11 Best Courses to Learn to Create a WordPress Theme or Plugin

Do you want to take your WordPress skills to the next level and learn to create your own themes and plugins? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled 11 of the best WordPress coding courses on Envato Tuts+ to help you do just that. Take a look and be inspired. 

Any great product starts with great design. This is as true for building a house as it is for building a WordPress theme. That’s why the first course on our list is Designing for WordPress.

Designing for WordPress introduces learners to the fundamentals of WordPress theme design. It starts off by explaining what WordPress is and how it’s structured, before moving into all the design considerations involved in creating each element of a theme.

Designing for WordPress

Once you have a good grasp of how to design a WordPress theme, it’s time to move on to the building process. If you’re building a theme for the first time, it’s a good idea to start with an open-source framework like Bootstrap, which is designed to give you a head start in developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web.

Building WordPress Themes With Bootstrap teaches you how to convert an HTML template into a WordPress theme. In the process, you’ll learn the basics of WordPress theme development as well as more complex techniques, such as creating custom queries and widgets.

 Building WordPress Themes With Bootstrap

Another great tool for beginners is Underscores, a starter theme made by WordPress for developers and designed to give you a head start on theme creation by providing an enormous number of pre-coded ready-made resources.

The WordPress Theme Creation With Underscores video course will introduce you to Underscores, then take you step-by-step through the process of customising PHP files to create a finished theme. 

WordPress Theme Creation With Underscores

WordPress has been working on a game-changing redesign of its editor called Gutenberg, which is due to be launched in November 2018. The aim of this new editor is to create a true WYSIWYG experience by breaking up pieces of posts and pages into individual blocks of content. Undoubtedly, this change will have a knock-on effect for developers. 

In anticipation of the coming changes, the Coding Blocks for WordPress Gutenberg video course teaches developers how to extend the functionality of the Gutenberg editor by creating blocks with specialised WordPress plugins. The course covers what Blocks are and how to write them. A perfect course for getting ahead of the curve. 

Coding Blocks for WordPress Gutenberg

PHP is an open-source scripting language used for the development of web applications. It is the programming language that WordPress is built in, and it’s indispensable for developers who want to master WordPress.

The Learn PHP for WordPress video course teaches you everything you need to know to get started coding PHP in WordPress themes and plugins. In the course, you’ll learn what PHP is and why WordPress uses it, how to create a PHP file, as well as specifics like creating functions, loops, ‘if’ and ‘else’ statements, etc. 

Learn PHP for WordPress

Envato Tuts+ offers a number of bite-sized courses called Coffee Break Courses which are perfect for targeting specific problems developers may run into. 

For example, if you want to add a script or stylesheet to your WordPress theme or plugin, you can’t just add it directly to your HTML, as you would if you were building a site from scratch. Instead, it needs to be “enqueued”, and the Enqueuing Scripts and Styles Coffee Break Course teaches you exactly how to do so correctly using an enqueue_scripts hook.

Enqueuing Scripts and Styles

Adding widget areas to a theme is a great way to extend the theme’s functionality because these areas give users the flexibility of adding widgets to different places in a theme.

WordPress Coding Basics: Widgets is another great addition from the Coffee Break Course series. It teaches you how to register widgets in your theme and add them to your theme template files.

WordPress Coding Basics Widgets

A child theme is a theme that inherits the look and functionality of a parent theme. The advantage of using a child theme is that you can make changes and modifications to it without altering the original code of the parent theme. This means that you can update the parent theme without losing any of the customisations you’ve added along the way.  

The Customizing WordPress With Child Themes video course shows you how to create a child theme from a parent theme and use that child theme to customise your WordPress website, so you can make all the changes you want without worrying about losing them.

Customizing WordPress With Child Themes

If you’re thinking of selling your themes so that others can use them to create their own sites, then you need to build in some flexibility that allows your customers to have some control over customising the theme to suit their taste or brand. 

The Write Customizer-Ready WordPress Themes course teaches you how to add the Theme Customizer to your themes, then how to add text and upload controls and a colour picker so that your theme users can make changes to the theme that reflect their needs. 

Write Customizer-Ready WordPress Themes

Plugins add new functionality to a WordPress website. They are a useful and indispensable part of the WordPress ecosystem because they extend functionality beyond what is provided by the WordPress team, and they allow users to add new features to WordPress websites. Even though the Gutenberg editor will change how plugin developers work, you still need to have a solid understanding of how to construct a plugin.  

WordPress Plugin Development is a great course for a thorough understanding of everything that goes into building a WordPress plugin. It looks at the source code of a plugin, planning your plugin, and writing the plugin. You’ll build your own plugin using various WordPress APIs, taking into account everything that’s necessary to get the plugin fully functional.

WordPress Plugin Development

We’ve been paying a lot of attention to the way the WordPress front-end looks and behaves, but what about back-end customisation? 

In the WordPress Admin Customization course, you’ll learn everything you need to know about back-end customisation for WordPress themes. You’ll learn to make small tweaks like how to clean up and organise the left menu, remove unnecessary table columns and set user permissions, and make bigger changes like creating an entirely different looking admin area. 

WordPress Admin Customization

Build a WordPress Theme Today

Get started learning how to build your own WordPress theme today with a subscription to Envato Elements. For a single low monthly fee, you get access not only to these courses, but also to our growing library of over 1,000 video courses and industry-leading eBooks on Envato Tuts+. 

Plus you now get unlimited downloads from the huge Envato Elements library of 700,000+ creative assets like photos, backgrounds, icons, graphics and fonts that will help you build the perfect WordPress theme. 

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