The must-have tools for WordPress development

As a WordPress developer, there are some tools you should definitely know and use.

In this post I want you to know the 3 tools that I use most and which I could not do without. These are two Plug-Ins and one Software.

Let’s start right away with the first Plugin.


WP-Query is the Plugin that has taken me out of trouble more than once. It is an indispensable tool, because it gives you the ability to have under control every aspect of WordPress, especially what happens under the hood.
It is basically a free plugin for debugging.

It is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools you can use during the development of a theme, a Plugin or (especially) to solve a problem.

But what makes it so phenomenal? For example, it shows AJAX Requests or REST API requests, slow queries, PHP errors, scripts, the hierarchy of templates used, and much more.

All interactions between the site and the server, and between the site and the client are monitored and made available

The best way to realize the enormous potential of this plugin is to install it and test it on a website. You’ll thank me.


You can’t not know Duplicator (and its PRO version).

Also here we talk about a plugin for WordPress. Duplicator allows us to create an exact copy of the site and to install it exactly as it is on our computer (or vice versa!).

Thanks to Duplicator you can create a backup archive and a PHP installer.
Already during the creation of the archive, Duplicator will scan the site and give us various useful information, such as warnings about excessive image size or other problems.

After that, it will return the files needed for installation.
(the great thing is that the created archives remain saved, so you can create a series of security backups and immediately restore the site)

In the PRO version, you can automate this process, so you periodically have a site save without having to worry about it manually.

Once we have downloaded the archive files and the installer, we insert them in the folder where we want to install WordPress (and therefore our site) and from the browser, we open the file installer.php.

From here on a series of very intuitive instructions will accompany us to our site. Indispensable.

Local by Flywheel

This is where the files from Duplicator end up.

Local by Flywheel is a software (once only for Mac, now luckily also for Windows, but not yet for Linux unfortunately) that allows the creation in two clicks of WordPress sites to use on our machine.

It’s true, Docker is an excellent solution for site development or even the dear old XAMPP/MAMP. But the convenience of Local in my opinion has no comparison.

You can also customize your development environment with different versions of PHP, MYSQL, choose whether to use Apache or Nginx, set up a WordPress multisite, and much more.

Literally, in two or three steps you can start using the site, without worrying about editing Hosts files or similar things. As I see it, the level of productivity that this tool gives me is unbeatable.

Yes, maybe at the expense of some RAM or disk space? It may be, but the fact is that it has now entered my toolbox along with the two plugins mentioned above and that I do not think it will come out very soon.

Originally published at on August 28, 2019.

I am nothing but an observer. Forever grateful to be born in the digital age. Italian based in Germany.