WordPress Development Tools : Your Key to Successful Web Projects

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As much as we think creating a fully-functional website with WordPress is easy, there are a variety of development tools at play. And no, it’s not just your PC, monitor, mouse, and keyboard. WordPress programmers use tools like local development environments, code editors, and debugging plugins. They ensure the best customizations, security, performance, and more. 

For extensive customizations, this CMS will be used with several development tools. WordPress development tools can be a game-changer in web development. They help streamline your workflow, enhance productivity, and unlock excellent customization possibilities. Whether it’s a personal blog or an extensive eCommerce site, these tools ensure flexibility and scalability in the project. 

So the experts at our web development company have compiled this blog on the best tools for WordPress website development. Then, there are also the code editors and debugging plugins. Plus, we have covered the WordPress coding standards and the procedure for choosing the best one. 

But before all that, you must understand the benefits of using WordPress development tools.

Benefits of Using WordPress Development Tools

Throughout the history of the world, any sort of tool has been invented to make a process more efficient and productive. But the WordPress dev tools offer a multitude of other benefits. That contributes to you creating more customized websites relatively easily. 

So let’s start with the key benefits of using WordPress development tools:

Increased productivity. WordPress development tools help streamline workflows and automate repetitive tasks. Features like code completion and debugging make WordPress web development more efficient.

Enhanced Code Quality. Development tools facilitate clean and organized coding practices. That helps the developers write optimized and maintainable code. That improves the website’s overall quality and reduces the likelihood of bugs and errors.

Simplified Collaboration. Version control systems and collaboration platforms allow multiple developers to work together seamlessly. That fosters better communication, code sharing, and efficient project management. That is especially helpful for teams working remotely or across different time zones.

Faster Development. WordPress development tools offer frameworks, libraries, and more to expedite the development process. These resources provide pre-built functionalities, design elements, and templates. That reduces development time and effort.

Flexibility & Customization. Tools like theme frameworks and plugins allow for extensive customization. That helps create unique designs and functionalities tailored to specific project requirements. This flexibility ensures that websites stand out and meet the client’s needs.

Improved Website Performance. Performance optimization tools like caching plugins enhance the site’s speed and responsiveness. Reducing load times and optimizing server requests can contribute to a better UX. That can positively impact search engine rankings.

Enhanced Security. WordPress development tools offer security plugins and monitoring utilities. So websites can be protected against common vulnerabilities, malware attacks, and unauthorized access. Regular updates and security checks can help maintain the integrity of the website.

Access to a Vast Ecosystem. The WordPress development community is quite massive. They provide a wealth of resources, tutorials, and support forums. WordPress development tools leverage the knowledge and expertise of the community.

Scalability & Future-proofing. Using development tools ensures that websites are built with scalability in mind. Themes and plugins developed with reliable frameworks allow websites to grow and adapt to changing needs. This future-proofing minimizes the need for extensive redevelopment as the website evolves.

Continuous Improvement. Development tools often receive updates and improvements, incorporating new features and addressing issues. These tools help developers stay updated with the latest advancements in WordPress. So they can ensure their websites benefit from ongoing enhancements.

In summary, WordPress development tools can help increase productivity and improve code quality. Plus, they ensure efficient collaboration, customization options, and better website performance. It enhances security and provides access to a supportive community. These benefits contribute to the successful development and maintenance of high-quality WordPress websites.

Best WordPress Development Tools

WordPress development tools are applications designed to streamline the website development process. They help the developers test, debug, optimize, and manage WordPress websites. 

But we’ll start with the local development environments.

Local WordPress Development Environments

Local development environments allow you to set up and test websites on your computer before deploying them to a live server. You can also test changes and troubleshoot issues before deploying them to a live website. Plus, it will be easier to check if a particular theme or plugin will be suitable for your website. 

