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I’m a senior frontend developer and designer. And I kind of do some backend stuff here and there, more like a copy-paste thing then actually programming :)

Lately, I started doing some basic PHP. I never learned PHP before, as I’m a frontend mostly, but lately I realized how much more I can do with Wordpress if I learn at least a little PHP. I realized I can do full custom Wordpress themes by myself with a basic PHP knowledge.

So I learned what are loops, variables, functions, arrays, and some similar pretty basic stuff. And I now use some of those when needed while doing my Wordpress work.

Now, I’m not into learning PHP to a very pro level. That would be too much for me right know, cause I definitelly don’t have time to go too much into it. But I want to learn it enough so that I can confortably use it with Wordpress codex, and resolve some basic everyday Wordpress requests.

I want to learn PHP enough to make some not-so-complexed plugins (I already know how to create some very basic widgets and shortcodes) and to understand PHP used in Wordpress better.

So, besides Wordpress codex, which I already use a lot… what would be the best way to learn PHP for Wordpress use. Currently, I don’t want to lose time learning PHP that is, in most cases, not used in Wordpress. I want to learn PHP the Wordpress way, because I use Wordpress for 99% of my projects, and that is where I will use PHP stuff.

So does this make sense, somehow learning PHP only for Wordpress and understanding what I should learn there and what not… or should I just continue learning PHP by itself, outside of Wordpress, and then later on, when I get enough knowledge of it, incorporate it with my Wordpress work.

Any kind of tips?

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I would say that first you should learn the language (PHP) and only after that the PHP&CMS (WordPress)

Personally I don’t know “PHP that is, in most cases, not used in Wordpress.” as you said. Any PHP code can be used in a WordPress theme or maybe in a plugin at a certain moment of time.

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I started by looking carefully at the Twenty Fourteen theme (or their earlier themes). Learning and using their code and functions definately helped me a lot. After all, who better to learn from than the people who made WordPress ;)

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I had the EXACT same question. Did you ever find out a solution for learning the PHP we need for editing and working on Wordpress? I thought you question was super ;-)

So curious what you think…


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Open up a free theme in sublime text and get working :) Thats how I started! Also, when I did start I knew almost nothing about html, css, js and php. It will be hard and will take a long time but its worth it.

Just to clarify, it was roughly 2.5 years ago that I decided to learn code. At the moment I’ve sold just over 172k worth of theme since then, most of which was done this year :)

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If you take it seriously, like school.. taking notes and such… google Codeacademy, its quite extensive to get the basics down plus its free. Thats where I I get my refresher courses, good to keep the mind sharp ya know? HOpe that helps.