The Modern WordPress Developer's Toolbox

Tracy Rotton


Git is not something you learn in a day.
Git is something you learn over the course of your career.


  • Come on, it's 2015!
  • Revision control is a must in modern development.
  • Alternatives: Subversion, Mercurial, ???
  • Meh, just use Git

Git Repository Services

Bonus Security #ProTip!

define( 'DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true );


Virtualized development environment…

…a computer inside a computer.

Why use Vagrant?

  • Can be configured with code.
  • Allows for closer match with the production environment.
  • Environments can be created and destroyed at will:

You can vagrant destroy,
but you can never vagrant forget.


Varying Vagrant Vagrants:
Quickest way to get up and running with a WordPress-optimized Vagrant VM.

Package Managers

Package Managers

Automates the process of installing, updating, and removing software.

Retrieves code from a central repository.


  • Package manager for PHP
  • Can be used to manage WordPress core and plugins


  • Node Package Manager
  • Means to an end


Manages front-end libraries:

  • Sass libraries
  • FontAwesome

Don't use it for libraries that come bundled with WordPress.

JavaScript Task Runners

  • Used to convert Sass to CSS
  • Check your JavaScript for errors
  • Concatenate and minify stylesheets and scripts
  • And much, much more

JavaScript Task Runners

  • Grunt.js
  • Gulp.js
  • Brunch.js
  • Broccoli.js


  • Provides a command-line alternative to managing WordPress
  • Faster than /wp-admin/
  • Scripting!


  • Pronounced "underscores"
  • "Starter" theme
  • Provides base templates, functions, and classes upon which to build a custom theme.

WordPress Plugin Boilerplate

"A standardized, organized, object-oriented foundation for building high-quality WordPress Plugins."

Like _s for themes, provides a scaffold for easily getting started building WordPress plugins.

Essential Development Plugins

Show Template

Very simple plugin for showing you which template file WordPress is using to generate the page you're on.

Debug Bar

Installs a "Debug" section in your admin bar with diagnostic information.

Theme Check

Makes sure your theme meets the standards required to be added to the WordPress theme repository. Makes sure your using WordPress best practices in building your theme.

Regenerate Thumbnails

Especially useful when working with responsive images, takes the images in your media library and creates different sized versions of them.

WP Migrate DB (Pro)

Exports your database as a MySQL data dump, does a find and replace on URLs and file paths, then allows you to save it to your computer.


(Same applies in 2015.)

Want to Get Responsive?

Responsive WordPress Theming


Thank You!