44 Inspiring WordPress Tutorials: Our Greatest Hits

44 Inspiring WordPress Tutorials: Our Greatest Hits

Whether you’re just getting started with WordPress and need to learn the basics or you’ve been developing websites for years, we’ve got just the right article to help you out.

Since 2008, we’ve published more than 4,800 WordPress articles on the WPMU DEV Blog, amassing a truckload of articles on everything from themes and plugins to development, Multisite, theme customization, SEO and marketing. At last count, our posts have attracted more than 43,000 comments.

We get a real kick out of helping people learn how to use WordPress, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced user – which is why we launched The Academy, our WordPress school.

With that in mind, I’ve hand-picked this collection of our greatest hits this year, tutorials that have struck a chord with readers, helped solve problems, made websites faster and more secure, businesses stronger and, overall, contributed to the wealth of quality WordPress knowledge freely available online so anyone can take advantage of this fantastic tool.

So have a browse and discover – or even revisit – older posts you may have missed.


WordPress knowledge

Learning WordPress

#1. A to Z of WordPress Terminology for Beginners to Advanced

“A lot of posts on this blog attempt to explain WordPress concepts and terminology, or at least those that are relevant to the post. And the WordPress Codex does a great job of explaining the concepts used by WordPress. But following lots of questions I’ve seen in comments on posts asking for definitions and explanations, I thought it would be useful to create a jargon buster for WordPress users and developers…”

#2. Stuck in a Career Rut? Get out of It with WordPress Careers Masterclass

“Are you starting out working with WordPress and need some guidance? Have you been using WordPress as a hobby but now want to turn it into a full-time job? Or maybe you’re stuck in a career rut and need some help? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then our newest course in The Academy, WordPress Careers Masterclass, is for you…”

#3. How to Learn WordPress: 7-Day Challenge

“So you want to learn about WordPress, huh? Congratulations. You’ve just made an excellent decision – and one I want to help you achieve in seven days….”

#4. 7 Courses That Turn WordPress Users into Developers (Free and Paid Options)

“You’re not a beginner anymore. You don’t need to watch another tutorial on how to install WordPress, set up a theme, or find and install plugins. But, that doesn’t mean that you know everything…”

#5. Introducing… The Academy!

“Say g’day to the all new Academy, where expert entrepreneurs, developers, educators and authors will provide our members with intensive, illuminating and top quality courses in all things WordPress. Oh, and it’s completely free for WPMU DEV members too!!!…”

#6. WordPress Development for Beginners: Getting Started

“Interested in learning PHP and building your own themes and plugins for WordPress? Or just being able to code your own killer customizations for your websites? Learning WordPress development might seem like a daunting thing to do but it all comes down to getting started. So we’ve put together this free series to help you start the New Year right…”

#7. WordPress Development for Intermediate Users: Theme Development in Detail

“Interested in taking your WordPress game to a whole new level? Want to further develop your PHP skills and add more complex and exciting functionality to your themes and plugins?…”

#8. How to Create a WordPress Plugin

“If you’ve been building your own themes for a while, chances are you’ve been adding code to the functions.php file. Sometimes you might have wondered if you should be writing a plugin instead, but you weren’t sure how…”

#9. Learning PHP for WordPress Development: A Comprehensive Guide

“Do you have a WordPress website and you’ve tweaked your theme, read a bit about template tags, and perhaps even modified your functions.php file in the built-in theme editor. And now you want to it your skills to the next level and delve into more code…”

#10. Learning PHP, Deeply: 8 Resources for WordPress Developers

“JavaScript has been the language on everyone’s lips since WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg appealed to us to “Learn JavaScript, deeply” during his recent State of the WordPress address. But what does that mean for PHP, the language WordPress has essentially been built with?…”

#11. Advanced WordPress Development: Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming

“Want to take your WordPress game to a whole new level of coding mastery? Are you ready to really push your PHP skills and add even greater complexity and advanced functionality to your plugins and themes?…”

