built enough of a context about it that you’ll start to ask yourself questions, and as you learn about it further, you’re not encountering these topics for the first time.

It’s kind of like skimming a book before you really read it. I’m not interested in recreating the wheel; I’m interested in helping my listeners. And the end result of listening to these Intro episodes is that you experience calmer learning with better retention and less frustration.

Show Links

There's a lot of great stuff in here! And remember: if something doesn't interest you, don't worry about it. It's good information to know for determining your web development learning path. 😊

Please note: There are also a few affiliate links in here, for Treehouse and others. I get roughly a cup of coffee if you click through and sign up with them. And you know how much I love coffee, so THANK YOU!

WP the OG from '03: The History

History of WordPress | WPBeginner
A deeper look into WordPress' history as a CMS, and how it came to become so popular in the first place.

Guided WordPress Courses

WordPress Development Track | Treehouse
Treehouse offers an excellent introduction and deeper dive into WordPress development. They were actually my first exposure to customizing WP outside of the out-of-the-box functionality. You'll do exciting projects with the guidance of Treehouse's dedicated instructors and active student community. I'm currently still trying to get a bunch of my projects up onto my website and off places like Treehouse's Workspaces (code editor), so I'm really sorry I don't have much in the way of Treehouse projects to share. I'll have them up ASAP!

In the meantime, if you want to check out Treehouse's WordPress Development Track, you can do so HERE!

Complete WordPress Theme Development Course | Udemy
This course is one of the highest-rated courses on Udemy, with a 4.7/5.0 rating and thousands of students. Udemy is the world's largest online course marketplace. They regularly do $10-15 sales, where all courses less than $200 are available at the discount.

Interested? I announce them to folks on the mailing list. Sign up for the mailing list in the top menu bar above!

WordPress Template Hierarchy

A Straightforward Guide to the WordPress Template Hierarchy | WPMUDev
Not only does this resource include the hierarchy tree I talked about in the podcast episode, but it also explains the process behind WP's file selection.
An interactive WordPress Template Hierarchy Tree, with deeper explanation of the process.

Plugin Development: The Meat and Bones of WP

Plugin has excellent documentation on the self-installed version of WordPress for developers. They didn't leave anything out in their Plugin Handbook, either. You'll cover the basics like why we even create plugins to begin with, how they fit in with themes. They also cover extremely important topics like security and validation—you want to be sure you don't contribute to vulnerabilities!

Beginner's Guide to WP Plugin Development | Hongkiat
Hongkiat, like CSS-Tricks, tends to have excellent content on a lot of different areas of web development. One area where they both flourish is in their staff WordPress writers! Learn what they know via guides like this. If I link them, they are Nicole-approved!

REST APIs and How They Work

The REST API (and How It Could Change WordPress Forever) | WPMUDev
This article is so packed with good info, I don't even know where to begin! You'll see a lot of what I talked about on the podcast episode here!

WordPress REST API V2 Documentation |
When WordPress released JSON REST API access in 4.7 (late December 2016), they made sure that developers knew all about how to use it. A lot of WordPress developers had limited their learning, and not checked out options outside of WordPress' core features (myself included). As such, created an amazing repository of information for developers new and experienced alike. It will introduce you to the REST API, explain how it uses JavaScript Object Notation (or JSON—not discussed really in the episode) to allow developers to interact with sites remotely.

Advanced WordPress Development Topics

What is a Headless CMS? | CSS-Tricks
Despite sounding kind of spooky, “headless” or “decoupled” CMS just means that we're plopping our own front-end framework on top of the WP core. CSS-Tricks covers some common questions on the topic.



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