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Are You Missing Out On These Great Free WordPress Development Tools?

Last Updated on December 3rd, 2018

Published on August 17th, 2015

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As theme and plugin developers we build up a collection of go-to tools over time which can help us create better products and speed up development time. We are lucky in the WordPress community that there are a huge number of available resources which can help anyone learn to code better and produce great secure themes and plugins.

In this blog post, we will look at the some great WordPress development tools that have the potential to make your WordPress development work easier and more productive.

Let’s explore these incredibly helpful WordPress development tools one by one:

1. WordPress Hooks Directory

WordPress Hooks Directory hosts a complete list of WordPress hooks (up to version 4.1) at the time of writing in a searchable database. It is a handy development tool that is used to make your website more flexible and plugin-friendly. Although, its interface isn’t very up to date, but still, it is one of the great development tools.

According to its developers, WordPress hooks directory is an ideal tool for:

  • Discovering hooks that have been renamed in the new versions of WordPress.
  • Searching deprecated hooks.
  • Finding new hooks in each version of WordPress.
  • Viewing source from each hook.
  • Examine about the most common hooks.

2. Monster Widget Plugin

You can use the Monster Widget Plugin for testing your widgetized areas quickly – it loads all 13 default widgets into your sidebar in one go, no setup required. This allows you to quickly check your style settings for widgets and tweak them as necessary.


3. Theme Test Drive Plugin

The theme test drive plugin allows you to install and examine any theme on your blog/site as an administrator while keeping another version live for visitors. In other words, it gives you the flexibility to set the testing theme options in the Admin area while you are checking the theme.


If you have got content that cannot easily be copied in the pure testing environment, then you can use this plugin. If you have a customized theme for one site with plenty of plugin-based content, then you can use this plugin to see how it looks.

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4. Debug This Plugin

Debug This” is a great WordPress plugin that displays the page information from your installation. With this, you can minimize your effort while trying to surface WordPress/PHP/Server data. In fact, you don’t need to write complicated unit tests for small functionality because you can simply flare up what you require from the admin panel itself.


This plugin provides the simple way to the administrators to peek under the hood of the front-face of a WordPress installation through the admin bar.
It allows you to extend the functionality by adding an API, and this makes Debug This plugin more reliable and useful.
Moreover, tools of chrome are quite cool, especially when you test how a website renders on multiple mobile devices from a desktop browser.
Note: If you want to try Chrome’s tools, use the keyword shortcuts (Windows) + + or within the browser

5. WordPress Codex

The WordPress Codex is one of the most useful resources in the WordPress development industry. The codex is basically an online manual for WordPress users that has detailed information from the installation to customization of a WordPress. In short, it offers guidelines and references for those users who are wishing to install, modify, extend and contribute to WordPress.


It also contains worthwhile information on plugin development with references and guides. However, many website developers ignore this excellent tool that can give the detailed information about the WordPress development.

6. WP Gear

WP Gear is a summary of valuable developer tools for working with WordPress.


The community based websites has an immense collection of links to several additional resources well worth testing for all of your WordPress needs that includes:

  • Theme tools and boilerplate
  • Meta fields
  • PHP frameworks
  • Debug tools

7. Developer Plugin

The Developer plugin is an extremely useful tool that can help you to develop your WordPress themes and plugins.

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The community of developers introduced this plugin with an objective to speed up WordPress development. With this plugin, you can rapidly boost your development productivity. Developer plugin enables you to optimize your development environment by verifying that you have all the essential tools, themes and plugins installed.

8. Theme Check Plugin

The Theme Check plugin is a tool which will check your theme’s code and make sure that it meets the requirements of the theme review checklist. It will check all your code and notify you of any requirements you might have missed and other information about your theme.


Even if you are not submitting your theme to the WordPress directory, it is recommended that you make sure your theme passes this check anyway.

9. Underscores Starter Theme

Underscores is a blank starter theme with a collection of theme files, Javascript and CSS which you can use as the basis for starting all your new themes.


It’s created by the team at Automattic so you can be sure it will always use WordPress best practices, head over to the site, enter a name for your new theme and you can download a set of customized files with correct naming conventions already placed.

10. Shortcodes Ultimate

A large bundle of shortcodes which you can offer to users of your theme via this free plugin.


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The plugin currently includes over 50 shortcodes for things like buttons, tabs, accordions and so on.

11. Generate WP

Generate WP is a very useful website which allows you to generate code snippets which you can use in your theme or plugin.


From the site you can create code for Custom Post types, taxonomies, toolbars, shortcodes and lots more.

Wrapping It Up

So these are the handful WordPress development tools that you might not have come to know yet. All tools mentioned in the blog post are developed with an objective to make the job of a WordPress web developer easier and more efficient.

What tools have we missed? Share your favorites with us in the comments.

Author Bio: Tracey Jones is a WordPress Developer at WPGeeks Ltd. with years of experience of converting HTML to WordPress theme with proven track records. She is also a passionate blogger and loves to share her WordPress knowledge through tutorials. Follow her company on various social media networks like Facebook and Google+.

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