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WordPress interview questions and answers in 2024

If you want to work as a successful WordPress developer for a top Silicon Valley firm or build a team of talented WordPress developers, you've come to the right spot. We've carefully compiled a list of WordPress developer interview questions to give you an idea of the kind of WordPress interview questions you can ask or be asked.

Last updated on Apr 19, 2024

WordPress, written in PHP, has enthralling looks, substantial capabilities, and unrivaled customization choices. Being well-prepared for interviews is critical as WordPress continues to dominate the CMS industry. Our hand-picked WordPress interview questions are your covert tool, ensuring you're prepared to answer any inquiry. 


These questions will guide you whether you're a WordPress developer looking for a job or an employer looking for top talent. Dive into this valuable asset and let your WordPress knowledge shine.


Basic WordPress interview questions and answers

1.

State the difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org.

This is one of the best WordPress interview questions to start off your interview process with. It is one of the basic questions that can set not only the tone but also put the candidate in the right mind frame. Now onto the answer -

The key difference here is - who’s hosting your website. When it comes to .com, it takes care of the hosting for you whereas with .org you host your own site. In simpler terms, wordpress.com is a service that allows you to build websites using the WordPress software (easier to start, less freedom), whereas WordPress.org is the software itself that you can use to create and maintain websites on your own.

2.

Mention different types of hooks in WordPress and explain their functionalities.

WordPress hooks is a feature that allows you to manipulate your site’s behavior without modifying the file on WordPress core. WordPress has two types of hooks namely - Action and Filters.

With Action, you can add data or change how WordPress operates in specific places of a theme or plugin. In simpler terms, when WordPress is running Action hook is triggered at a specific time and lets you execute an action. Whereas Filters enable you to change data during the execution of WordPress Core, plugins, and themes. Basically, it allows you to fetch and modify data before it is dispatched to the database or the browser.

3.

What are the different types of default tables in WordPress?

Everything that you post, comments, pages, settings, etc. are all stored in a database where all the information is stored in an organized manner in tables. Each table contains only specific types of data. Here is the list of default tables in WordPress -

  • wp_options - stores all the settings of the site such as the URL, title, installed plugins, etc.
  • wp_users - keeps all basic information of the registered users of your site like username, encrypted password, email, time of registration, display name, status, etc.
  • wp_usermeta - stores additional information of the registered users.
  • wp_links - stores the information about custom links added to your WordPress site. However, now it has been deprecated and is no longer in use.
  • wp_commentmeta - contains comments on posts and pages.
  • wp_terms - stored tags for posts, pages, and links.
  • wp_term_relationships - connects tags to posts, pages, and links.
  • wp_posts - contains all the content-related data on the site.
  • wp_postmeta - keeps any additional information that is somehow linked to the post.
  • wp_term_taxonomy - extends wp_terms and collects more categories and tags for posts, pages, and links.
  • wp_termmeta - save meta values for terms.
  • wp_comments - contains comments on posts and pages.

4.

What are the basic rules that you must follow while developing WordPress plugins?

Here’s a list of 7 best practices that you must follow while creating WordPress plugins -

  • Use clear coding standards
  • Avoid naming collisions by giving unique names to variables, functions, or a class.
  • Take security seriously.
  • Prefix everything with a unique identifier.
  • Make sure to access web services smartly.
  • Only load things that you need for that page or section of the site.
  • Avoid deprecated functions!

5.

How do you validate if a plugin active on WordPress?

WordPress has got you covered with the function - _plugin_active(). You can simply pass the in the plugin basename and WordPress will do the work to see if it is active or not.

Take a look at the following code snippet -

6.

Does a deactivated plugin somehow slow down the site performance?

No, WordPress only runs the activated plugins and ignores the deactivated ones.

7.

When do you recommend not to use WordPress?

Take a look at the following situation where WordPress cannot be used -

  • If your project doesn’t require CMS
  • If your project requires complex e-commerce
  • If you need an enterprise intranet solution
  • If your site requires custom scripting solutions

8.

What should you do when the security of your WordPress site is compromised?

Take a look at a few of the basic steps that you must follow -

  • Install security plugins like WP security
  • Re-install the latest version of WordPress and check if all the themes and plugins are updated
  • Uninstall any plugins or themes from any third party or untrustworthy sources
  • Replace password and user-ids for all your users

9.

What do you think is the best multilingual plugin in WordPress?

There are many plugins available on WordPress that assist you in translating your site's content. That’s why the answer to this question may differ depending on the candidate. However, their answer can give insights into their knowledge of different plugins available and their advantages and disadvantages. Take a look at some of the multilingual plugins available on WordPress -

  • WPML
  • TranslatePress
  • Polylang
  • Weglot
  • MultilingualPress, etc.

10.

What is the main difference between WordPress posts and pages?

Posts are dynamic content entries in WordPress, often displayed in reverse chronological order on a blog's main page. They are time-sensitive and frequently used for news or blog updates.

Pages, on the other hand, are static and are used for timeless content like About Us, Contact, or Services pages. Pages are not organized by date and are more suitable for foundational information.

11.

How do you install a new theme in WordPress?

To install a new theme in WordPress, navigate to the "Appearance" section in the admin dashboard and select "Themes." Click the "Add New" button, where you can either upload a theme's ZIP file or search for a theme from the WordPress theme repository.

After selecting a theme, click "Install" and then "Activate" to make it live on your site.

12.

 What are plugins in WordPress, and how do they function?

Plugins are add-ons that enhance the functionality of a WordPress website. They are pieces of code that can be installed to extend features or add new capabilities to your site. Plugins hook into different parts of the WordPress core to modify or add functionality without altering the core files. They can range from simple widgets to complex e-commerce systems.

13.

 Explain the purpose of a child theme.

A child theme is used to customize and override the styles and templates of a parent theme without modifying the parent theme directly. It's beneficial for maintaining modifications even after parent theme updates.

Changes made to the child theme won't be lost during updates, providing a safer way to customize your site's appearance and functionality.

14.

  How can you change the site title and tagline in WordPress?

Go to the "Settings" section in the admin dashboard and select "General." Here, you can change the site title and tagline, which will be displayed across your website. These elements are crucial for branding and search engine optimization.

15.

What is the WordPress dashboard?

