WordPress is one of the most powerful content management systems (CMS) around. That’s why we chose it for our second entry in our Top 50 series. You can checkout last week’s maiden entry – Top 50 Websites To Learn PHP, in case you missed it.
A content management system is a web application that allows non-technical folks to manage and maintain a website. A CMS handles many aspects of the website delivery process including navigation elements, providing searchable and indexed content, and more. Another feature offered by popular CMS platforms is a user system, and the CMS generally handles permissions, security and personalization.
Although WordPress is one of the most popular platforms, it is not the only one. Alternatives include Drupal, Blogger, TidyCMS and many more.
Once installed, website administrators can generally update, edit and maintain the site through the CMS backend or dashboard. With WordPress, you can do things like change the theme — which alters the website layout and design — and install plugins.
Recommended Training – Treehouse
Although this site recommends various training services, our top recommendation is Treehouse.
Treehouse is an online training service that teaches web design, web development and app development with videos, quizzes and interactive coding exercises.
Treehouse's mission is to bring technology education to those who can't get it, and is committed to helping its students find jobs. If you're looking to turn coding into your career, you should consider Treehouse.
There is no wrong or right way to use WP (WordPress) as it has been heavily adapted for countless websites during its existence. It can be used for eCommerce, blogs, professional portfolios, online publications and magazines, and much more.
Some quick WP Stats:
- WordPress powers 24.1% of all websites on the internet → That’s 60.2% of the CMS market share
- WordPress powers 48% of the top 10,000 websites
- It powers 51% of the top 100,000 websites
As you can see, it’s pretty popular.
Where Should You Start with WordPress?
The thing most people don’t realize about coding and website design is that it’s fairly easy to teach yourself. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to attend a university program. You don’t even have to go to a tech school for a certificate. You can master these skills through practice.
The beauty of working with a CMS like WordPress is that a lot of the dev process has been streamlined. You can simply install the platform on your domain server and go.
Yet, everyone has to start somewhere. You’re not going to pull knowledge out of thin air; you’ll need to do a lot of reading and rely on available references to get your career jumpstarted.
To help, we’ve compiled a huge list of 50 resources that will either show you how to get started with WordPress or broaden your existing skillset.
Top 50 Websites to Learn WordPress Development
Before diving in, know that you don’t have to check out every resource on the list. We’ll explain which options are more suitable to your tastes — whether you’re at a beginner, intermediate or expert level.
Keep in mind, the resources are not listed in any particular order.
1. WordPress Essential Training with Morten Rand-Hendriksen (Lynda.com)
Lynda is an online coding school similar to Treehouse or CodeSchool. These particular lessons by Morten Rand-Hendriksen are an excellent way to learn the WordPress platform. Hendriksen’s lessons are incredibly easy to follow and he takes everything step-by-step. You will need to go into these lessons with some basic knowledge of coding. You might find things a bit difficult if you’ve never worked with some form of programming before. It is a paid course, but you can test out the waters with a free course preview before spending any money. Basic access to Lynda.com courses is $24.99 per month, with more expensive plans offered, as well. It’s worth noting that with a basic subscription you won’t be given access to course project files.
Price: Starts at $24.99/month
2. WPBeginner by Awesome Motive Inc
This website is tailored specifically for beginners, and when we say beginners we mean beginners. You don’t need any prior coding experience to get started. It’s a great resource for setting up WordPress and getting started with the platform. It will explain how to install new themes, plugins and get other users creating content. The best part is that access is free and there are a wide variety of lesson types, such as videos, written articles, guides and tutorials, and much more.
3. Official WordPress Codex
Like many programming frameworks, languages and development platforms, WordPress has an official resource codex. It’s free, comprehensive and covers the gamut of topics from beginner to expert. If you want to be a great WordPress developer you’ll need to know the codex.
4. Make WordPress Blog
The WordPress development team is responsible for this blog, which primarily discusses upcoming features, updates and hotfixes for the platform. If you’d like to stay up-to-date with what’s going on then this is the site to visit. You may even learn a thing or two while browsing it.
5. Udemy WordPress Courses
Udemy is another online coding school that offers a wide variety of free and paid lessons. There are hundreds of WordPress related courses on the site ranging from beginner to intermediate topics.
