5 Free WordPress Development Tools In 2020

WordPress development tools are great for streamlining your WordPress projects. Furthermore, speed up your WP projects with these WordPress development tools like you never thought possible. From generating generic markup to WordPress snippets.

1. Emmet

Emmet is an abbreviated HTML and CSS compiler of sort. It’s available for most recommended code editors for easier and faster HTML markup writing. Emmet allows the developer to write beautifully formatted HTML with a little effort.

Learning to incorporate Emmet as a WordPress development tool takes no time. Dreamweaver included Emmet into its software as native functionality. Other code editors like brackets can have Emmet installed via a plugin.

2. Xampp For Local Hosting

Locally hosting can be an incredible WordPress development tool. It allows development in PHP even while on windows operating system. If you have ever developed on a remote server, you know the time it takes to send edit and refresh the browser. With Xampp, reloading your edits can be 50-80% faster! Local may not always be an option but when it is, take full advantage!

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Xampp is a free local server software you can download for free. Install is about 150mb and only takes a few minutes to have running. Then you will have your own local server running Apache and MySQL on windows, Linux or Mac.

3. Picsum Photos

Picsum photo is the lorem ipson of photos. It’s provides a simple, free placeholder image service. It’s uses images from the unsplash images repository with a few of its own inline API options. Crop, color and more while pulling images to fill empty spots during early development stages. Image placeholders can be a clear way of seeing issues that would appear only after real content was created.

Using Picsum Photos as a WordPress development tool can get creative. In its simplest form, use it to automate blog post images when a post doesn’t have a featured image. While a deeper integration would be a back-end panel that allows you to upload hi end photos from the back-end or page builder. There is a well crafted version of this already wrapped in a WordPress plugin called instant images. Just add and test it out for yourself.

4. WordPress Debug and Chrome Console

WordPress is great at handling errors for the most part. However by default, you typically won’t get much info about your PHP errors. With a few extra tweaks, WordPress will show errors and print them in a log file on your server.

Looking at the WordPress codex, you can find 3 lines of PHP, each a simple define to enable debugging in WordPress. You do not have to enable all 3 but it’s certainly good to try them and see what each option provides.

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Furthermore, Google Chrome’s Console is one of the most viewed windows in JavaScript writing. Its only fair to mention the console when talking about WordPress development tools. It is extremely rare that a theme or plugin would be created without some JavaScript.

5. WordPress Plugin Generator

Saving the best for last, the WordPress plugin generator can save countless development hours. As developers, we wanted a WordPress development tool that would automate critical but repetitive parts to every plugin. We built a tool that we use everyday and eventually even brought it to the community.

Now for those who are wondering, no you cannot create a complete fully working product from this WordPress plugin tool. The plugin builder gives you most of the core starting points you would want to create in a simple options panel.

Within minutes, your base plugin with code comments and prefix ready functions will be downloaded as a zip file that will properly upload directly through the WordPress plugin up-loader.

Quick note, never upload to a live site! It shouldn’t break anything. You should always install a base framework like this on a local host where you can build and modify freely. Once your plugin has the functionality intended then test on other WordPress installs.

After you have installed your plugin into your local WordPress installation, open the plugin files with your code editor and start incorporating the actual logic you needed. The bones are there!

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