The WordPress dashboard, often referred to as the 'admin dashboard' or 'admin panel,' is the back-end interface through which website administrators and authorized users can manage and control various aspects of their WordPress website. After logging in, the dashboard is the first screen you'll see, and it provides a quick overview of your site’s activity along with a vertical menu that gives access to all administrative functions.

16.

Define permalinks and their significance.

Permalinks are the URLs that point to your pages, posts, and other content on your WordPress site. They are significant for SEO and user-friendliness as they make your URLs more descriptive and readable. You can customize permalinks in WordPress to match your site's structure and content.

17.

What is the purpose of the functions.php file in a WordPress theme?

The functions.php file is critical in a WordPress theme's directory. It allows you to add custom code, functions, and hooks to modify or extend the theme's functionality. It's often used to enqueue stylesheets, register custom post types, and add theme-specific features.

18.

 How can you add an image to a post or page in WordPress?

While editing a post or page, use the "Add Media" button above the editor. You can upload images directly or select from the media library. Once uploaded, you can customize settings like alignment, size, and captions before inserting the image into your content.

19.

Describe the concept of shortcodes in WordPress.

Shortcodes are placeholders for complex functionality that can be added to posts, pages, and widgets using a simple tag. They allow you to insert dynamic elements like galleries, forms, or custom content without needing to write the full code manually.

20.

How do you create a static front page in WordPress?

To create a static front page, go to "Settings" > "Reading" in the admin dashboard. Choose the "A static page" option under "Front page displays" and select the pages you want to use for the front page and the posts page.

21.

Explain the use of the_excerpt() function in WordPress.

In WordPress, the the_excerpt() function is utilized to display a brief summary or teaser of a post's content, often used on blog index pages, search results, or archive pages. This summary allows readers to get the gist of each post without having to read the full text, making it easier to browse through multiple posts to find content of interest.

By default, WordPress generates an excerpt automatically by selecting the first 55 words of the post. However, you can also create custom excerpts by manually entering text into the Excerpt field when editing a post. If no manual excerpt is provided, WordPress will use the automatic excerpt.

22.

How does WordPress differentiate between categories and tags?

Categories and tags are both ways to organize content, but categories are hierarchical and are used for broader content grouping, while tags are non-hierarchical and are used for more specific keywords or topics associated with a post.

23.

What is a permalink structure, and how can you customize it?

A permalink structure defines the format of URLs for your posts and pages. You can customize it in the "Settings" > "Permalinks" section. WordPress offers various options, including date-based, post-name, and custom structures.

24.

Explain the purpose of the "Read More" tag in WordPress.

The "Read More" tag is used to break a long post's content on the main page and provide a link for users to continue reading the full post on its page. It's especially useful for maintaining a clean layout on the main page.

25.

How can you add a custom logo to a WordPress theme?

Adding a custom logo to a WordPress theme can be achieved in several ways depending on the features provided by your theme.

Using WordPress Customizer: Most contemporary WordPress themes support logo upload through the WordPress Customizer, which provides a user-friendly interface.

  • Navigate to your WordPress Dashboard.
  • Go to "Appearance" > "Customize" to open the Customizer.
  • Look for the "Site Identity" section or a similar section related to branding or header settings.
  • You'll typically find an option to upload your logo there. Click on "Select logo" to upload your image file.
  • After uploading, you might be able to crop the logo to fit the designated area.
  • Once you're satisfied, click "Publish" to save the changes and update your site

Manual Method: If your theme does not support custom logos, or you need more control over how the logo is presented, you can add it manually using HTML and CSS:

  • Access your WordPress theme files, which you can do via FTP or through your hosting file manager.
  • Locate the header.php file in your theme's folder. This file usually contains the code for your site's header, where the logo typically appears.
  • Find the place in the HTML where you want your logo to appear, and insert an img tag with the path to your logo image file, like so:

<a href="<?php echo esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ); ?>" title="<?php echo esc_attr( get_bloginfo( 'name', 'display' ) ); ?>" rel="home">

   <img src="<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory_uri(); ?>/images/your-logo.png" alt="<?php bloginfo( 'name' ); ?>" />

</a>

  • Adjust the logo size and positioning with CSS in your theme's style.css file.

26.

Describe the purpose of the wp_head() and wp_footer() functions in a theme's template files.

The wp_head() function is used to include code in the <head> section of a theme's template, often used for adding styles, scripts, and meta tags. The wp_footer() function includes code just before the closing </body> tag, commonly used for scripts or content that need to be placed at the end of the page for better performance.

27.

What is a featured image in WordPress and how is it added to a post?

A featured image is a representative image for a post or page that can be displayed in archives, on the post's page, or in widgets. To add a featured image, while editing a post, find the "Featured Image" box on the bottom right, upload/select an image, and click "Set Featured Image."

28.

How can you create a custom 404 error page in WordPress?

Creating a custom 404 error page in WordPress can significantly improve the user experience on your website when visitors come across a broken link or a page that no longer exists. Here's how you can create one:

Customize 404.php Theme File:

  • Access your WordPress theme's files. You can do this by connecting to your website via FTP or through the File Manager provided by your web hosting service.
  • Locate your current theme’s folder and find the 404.php file. If your theme does not have a 404.php file, you can create one by copying the index.php file and renaming it to 404.php.
  • Edit the 404.php file to customize the content and appearance of your 404 error page. You can add text, images, or even a search form to help users navigate to other parts of your site.
  • Save the changes to the file. Now, whenever a 404 error is encountered, WordPress will use this custom template to display the error page.

Use a WordPress Plugin: If you prefer not to edit theme files or want an easier solution, you can use a WordPress plugin designed for creating custom 404 pages. Here are the general steps you would follow:

  • Install a plugin that provides custom 404-page functionality, such as '404page' or 'All 404 Redirect to Homepage'.
  • Activate the plugin through the 'Plugins' menu in WordPress.
  • Follow the plugin’s specific instructions for setting up and customizing your 404 error page. This usually involves using a visual editor or selecting an existing page as your custom 404 page.

29.

Explain the use of the bloginfo() function in WordPress.

The bloginfo() function in WordPress is a versatile template tag used to retrieve and display information about your WordPress site. This information is pulled from the settings you've configured in the WordPress admin area, under "Settings" > "General."