Price: Starts at $19
6. Team Treehouse with Zac Gordon
Treehouse offers high-quality, professional courses for learning any language or element of coding. This course by Zac Gordon takes things slow and that means his lesson is easy to follow. He’ll walk you through creating a WordPress website, setting up the visual style and themes, and customizing various aspects of the platform. The course is paid with some free trials available. The basic plan is $25 a month while the pro plan is $49 a month.
Price: Starts at $25/month
7. WordPress.tv by Automattic
WordCamp is a conference for seasoned developers and website owners that love working with WordPress. At the events, “everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.” All the keynotes, speakers, and various discussions are recorded and posted online for people to watch who weren’t able to attend. That’s where WordPress.tv comes into play. It is the place where those videos are uploaded and can be streamed anytime.
Price: Starts at $40 to attend the conference in-person.
8. WP Apprentice by Kirk Biglione
This resource handles most of the basics, so if you’ve never worked with websites before and you want to build on with WordPress it’s a great place to go. Unfortunately, the courses are not free. You’ll learn things like using WordPress widgets, screen options, customizing themes and more. As for the professor or teacher, he’s well-spoken and he takes things relatively slow so the concepts are easy to follow. Premium access starts at $47, and it seems to be a one-time fee.
Price: $47 for lifetime access to this resource.
9. WP Theming
If you’re more interested in themes and plugins, then this is the resource for you. The site is run by Devin Price, a business owner who runs his own sites on the WordPress platform. While developing themes and plugins, he documents his experiences on the site including the many ways he troubleshoots problems in his code.
10. WebDesign by iThemes
iThemes develops many tools for the WordPress platform like BackupBuddy, Exchange and many more. This particular training library is their resource to new users looking to get started with the platform. Again, this is not a free resource, you’ll need to pay to gain access to the lessons. If you would rather not spend money, look at one of the many free resources on this list. To join the community — which gets you access to the entire library of lessons and content — it’s $197.
Price:$197 for a one-year membership
11. BlogAid by MaAnna Stephenson
$1 will get you a two week subscription to a wide variety of lessons, not just on working with WordPress. However, the lessons are all of high-quality, organized appropriately and remarkably easy to follow.
Price: Starts at $1 for two weeks of access
12. BobWP by Bob Dunn
Bob Dunn started his own training site with WordPress and has since created a valuable resource with tutorials, guides and advice through BobWP. He does offer a few tutorials on getting started with WordPress, however a lot of his content focuses on Genesis and WooThemes.
13. Tuts+ WordPress Lessons
Tuts+ is a great place to find more advanced tutorials and resources. If you’re a beginner you might have a tough time grasping some of the concepts explored here. If you have prior experience with WordPress, you’ll feel right at home. Topics covered include object oriented programming in WordPress, using WooCommerce, template tags and much more.
14. Tom McFarlin’s Blog
Tom is actually the head developer of Pressware, and he writes about his experiences working with the platform on his personal blog. He has since partnered with WPBeginner to offer more comprehensive tutorials, but the archived content is still available. His insights are extremely informative, but the topics he covers are more ideal for experienced developers.
15. Smashing Magazine
This is a web development design blog which actually covers a wide variety of topics. Their WordPress articles are generally published on a monthly basis. Each one covers a new topic about the platform, with many of them services as a in-depth tutorials or guides. Renowned WordPress developers usually guest blog on the site including Tom McFarlin, Siobhan McKeown and many more. It’s a great resource for intermediate to experienced developers.
16. WP Mayor
This website publishes a great deal of how-tos, tutorials, tips and features on WordPress. Some of the topics are for beginners while others are or more experienced coders. All around, the site is a great resource for anyone interested in working with the platform.
17. ManageWP Blog
If you’re looking for more advanced tips and tutorials or guides regarding themes and plugins this is the place to go. The site is updated regularly so it’s a place you’ll want to continue checking.
Paul Underwood is an experienced blogger and web developer that works with WordPress on a daily basis. He created the website Paulund to share tutorials for code snippets — small bits of code that can be used for a particular function or purpose. More recently, Paul has begun developing his own plugins, and has also been sharing guides and tutorials about his experiences.
By now, you’ve probably realized that these online schools are pretty common. WP101 is one such school that focuses directly on WordPress and working with the platform. There are free samples available so you can test the waters before paying, but make no mistake about it this is a premium resource that you’ll have to pay to access. Nothing explores the process of creating a site with WordPress, so it’s the place to go if you already know how to do all that. That’s not to say it’s for experts only as many of the concepts are for those just getting started with the platform.