Building better WordPress websites

For Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger WordPress Websites

#12. 27 Must Have WordPress Plugins to Kickstart Any New Website

“Don’t get me wrong, a fresh installation of WordPress is great and all, but if you really want to kick your site into gear, you’re going to need some top-notch plugins to get the job done…”

#13. How I Made My WordPress Site 1311% Faster with Cloudways and WPMU DEV Plugins

“Yep, you read that right: I got a 1311% speed boost when I set up Cloudways managed cloud hosting on my server combined with our Hummingbird and Smush Pro plugins. Woah, right? And I got that result with very little effort…”

#14. WordPress Security: The Ultimate 32-Step Checklist

“WordPress security was the least of my concerns. Hacking was something I read about, not something I expected to happen to me. SQL injection, cross-site scripting, elevation of privileges and critical security vulnerabilities were just buzzwords in tech news. But one day, securing my sites suddenly got very important, very quickly when my Facebook feed told me there was a critical vulnerability in WordPress, which was actively being exploited. When I next tried to log in to my site, my credentials were not accepted…”

#15. Top 25 Free WordPress Plugins and Why They’re So Damn Popular

“Ever wondered what the most popular free WordPress plugins are and why they’re so freaking popular? Knowing the answer could help you understand which ones are a must to install on your site (or even what kinds of plugins you should be building)…”

#16. 27 Solutions to 14 Forgotten WordPress Page Speed Problems

“About 50% of your visitors will abandon your website after 10 seconds or less. Yes, that’s the reality we’re faced with. The good news, however, is that there are many performance-boosting tips you can draw on to help you avoid becoming just another unfortunate statistic…”

#17. The Ultimate Guide to W3 Total Cache: Works-Every-Time Settings for Shared Web Hosting

“Shared hosting isn’t the ideal environment for speeding up WordPress with W3 Total Cache. There are features that just don’t work well on a shared server. In addition, if you run into server configuration issues there isn’t much you can do about it if your site is hosted on a shared server…”

#18. Why Trying to Get a 100 Score on Google PageSpeed Insights for WordPress Is Never Going to Happen

“I’m a woman obsessed. So once I decided I wanted to get that perfect 100 score from Google PageSpeed Insights, I went for it and wouldn’t. Let. Go. I challenged myself to make it happen with a larger site because, well, you gotta just go for it sometimes!…”

#19. 39 Must-Have WordPress Development Tools

“WordPress isn’t just for blogging. It’s a full-fledged CMS and undoubtedly a strong platform for developers. But the world of related trends and tools can be exhaustive when you just need a solid solution real fast…”

WordPress development

Smarter and Efficient WordPress Development

#20. WordPress Developer Super Cheat Sheet

“There sure is a lot you need to remember when working with WordPress theme files. So to help you out, I thought I’d put together this handy cheat sheet, which includes all the files and functions you need to know (but not necessarily remember!) when working with themes. This is definitely one to bookmark and save for future reference!…”

#21. The Ultimate WordPress Development Environment

“Over the past couple of years, I’ve written loads of tutorials here on the WPMU DEV Blog in which I share tidbits about the development environments I use. So today, I thought it’s about time I share a full environment, the kind I would put together and use for larger scale development…”

#22. DesktopServer: How to Set Up the Easiest Development Environment for WordPress

“Setting up WordPress in a localhost environment can save you a ton of time if you frequently test new designs and go bug hunting, but with its super easy 5 minute setup, DesktopServer definitely tops that…”

#23. 10 Ways WP-CLI Can Speed Up WordPress Development

“WP-CLI is a useful time-saving tool for WordPress developers and advanced WordPress users. However, if you’ve never used this command line package before, it can be a little intimidating to get started…”