The function can be used in theme files—such as header.php, footer.php, sidebar.php—to insert various pieces of site data dynamically. The bloginfo() function comes in handy for theme development when you need to ensure that certain site information remains consistent across various parts of the site, even if changes occur in the WordPress backend.


30.

How does the "Sticky" post feature work in WordPress?

The "Sticky" post feature in WordPress is a useful tool for content prioritization. It allows certain posts to be "stuck" to the top of the front page of post listings, like the blog index, which means they appear before any other posts, regardless of the date they were published. This feature is particularly handy for emphasizing important announcements, promotions, or timeless content that you want visitors to notice first when they visit your blog.

31.

Describe the purpose of the archive.php template file.

In WordPress, the archive.php template file serves as the default template for displaying various archives on a website. An archive page is any page that groups together related posts, allowing users to browse through them based on a particular categorization system. 

32.

How can you change the default media upload directory in WordPress?

To change the default media upload directory, you need to define a new path in your wp-config.php file using the UPLOADS constant. This allows you to organize your media files into a different folder structure.

33.

What is the role of the is_front_page() function in WordPress?

In WordPress, the is_front_page() function plays a crucial role in theme development and customization. Specifically, it is a conditional tag that determines whether the page being displayed is the front page of the site. This is particularly important when you have set a static page as your homepage, or if you're using the default setting where the front page displays your latest posts.

34.

How do you add a custom CSS class to a menu item in WordPress?

While editing a menu in the WordPress admin, you can expand the menu item to reveal additional options. Here, you can add a custom CSS class to the menu item by filling in the appropriate field. This allows you to style the menu item using your custom CSS rules.

35.

What is the purpose of the comments.php template file?

The comments.php template file in WordPress serves a critical role in facilitating discussions around your content. It is included in WordPress themes to define the structure, layout, and style of the comments section that appears beneath your posts and pages, should you choose to enable comments.

This template is responsible for displaying the list of comments that have been made on a post or page. It also includes the form that visitors use to submit their comments. The way comments are presented — such as threading, pagination, and the appearance of the comment form — can all be modified within this file, giving you control over the look and functionality of the comment section.

36.

Explain the use of the global $post variable in WordPress

The global $post variable is an instance of the WP_Post class and it contains all the information related to the post or page that's currently being processed by The Loop. The Loop is the main WordPress mechanism for outputting posts. As WordPress runs The Loop, it populates the $post variable with the data of each post or page to be displayed.

Developers commonly use the global $post variable within template files when they want to access or manipulate properties of the post object, such as its ID ($post->ID), title ($post->post_title), content ($post->post_content), and other data associated with the post.

37.

What is the difference between query_posts() and WP_Query in WordPress?

In WordPress, query_posts() and WP_Query are two ways to query the database for posts, but they serve different purposes and have different implications for website performance and reliability.

query_posts() is a function that can be used to alter the main WordPress loop. It does this by replacing the original query, which can lead to unexpected results and is generally not recommended. One of the main drawbacks of using query_posts() is that it re-runs the SQL query on the database, which can be a resource-intensive operation. Furthermore, since it modifies the global $wp_query object, it may negatively affect how subsequent template tags function on the page. Its use is mainly intended for altering the loop in a template file, not for creating new queries.

On the other hand, WP_Query is a powerful and flexible class that allows you to create custom queries independently of the main loop without disrupting it. Using WP_Query is the best practice for retrieving a specific set of posts, as it leaves the original query and global $wp_query object untouched. This approach is more reliable and efficient because you're creating a new instance of the query object for your specific purposes without affecting the main page query.

38.

 How can you create a custom dashboard widget with dynamic content?

You can use the wp_add_dashboard_widget() function to create a custom dashboard widget. Within the callback function, you can retrieve and display dynamic content, such as recent posts or site statistics, to provide users with valuable information.

39.

Explain the purpose of the wp_create_nonce() function in WordPress.

The wp_create_nonce() function generates a unique token that can be used for security purposes, often in forms or URLs. It helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive actions or data by verifying that the request is coming from a legitimate source.

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Intermediate WordPress interview questions and answers

1.

How can you add a custom background to a WordPress site?

To add a custom background to a WordPress site, you can utilize the body_class and custom-background classes. First, upload the background image through the WordPress dashboard (Appearance > Customize > Background Image). Then, in your theme's functions.php file, you can use the body_class filter to add a CSS class.

For instance:

function custom_background_class($classes) { if (get_background_image()) { $classes[] = 'custom-background'; } return $classes; } add_filter('body_class', 'custom_background_class');

2.

What are custom post statuses, and how can you create one?

Custom post statuses are additional states that a WordPress post can have beyond the default ones like 'draft' and 'published'. These can be useful for content workflows. To create a custom post status, you'll need to use the register_post_status function in your theme's functions.php file or a custom plugin.

For example:

function register_custom_post_status() { register_post_status('custom_status', array( 'label' => __('Custom Status', 'text-domain'), 'public' => true, 'show_in_admin_all_list' => true, 'show_in_admin_status_list' => true, 'label_count' => nnoop('Custom Status (%s)', 'Custom Status (%s)') )); } add_action('init', 'register_custom_post_status'); 


3.

How do you disable XML-RPC in WordPress, and why might you do so?

XML-RPC is a remote procedure call protocol that can be used to interact with WordPress remotely. It might be disabled for security reasons, as it can be a potential target for brute force attacks.

To disable it, you can add the following code to your theme's functions.php file or a custom plugin:

add_filter('xmlrpc_enabled', '__return_false');

4.

Describe the process of creating a custom post type in WordPress.

To create a custom post type, you would use the register_post_type function. This can be done in your theme's functions.php or a custom plugin. You define the labels, settings, and capabilities for the post type.

For example:

function create_custom_post_type() { register_post_type('custom_type', array( 'labels' => array( 'name' => __('Custom Type', 'text-domain'), // other labels ), 'public' => true, 'supports' => array('title', 'editor', 'thumbnail'), // other settings )); } add_action('init', 'create_custom_post_type'); 


5.

How can you modify the content of a WordPress post using filters?

Filters in WordPress allow you to modify data before it's displayed. To modify post content, you can use the the_content filter.

For example, to add text before and after the content:

function custom_content_filter($content) { $custom_text = 'This is custom content.'; return $custom_text . $content . $custom_text; } add_filter('the_content', 'custom_content_filter'); 


6.

