300+ Essential WordPress Hacks, Tools and Frameworks that Will Change the Way You Develop Themes

The WordPress theme market is a huge opportunity for designers and developers, especially since sites like ThemeForest have made it so easy to produce premium themes and make money from them. If you do it right, you can easily make a substantial income solely from WordPress theme design.

Of course, in order to do it right you have to know the tools and tricks that enable professionals to create work that is worthy of that title. Let’s check out some of the most vital, helpful and game-changing hacks, tools and frameworks to help you achieve that professionalism in your themes.

Being Prepared – 199 High-Quality Resources

15 Exceptionally Useful Resources for WordPress Theme Designers


This is a very high-quality and varying collection of theme-related resources, from frameworks to cheat sheets to dummy content sources and beyond.

WordPress Theme Development Checklist

Oops – you don’t want to forget something before releasing that theme and then end up regretting it later. Stefan Vervoort‘s theme development checklist can help you avoid that!

20 WordPress Theme Frameworks and Starting Resources

Using the right tools can obviously make a huge difference, and this roundup of frameworks and resources is a good place to check out the options and get well informed before making a decision.

63 Essential WordPress Hacks, Tutorials, Help Files and Cheat Sheets


SpeckyBoy compiled this solid collection of WordPress resources, and it’s a good place to start becoming familiar with WordPress customization.

100+ Resources for WordPress Theme Developers

From DesignM.ag, this post presents an enormous and yet relevant array of theme resources – definitely enough to keep any WordPress lover busy for a long time!

Knowing How to Do it Right – 135+ Amazing Tips, Tutorials & Hacks

8 Top Tips for WordPress Theme Development


This article was posted by James Whittaker after completing a from-scratch WordPress theme for his blog, and has some great tips on how to accomplish common theme-development tasks.

13 Useful Code Snippets for WordPress Theme Developers

A truly useful collection of hacks/code snippets from WDL. Fun stuff like customizing your login page, detecting mobile devices and more. These are all fun tricks that I think every theme developer will use from time to time.

20+ Useful WordPress Recipes


WPRecipes is a well known and useful source for fun WordPress hacks, and in this fun post by Nick La you’ll learn 20 very useful recipes allowing you to add social buttons, register custom shortcodes, interact with the Twitter and Feedburner APIs, and a whole bunch more.

23+ Excellent Tutorials for WordPress Theme Developers

If you’re looking for some high-quality theme-development tutorials, this is an excellent stop, providing you with lots of great ideas and code snippets.

30 Most Wanted WordPress Comment Hacks


Looking to become a comment-hack expert? This excellent post on InstantShift is an great place to start. You’ll learn everything from neat styling tricks to getting the total comment count for your blog to separating trackbacks from comments and more.

40 Awesome Tutorials and Techniques for WordPress Theme Developers

This article was published by Tripwire Magazine, and is another great collection of how-to resources for theme building. My favorite part about this article is how well organized it is  (sorted into different sections like ‘Comments’, ‘Feed Hacks’, etc.), making it easy to find what you’re looking for.

Advanced Power Tips for WordPress Theme Developers


In this post you’ll learn several impressive advanced techniques for developing robust, exceptional themes. Once you’ve mastered many of the basic hacks and customizations, this is an excellent read.

Excellent Tips for Speeding Up WordPress Theme Development

This article touches on a topic that we all can appreciate – maximizing your efficiency when developing themes and making the most of your time. Some interesting thoughts here!

Creating a Quality WordPress Theme


And one more excellent article – this one from Noupe, with 12 essential thoughts on infusing quality into your WordPress theme. After all, if it’s not the best you can make it then what’ s the point?

Using the Right Tool for the Job — 4 Awesome Frameworks

WordPress Starter Theme Project


This basic theme framework (developed by Dan Philibin of WPCandy) is definitely an excellent choice – although I’ve never used it to develop a theme before, I have sifted through the code and I can definitely say it’s very clean and well organized. If you’re looking for a clean, straightforward blank theme to jump start your development, this is what I’d recommend.

Starkers


You are probably already familiar with Elliot Jay Stocks’ blank WordPress theme, Starkers. It is a bit more advanced than WPCandy’s Starter Theme, and has several more features like a couple custom page template files. Most notable is the complete absence of any styling elements/classes what so ever. It’s 100% semantic, leaving you to do whatever you’d like with the styling and eliminating the need to strip out styling elements you don’t need. Another great choice.

Thematic


Thematic is a very versatile and famous WordPress framework, exceptional for a huge variety of uses. If you’re going to be doing heavy WordPress theme development, I highly recommend becoming familiar with a heavy-duty, powerful framework like Thematic or Ashford.

WordPress PSD Framework


This isn’t a coded framework – it’s actually a set of Photoshop layers and elements that’s just perfect for rapidly generating theme mockups. If you’ll be creating lots of theme mockups, this is worth looking at – it could save you a lot of time.

That’s All, Folks

There is definitely a huge amount of prime resources out there for the WordPress theme developer – and a lot of opportunity, too. By working a little at a time and learning something new every day, we can all improve our skills and have a lot of fun with WordPress theme development.

I’d encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t done so before, and as always please share your opinion and let me know if I’ve left something out!

Written By Nick Parsons

Nick is the editor of Webitect and a developer + designer from Houston TX.

14 Comments

  1. SoulTravelMultimedia

    March 15th, 2010 at 08:45 pm

    What great job for putting this all together! :-D A lot of hardwork must have gone into it. I’ll be sure to link it from my site http://soultravelmultimedia.com/. Thanks a lot and keep up the awesome job you do!

    Cheers

  2. Carson Shold

    March 15th, 2010 at 09:22 pm

    Fantastic collection. Way too many to browse but definitely getting bookmarked.

    Cheers

  3. Joe

    March 29th, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Wow! I love your wordpress lists. Thank you so much for all your posts. I’ve learned a lot from your blog/site.

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  5. Ramiroyal

    October 11th, 2010 at 05:58 am

    Thank you for the information !

  6. Brett Widmann

    November 4th, 2010 at 06:40 pm

    Wow this is a great list. There are so many informative articles and resources. Thanks for sharing.

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