#24. Install Fast and Free SSL and HTTPS in cPanel with Let’s Encrypt

“Let’s Encrypt is a trusted, open source certificate authority that offers free SSL certificates for as many domains as you want – and now there are easy ways to integrate it with cPanel for one-click, automated certificate installation that takes mere seconds to complete…”

#25. 50+ Gorgeous Free and Premium WordPress Themes Killing It in 2016

“If you haven’t updated your theme this past year – or in even in recent years, gasp! – it’s probably about time you reviewed your site, checked out the current trends, and thought about how your design could be better…”

#26. 24 Must-Do Checks Before Launching Your WordPress Website

“Website development can often be a lengthy and arduous process, especially if you’re creating it for someone who doesn’t have a clear vision of what they want. That’s why the urge to rush a site launch can be so tempting…”

Take a leap of faith and get started using WordPress

Building a Freelance Career or Agency with WordPress

#27. How to Become a WordPress Professional in Your Free Time

“Getting established as a WordPress pro isn’t easy. If you want to freelance or set up a WordPress business, you’ll need to build up a list of clients and establish a reputation for yourself. And if you’re looking for a WordPress job, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve got experience with WordPress and can work with it at a professional level…”

#28. 10 Email Templates Every Web Developer Needs to Keep Handy

“Let’s face it — writing emails is not fun. It’s time-consuming, requires rewrites, and needs proofreading. But as someone who runs a web development business, you send emails daily. You virtually run your business on emails. Which means you spend several hours each day crafting and revising them. So here are 10 useful templates to give you a head start. Add them to your favorite email program and save time, become more productive, and grow your web development business…”

#29. 10 Seriously Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List for Your WordPress Site

“If you’re serious about your website becoming successful, there’s one thing you really need to focus on. In fact, some people say it’s the ONLY thing your website should focus on. Internet marketing legends such as Neil Patel and Jon Morrow design their own websites around this very important strategy: Building an email list…”

#30. 35 Time-Saving Productivity Apps for Busy WordPress People

“Whether you’re developing a site or blogging with WordPress (and everything in between!) by yourself or with a team, scroll through the list below to see some of the best apps and tools you can use to maximize your time and increase your output…”

#31. 23-Step Checklist for Scaling Your WordPress Business

“If you’re looking for a long-term future in web development, WordPress is the perfect tool to do it. While the content management system itself is free to use, opportunities abound for professionals like yourself to make real money off of it. Luckily for you, your skill as a WordPress developer is a highly valued one and it means there is quite a bit of flexibility in what your future may hold…”

#32. How to Take a Vacation Without Giving Your WordPress Website a Break

“Running a WordPress business can be a really rewarding experience, but it’s not without its drawbacks. Let’s be honest: if you’re taking your WordPress business seriously (especially if you’re preparing to scale it), you should want to spend extra time and energy on it, even if it means putting your personal life aside for a little while. However, it’s important to know when it’s time to take a step back from it, too. That constant go-go-go isn’t sustainable in the long run…”

#33. 9 Ways to Protect Users and Clients from Breaking Their WordPress Site

“Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. It happens. But when the mistake occurs within a website that you put a lot of time and effort into building, it can be frustrating to go back and re-do your work, no matter how minor the issue…”

#34. How to Let a Client Preview Their WordPress Site Before it Goes Live

“So you’ve built a beautiful WordPress website that fits your client’s needs, wants, and requirements to a t. There’s just one hurdle left: Your client doesn’t want the site going live until they’ve signed off on the finished product…”

WordPress SEO and growth

Getting Your SEO Right

#35. 9 Obvious Things You Probably Don’t Know About WordPress SEO

“If there is one thing you should include in your WordPress website’s strategy, it’s search engine optimization. Because when you do it right, you’ll be rewarded. Hugely rewarded. With tons of high quality visitors…”

#36. A Comprehensive Guide to Google Analytics and Understanding Your WordPress Site Traffic

“Google Analytics is a popular, powerful, and free service you can use to track and analyze your website traffic. If you aren’t already using it, getting started is easy. However, if you’ve never used the program before, it can be a bit intimidating to get started. So let’s fix that…”

