WordPress Developer Plugin: An Essential Tool For Theme and Plugin Development

WordPress Developer Plugin: An Essential Tool For Theme and Plugin Development

The Developer plugin is a WordPress developer’s best friend―aside from his dog, of course.

It’s a plugin developed collaboratively by Automattic and a number of other talented WordPress developers. Created to help you optimize your development environment, the WordPress Developer plugin gives you quick access to all of the best tools for theme and plugin development.

Developer plugin
The WordPress Developer Plugin includes everything you need for an optimized development environment

When you install the plugin, a screen will pop up to ask you what type of project you’re working on so that it can tailor its recommendations for you. You’ll be presented with three options:

  • Plugin for a self-hosted WordPress installation
  • Theme for a self-hosted WordPress installation
  • Theme for a WordPress.com VIP site

For example, if you select a theme project for a self-hosted installation, the Developer plugin will offer the following plugin recommendations to assist in development:

Developer tools screen.
Plugins suggested for working on a theme for a self-hosted WordPress installation.

Install and activate any of the plugins listed with just one click.

The Developer plugin also adds a helpful menu under Tools in the dashboard where you can see a list of all recommended plugins. There you will find a few quick tips on enabling constants in your wp-config.php file for debugging and logging database queries.

This plugin is especially useful if you’re new to WordPress development and you want to quickly get access to all of the sweet plugins that experienced WP developers use in their work. Consider it a gateway to everything you need for debugging and creating code that is compliant with WordPress coding standards.

Download the Developer plugin for free from the WordPress plugin repository (we retested it when revising this article in April 2022, and it still worked without issue).

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for accuracy and relevancy.
[Originally Published: February 2013 / Revised: April 2022]