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Before beginning to learn WordPress development, two of the many important questions are “What language is WordPress written in?” and “Should I study JavaScript or PHP first?”  

The subject of WordPress programming languages is broad, but we’ll go over all you need to know to get started.  

What coding language does WordPress use?

Short answer: Four primary ones!  

Longer answer: Two declarative languages, HTML and CSS, as well as two programming languages, JavaScript and (particularly) PHP, are used by WordPress. 

What is HTML?

The foundational language of the internet is HTML (HyperText Markup Language). The most important markup language for the web is a declarative language rather than a programming language; it is essentially a text file with “markup” baked into it to explain the specific nature of distinct pieces of text.  

Every page you see on the internet with material inside is marked up with some form of HTML, making HTML the only universal component of the web. 

HTML is a “markup” language, not a “programming” language. In conclusion, an HTML file is a large text document with included “markup” to clarify the precise meaning of the numerous text fragments. 

What is CSS?

Another declarative language is CSS (Cascading StyleSheets), which can be used to style—or manage the look of— the HTML markup. Cascading Style Sheets, or SS for short, are the method practically all contemporary websites use to give themselves a certain design.  

In CSS, you can style HTML properties previously described for HTML components such as h1>s. The syntax is quite consistent in both situations. 

What is PHP?

The most crucial language to fully comprehend WordPress, is PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor). The programming language is used for computers that house a website, commonly known as a web server. 

PHP can carry out several dynamic tasks and produce HTML to be sent to the client’s browser. WordPress’ primary language is PHP.  

Out of all technical languages, it is most accurate to say that “WordPress is developed in PHP” because its core and almost all themes and plugins are largely written in PHP. WordPress is run by PHP on your web server. Whatever else may be true about your WordPress site, PHP is being used on the server to construct and assemble your pages. As a result, it’s crucial to comprehend WordPress in its entirety.  

The original purpose of PHP was to simplify the creation of HTML pages. By default, it will output the outcomes of its activities as an HTML page, which the server subsequently displays to users of your website. The fundamental PHP structures and logic are crucial for WordPress themes. 

What is JavaScript?

With the help of the computer language JavaScript, which runs on your browser, websites can become more dynamic and engaging.  

JavaScript was created to enable the programming of HTML pages’ behavior after they had been loaded into a visitor’s web browser. JavaScript is most certainly at action when, for instance, you click on something and it vanishes, changes color, or glides out into a larger section.  

You don’t necessarily need JavaScript for a WordPress theme to function flawlessly and perform admirably. However, as with most of the web, JavaScript is becoming more and more prevalent in WordPress themes and the platform’s core. This is due to JavaScript’s ability to facilitate significantly speedier interactions and gives the impression that the page is responsive to the visitor. 

Should I study PHP or JavaScript first for developing WordPress?

Which language to learn first is a question that is asked frequently these days, especially with the arrival of the new JavaScript-based WordPress editor (codenamed “Gutenberg” during its development).  

Start by learning HTML and CSS if you haven’t already. PHP and JavaScript versions of WordPress are dependent on those underpinning declarative languages. 

If you want to build your own web shop or have questions relating to e-commerce development platforms or apps, read our blog posts for Shopify and Shopware. Our dedicated outsourcing team can be your collaborator in e-commerce. 

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