Explain the purpose of a template hierarchy in WordPress.

The template hierarchy in WordPress determines how different templates are selected and loaded to display content. It's based on the type of content being requested.

For example, if you're viewing a single post, WordPress searches for templates like single.php, and if it doesn't find that, it falls back to index.php. This hierarchy allows for flexible and specific template handling.

7.

What are transients, and how can they improve site performance?

Transients are a way to store and retrieve temporary data in WordPress. They can significantly improve site performance by caching data that is resource-intensive to generate. You can set an expiration time for transients, and WordPress will automatically handle the storage and retrieval. This reduces the load on the database and speeds up page load times.

8.

How do you enqueue scripts and styles in WordPress?

To enqueue scripts and styles, you use the wp_enqueue_script and wp_enqueue_style functions respectively. This ensures proper dependency management and prevents conflicts.


For example:

function enqueue_custom_scripts() { wp_enqueue_script('custom-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/custom.js', array('jquery'), '1.0', true); wp_enqueue_style('custom-style', get_stylesheet_uri(), array(), '1.0'); } add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'enqueue_custom_scripts');


9.

What is the purpose of the wp-config.php file?

The wp-config.php file in WordPress holds crucial configuration settings for your site. This includes database connection details, security keys, debugging settings, and more. It's a critical file for the functioning and security of your WordPress site.

10.

How can you create a custom WordPress widget?

You can create a custom WordPress widget by extending the WP_Widget class. Define the widget's appearance and functionality in the class methods. Then, register the widget using the widgets_init action. This allows users to add your widget to their widget areas.

11.

What are custom fields in WordPress, and how are they used?

Custom fields in WordPress allow you to add additional metadata to posts. They're often used to store and display extra information about a post, like author details or event dates. You can access and display custom field data within your theme using functions like get_post_meta().

12.

Explain the significance of WordPress actions and filters.

Actions and filters are essential elements of the WordPress plugin and theme architecture. Actions allow you to trigger custom code at specific points during execution. Filters enable you to modify data before it's displayed or processed.

They both provide a way to extend and customize WordPress functionality without modifying core files.

13.

How do you create a custom navigation menu in WordPress?

Creating a custom navigation menu in WordPress is a user-friendly process that doesn't require coding knowledge, thanks to the platform's built-in menu editor. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Access the Menu Editor: In your WordPress dashboard, navigate to 'Appearance' > 'Menus' to access the menu editor.
  • Create a New Menu: Click on 'create a new menu' at the top of the page. Assign a name to your menu, and click the 'Create Menu' button.
  • Add Menu Items: On the left-hand side, you will see boxes containing your pages, categories, and custom links. Select the items you want to add to your menu and click 'Add to Menu'.
  • You can organize your menu items by dragging and dropping them into place. You can also create nested menus by dragging an item slightly to the right of another item to make it a submenu.
  • Manage Menu Locations: Each WordPress theme defines its menu locations. Look for the 'Menu Settings' section on your menu editor page. Select the theme location where you want to display your custom menu. Common locations include primary, secondary, and footer menus.
  • Save Your Menu: Once you have organized and customized your menu items, click the 'Save Menu' button to store your changes.

14.

Describe the steps to create a multilingual site in WordPress.

Creating a multilingual website in WordPress can be managed efficiently through the use of dedicated plugins. Plugins such as WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin) or Polylang are popular choices that facilitate the creation and management of content in multiple languages. Here are the steps to create a multilingual site with these tools:

  • Choose a Multilingual Plugin: Research and select a multilingual plugin based on your specific needs, compatibility with your theme, and desired language options.
  • Install and Activate the Plugin: Navigate to 'Plugins' > 'Add New' in the WordPress dashboard. Search for the plugin you have chosen (WPML or Polylang), install it, and activate it.
  • Configure the Language Settings: Once activated, you'll need to configure the plugin settings. This typically includes selecting the languages you want to include on your site and how you want language switching to work.
  • Translate Your Content: Create translations for your posts, pages, custom post types, taxonomies (categories and tags), and other elements of your site.
  • Most multilingual plugins provide an interface for creating translations directly within the WordPress dashboard. They may offer manual translation options or integrations with external translation services.
  • Set Up Language Switchers: To allow visitors to switch between languages, set up language switchers on your site. This could be in the navigation menu, sidebar, or footer. Customize the appearance of language switchers to fit your site's design.
  • Translate Theme and Plugin Strings: Apart from content, you'll also want to translate theme and plugin strings (the text within your theme's interface).
  • Plugins like WPML and Polylang typically have features that allow you to translate these strings or integrate with external translation files (.po and .mo files).
  • Testing: After setting up translations, it’s crucial to thoroughly test your site to ensure that content and language switching work as expected across different parts of the site.

15.

What are WordPress taxonomies? Provide examples.

Taxonomies are ways to organize and classify content in WordPress.

Examples include:

  • Categories: Hierarchical grouping for blog posts.
  • Tags: Non-hierarchical keywords for content organization.
  • Custom Taxonomies: User-defined taxonomies, like "Genres" for books or "Types" for products.

16.

Explain the differences between actions and filters in WordPress with examples.

In WordPress, actions and filters are both types of hooks that allow developers to modify how WordPress operates or outputs content. But they serve different purposes:

Actions enable developers to insert or modify functionality at certain points during the execution of WordPress or when certain events occur. Actions do not return anything but simply act at a specific moment to perform a task.

Filters, on the other hand, allow developers to modify data before it is sent to the database or before it's displayed to the user. Filters take the original data as an argument, modify it, and return it.


17.

How can you create a custom dashboard widget in the admin panel?

You can create a custom dashboard widget by using the wp_add_dashboard_widget function. Define a callback function that outputs the content for your widget. This can be used to display helpful information or quick links on the dashboard.

18.

Describe the use of custom walker classes in WordPress navigation menus.

Custom walker classes in WordPress are a powerful feature that provide developers with the ability to extend and alter the HTML output of WordPress menus. By default, WordPress generates a standard list structure for its menus, but with a custom walker, you can precisely control the menu markup, which can be particularly useful for creating complex, custom-designed navigation structures.

19.

What are transients, and how can they be utilized for caching in WordPress?

Transients are temporary cached data in WordPress. They can be used to store frequently used, complex, or resource-intensive data, such as API responses. By setting an expiration time, you can improve site performance by reducing the need to generate the same data repeatedly.

