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Specifically,

  • what are the preferred development tools (free?)
  • Are there any good tutorial sites that are up-to-date with the latest version of Wordpress
  • Has anyone ever done Wordpress/PHP development using Visual Studio? Is that even possible?

I am aware of the API documentation on the wordpress site; however it all assumes that the development environment is already set up. I don't even have PHP on my local machine, and have never done any PHP development.

I know that the coding can all be done in Notepad and then uploaded to the server; I was hoping for some substantive advice from someone else who has actually made the jump from .Net to PHP about what tools and tutorials are available to help make the jump.

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I think this belongs on Stack Overflow. –  RandomBen Jul 21 '10 at 16:34
    
@RandomBen, why is that? Are pro webmasters not coders? –  camainc Jul 21 '10 at 16:42
    
I was hoping to get a better answer here, where the focus is specifically on web development. Stack Overflow is for any sort of development in general, and with so many questions flooding the site, it is easy to get overlooked. –  camainc Jul 21 '10 at 16:44
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camainc, so I would break this out into multiple SO questions. What are the preferred free PHP development tools? What are the best resources for WordPress programming and development? Does anyone use Visual Studio to do WordPress development? Your question could only possibly be answered with something very long and detailed, and could still be argued with, and will always be changing. I think the code-centric nature of the question really lends itself to StackOverflow more than this site. –  artlung Jul 21 '10 at 16:52
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Made into a question on SO the VS part: stackoverflow.com/questions/3301780/… –  artlung Jul 21 '10 at 16:53

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you are looking to get a PHP environment locally, take a look at: XAMPP for Windows. That will give you Apache/MySQL/PHP, sort of a WebApp Holy Trinity: you will be hard pressed to do any one without the others.

Code it locally, I cannot imagine the pain of a development cycle involving an "upload to server" step. It is cross platform enough that you will be able to develop in Windows but host on Unix. You could host it using the same technologies for Windows too, but don't tell anyone I said that.

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All the documentation for both WordPress and PHP development are online.

If you're an experienced programmer run through the PHP Tutorials and basic WordPress theming and plugin development and that should get you a long way along.

You might also check these SO questions: What is the best PHP programming book? and Common programming mistakes for PHP developers to avoid?

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I edited my question to be more specific. –  camainc Jul 21 '10 at 16:41

As far as development environments go, Smashing Magazine has a great lineup of widely-used PHP IDEs that compare their major features. In Windows, I've used both Notepad++ and Aptana. Aptana had more features and worked pretty well, but it had a bit of a learning curve (which could be a plus or a minus depending on how patient you are) and Notepad++ was a bit too lightweight for me to consider it a legitimate PHP IDE.

As for documentation, artlung is absolutely right about the online docs for both Wordpress and PHP. It's the first and last place I always go.

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