DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Plugins & Tools for WordPress Developers

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I recently spent some time updating my growing collection of WordPress plugins, and during the process discovered some great resources for my WP “developer toolbox.” These are some super-useful plugins and tools for debugging, logging data, working with translation files, analyzing performance, and making otherwise difficult tasks efficient and manageable. May they serve you well!

WP Developer plugins & tools

(Note: descriptions taken from their respective resources)

Debug Queries
“List query-actions only for admins; for debug purposes. See all queries on the frontend of the blog and find the slowest part. The plugin is perfect for WordPress developers, plugin and theme developers and site administrators who are trying to find out why the blog is too slow.”
Log Deprecated Notices
“Logs the usage of deprecated files, functions, and function arguments, and identifies where the deprecated functionality is being used.”
WordPress Hook Sniffer
“The WordPress Hook Sniffer plugin is a tool for plugin developers that helps determine the sequence in which action and filter functions are fired. It allows you to peer into the inner workings of the WordPress Plugin API. You can configure what is outputted and to where the output is sent (screen or text file).”
WP-FirePHP
“This Plugin integrates FirePHP in your WordPress installation and simplifies developing. No more vardump() and echo while debugging. FirePHP take care of it, clean and easy.”
Codestyling Localization
“You can manage and edit all gettext translation files (*.po/*.mo) directly out of WordPress Admin Center without any need of an external editor.”
Debug Objects
“Debug Objects provides a large number of information: query, cache, cron, constants, hooks, functions and many more.” E.g., query, cache, cron, constants, hooks, and functions. “Values and content get displayed at the frontend and backend of the blog, to analyze errors but also to better understand and develop with/for WordPress.”
5 Ways to Debug WordPress
“Many plugin and theme authors don’t take full advantage of some really helpful debugging tools in WordPress. Here’s a quick run-down of five cool tools for debugging.”

And here are some more useful plugins that haven’t been updated in awhile but continue to provide much-needed functionality. Old doesn’t mean broken ;)

WP Developer Assistant
WP Developer Assistant is “essentially is a toolkit that makes life as a WordPress developer easier.” Does cool stuff like customizable PHP errors, global variable dump, table modification, execute queries, phpinfo(), and much more.
AskApache RewriteRules Viewer
“Displays Most Everything about your WordPress Rewrites. Displays Most Everything about your WordPress Rewrites, Permalinks, URI’s, in a very detailed and raw way. Informational plugin only… Nothing is modified or changed.”
Latency Tracker
“This really simple plugin hooks into your wp_footer function (so make sure that your theme uses it) to count the number of queries, how long they took, how much memory was use, and when it all occurred. That way, they can show some solid data to the host so that they are able to compare numbers and know for sure that their load times are faster or slower when compared.”
TPC! Memory Usage
“TPC! Memory Usage allows WordPress administrators to view the current and peak memory usage of the application. This is extremely helpful when testing new plugins, or if there are a lot of modifications, plugins, or large language files. As of version 0.4, administrators now have the ability to view detailed system information about their web server, MySQL, PHP, and WordPress software.”
WP-Devel
“Developer toolbar giving you easy access to debug information across your entire website. The WP-Devel plugin for WordPress features a ton of debug options to help developers. Debug information is easily turned on/off from the WP-Devel toolbar anywhere on your website.”
WordPress Theme Generator
BONUS tool! I don’t know how useful it actually is, but the WordPress Theme Generator enables anyone to create custom WordPress themes “without any need for HTML, JS, PHP, or CSS knowledge.”

Update: Also recommended debugging resources:

Leave a comment if you know other awesome resources for WordPress devs!

13 Responses

  1. Daniel Dvorkin November 23, 2012

    Self promotion, but it applies :) https://github.com/MZAWeb/wp-log-in-browser

  2. Bookmarked!!

  3. Martin Shane November 28, 2012

    These plugins are great. Thanks for sharing.

  4. re: WordPress Theme Generator

    for a WordPress theme generator, you might be better going to underscores.me and generating a theme that way, not sure that this one is not a very old theme generator and probably does not generate themes with up-to-date code

    Al

  5. Really useful info, thank you very much!

  6. Cannot find WP-Devel !?

    • Jeff Starr

      Try saying his name backward three times ;)

      Sorry, just joking. Seriously though, yeah what happened to the plugin?

      I’ll give it a some time before removing the link (just in case it’s a mistake or something).

      Thanks for the heads up.

  7. Hey Jeff/Chris,

    Thought you might find this useful/interesting: wp.io.

    I ran this site through as an example: http://wp.io/site-report/digwp-com/

    Disclaimer: self-promotion

  8. great plugins Thanks for sharing.

  9. Hi, great post…….
    but the link to wp-devel plugin is not correct.
    can you provide the correct link for the plugin
    thanks for the great information…………..

  10. WordPress Theme Generator could be an awesome tool with a few more features !

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