Debug Mode and 4 Useful Plugins for WordPress Developers
WordPress is a very flexible cms for developers. And many developers in Internet share full pieces of working code. Even beginners with php coding skills only but newer in WordPress can step by step understand WordPress core functionality and methods of developing. But not always adding own code in theme’s files is the best way. Sometimes it is easier using already developed plugins. There is a huge variety of FREE plugins in WordPress community. They can be installed in your administration panel even without connecting via FTP or cpanel. Some plugins even created to help developers to speed up their work.
First of all it is useful for developer to set debug mode. Full information you can read in official WordPress site — https://codex.wordpress.org/Debugging_in_WordPress.
If briefly and you are developing your theme or make changes on some test site you can make only one changes (if it isn’t already set by default).
Open file wp-config.php on your server, find line of code and change it to value true:
For now let’s overview some plugins which can help a developer in process of creating new theme.
1) Advanced WordPress Reset plugin — https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-wp-reset/. In administration panel you will find it in left menu: Tools -> Advanced WP Reset.
The plugin which will save your time significantly while theme creating. There are situations when you’ve written code which adds some changes to database of your site. Or you are in process of creating plugin which changes database. In some stage you need to see if such changes can be done automatically using your new plugin. Or situation, for example, when you add some page/post or media content to your site programmatically and condition of removing existing pages are not set. So, you will see a lot of the same pages, images which will speed off your site, database and your server will be overloaded. In such case this plugin will remove all your changes and will clean your database. So, you will not have to remove all manually and reinstall full site.
Also using this plugin you can check if you newly created theme can be installed correctly.
2) Theme Check plugin — https://wordpress.org/plugins/theme-check/. In administration panel you will find it in left menu: Appearance-> Theme Check.
This plugin make test of your theme to make sure that it corresponds the latest WordPress standards of developing. All issues will be displayed with pointing location of file with such problem. There will be required moments and recommendations seen. Also using of such plugin will helps you to deeper understand core principles of areas for plugin and theme. What functionality has to be placed in plugins and what can be set in theme’s files. Also it will helps you to arrange your theme before sending it to some theme’s shops.
3) tgm plugin — http://tgmpluginactivation.com/download/
When you develop some theme you always use one or more plugins. But theme and plugins are located in different folders and can be installed in different places of administration panel. It will be difficult to described for your clients which plugin has to be installed. So, tgm plugin provides functionality to show clients which plugins are required and which are recommended. This will be see in admin just after your theme installation and activation.
And the other useful thing is that user can install and activate all plugins as Bulk action.
4) Contact Form 7 plugin — https://wordpress.org/plugins/contact-form-7/. After activating plugin creates in left menu in administration panel own item: Contact -> Contact Forms.
This plugin not for developing purposes but for easy creating of different form types. Nevertheless, it provides much help to developers. Forms with different fields can be created automatically and be inserted as shortcode in any part of your site. Also you can add css classes for each field, wrap your fields in different html tags. By default sample form is already added.
Read a detailed guide about Contact Form 7 here — «How to use Contact Form 7 Tutorial — tips and tricks»