20.

How can you implement custom post-status transitions using hooks in WordPress?

In WordPress, custom post-status transitions can be handled programmatically using the transition_post_status action hook. This hook fires when a post’s status transitions from one status to another. It can be used to perform custom actions such as sending notifications, updating post meta, or executing custom business logic whenever a post changes state.

The transition_post_status action hook provides three arguments:

  • $new_status: the new post status.
  • $old_status: the old post status.
  • $post: the post object itself.

21.

Explain the concept of template parts in WordPress theme development.

Template parts are reusable sections of code in WordPress themes. They allow you to separate different components of your theme, like headers, footers, and loops, into distinct files. This promotes cleaner code organization and easier maintenance.

22.

How do you create a custom login form in WordPress without using a plugin?

To create a custom login form without a plugin, you can use the wp_login_form function. Insert this function in your theme file where you want the login form to appear. You can also customize the form's HTML and behavior using available arguments.

Advanced WordPress interview questions and answers

1.

Describe the process of creating a custom REST API endpoint in WordPress. 

Creating a custom REST API endpoint in WordPress is a powerful way to extend the capabilities of your website or application. You can customize the API to expose new data or to integrate with external software. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to add a custom endpoint:

  • Hook Into the REST API Initialization: First, hook into the REST API initialization using the rest_api_init action. This is where you will register your custom routes.
  • Register a New Route: Use the register_rest_route() function within your hook callback to define a new endpoint. This function takes three parameters: a namespace, a route pattern, and an array of options that define request methods and callback functions.
  • Define a Callback Function: For the route, you need to specify a callback function that will run when the endpoint is requested. This function should handle retrieving or manipulating the data you want to serve.
  • Return a Response: Construct and return a WP_REST_Response object within your callback function. This standardized response object will ensure your data is properly formatted for JSON transmission.

2.

How can you implement content versioning in a custom WordPress theme?

Implementing content versioning in a custom WordPress theme involves using techniques like adding version numbers to your CSS and JavaScript files. This prevents cached versions from causing display issues after updates.

You can also utilize version control systems like Git to track changes to your theme's codebase and roll back to previous versions if needed.

3.

Explain the purpose of the WP_User_Query class. 

The WP_User_Query class in WordPress allows developers to query and retrieve user data from the database using various parameters such as role, meta values, search keywords, and more.

It's used to build and execute complex queries to fetch user information, making it especially useful for building member directories, user search functionalities, and managing user-related tasks in custom development.

4.

How can you create a custom database table in WordPress?

To create a custom database table in WordPress, you can use the $wpdb object, which is an instance of the WordPress database class. Use the $wpdb->query() method to execute SQL queries for creating the table.

However, it's recommended to follow WordPress coding standards and utilize the dbDelta() function for table creation, as it takes care of handling database schema changes across different MySQL versions.

5.

Describe the process of creating a Gutenberg block with dynamic content. 

Creating a Gutenberg block with dynamic content involves both JavaScript and PHP. Here's a breakdown of the process:

  • Register the Block in JavaScript: Use the @wordpress/blocks package to define the structure and behavior of the block within your JavaScript file. This includes setting up attributes that your block will use to manage content.
  • Enqueue Block Assets: Enqueue your JavaScript and any additional CSS as needed, to ensure your block editor has the necessary resources to function.
  • Define Server-Side Rendering with PHP: Create a PHP function that will handle rendering the block on the server. This function will use attributes passed from the block to generate the final output. Unlike static blocks, dynamic blocks do not define their markup in the 'save' function in JavaScript. Instead, they return null or use the <InnerBlocks.Content /> component if they include nested blocks.
  • Register Block Type with PHP: Use the register_block_type() function in PHP to register your block. As part of the registration, you will provide it with the name of the rendering function created in the previous step. By doing this, WordPress knows to call your PHP function to get the content when it's time to display the block on the front end.
  • Implement AJAX or API Calls (if necessary): If your dynamic content needs to be updated or fetched in real time (for example, you want a block to display recent comments, and the data need to be up-to-date), wp.apiFetch or AJAX calls can be used to retrieve up-to-date information from the server. This would typically happen within the block's edit function.

6.

How can you implement two-factor authentication in a WordPress site? 

Implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) in WordPress significantly enhances security by requiring users to provide two different forms of identification before accessing their accounts. This typically includes something the user knows (their password) and something the user has (like a code generated on their phone). To add 2FA to your WordPress site, you can follow these steps:

  • Choose a 2FA Plugin: Select a reputable 2FA plugin such as "Two Factor Authentication," "Google Authenticator," or others available in the WordPress plugin directory.
  • Install and Activate the Plugin: Go to your WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to the 'Plugins' section, and search for the chosen plugin. Install and activate it.
  • Configure the Plugin Settings: Most 2FA plugins come with settings you can configure from your admin panel. This may include setting roles for which 2FA is required, personalizing the login page, and configuring other security settings.
  • Set Up User Accounts: Each user who will use 2FA on your site will need to go through a setup process. This usually involves scanning a QR code using a 2FA app on their smartphones, such as Google Authenticator, Authy, or similar TOTP-based apps. The app generates the 6-8 digit codes that users will need to log in.
  • Backup Codes and Recovery: It’s vital to generate and securely store backup codes. These can be used to access the account if the 2FA device is unavailable. The plugin should provide a way to generate these codes.

7.

Explain the role of the WP_Object_Cache class in WordPress.

The WP_Object_Cache class in WordPress provides a caching mechanism to store and retrieve often-used data, reducing the need for repetitive database queries. It helps improve site performance by storing data in memory and preventing unnecessary database requests.

Plugins and themes can use this class to cache data and improve the overall speed of a WordPress site.

8.

How can you integrate a third-party search engine (e.g., Elasticsearch) with WordPress? 

To integrate a third-party search engine like Elasticsearch with WordPress, you can use plugins like "ElasticPress." These plugins allow you to configure the connection to the external search engine, index your site's content in Elasticsearch, and use its powerful search capabilities. This greatly enhances the search functionality on your WordPress site.

9.

Describe the steps to set up a custom login via external services like Google or Facebook. 

Setting up custom login via external services involves creating API credentials with the service provider (e.g., Google or Facebook). Then, use plugins like "OAuth Single Sign On" or "Social Login" to integrate the external service's authentication with your WordPress site.

