Top 30 Interview Questions for WordPress Developers

Are you a prospective WordPress developer looking for your next career opportunity? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Understanding what kind of questions employers will ask during an interview is key to making sure you ace it and land that dream job. In this article, we will explore some of the top interview questions for WordPress developers. We’ll discuss common scenarios, challenges, and best practices related to developing with WordPress as well as tips on how to answer each type of question effectively.  We’ll also provide concrete examples of the sorts of things interviewers are looking for along with some sample answers. By equipping yourself with these insights beforehand, you can be confident and prepared when walking into your next big interview. Let’s get started!

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Basic WordPress Knowledge Questions

When it comes to WordPress development, knowledge is power. Employers want to make sure you have a deep understanding of how the platform works and what features you can use. To demonstrate your knowledge in this area, be prepared for a range of questions. We’ll get to more complex inquiries later, but first, make sure you have the basics down. Here are some basic WordPress questions you may be asked followed by sample answers.

1. What are the main components of a standard WordPress install?

This question is checking your basic knowledge of WordPress and its core components. A standard WordPress install includes the WordPress software, a database, themes, plugins, and content.

2. Explain the difference between a post and a page in WordPress?

Posts and pages are two of the most commonly used types of content on WordPress platforms, so of course your interviewer will want to ensure you know the difference between the two. Posts are usually organized into categories, archives, and tags and are generally used for blog-type content. Pages, on the other hand, are usually static in nature and contain information like contact information, about us, privacy policy, etc.

3. How do WordPress themes work?

Any interviewer asking this question likely wants to hear that a WordPress theme is a collection of files that work together to create the design and functionality of a website. Themes typically contain a style.css file, which houses the main style rules and a functions.php file, which includes code to add features to the website. Themes also include template files, which control how different pieces of content are displayed on the site.

4. How do WordPress plugins work?

Similar to the previous question, interviewers want to know that you understand what’s going on beneath the hood, so to speak. WordPress plugins are separate pieces of software that can be installed to extend the functionality of WordPress.You can also explain how they are written in PHP and interact with the WordPress database to store data related to their functionality.

5. What is a custom post type?

A custom post type is a user-defined content type that can be used to add more specific types of content to a WordPress website. Examples include events, portfolios, testimonials, and products. Each custom post type has its own set of fields and settings, which can be used to create the desired functionality.

6. Describe the functions of a widget in WordPress?

Widgets are pieces of code that allow users to add elements to their website’s sidebar or footer. They can be used to display a list of categories, recent posts, or other content. Widgets also allow users to customize the appearance and behavior of certain features without having to write any code.

By brushing up on the basics of WordPress, you’ll be able to show employers that you understand the fundamentals of the platform and have a solid foundation for developing more complex projects.

More Advanced WordPress Knowledge Questions

If you’ve made it to the second round of interviews — or you’re interviewing for a more advanced position — you should expect questions that are more technical and specific to WordPress development. These could include questions such as:

7. How do you create a custom post type?

This is the sort of question that employers want to hear a detailed answer for. To create a custom post type, you need to use the register_post_type() function in the functions.php file of the theme to register the post type and then define its labels, arguments, and capabilities.

8. How do you enqueue a script or style in WordPress?

Enqueueing is the process of adding a file (like a plugin or theme script) to WordPress’s enqueue system. To do this, you need to use the wp_enqueue_script() or wp_enqueue_style() functions. These functions will check to see if the script or style is already enqueued, and if not, add it.

9. How do you create a custom taxonomy in WordPress?

This is another technical question looking for a technical answer. Creating a custom taxonomy in WordPress requires the use of the register_taxonomy() function. This function allows you to define the name, labels, and arguments for your taxonomy. You can then use the register_taxonomy_for_object_type() function to associate the taxonomy with a post type.

10. What is a hook in WordPress?

Hooks are functions in WordPress that allow you to insert code into different parts of the WordPress core. There are two types of hooks: actions and filters. The action hook allows you to add code at specific points during the execution of WordPress, while the filter hook allows you to modify existing data. Knowing how and when to use hooks is an essential skill for WordPress developers.

11. How do you create a block pattern in WordPress?

Block patterns are a new feature in WordPress that allow users to quickly create predefined layouts using blocks. To create a block pattern, you need to use the register_block_pattern() function. This function allows you to define the name, description, category, content, and preview image for the block pattern. Once registered, your block pattern will be available for users to select when creating posts or pages.