Let’s check out some of the best local WordPress development environments:

#1. MAMP

mamp-wordpress development tools

MAMP is a software package designed for macOS and Windows. It provides a friendly UI for setting up a local server environment with Apache, MySQL, and PHP. It’s a popular choice among Mac users and offers access to platforms like Python, Perl, phpMyAdmin, and more. That extends the options for local WordPress website development. 

Although MAMP offers less control over the individual components of the environment, it translates into easier management. Basic MAMP is free of cost. But its paid version, i.e., MAMP Pro, offers additional features like a built-in editor, mobile testing, and more. 

Key features of MAMP:

  • You can set up an environment on Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
  • Offers different versions, depending on the desired PHP release.
  • Supports additional languages like Python and Perl.
  • Manual setup for local WordPress websites.

The lack of customization options may be a little throw-off for some. But that does mean relatively easy management. 

Pricing: MAMP is free, and MAMP Pro is available for both Windows and macOS users at $99.



XAMPP, or cross-platform Apache, MariaDB, PHP, & Perl, is an open-source web server. With this tool, anyone can create WordPress websites in local environments. That is irrespective of their preferred OS. 

This platform also offers Apache. This web server software serves the web pages to your browser. MySQL, a relational database management system, is included for storing and managing your website’s data. 

It provides a convenient way to work on your WordPress projects locally. So you can experiment, debug, and customize without any effects on the live website. With XAMPP, you can work on the website in the local environment without any internet connectivity. 

Key features of XAMPP:

  • Easy to install, configure, and use
  • Offers the necessary components for local WordPress development
  • Supports the different OSs like Windows, Linux, and macOS
  • Free and open-source

XAMPP also includes better security features for those working on their WordPress websites in a local environment. 

Pricing: XAMPP is completely free.

#3. WAMP


WAMP, also known as Windows, Apache, MySQL, and PHP, is a versatile website development environment. With this WAMP, you can create websites and web applications with WordPress. It lets you create a local development environment mimicking the live WordPress websites. 

WAMP also offers a user-friendly interface for managing databases, configuring virtual hosts, and monitoring server activity. You can also experiment with the themes and plugins on WordPress local without worrying about how they may affect the live website. 

Key Features of WAMP:

  • Specifically designed for the Windows operating system.
  • Includes Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
  • Simple installation process.
  • The management interface for controlling server services.
  • phpMyAdmin for database administration.

WAMP is a valuable tool for Windows users who want to develop and test PHP-based web applications. That includes WordPress websites.

Pricing: WAMP is free to use.

#4. Local WP

local wp

Local WP is one of the best local WordPress development tools for WordPress websites. It offers a user-friendly interface to create, manage, and test the WordPress website on the local environments before they are deployed on the live site. 

This tool ensures you can create a new WordPress website in just a few clicks. Local WP can handle the setup and configuration of components like web servers, databases, and PHP. Plus, it offers a live link-sharing feature, which makes collaboration much more convenient. 

Key Features of Local WP:

  • The local web development environment is designed specifically for WordPress.
  • It lets you save configurations and settings as reusable templates.
  • Its local SSL/TLS support lets you test if the WordPress website works securely locally.
  • It has loads of add-ons and extensions. So the developers can tailor their local setup according to the project requirements. 

With its live link sharing, you can share temporary URLs with clients, team members, or stakeholders. So they’ll have a real-time preview of the local WordPress website. 

Pricing: Local WP is a free local WordPress development platform.

#5. Vagrant


Vagrant is an open-source tool that can help you create and manage portable development environments. With this tool, the developers can configure and create virtual machines with a declarative code-based approach.

It is a pretty versatile tool. So whether you use Windows, macOS, or Linux, you’ll be able to create a portable work environment quite easily. The environments created by this tool are consistent and reproducible. So the developers can configure them with the Vagrantfiles. These files can be helpful with the base OS, software package, and network settings.