Configure the plugin with the API credentials, and users will be able to log in using their external accounts.

10.

What is the purpose of the wp_mail() function in WordPress?

The wp_mail() function in WordPress is used to send emails from within your WordPress application. It simplifies the process of sending emails by abstracting the email composition and sending logic.

You can use it to send notifications, user registrations, password reset links, and other email-related functionalities in your themes and plugins.

11.

How can you customize the WordPress login page without using a plugin? 

To customize the WordPress login page without using a plugin, you can add custom CSS, JavaScript, and even modify the HTML structure with hooks provided by WordPress. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Custom CSS: Use the login_enqueue_scripts action hook to add your custom styles. Add the following code in your theme’s functions.php file to enqueue a custom stylesheet:

function custom_login_styles() {

    wp_enqueue_style('custom-login', get_stylesheet_directory_uri() . '/css/custom-login.css');

}

add_action('login_enqueue_scripts', 'custom_login_styles');

Replace /css/custom-login.css with the path to your custom stylesheet.

Custom JavaScript: Similarly, you can use the same hook to enqueue custom JavaScript files that you might need for the login page.

Change Logo URL: By default, the WordPress login logo links to wordpress.org. You can change this to link to your site’s homepage by using the login_headerurl filter:

function custom_login_logo_url() {

    return home_url();

}

add_filter('login_headerurl', 'custom_login_logo_url');

Change Logo Title: Change the title attribute of the logo link using the login_headertext filter:

function custom_login_logo_url_title() {

    return 'Your Site Name and Info';

}

add_filter('login_headertitle', 'custom_login_logo_url_title');

Customize Login Form Error Messages: Use the login_errors filter to customize or hide the login error messages:

function custom_login_error_message() {

    return 'The custom error message.';

}

add_filter('login_errors', 'custom_login_error_message');

Custom Footer Content: Add custom content to the footer of the login page using the login_footer action:

function custom_login_footer() {

    echo '<p>Custom message for the login footer!</p>';

}

add_action('login_footer', 'custom_login_footer');

These are some of the ways you can customize the login page without modifying core files or using a plugin. Remember to create a child theme if you're editing the functions.php file of your theme, so you don't lose changes when the theme updates.


12.

Explain the concept of nonce in WordPress. How are they used for security?

In WordPress, a nonce (number used once) is a token that helps protect against CSRF (Cross-Site Request Forgery) attacks. Nonces are generated and associated with specific actions, such as submitting a form or processing an AJAX request.

They are included in requests and validated on the server side to ensure that the request originates from the expected source and action.

13.

What are transients, and how can they improve site performance? 

Transients are a caching mechanism in WordPress used to temporarily store data in the database or object cache. They can be set with an expiration time, after which the cached data is automatically removed.

Transients are useful for storing data that takes time to generate, like API responses, and can significantly improve site performance by reducing the need to repeatedly fetch or generate the same data.

14.

What is a widget callback function?

A widget callback function in WordPress is the core logic that determines what content or functionality a widget displays in sidebar areas Widgets are registered using register_widget.

  • Callback Function: This function, defined during registration, generates the widget's content.
  • Usage: When the widget is added to a sidebar, the callback function is called to display its content.

15.

How can you create a custom WordPress widget? 

To create a custom WordPress widget, you need to define a class that extends the WP_Widget class. This class should contain methods for widget setup, rendering the widget output, and updating widget settings.

Register the widget using the widgets_init action hook, and it will then be available in the Widgets section of the WordPress admin.

16.

Explain the significance of WordPress actions and filters.

WordPress actions and filters are hooks that allow developers to modify or extend the behavior of WordPress core, themes, and plugins without modifying their original code. Actions are used to execute custom code at specific points in the WordPress execution process, while filters allow you to modify data before it's displayed or used.

17.

How do you create a custom navigation menu in WordPress?

To create a custom navigation menu in WordPress, go to the "Appearance" > "Menus" section in the admin panel. Create a new menu, add desired pages, custom links, or categories to it, and arrange their order.

After creating the menu, assign it to a specific location defined by your theme, usually using the wp_nav_menu() function in your theme's template files.

18.

In a Multisite network, how can you manage user roles and permissions across all sub-sites?

In a WordPress Multisite network, managing user roles and permissions across all sub-sites is done through:

  1. Access Network Admin: Log in as a super admin and go to "Network Admin" -> "Sites."
  2. Select a Sub-Site: Choose the subsite you want to manage.
  3. Manage Users: Click on "Users" under the sub-site to add, edit, or delete users.
  4. Assign Roles: When adding or editing users, assign specific roles. These can be site-specific or network-wide roles like Administrator, Editor, etc.

19.

What are WordPress taxonomies? Provide examples.

WordPress taxonomies are a way to categorize and classify content. The two main built-in taxonomies are "Categories" and "Tags." You can also create custom taxonomies for more specific content organizations. For instance, a movie review site might have a custom taxonomy named "Genres," with terms like "Action," "Drama," and "Comedy."

20.

Describe the differences between single-site and multi-site WordPress installations. 

In a single-site WordPress installation, there is one instance of WordPress running a single website. In a multi-site installation, a single WordPress installation powers multiple websites (subsites) within a network. Each subsite can have its domain or subdomain, but they share the same core code, plugins, and themes.

21.

Explain the concept of headless WordPress and its benefits.

Headless WordPress is an architecture where the backend (content management) and frontend (user interface) are decoupled. Content is managed via WordPress, while the front is built using modern JavaScript frameworks or static site generators. This allows for more flexibility, better performance, and easier integration with different platforms and devices.

22.

What is the purpose of the REST API in WordPress? Provide examples of its usage. 

The REST API in WordPress allows you to interact with your site's data using standard HTTP methods. You can fetch and manipulate content, users, comments, and more. For example, you can use the REST API to display your latest blog posts on an external website, build a mobile app that interacts with your WordPress content, or create custom dashboards that pull data from your site.

23.

Describe the structure of the WordPress database. 

The WordPress database consists of multiple tables that store different types of data. Key tables include wp_posts for posts, pages, and custom post types, wp_users for user data, wp_terms and wp_term_taxonomy for taxonomies, and wp_comments for comments. The tables are linked through relationships, such as post-to-author relationships.