These more development-focused questions are designed to determine how well you understand the inner workings of WordPress and its code. They can also be a great way to showcase your knowledge and experience with the platform. 

Theme Development Questions 

If a position you’re applying for requires theme development, you should be ready to answer questions related to this topic. Some potential questions might include:

12. What is the best way to structure a WordPress theme?

A WordPress theme should always have a consistent structure and follow the standard coding conventions. This includes having separate directories for stylesheets, JavaScript files, images, and templates. It’s also important to use the correct template tags and functions for displaying content on the page.

13. How do you create custom page templates in WordPress?

Creating custom page templates in WordPress requires the use of template tags and functions. To create a custom page template, you need to create a new  and other features to this template using functions and hooks.file in the theme and then use template tags to assign it to a specific page. You can also add styling

14. How do you optimize a WordPress theme for performance?

Optimizing a WordPress theme for performance is a multi-step process. To start, you should minify any scripts and stylesheets to reduce their file size. Then, you should use caching to reduce server load. Finally, you should use a content delivery network (CDN) to serve static content quickly and reliably. 

15.  How do you use the WordPress template tag system?

The WordPress template tag system allows you to easily display content on a page. To use it, you need to understand how template tags work and what the different tag types are. For example, a basic template tag for displaying post content is the_content(). Other tags include get_header() and get_sidebar() for loading header and sidebar templates. Understanding how these tags work can help you make the most of the template tag system to create dynamic and stylish pages for your WordPress theme.

16. Describe the various steps of developing a theme from scratch in WordPress?

To answer an all-encompassing question like this, you don’t necessarily need to break down every little step of the process. Instead, you can provide a brief overview of how you would approach it. For instance, you might want to discuss steps like setting up the file structure, enqueuing scripts and stylesheets, registering menus and widgets, adding custom post types and taxonomies, and creating custom template files. These steps can help you create a comprehensive theme that’s easy to use and looks great.

Again, if you’re going after a theme development position, questions like these might be asked of you during the interview process so make sure you have a clear idea of how you’d answer beforehand.

Plugin Development Questions

There’s no denying that plugins are a huge part of any custom WordPress development project, so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to answer questions related to plugins too — that goes doubly so if you’re working in plugin development. You may be asked:

17. What coding standards should you follow when developing a WordPress plugin?

When developing a WordPress plugin, it’s important to adhere to coding standards. This includes following the WordPress Coding Standards and using PHP code that’s written to be compatible with WordPress. Using best practices like enqueuing scripts and stylesheets, using nonces for security, and providing appropriate documentation is vital too. Be sure to elaborate in as much detail as the interviewer requests.

18. How do you create a custom admin menu in WordPress?

Creating a custom admin menu in WordPress requires the use of several functions. To create a top-level menu, you need to call add_menu_page(). To add sub-menus, you need to call add_submenu_page() with the appropriate parent menu as an argument. You might also want to discuss why custom admin menus are useful and various use cases.

20. Describe the steps involved in creating and distributing a WordPress plugin?

Creating and distributing a WordPress plugin involves several steps. First, you need to plan the plugin by researching existing plugins and defining its features. Then, you should create a development environment and start coding the plugin. You might wish to detail what the coding process entails here. Once it’s finished, you need to test it thoroughly before releasing it. Include mentions of testing protocols and development environment(s) you personally use. 

Finally, you need to make the plugin available for download. This can be done by submitting it to the WordPress Plugin Directory or distributing it through your own website or a third-party marketplace. 

General Development Questions

No matter what kind of development you’re doing with WordPress, some generic questions related to coding & development will always be asked. Be sure to brush up on topics like the following:

21. Describe the WordPress coding standards and how to adhere to them

The WordPress Coding Standards are a set of guidelines to ensure code is written in an efficient, consistent and maintainable way. They provide guidance on how to properly use HTML and CSS, how to structure your code, and more. Adhering to these standards helps ensure that code is consistent and easy to read, which can help reduce errors.

22. What are the main challenges when developing with WordPress?

The main challenges when developing with WordPress are security, scalability and maintainability. Security is of utmost importance when dealing with a content management system and preventing potential vulnerabilities is essential. 