Price: $19/month or $39/year
20. Konstantin Kovshenin
This blog has been created by Konstantin Kovshenin, a developer for Automattic and WordPress Core. His blog is dedicated to exploring some pretty advanced topics like working with _n_noop() and various plugin functions. Beginners probably won’t find anything useful here, at least not until they get some more experience.
21. Otto on WordPress
If you’ve been working with WordPress for years and have lots of experience in programming as a whole, even with other languages, then Otto’s blog is the place to be. If you want some advice on dealing with plugin and theme dependencies, panels, finding site vulnerabilities and more, then check it out. Keep in mind, it’s not updated regularly, in fact Otto is pretty sporadic with his updates, but there’s plenty of archived content to consume.
22. Mark Jaquith’s Blog
Mark Jaquith is a developer for WordPress, and he offers his services as a freelancer. In his free time he publishes his thoughts on working with the platform, many of which includes tips, tricks and guides.
23. Reddit ProWordPress Subreddit
Like the resource mentioned above, the ProWordPress subreddit is dedicated to WordPress content. The most important thing to note about this subreddit is that it’s not tailored for beginners. The topics discussed within are presented in many ways, the most popular of which is a question and answer format similar to Stack Overflow.
24. Reddit WordPress Subreddit
Reddit is a great place to find a wide variety of resources from news and rumors, to guides, tutorials and even how-tos. What kind of content you’ll see largely depends on the subreddit you’re visiting, which is essentially a sub-forum. The WordPress subreddit focuses entirely on — you guessed it — the popular CMS platform.
Like most of the other sites on this list, WPLift is dedicated to providing helpful guides, tips and tutorials on working with WordPress. The cool thing about WPLift is that they also cover a great deal of features and articles related to WordPress. For instance, there’s a weekly deals and coupons feature that offers a full list of all the plugins, themes and WordPress related add-ons that are on sale.
This website is a news portal, created by renowned web host WP Engine. There are a variety of articles published, some of which focus on WordPress while others don’t. What is covered on the site is extremely useful for those with prior coding experience. You can find a bevy of material including videos, podcasts, text-based tutorials and more.
28. WP Kube
Like many of the other sites on this list, WP Kube is a strong resource for list posts, how-tos, guides and more related to WordPress. There are tips for coders of every skill level spaced throughout the archives, however, most of the material is tailored for intermediate to experienced developers.
29. SiteGround WordPress Tutorial
This is a how-to specifically for beginners that walks you through the website creation process, getting started with WordPress and more. If you want a guide that’s going to walk you through everything from beginning to end, this is excellent.
30. Carrie Dil’s Blog
Carrie Dils is a developer who primarily works with the Genesis Framework. Her personal blog covers a wide variety of topics mainly related to working with Genesis and WordPress themes. Some of her content is more reflective, offering a deep insight into what it’s like working with WordPress and Genesis on a regular basis.
31. WPMU Dev
This is yet another resource site for WordPress developers, with daily posts on a plethora of topics. You’ll find help with themes, plugins, services, and much more. Their most notable material are the Weekend WordPress Projects, a weekly feature that’s published on Saturdays and Sundays. Each one introduces a quick project you can do — over the weekend — to improve your WordPress powered site. If you already have a website in place, then you’ll want to bookmark this one for sure!
32. Stack Overflow WordPress Exchange
Stack Overflow is one of the most useful troubleshooting forums for developers. Those in need of help can post questions, and other developers will come along and answer, essentially fixing problems and sorting out any bugs. It comes in handy when you’re running into issues with your code. They have a dedicated WordPress exchange, which is already packed to the brim with questions that have been solved. If you don’t find the answer to your own question, you can post it and receive the help you need.
This website is dedicated to teaching designers, bloggers and developers the ins and outs of various topics. One of those topics happens to be WordPress. There are guides and tutorials on just about everything including how to install the platform, using shortcodes and plugins and much more. The WordPress section is updated fairly regularly, and it’s a great resource for coders of any skill level.
34. Andrew Nacin’s Blog
Andrew Nacin is another WordPress Core developer who publishes his thoughts and experiences on a personal blog. Many of his posts focus on lighter material like internet throttling, automatic updates and more. Admittedly, not all of his posts are about WordPress but that’s okay there are some great insights here. Make sure you check out his post called the qualities of a great wordpress contributor.