24.

How can you optimize the performance of a WordPress site? List some techniques.

To optimize WordPress performance, you can use techniques like:

  • Caching: Utilize plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache to serve cached content.
  • Image Optimization: Compress and resize images to reduce page load times.
  • Minification: Minify HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files to reduce file sizes.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN): Offload static assets to a CDN for faster global delivery.
  • GZIP Compression: Enable GZIP compression to reduce file sizes during transfer.
  • Database Optimization: Clean up unnecessary data and optimize database tables.
  • Lazy Loading: Load images and other assets only when they are visible in the viewport.

25.

 Explain the concept of custom post types and provide a scenario where they might be useful.

Custom post types allow you to define new content types beyond the default posts and pages in WordPress. They are useful when you need to manage and display content with distinct characteristics, like "Portfolio Items," "Events," or "Testimonials." Each custom post type can have its own set of attributes, taxonomies, and templates.

26.

How do you add custom CSS and JavaScript to a WordPress theme or plugin? 

To add custom CSS and JavaScript, enqueue them using the wp_enqueue_style() and wp_enqueue_script() functions within the appropriate hooks (e.g., wp_enqueue_scripts for front-end). This ensures proper loading order and prevents conflicts with other scripts and styles.

27.

Describe the steps to create a child theme and explain why it's important. 

To create a child theme, create a new directory within your themes folder, and in its style.css file, define the parent theme as the template. This allows you to override and customize parent theme styles and templates without modifying the original theme files.

Child themes are important because they ensure your customizations remain intact even after parent theme updates.

28.

What is the importance of the .htaccess file about WordPress? 

The .htaccess file is important for configuring server-level settings and overrides for your WordPress site. It can control URL rewriting, redirection, security settings, and more. It's often used to create search engine-friendly URLs and improve site security by blocking unauthorized access.

29.

Explain the role of the wpdb class in WordPress and provide an example of its usage.

The wpdb class is a WordPress database abstraction layer that provides a safe way to interact with the database. It handles SQL queries, data escaping, and prepared statements. For example, you can use $wpdb->get_results() to fetch rows from a custom table and ensure the data is properly sanitized.

30.

How can you create a custom Gutenberg block with settings and attributes? 

To create a custom Gutenberg block with settings and attributes, use the @wordpress/blocks package to define your block. In the block's edit function, utilize attributes to store dynamic data. Use the InspectorControls component to add settings controls in the editor sidebar. In the same function, render the block based on the attributes.

31.

Describe the process of implementing a custom user role in WordPress. 

To implement a custom user role, use the add_role() function or a plugin like "Members" to define the new role's capabilities. Assign appropriate capabilities based on your requirements. After creating the role, you can assign it to users via the WordPress admin.

32.

What are REST API routes in WordPress, and how can you register custom ones? 

REST API routes define the endpoints that can be accessed to interact with your WordPress data. You can register custom routes using the register_rest_route() function. Provide a namespace, route, and callback function for your custom route. The callback function handles the logic for fetching or manipulating data.

33.

How can you optimize a WordPress site for performance and speed? 

To optimize a WordPress site, you can:

  • Use a lightweight theme.
  • Minimize and combine CSS and JavaScript.
  • Optimize images.
  • Enable caching with plugins.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN).
  • Enable GZIP compression.
  • Remove unnecessary plugins and themes.
  • Implement lazy loading for images.
  • Reduce external HTTP requests.

34.

 Explain the purpose of the WP_Object_Cache class and how it contributes to caching.

The WP_Object_Cache class is responsible for caching frequently used data in memory, reducing the need to query the database multiple times. It stores data like post queries, widget outputs, and more. This improves site performance by fetching data from memory instead of performing resource-intensive database queries.

35.

How can you create a custom template tag in WordPress?

To create a custom template tag in WordPress, you can define a new function in your theme's functions.php file or in a custom plugin. This function should encapsulate the desired output or functionality you wish to produce. After defining the function, you can call it from within your WordPress theme templates to output or utilize the content or features provided by the template tag.

36.

Describe the steps to integrate an external database with WordPress. 

To integrate an external database with WordPress, create a new database connection using PHP's mysqli or PDO extension. Use the established connection to fetch or manipulate data from the external database. Be cautious with security and ensure you follow best practices to prevent vulnerabilities.

37.

How can you implement a content delivery network (CDN) for a WordPress site?

To implement a CDN for a WordPress site, sign up with a CDN provider and configure your CDN settings. Typically, you'll need to replace your site's static asset URLs with CDN URLs. Plugins like "W3 Total Cache" can automate this process. The CDN will then serve your site's static assets from distributed servers, improving load times.

38.

 Describe the process of registering a custom taxonomy and associating it with a custom post type.

To register a custom taxonomy and associate it with a custom post type in WordPress:

  1. Define the custom taxonomy using register_taxonomy() and specify the associated post type.
  2. Register the custom post type using register_post_type() and include the custom taxonomy in the 'taxonomies' parameter.

Remember to save permalinks after making changes for the new setup to take effect.

39.

How can you set up a continuous deployment workflow for a WordPress site? 

To set up a continuous deployment workflow, use version control (e.g., Git) to manage your codebase. Utilize platforms like GitHub, Bitbucket, or GitLab. Connect your repository to a CI/CD service (e.g., Jenkins, Travis CI, GitHub Actions), automate build and deployment tasks, and ensure your changes are tested and deployed to your WordPress server seamlessly.

40.

How can you mitigate XML-RPC attacks in WordPress, and why is it essential for security hardening?

XML-RPC attacks can be mitigated in WordPress by disabling XML-RPC functionality unless necessary. This can be achieved by adding the following code to your theme's functions.php file or using a security plugin:

add_filter('xmlrpc_enabled', '__return_false');

XML-RPC attacks are critical to address because they can lead to brute force attacks and DDoS attacks. By disabling XML-RPC when not needed, you reduce the attack surface. If you need XML-RPC for specific purposes, consider implementing a plugin like "Disable XML-RPC Pingback" to limit potential threats. Additionally, keeping WordPress and plugins up to date is vital, as many vulnerabilities are patched in newer versions.

41.

How can you add custom CSS and JavaScript to the WordPress admin area?

