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WordPress Theme Development with DevWP 2024

WordPress Theme Development with DevWP 2024

Is developing a WordPress theme worth it in 2024? Do people still use WordPress? Do websites still need a WordPress theme other than the default theme? The short answer to those questions is a resounding yes.

The reality is that WordPress still tops the charts when it comes to what’s used to power a website. With over 43% of websites using WordPress and over 60% of websites that use a CMS choosing WordPress, and the nearest competitor is still in the low single digits when it comes to usage, the market share and user base of WordPress makes it a very attractive platform to develop a theme business around.

I’ve been coding for over a decade, and for nearly a decade I’ve been specifically coding WordPress themes and plugins. I’ve also been creating YouTube videos demonstrating how to use WordPress and how to code custom WordPress themes.

Now’s the time for an update to DevWP which is a developer focused theme where I teach people how to code their own WordPress theme using some of the best tools and resources.

Over the years I’ve created videos demonstrating a basic workflow, but in all honesty, the workflow I’ve developed is highly advanced and uses various tools that streamline my productivity and ensure code quality. In a previous video I uploaded in 2023, I gave a glimpse into that workflow and the various tools involved. But within the past 12 months, even that video is somewhat outdated.

So now I’m releasing a new video series where I demonstrate step-by-step how I code custom WordPress themes and will continue to use DevWP as the demonstration of that process.

DevWP is more than just a theme, it’s more than just Underscores and Bootstrap combined. DevWP is a process, a workflow, a high level example of what a modern day WordPress developer uses when either working on the WordPress core, themes or plugins.

Checkout the new intro video:

What do I cover in this new video series?

In this new video series I cover various aspects of WordPress theme development, from setting up your local development environment, to using static and dynamic analysis tools to ensure your code is using modern day best practices, and is as free from bugs as it can possibly be.

Static Analysis & Dynamic Analysis Tools

It’s important to use the right tools to ensure your code is secure and bug free. While we do you various frameworks and pre-written code, we also have a lot of custom code, and code that needs to be updated.

All that code needs to be continuously checked to ensure it works the way we want it to work and doesn’t cause any issues.

Here are some of the static and dynamic analysis tools I cover in this new series:

  • PHPStan
  • PHP Psalm
  • PHP Phan
  • PHP Insights
  • PHPUnit
  • XDebug
  • and more

The tools mentioned above are used to scan and lint our code to search for potential issues which are best identified during the development process. While it’s impossible to have completely bug free code in complex pieces of software and even themes, the goal is to ensure we cover our tracks and try to minimize bugs so we can ship highly functional, feature rich WordPress themes.

Beyond that I also cover other technologies and tools used such as

  • Composer
  • Node.js
  • Aliases
  • Nano Code Editor
  • VS Code
  • Git for version control
  • WP-CLI
  • Bash Scripting
  • and more

What type of WordPress theme is DevWP?

DevWP is a hybrid WordPress theme that can be used by those who prefer the Classic Editor, or by those who prefer the Block Editor. I’ve chosen to make DevWP a Hybrid Theme because that seems to be the best type of theme for the vast majority of WordPress Powered Websites. Classic themes will be around for years to come. The Block Editor will eventually gain traction with new websites coming online and with people becoming more familiar with it, and with it’s development getting more widely adopted. But the goal is to give people a choice, and to ensure that the theme is a viable option for those on both sides of the fence.

Do People Still Buy WordPress Themes?

A lot of people have wondered whether or not WordPress theme sales would completely zero out after the debut of the Gutenberg Editor aka Block Editor. It’s a good question that deserves an honest answer. The Block Editor will not zero out theme sales any time soon, if they ever do. How can I say that with such confidence? Take a look at the Classic Editor Plugin and others that are similar. With millions of installations, and the majority of themes available on the official WordPress Website and other sites, it’s easy to make a confident statement like that.

Will people choose the block editor, yes they will, and they will likely start with a default theme, followed by a free theme from WordPress, and might even choose a premium theme from there. Will people choose the Classic Editor over the Block Editor? they’re doing it now and will continue to do so for years to come.

The proof can also be found on websites like themeforest which is home to one of the most successful themes with over 900,000 theme sales at $70 per sale, and with a current estimated 5,000 theme sales per month and it hasn’t shown any sign of losing traction. If you do the math on that theme, it’s currently generating over $350,000 in revenue per month. Not bad at all.

What makes DevWP worth the investment in time?

The answer is in the question, time is what makes it worth it. Time is of the essence. If you have all the time in the world, then the best way to learn is through trial and error, figuring it out all on your own. What makes that the best way to learn? It’s simple, you will dedicated so many hours into learning, breaking, fixing, debugging, etc., that it will become extremely easy. But that will also be the long way to learn.

The fastest way to learn is to actually have a senior WordPress developer sit with you and guide you on your journey, ready to answer all your questions, and to devote all their time to making sure you fully understand how to code, the WordPress Way. But this isn’t realistic because most senior developers are out there working on their own projects or working for a company, which means they won’t have time to guide you effectively. Maybe you can become an apprentice, but that’s not typical nowadays.

A middle of the road approach is to find the right resources, learn from a few developers who are willing to share their knowledge in an easily accessible way, and follow their path, while at the same time knowing that as you progress, you will likely find your own way. That’s what I offer. I have videos uploaded to YouTube where people can follow step-by-step the process of coding a WordPress theme. And for those who want to support my work and efforts, I also offer all the code with built in documentation on the process and workflow I use in the form of DevWP, WordPress Theme Development made easy.

Besides this new series of videos which will be short, focused videos on each step of developing custom WordPress themes, I also have a long video that I previously uploaded, and while the workflow has evolved, the concepts still provide value.

Jumpstart your WordPress Development Journey

As mentioned earlier, if you want to get started as quickly as possible and make sure you’re developing well coded themes, then make sure to subscribe to PixemWeb on YouTube and consider purchasing a copy of DevWP Hybrid WordPress Theme. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps me to continue to create these tutorials.

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