35. Advanced WordPress Group
The Advanced WordPress page is actually a popular Facebook group. Beginners need not apply. There are well over 5,000 members and they all discuss WordPress, share tips and tricks, plans and offer support to each other. There are a lot of links and resources to pour through for aid and knowledge, so it’s not just about the social aspect.
36. WordPress Tavern
This blog belongs to Matt Mullenweg, who’s actually the co-founder of WordPress. He updates his site regularly with posts about WordPress services, plugins, themes, events and more.
ManageWP is a news curation website — similar to Reddit — where users can share articles and content with the community in exchange for upvotes and community credit. It was founded by Vladimir Prevolac as something of an experiment but has since become incredibly popular among the WordPress developer community. If you want to keep up-to-date with WP related news and information, then this is the site to bookmark.
wpMail.me is a weekly email newsletter that offers a collection of WordPress related articles about news, plugins, themes, tutorials and more. If you plan to work with WordPress in any capacity, you should sign-up for this newsletter.
39. Post Status
Post Status strictly handles WordPress related news and updates, with community curated content. Every once in a while there are some useful community topics that appear, as well.
40. Matt Report
Matt Medeiro is the founder of Matt’s Report, a site that focused on the business side of WordPress. In other words, if you’re running a business — big or small — and your site is powered by the platform then this is a great place to go for resources. Medeiro is relatively well-known for his podcast called Matt Report, as well.
If you want quick little tutorials with code snippets and advice for working with WordPress, then WpRecipes is for you. Due to the nature of the content, it’s better suited for intermediate to expert coders.
There are more than 650 code snippets available on WPSNIPP which can be copied and used directly on your own site. Of course, you’ll want to be sure what each snippet does, and so the discussion from developers that goes along with it is just as useful.
Just like WpRecipes and WPSNIPP, this site is dedicated to providing snippets of code that can be used in your WordPress projects.
44. Chris Lema’s Site
Chris Lema is an established entrepreneur, which is exactly why his site explores the idea of using WordPress to further those exploits. As he says, he writes for “freelancers, bloggers, and those who want to make the most of WordPress.” Lema regularly writes reviews on WordPress plugins, which is another extremely useful resource if you’re working with the platform.
This is yet another how-to and tutorials site, with content that spans many WordPress related topics such as creating your own theme, customizing the dashboard, installing plugins and much more. It’s a great resource for coders of all skill levels. We recommend signing up for the free email newsletter to get regular updates when new content is published.
46. Easy WP Guide
If you’d rather learn WordPress through more traditional means, like say a book, then Easy WP Guide is a good candidate. It starts with the creation of your website and then moves on to more advanced topics like editing themes, various files and more. It’s available for free online, but the PDF — for access offline and viewing on a mobile device, tablet or eReader — costs money.
Price: Starts at $4 for non-PDF reading formats.
47. Pippin’s Plugins
If you have previous experience with WordPress — any at all — and you’ve never heard of Pippin Williamson you’re missing out. He’s coded many great plugins for the platform, like WP101, Easy Digital Downloads and many more. Pippins Plugins is his personal blog where he publishes reviews, editorials, tips, guides and tutorials.
48. WP Sessions
This is a premium online coding school with a different approach to lessons. The material is actually presented as a live webinar, curated by experienced professionals. Once a session is recorded, it’s added to an extensive library of lessons covering a variety of WordPress topics. Coders of all skill levels can find something here with lessons on security, setting up WordPress for eCommerce, working with Backbone.js and much more. To watch an individual lesson, it’s $9. If you want access to everything it’s $299.
Price: Starts at $9.
49. WordPress Visual Quickstart
There are actually a couple of resources available at this portal. If you want a more thorough guide, you can purchase the WordPress Visual Quickstart book. If you want free content, you can pay a visit to the tutorials section. Some of the material is now outdated, but a lot of it is still useful.
This WordPress resource site includes news, guides for themes, plugins, code snippets, and much more. They host regular giveaways on the site which you can enter to win. Most of the time the reward is free access to a premium plugin or something similar. There are tons of reviews available too on WordPress services, plugins, themes and more.
With so many helpful WordPress resources, you should be able to find one from the list above that fits your needs.
Stay tuned as next week we’ll cover The Top 50 Websites To Learn Ruby!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.