Key Features of Vagrant:

  • The Vagrantfile lets you define the versions of development environment settings with the project codes. 
  • Vagrant lets you automate the software provisioning and configuration of the development environment.
  • Vagrant offers a variety of plugins to extend the capabilities, like syncing files, automating additional tasks, and more.
  • Its collaboration feature lets WordPress programmers share their environment configurations. So there are no compatibility issues.

One of the most significant reasons behind its popularity is its configuration-as-code approach. So the WordPress experts can streamline their development workflow. It also ensures consistency throughout the website. 

Pricing: Vagrant is available free of cost.

#6. Docker


Docker is an open-source local WordPress development tool to help create self-contained, isolated environments. Plus, the developers can quickly and easily set up a local development environment using Docker without installing and configuring each component individually.

Docker uses containerization tech to create and manage lightweight, independent environments called containers. They package an application and all its dependencies, including libraries, frameworks, and configuration files. There is another reason WordPress developers prefer using Docker for local WordPress development. It provides consistent behavior regardless of the underlying infrastructure.

Key Features of Docker:

  • Pre-built Docker images specially designed for WordPress ensure a quick and easy creation of an isolated environment.
  • You can create a consistent, reproducible development environment for WordPress with Docker.
  • The isolation provided by Docker ensures there is no interference with other software or projects.
  • Thanks to its portability, you can share your local environment and collaborate with teammates and clients. 

This local WordPress dev tool simplifies the setup, maintenance, and collaboration aspects of WordPress development. That enhances the development workflow, so the developers can focus on building and testing their WordPress projects with ease.

Pricing: Although a free version exists, the paid Docker for WordPress websites starts at $5 per month.

#7. DevKinsta


DevKinsta is one of the best development tools for WordPress. It helps create a local environment for WordPress websites in little to no time. So you can customize and update your WordPress website in a more streamlined manner. That too without the risk of negative impact on the live site. 

DevKinsta provides a user-friendly and intuitive interface. So the developers can navigate and manage their local WordPress sites quite easily. Plus, you can integrate it with Kinsta hosting to improve security and deploy the website more easily. 

Key Features of DevKinsta:

  • With Kinsta, you can launch the WordPress website in a single click.
  • DevKinsta offers local email management to debug contact forms, site notifications, etc.
  • It ships with a powerful SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) server and email testing tool for local email management. 
  • DevKinsta includes Adminer, which can help edit WordPress databases and SQL queries.

DevKinsta is a perfect WordPress development tool for those who seek efficient workflow with enhanced security and effortless website deployment. 

Pricing: DevKinsta is available for free. 

That concludes the local WordPress development environments. But the WordPress development tools include another significant one for the core customizations. That tool is a code editor, which we’ll see in the next section. 

Code Editor

A code editor is one of the popularly-used WordPress development tools. The developers use this standalone program to write and edit codes more easily. It includes automatic indentation, color-coded syntax highlighting, auto-completing with suggested code, error-checking, code snippets, and more. 

Here are a few of the best code editors for WordPress website development:

#1. Visual Studio Code (VS Code)

visual studio code

Visual Studio Code is a lightweight and versatile code editor that is highly beneficial for WordPress development. It offers essential functionalities like syntax highlighting and IntelliSense, which greatly assist developers in efficiently writing codes for WordPress websites.

This WordPress development tool seamlessly integrates with version control systems. That means an effortless collaboration among the developers and clients for every project. There’s also a vast array of extensions for customizing websites and enhancing their functionalities. 

Key Features of Visual Studio Code:

  • Powerful command line interface to open different files, install extensions, and more.
  • Comes with Git integration to commit, pull, and push your code alterations to a remote Git repository.
  • Split view for multitasking.
  • Integrated debugging capabilities.
  • Version control integration and a wide range of plugins.

VS Code is cross-platform. So the developers can access it across different operating systems.

Pricing: Visual Studio Code is free of cost. 

#2. Sublime Text

sublime text

Sublime Text is a lightweight and customizable code editor. This WordPress dev tool offers a minimalist yet powerful environment for editing and writing PHP code. Sublime Text provides syntax highlighting and code snippets for PHP. That improves the code readability and efficiency. With extensions, it lets the developers enhance and tailor their editing experience. 

