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VS Code Setup for WordPress Theme Development

VS Code Setup for WordPress Theme Development

Why VS Code?

VS Code is the most widely used code editor with features that give it IDE type functionality. Developers world-wide use VS Code on various types of projects and with nearly all programming languages. It is easily customizable with extensions that enhance the features and functionality to make it a powerful tool that when properly configured can greatly streamline your workflow.

In this article I share with you some basic tips to help you get VS Code setup with some extensions that I find useful while developing DevWP WordPress Hybrid Theme.


Visual Studio Code (VS Code) is a powerful, versatile code editor that’s widely used for various development tasks, including PHP development. This guide will walk you through setting up VS Code, configuring Git Bash as your default terminal on Windows, and installing essential extensions for an optimized development experience.

Using Git Bash as Default Terminal on Windows

For a more robust terminal experience, you might prefer using Git Bash instead of PowerShell. Here’s how to set Git Bash as your default terminal in VS Code:

  1. Open Command Palette:
    • Press Ctrl + Shift + P to open the Command Palette.
  2. Select Default Profile:
    • Type and select Terminal: Select Default Profile.
  3. Choose Git Bash:
    • From the list, select Git Bash to set it as your default terminal.

By setting Git Bash as your default terminal, you gain access to a more familiar Unix-like command line environment, which can be particularly useful for development tasks.

What about macOS?

macOS already uses a UNIX type operating system and on modern versions of macOS, the ZSH is used. On older versions of macOS, Bash is used. Either of these are fine to use for terminal.

Essential Extensions

Enhance your development workflow by installing these essential extensions in VS Code:

  • EditorConfig for VSCode:
    Helps maintain consistent coding styles for multiple developers working on the same project across various editors and IDEs.
  • PHP Debug by Xdebug:
    Provides powerful debugging capabilities for PHP using Xdebug, making it easier to diagnose and fix issues in your code.
  • PHP Intelephense:
    Offers intelligent code completion, parameter info, quick info, and more for PHP, significantly enhancing your coding efficiency.
  • Prettier – Code Formatter:
    Automatically formats your code to ensure a consistent style across your project, reducing the time spent on code formatting.
  • XML Tools:
    Provides XML formatting, XQuery, and XPath tools for working with XML files within VSCode.
  • ESLint:
    Integrates ESLint for JavaScript and TypeScript, helping you identify and fix linting issues as you code.


By following this guide, you’ll set up a powerful and efficient development environment in VSCode, tailored for PHP development. With Git Bash as your default terminal and a curated list of essential extensions, you’ll be well-equipped to handle various development tasks with ease and precision.

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