Useful plugins for WordPress theme developers

As a WordPress theme developer, I have installed a number of plugins in my WordPress test environment, which facilitate the development of a theme with useful tools. Today I would like to briefly introduce these WordPress development plugins.

Usually, I always present a single plugin and test and describe it in detail. This allows a more in-depth examination of the features of a plugin and doesn't just scratch the surface. Otherwise you could just read the plugin description on WordPress.org.

For this reason I find lists of plugins such as “The 10 best membership plugins” or “5 popular plugins for forms” usually not very meaningful, since such posts often contain little information and do not provide any information about what the plugins can actually do.

Nevertheless, I'll make an exception for this post and briefly introduce many plugins.

Most plugins are very small and don't justify their own contribution. In addition, all plugins are intended for WordPress developers, but perform different tasks. It is therefore not a comparison of plugins from the same category, but a list of tools.

WordPress Beta Tester

With this plugin you can upgrade your local WordPress installation to the latest beta version. Manual installation of the beta with each new update is no longer necessary.

Allows you to easily upgrade to test future versions of WordPress.

By: Peter Westwood, Andy Questions

( 40 )
Last updated: 1 month ago
2,000+ active installations
Compatible up to: 5.6

As a WordPress developer, you should test your themes and plugins extensively with upcoming WordPress core versions before they appear. This way, bugs and incompatibility with new core features can be excluded.

WordPress Beta Testing
Image from WordPress.org

In addition to your own code, you can also test new core features and report possible bugs. Since the plugin installs an unfinished beta of WordPress Core, the plugin should never be used productively on a live website.

Theme check

With the Theme Check Plugin you can check your WordPress theme for compliance with the WordPress.org Theme Review Guidelines .

An easy way to check your theme for the latest WordPress standards and methods. A great tool for theme development!

By: Theme Review Team

( 192 )
Last updated: 4 months ago
50,000+ active installations
Compatible up to: 5.4.4

This ensures that your theme meets the latest best practices and WordPress theme standards.

The check is especially important if you want to publish your theme on WordPress.org. Every theme uploaded there must pass the automated theme check, which is based on this plugin. In the event of errors, the theme is automatically rejected.

Theme sniffer

The Theme Sniffer Plugin is currently being developed by the WordPress.org Theme Review Team and is the successor to the Theme Check Plugin. The development takes place on Github . The plugin can also be downloaded there.

Theme sniffer plugin
Image from Github

The plugin is based on the WordPress Coding Standards Rules for PHP_CodeSniffer and thus allows a much better analysis of the source code for compliance with the standards. New rules can thus be implemented faster and easier than before.

Show current template

A very small and useful plugin is Show Current Template :

A WordPress plugin which shows the current template file name, the current theme name and included template files' name in the tool bar.

By: JOTAKI Taisuke

( 61 )
Last updated: 7 months ago
100,000+ active installs
Compatible up to: 5.3.6

The plugin shows the activated theme, the name of the current template and all template files that are integrated by it.

Regenerate thumbnails

If you change the image sizes in your theme or define new image sizes, you can use Regenerate Thumbnails to regenerate all existing images for the new image sizes.

Regenerate thumbnails

You can find detailed instructions for the plugin in my article Regenerating WordPress Featured Images After Changing the Theme .

RTL tester

RTL stands for Right-To-Left and means the direction of writing. For example, Arabic and Hebrew are two languages ​​in which, in contrast to German, people write and read from right to left.

You can use the RTL Tester plug-in to test the functionality of your WordPress theme with RTL Languages.

Test your themes and plugins in RTL mode.

Creator: Yoav Farhi, Automattic

( 19 )
Last updated: 5 months ago
3,000+ active installations
Compatible up to: 5.5.3

The plugin adds a button in the WordPress toolbar that changes the text direction to RTL. The whole layout is mirrored in this way.

User switching

The User Switching Plugin enables you to quickly switch between WordPress accounts and display the website as a logged-out guest with just one click.

I already presented the plugin a year ago in the article Change WordPress User Account with One Click .

I mainly use the plugin when developing features for my theme shop. Many pages differ there for guests, logged-in users or existing customers and the plug-in is a useful time saver for testing.

Query Monitor

Query Monitor is a very sophisticated debugging plugin with a lot of functions.

The plugin actually deserves its own contribution instead of a brief mention, but for the sake of completeness I would like to list it here anyway.

Query Monitor is THE developer tool panel for WordPress.

By: John Blackbourn

( 363 )
Last updated: 2 months ago
100,000+ active installs
Compatible up to: 5.6

The plugin shows a range of information directly in the toolbar or in the frontend: database queries, HTTP requests, fired hooks and filters, template files used, integrated scripts and stylesheets, AJAX and REST API calls. In short, pretty much anything that can be analyzed and used for debugging.