To add custom CSS and JavaScript to the WordPress admin area, use the admin_enqueue_scripts hook. Enqueue your styles and scripts using the wp_enqueue_style() and wp_enqueue_script() functions within this hook. This allows you to enhance the admin interface or add custom functionalities.

42.

Explain the process of migrating a WordPress site from one domain to another. 

To migrate a WordPress site to a new domain, you need to:

  1. Back up the site files and database.
  2. Move the files to the new server and import the database.
  3. Update the site's URL in the database using a tool like phpMyAdmin or a search and replace script.
  4. Update links, media URLs, and other references to the new domain.
  5. Test the site thoroughly on the new domain to ensure everything works as expected.

43.

 How can you implement a custom search functionality using the REST API in WordPress? 

To implement a custom search functionality using the WordPress REST API, follow these steps:

  • Register a Custom Endpoint: Hook into rest_api_init to register a new custom route for your search endpoint.

add_action( 'rest_api_init', function () {

    register_rest_route( 'my_namespace/v1', '/search/', array(

        'methods' => 'GET',

        'callback' => 'my_custom_search_function',

    ) );

} );

  • Define the Callback Function: Create the callback function my_custom_search_function to handle the incoming GET requests by performing a WP_Query based on the search parameters received through the REST API call.

function my_custom_search_function( WP_REST_Request $request ) {

    $search_params = $request->get_param( 'search_term' );


    // Define the argument array for WP_Query.

    $args = array(

        'posts_per_page' => -1,

        'post_type' => 'post',

        's' => $search_params, // Search term from the REST request.

    );


    // Perform the query.

    $query = new WP_Query( $args );


    // If matching posts are found, return them in a JSON response.

    if ( $query->have_posts() ) {

        $posts = array_map( function ( $post ) {

            return (array) $post;

        }, $query->posts );


        return new WP_REST_Response( $posts, 200 );

    }


    // Return an error message if no posts were found.

    return new WP_REST_Response( array( 'message' => 'No posts found' ), 404 );

}

  • Test the Endpoint: You can test this new REST API endpoint by sending a GET request to the following URL (replace <domain> with your own domain name):

https://<domain>/wp-json/my_namespace/v1/search/?search_term=<search-keyword>

  • Handle the Response: Make sure your front-end application or theme is equipped to handle the returned JSON data, displaying the search results to the user in a user-friendly format.

44.

Describe the concept of oEmbed in WordPress and provide an example of its usage.

“oEmbed” is a feature in WordPress that allows you to embed content from other websites simply by pasting a URL into the editor. For example, pasting a YouTube video URL will automatically embed the video player in your post. oEmbed works with supported platforms and is a convenient way to add rich media to your content.

45.

How can you create a custom plugin that adds new functionality to WordPress?

Creating a custom plugin in WordPress involves several steps:

  • Create a New Directory: Within the wp-content/plugins directory of your WordPress installation, create a new folder to house your custom plugin. The folder name should be unique to your plugin, typically lowercase and hyphenated.
  • Create the Main Plugin File: Inside your new directory, create a main PHP file. The name of the file can mirror the folder name. This file will contain the plugin header comment which WordPress reads to register the plugin details.

<?php

/**

 * Plugin Name: My Custom Plugin

 * Plugin URI: https://example.com/my-custom-plugin

 * Description: Adds specific functionality to WordPress.

 * Version: 1.0

 * Author: Your Name

 * Author URI: https://example.com

 */

// Your code goes here

  • Write the Plugin Code: Under the plugin header, write your PHP functions, classes, and hooks that will add the new functionality to WordPress. Use action and filter hooks to integrate with WordPress core functionality.
  • Use Activation and Deactivation Hooks: Optionally, you can use the register_activation_hook and register_deactivation_hook to set up initial settings, resources, or clean-up when your plugin is activated or deactivated.

register_activation_hook(__FILE__, 'my_custom_plugin_activate');

function my_custom_plugin_activate() {

    // Run code on plugin activation (e.g., create database tables).

}

register_deactivation_hook(__FILE__, 'my_custom_plugin_deactivate');

function my_custom_plugin_deactivate() {

    // Run code on plugin deactivation (e.g., remove temporary files).

}

  • Activate the Plugin: Go to the 'Plugins' menu in the WordPress admin dashboard. Find your new custom plugin in the list and click 'Activate' to make your plugin go live.

46.

Explain the purpose of the wpdb->prepare() function and why it's important for database queries. 

The $wpdb->prepare() function is used for preparing SQL queries with placeholders, which helps prevent SQL injection vulnerabilities. It sanitizes and escapes user inputs, ensuring that malicious code cannot be injected into the query. It is important for security when interacting with the database.

47.

Describe the process of implementing webhooks in a WordPress site. 

Implementing webhooks in WordPress involves creating a custom endpoint to receive incoming data from external services. You define a callback function that handles the data sent to the endpoint. This can be used for scenarios like updating content when an external system triggers an event, such as a new order or a data change.

48.

How do you implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) in WordPress, and why is it a recommended security measure?

To implement 2FA in WordPress, you can use a plugin like "Two-Factor Authentication" or "Google Authenticator." Install and activate the plugin, then follow the setup instructions to configure 2FA for users. It typically involves users scanning a QR code with a 2FA app or receiving a code via email or SMS.

2FA is recommended for WordPress because it adds an extra layer of security. It requires users to provide a second form of verification beyond their password, making it significantly harder for attackers to gain unauthorized access to accounts. It helps protect sensitive data, reduces the risk of unauthorized logins, and enhances overall site security.

49.

Explain the concept of Content Security Policy (CSP) in WordPress.

Content Security Policy (CSP) is a security feature that helps prevent cross-site scripting (XSS) and other code injection attacks. In WordPress, you can implement CSP by adding HTTP headers specifying which sources of content are allowed to be loaded and executed on your site. This is done in your site's server configuration or through security plugins.

CSP is crucial as it reduces the risk of XSS attacks by controlling what can be executed in the user's browser. It can block malicious scripts from running and enhance the overall security of your WordPress site by limiting potential attack vectors.

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Wrapping up

We hope you find this guidance useful in your interview preparations and recruitment procedures. Hiring managers can employ these questions to assess a candidate's expertise and appropriateness for WordPress roles, assuring the best fit for their team. This insight not only helps to effectively assess candidates' talents and competence, but it also adds to building a great candidate experience, eventually boosting your brand's image.

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