Sublime Text offers powerful search and replaces capabilities. So it will be easy to find and modify code across large codebases. It is cross-platform, supporting Windows, macOS, and Linux. That makes it accessible to developers using different operating systems.

Key Features of Sublime Text:

  • Lightweight and customizable code editor.
  • Syntax highlighting and code snippets.
  • Extensible through a vast library of plugins and extensions.
  • Powerful search and replace capabilities.
  • Cross-platform support.

Sublime Text is known for its speed, simplicity, and flexibility. So it’s a popular choice among WordPress developers.

Pricing: Sublime Text is available at $99.

#3. Atom


Atom is another popular WordPress development tool, a cross-platform code editor and package manager. It is highly recommended for those WordPress programmers who seek highly-customizable website development. 

One of the advantages of using Atom is that you can edit almost any type of WordPress file. That includes the themes and plugins, which you can customize using Atom through the WordPress file & directory structure

Key Features of Atom:

  • Installing, configuring, and using Atom for editing the codes is quite beginner-friendly. 
  • Atom has extensions to add syntax highlighting and dynamic linting.
  • Its extensions can help integrate debuggers, runtime environments, audio/video player controls, and more. 
  • Atom offers a flexible workflow by activating new extensions and changing them fundamentally. 

So you can consider Atom as one of the best WordPress development tools for creating tailor-made websites. 

Pricing: Atom is free and a part of the MIT license.

Code editors can be quite useful for those with adequate programming knowledge and understanding. They can comprehensively edit the codes and create unique websites and web applications. 

But let’s say you have used the code editors and local environments to create a custom development. That means you have integrated a variety of features, functionalities, plugins, and more. It may cause your website to have some bugs and errors. 

So the next thing you’ll need is a debugger. For that, you opt for debugging plugins.

Debugging Plugins

Plugins in WordPress are synonymous with extensive customizations. But that’s not all. These plugins can help with several other functions, including debugging. 

We have highlighted some of the best plugins that thoroughly analyze the project codes and debug them. So you’ll be aware of the bugs and errors, so you can eliminate them before launching the website. 

Here are the best WordPress debugging plugins:

#1. Query Monitor

query monitor

Query Monitor is one of the prominent WordPress developer tools. It helps debug database queries, PHP errors, hooks and actions, enqueued scripts, and more. It can help you analyze which of the plugins and themes installed on the website are performing poorly. 

This WordPress development tool works like a tools panel for the developers. It shows the overview of the current page with debugging info. 

Key Features of Query Monitor:

  • This plugin lets you filter by query type (SELECT, UPDATE, DELETE, etc.), calling function, responsible component, and more.
  • It presents PHP errors with a call stack and a discernable warning in the admin toolbar. 
  • Query Monitor displays all the hooks and actions being executed on each page load. So you can track the execution flow and identify any potential conflicts or issues. 
  • It has language settings and loaded translation files for every text domain. 

With this plugin, you can improve the performance of any theme or plugin installed on the website. So the overall performance will be much better.

Pricing: Query Monitor is a free WordPress plugin.

#2. Debug Bar

debug bar

As the name suggests, this plugin cum WordPress developer tool adds a debug bar to your WordPress admin area. It will help you find the errors in the website. You can also monitor the MySQL queries for easy detection. 

When this plugin is enabled, you’ll also be able to track PHP Warnings and Notices. So they’ll be easier to find. 

Key Features of Debug Bar:

  • Being a plugin, this WordPress developer tool is quite easy to use.
  • It shows the debugging information along with query, cache, and more.
  • Tracks PHP warnings to make sure every error is detected and resolved.
  • It lets you add PHP/MySQL console to your WordPress admin area.

Moreover, other add-ons like WP Cron, Shortcodes, Language file loading, and more are available.

Pricing: Debug Bar is a free WordPress plugin.

