Tools I Use for WordPress Development

At Haketi, we are moving to a more WordPress design and development, here I would like to list the tools we use for creating websites for our customers. These tools are not in any order but I consider them important to streamline our design and development process when creating WordPress websites. Keep in mind that I won’t include traditional software development or UX design tools like Figma, VS Code, Git, JetBrains tools, Photoshop, etc. This is mainly for WordPress development and design to improve the developer experience and get something useful out of the box to start working on the project.


With Local, you can create new WordPress installations in a matter of seconds that would run locally with the .local domain name. Instead of spending a lot of time creating databases, downloading the latest version of WordPress, setting up permissions, and installing WordPress, you get a brand new installation with just one click.

There is a section for extensions or add-ons that is very interesting. You could create cloud backups to Google Drive and Dropbox when making changes to the application. There is also a link checker that finds 404 errors on the site and an Image Optimizer that compresses all the images inside WordPress. In addition, access to the database is possible via TablePlus, a good alternative to PHPMyAdmin.

PS: In the past, I tried to use KinstaDev but unfortunately, it did not work as expected with the two operating systems that I tested.

What The File

When working with classic themes, What-The-File is a must-install because it displays what file is active or being modified in the WordPress theme hierarchy. This reduces the bugs that could be inserted in the project by knowing where to go and what template files to modify when loading different pages of the site.

Theme Check

Theme Check tests the theme against WordPress development coding standards to make sure that we produce a professional theme and site without errors in the code that could potentially be open to security vulnerabilities.

Black Bar

Black Bar is another essential plugin for professional development because we can inspect and understand what is happening under the hood of the WordPress site in general including themes and plugins. The bar can display errors, what SQL queries are performed, hooks, variables, and more. It is worth installing for all projects.

Custom Fields and Custom Post Types

We typically use ACF, ACPT, Pods, and MetaBox depending on the project. This is a no-brainer for anyone who wants WordPress to be a legitimate content management system since custom post types give us the possibility of ordering the content in a way that makes sense for the users.

You don’t have only a post or a page. With custom post types, you can create customized content that is easier to maintain and provides a better user experience. For example, you could add a custom post type for Testimonials, Reviews, Services, Locations, Events, Team Members, FAQs, and many more. Another great example is building a custom post type of listing platform like property listing, job listing, companies, ads, and more. Additionally, custom fields are available in both plugins so the post types can be customized even further by adding non-native form elements to posts like URLs, images, numbers, dates, and more.


InstaWP is very useful for any team working on WordPress. There are a lot of instances where you need a clean WordPress installation to test out plugins and themes. With InstaWP, you could create a brand new installation in seconds. There is no need to configure a lot of things locally or on a server. They take care of everything for you. It has a lot of the functionality provided by Local but everything is on the cloud. I recommend starting with a free account and scaling your needs to a higher tier. 

Admin and Site Enhancements (ASE)

ASE is a plugin aimed to replace many popular plugins at once. This is a must-install even with the free version all the features available can streamline WordPress development and design with your one plugin. It is important to remember that the more plugins installed in a website, the more points of failure are present, and the more work it takes to administrate the website, and even make updates. For instance, you could have 10 plugins that are up to date but two plugins need to be updated regularly, these two plugins could cause security breaches if not updated frequently. Also, they can break your site and prevent you from updating the entire WordPress core files. 

So, instead of having multiple plugins that do one small thing, you have ASE to replace them all. Some of the features include creating custom post types, taxonomies, custom fields, reorganizing the admin panel, allowing SVG uploads, removing items from the admin bar, hiding admin notices, and many more. I highly recommend it considering that it would make WordPress development and maintenance a breeze. 


In conclusion, WordPress development is different than traditional software or web development since we start with a fully functional CMS and not from scratch. However, to develop faster and deliver our projects on time, we use them in almost all the WordPress projects that we embark on.

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