#37. SEO Checklist: 4 Simple Steps to Get Your WordPress Site Ranking Higher

“Have you ever Googled your own website and been disappointed with the results? Maybe a random snippet of text rather than a proper site description was displayed. Or maybe you found that it takes Google far too long to locate and index your content. In either scenario, you’ve got a problem on your hands — unless, of course, you’re OK with funneling traffic to your site exclusively with paid ads. Organic search is the single most important driver of traffic for most websites, so getting your site properly indexed is of primary importance both for you and your web development clients…”

#38. 14 Ways to Increase Visitor On-Page Time and Drop Your Bounce Rate

“When was the last time you checked your WordPress website’s analytics? How about your site’s conversion rate? If the two pictures don’t quite sync up (e.g. you’re getting a lot of visitors, but sales are in a slump), then it’s time to figure out what’s going on with your website…”

#39. 14 Sneaky Online Tools to Help You Spy on Your Site’s Visitors

“You’re in business to cater to your audience, right? In person. Over the phone. Via email. And even passively through your website. Whether they’re prospective customers just checking out your site, loyal subscribers who have yet to purchase anything, or actual paying customers, it doesn’t matter. Every point of contact you have with them counts…”

#40. How to Add Schema.org Markup to WordPress for Better SEO

“One of the challenges in getting people to visit your WordPress website is ensuring your content can be crawled by search engine spiders. And an even bigger challenge is making sure search engines can understand the relevance of that content in context…”

WordPress Multisite

How to Become a WordPress Multisite Pro

#41. WordPress Multisite and SEO: All Your Questions Answered

“One topic that comes up time and time again in the comments on our Multisite posts is SEO. In this post, I’ll look at three different scenarios and how they affect SEO – one will help if you want your network to share SEO juice, and the other two will work best if you want each site to be treated differently by search engines…”

#42. Multisite, Hummingbird and Cloudflare: Make Your WordPress Network Blisteringly Fast

“You may have caught the recent announcement that our Hummingbird performance plugin has been integrated with CloudFlare. But given that CloudFlare works on a domain level, what does this mean if you’re running a Multisite network? In this post I’ll show you how to integrate Hummingbird with CloudFlare for the sites on your network, and identify the different approaches you need to take depending on whether you’re using subdirectories, subdomains or mapped domains…”

#43. Q&A: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About WordPress Multisite Answered

“If you’re a keen follower of this blog, you’ll have noticed my series of posts on WordPress Multisite a few weeks ago. And if you’re learning about Multisite, you may have signed up to my Academy course on the subject. The comments, questions and discussions that the courses and posts have generated have been awesome, to say the least. Dozens of you have talked about what you’re doing with Multisite, shared your experiences and asked questions. And there are some questions that have been particularly useful for other readers or have come up again and again…”

WordPress bucket list

And One More for Good Luck…

#44. 50 Things to Do with WordPress Before You Die

“Whether you work with WordPress full-time or just as a hobby, one thing’s for sure – you’re reading this because WordPress means something to you. Now, as much as WordPress is mostly work for many of us, I am of the firm belief that it shouldn’t be just about work. No, there’s definitely some elements of fun you can attach to this CMS. So I brainstormed the list below of 50 things to do with WordPress before you die…”

We love publishing articles here on the blog that help readers, so let us know in the comments below if there is anything you want to learn about WordPress, topics you would like to see come up more frequently, or if you have any other feedback about our articles. And thanks for being a WPMU DEV Blog reader!

Raelene Morey

Raelene Morey Raelene is the Founder of Words By Birds, a digital writing agency that works with startups, SaaS, B2B, and WordPress businesses on turning tech speak into words that convert. She was formerly the managing editor at WPMU DEV. A computer science grad turned newspaper journalist, when she’s not taming browser tabs, she likes brunching and bushwalking.