That concludes some of the best tools for WordPress developers. But that is not to say there are no other options available. You may find a variety of IDEs, code editors, local environments, deployment tools, and more in the market. But not all of them will be suitable for your WordPress website. For example, there are thousands of plugins for WordPress websites. But not all of them will work well for you. 

So you need to be careful while choosing the best WordPress plugin. Things work similarly for the WordPress development tools. So we have devised a selection criteria for the same.

How to Choose Perfect Tools for WordPress Development?

When choosing tools for WordPress development, it’s important to consider some critical factors. That will ensure you make the right choices. Here are some steps to help you choose the perfect tools for WordPress development:

  • Define your requirements. The first step is to clearly define your WordPress project requirements. Consider the type of website you’re building, the features you need, and the goals you want to achieve. That will help you narrow down your choices.
  • Research popular tools. Look for popular and widely-used tools in the WordPress development community. Check out the ratings and reviews, and explore the features and functionalities offered by different tools. Some popular tools include code editors, local development environments, and debugging plugins.
  • Consider compatibility. Ensure that your chosen tools are compatible with WordPress and the plugins and themes on your website. That will ensure smooth integration and avoid conflicts with the WordPress core or other plugins and themes.
  • Evaluate user-friendliness. Make sure your preferred tool has a user-friendly interface and offers intuitive workflows. That will help improve productivity and reduce the learning curve.
  • Scalability and extensibility. This criterion is helpful in the case of WordPress plugins for debugging. Make sure you will be able to scale up the plugin as your business and website grows.
  • Performance and security. Ensure that the tools you choose contribute to a secure and performant website. Check if they pack performance optimization and security measures. 
  • Cost and licensing. Evaluate your budget and determine if the cost is worth the features provided by the tools. These tools may significantly contribute to the WordPress website development costs.

By following these steps, you can evaluate and choose the perfect tools for your WordPress development projects. Finally, remember that everyone’s preferred WordPress development tools. It won’t matter if they’re working toward the same final goals. So choose carefully.

FAQs Related to WordPress Development Tools

What are the essential tools for WordPress development?
ere are the essential tools for WordPress development: Code editor (e.g., Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text)
  • Local development environment (e.g., XAMPP, Local by Flywheel)
  • Version control system (e.g., Git)
  • Debugging tool or plugin (e.g., Query Monitor, Debug Bar)
  • Plugin/theme development framework (e.g., WordPress Plugin Boilerplate, Underscores)
  • There are several other tools from which you can choose using the selection criteria shown above.
    Why select a local WordPress development environment?
    A local environment helps you set up your WordPress website on a local machine. So you can work offline on the different plugins, themes, and more. You can also test them before pushing them to the live website.  You can set up an excellent local WordPress development environment using Docker.
    Can a WordPress development tool help me track my website’s analytics?
    Yes. Site Kit by Google is a WordPress plugin that includes analytics to track the performance of your WordPress website. So you’ll know which features, blogs, posts, and more do and don’t work for your website.  There’s alsoMonster Insights, which does a similar job. This plugin offers all the latest Google Analytics features to ensure you won’t need another dedicated software.


    One of the reasons why people use WordPress is its customizability. That means using all the custom plugins, and themes, of which there are thousands. But that also brings a potential risk of bugs and errors in the website that you may not be able to prevent. That is unless you are a dedicated WordPress developer

    So we have created this comprehensive blog to show the most popular WordPress development tools and how they may help make your website. We discussed the local environments, code editors, and debugging plugins. These tools can help with risk-free updates, extensive customizations, and debugging of errors. Plus, we have recommended some of the best options as well. Still, if you have any doubts or queries regarding this subject matter, consult with our experts today!

    Jigar Shah is the Founder of WPWeb Infotech - a leading Web Development Company in India, USA. Being the founder of the company, he takes care of business development activities and handles the execution of the projects. He is Enthusiastic about producing quality content on challenging technical subjects.

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