WordPress sites must also be built to scale as usage increases and content expands, so the code must be optimized for performance. Finally, any site you build should be easy to maintain over time as new versions are released and best practices evolve. Making sure the codebase is adaptable and easy to update is key.

23. What tools or techniques do you use for debugging and testing?

Be as specific as possible here. For instance, you might say that you use the Debug Bar and Query Monitor plugins for debugging, and PHPUnit for unit testing. You might also mention that you like to set up a staging environment and use QA tools to ensure your code is up to standard. No matter which tools you use, offer your experienced insights in your answer.

24. Explain your approach to data modeling, security, and scalability in WordPress.

When answering this question, you might say something like the following: 

“When it comes to data modeling in WordPress, I like to use the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture. This helps keep my code organized, maintainable and secure. I also use the WordPress database API to securely interact with data stored in the database. As for scalability, I make sure to create my code with scalability considerations in mind. This includes using caching and optimizing queries as well as utilizing advanced techniques like asynchronous programming and microservices.”

Problem-Solving Questions

To ensure you’re the right fit for the job, employers will want to know how well you can handle challenging scenarios as well. Problem-solving questions may include:

25. How would you troubleshoot a plugin that is causing issues on a website?

When describing how you’d troubleshoot a plugin, you might say something like: 

“The first step I would take is to research the issue and determine if others have experienced the same problem. If so, I would look for any potential fixes or solutions proposed by users. If not, then I would begin by disabling all other plugins to determine if a conflict is the source of the issue. I would then test each plugin one-by-one to determine which plugin is causing the issue, and then look for potential solutions. Finally, I would test the solution to ensure it works and all functionality remains intact.”

26. How would you optimize a slow WordPress website?

As with other questions that look for a step-by-step process, do your best to include real-world examples and specific tools and techniques you’d use to remedy this problem. Your first order of business would be to perform a performance audit, which might involve running a tool like GTmetrix or WebPageTest to analyze the website’s current speed and identify potential areas of improvement. 

From there, you could look into optimizing the code and images, caching content, and setting up a CDN to further speed things up. Looking into optimizing the database and server settings is another must. Finally, you could use a caching plugin such as W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache to help cache and minify content.

27. How would you fix a WordPress website that is hacked?

Offering a solution for when a site gets hacked will vary from case-to-case, of course. But in general, any answer you give should discuss the importance of creating a secure backup, changing all passwords, and using a malware scanner to identify any malicious code. You might also mention that you would use a website firewall to prevent future hacks, and tighten up security protocols across the board. You could also mention that restoring the site from a secure backup would be one of the final steps, once the malicious code has been removed.

Communication and Collaboration Questions

The ability to collaborate with other team members and communicate effectively with clients is an important skill for any developer and extends beyond any single position you might apply for. Interviewers may ask you questions such

28. How do you collaborate with designers and other developers when building a WordPress website?

Your answer should have you imagining what it would be like working with your potential team. You might say something like: 

“I like to start by getting with the team and discussing our expectations for the project. From there, I like to break down the project into smaller tasks and assign each task to a team member. We all stay in constant communication through phone calls, emails and video conferencing to ensure we’re all on the same page, and I’m available to help with any coding issues that arise. We also use project management tools like Trello and GitHub for keeping track of tasks and progress, and Slack for communicating on the go.”

29. How do you explain technical issues to non-technical clients?

Communicating technical issues to non-technical clients can be tricky, but it’s an important skill for any developer. Your answer should include any methods or techniques you use to explain technical concepts in a clear and concise way. 

For instance, you’d want to mention that you use simple language and visuals to explain the issue, and offer a step-by-step breakdown of how you’ll fix it. You should also talk about any experience you have with providing technical support to clients, and how you go out of your way to ensure they understand the process.

30. How do you keep yourself updated on the latest WordPress developments and best practices?

Your answer should include any sources you use to stay up-to-date on WordPress developments and best practices. Generally, this means talking about sites like the WordPress Codex, WPBeginner and WPTavern, as well as any other blogs or forums you use to keep in the loop. If you attend meet-ups and conferences, be sure to mention that as well. 

Approach Your WordPress Development Interview with Confidence

We hope this article has given you some insight into the type of questions employers might ask when interviewing for a WordPress developer position. Being prepared is key to ensuring that you make a great impression during your next interview. And you can always use a resume builder to get your resume and application in tip-top shape before throwing your hat in the ring. Good luck!