Does WordPress require Coding?

Someone who dives into WordPress for the first time will get lost within minutes of opening a brand new WordPress site. Understanding how WordPress works and if it requires coding depends on your website.

Does WordPress require coding? Yes. Some knowledge of coding would be helpful to changes to your website. Having a complete coding background while helpful is not required. Some plugins can help you build a WordPress website visually rather than coding it from scratch.

Below we will go into details about what coding languages WordPress uses as well as resources to help you. Near the end we will even go over an option that allows zero coding, which means you whole website can be designed visually.

What languages WordPress uses

WordPress uses four different programming technologies to create a WordPress site. 

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • PHP
  • Javascript

HTML is the bones of any WordPress site. However, it’s important to note that HTML is hardly ever changed. This is normally controlled by the theme and is set in place without you ever having to change it. HTML is a basic fundamental language meaning to work with the other languages below it, you need to understand it first.

HTML could be learned in about a weekend and with proper practice you could master it in about a months’ time. Still it’s not the language I would recommend someone focuses on, get a basic grasp of how this works and then lets look at the other three languages still left.

CSS is the appearance of a site and also helps with things like font sizes, picture sizes, etc. If HTML is the bones, then CSS is the skin giving an appearance to the bones.

This is the language I would recommend you spend a majority of your time learning. If you want to make bigger changes to site, then learning CSS will save you time and money.

CSS has so many functions it can do that it will probably take you much longer to learn. Expect that while you may grasp CSS in a weekend, you won’t master CSS for months if not for a full year of use. The language has so many things it can manipulate that you will use references for a decent amount of time while you learn.

PHP is the main bases for WordPress. WordPress is broken into many parts and each controls a specific portion of the website while functioning independently of each other.  For instance, in most cases a website has a header and footer, or top and bottom. 

PHP is much more complex and understanding it can take time and effort.

 Lastly, is Javascript which is another language I would recommend you learn. Javascript often adds functionality to a website by manipulating what happens when a user clicks something or does an action on the site.
This can really help you draw customers and clients in with little things that give a website more of a WOW factor. Although to be fair CSS does a great job on its own, there are just certain areas CSS can’t touch that Javascript can.

Expect to refer to CSS and HTML because Javascript uses that code to make things happen most of the time.

Hopefully, this gives you a decent overview of the languages used to make WordPress. Now let’s look at some resources to help you learn these languages.

Great resources for learning WordPress

Now that you finally have a basic understanding of WordPress it’s time to dig you heels in and learn how to code. I break down both below but ultimately that is your decision which you choose. 

Some people will prefer more paid things because of the value involved but it comes down to one thing. What is the strongest way you learn? Are you visual? Are you hands on? Do you prefer podcast? There is no shortage of ways to learn the same subject, experiment and pick the one that works for you. 

As a small note, I would recommend that if you find something that works. Stick with it and make sure you keep learning from that same channel.
Free Resources for learning to Code

1. Codecademy

Hands down this is one of the best resources out there on the web for learning how to code. They teach a wide range of topics which include every language mentioned above. Check them out they certainly rank very high for this list.

2. Khan Academy

These guys are another site that just has a large amount of knowledge in one place. You can learn as much as you want here and move on from here to other platform if you choose.

3. Youtube

There is a number of Youtube channels that focus on coding such as: 

If you are a more visual learning, then I would recommend you stick with YouTube above all the rest.

4. is the original channel that I learned a lot from. It was free but now it requires a monthly fee. Still the price is fairly affordable and you can learn any number of subjects with a great amount of information that is invested into the video quality.

5. Udemy

Has no shortage of topics you can learn about. The biggest problem I have with Udemy is each course will cost you some kind of money. There are free courses but often they contain links to paid courses and often have a low production value. Udemy often runs sales which can get you course for cheaper but because the quality can be so varied it’s hit or miss.

6. W3School

I really enjoy this site. I’ve used it for reference many times when I am trying to remember code or just understanding how something works. It is basic but overall the site is useful for someone just learning how to code something.

7. SoloLearn

This is another fun place to learn how to code. Most of the code you learn is done on a smart phone or tablet but you can use a browser to learn. I’ve gone through several of their coding programs just to refresh my memory and they are very high quality for learning. One of the quickest ways to learn how to code is by doing and this app really forces that.

So now we have gone over how to learn to code it’s helpful for some people to understand why you don’t have to know coding at all.

How to use WordPress with zero coding

You probably skipped to the bottom to learn how to use WordPress with zero coding. The answer is simple, use something like Elementor which is a full page designer.

Elementor allows you to design headers, footers, 404 pages, achieve pages, etc. It even comes with many templates. Unlike other page builders it won’t take you a long time to learn how to do things and the support is excellent.

Divi by Elegant themes is another option although I would choose it over Elementor. Divi has a large following with lots of tutorials and help from the community but Elementor‘s support is excellent. Divi support is okay.

If you spend a weekend learning how Elementor works you could easily build a website in a few weeks using it. One reason to choose Divi over Elementor is Divi has a lifetime license and Elementor does not. 

Which means if you will invest the time and energy, you can make you money back from Divi. Elementor, you will need to purchase yearly.

Related Questions

What type of coding do you think is helpful? Learning how to manipulate fonts and images is in high a demand as you are likely to have to do that. Learning to layout sites using CSS box model and other types of floats can be helpful to understand.

What do you recommend for zero coding? If you are going to not code a single piece of your website and just use templates to mock it up fine for starter sites. Then I would highly recommend Elementor and something like OceansWP which is a great theme. Lower your expectations and you find you can edit the website just enough without having to hire a developer until later. Both options will cost you less than $100 a year with basic licenses.

I hope you have a better understanding of how WordPress websites work and if you will need coding. The more you demand from your website the more likely it is you will need to learn some kind of coding. If this has been helpful please share, tweet or comment.

Patrick McCoy
Patrick McCoy

Patrick is a web designer with over 20 years experience in websites and design. He spends most of his days writing content and enjoys tinkering with anything web or design related. When he isn't work he is often watching a good movie.

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