Top 20 Entry-Level WordPress Developer Interview Questions and Answers

Pursuing a career as a WordPress developer can be a rewarding endeavor, especially given the widespread use of WordPress for creating websites and blogs. Here’s a comprehensive questions and answers guide to help you get started and succeed in this field:

Question 1: What is WordPress?

Answer: WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. It is used to create and manage websites, blogs, and other web content. WordPress is highly customizable with themes and plugins, making it a popular choice for both beginners and experienced developers.

Question 2: How do you install a WordPress theme?

Answer: To install a WordPress theme, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Appearance > Themes.
  3. Click on Add New.
  4. You can either search for a theme in the WordPress repository or upload a theme from your computer by clicking Upload Theme.
  5. After selecting the theme, click Install.
  6. Once installed, click Activate to make the theme live on your site.

Question 3: What is the difference between a WordPress plugin and a widget?

Answer: A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that adds functionality to a WordPress site. Plugins can perform a wide range of functions, from SEO enhancements to social media integration.

A widget, on the other hand, is a block of content that can be added to specific areas of a WordPress site, such as sidebars or footers. Widgets are typically controlled via the WordPress dashboard under Appearance > Widgets.

Question 4: How can you create a custom menu in WordPress?

Answer: To create a custom menu in WordPress:

  1. Go to the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Appearance > Menus.
  3. Click on Create a new menu.
  4. Give your menu a name and click Create Menu.
  5. Add menu items from the left-hand column (pages, posts, custom links, categories) by selecting them and clicking Add to Menu.
  6. Arrange the menu items by dragging and dropping them into your desired order.
  7. Assign the menu to a location by selecting the appropriate checkbox under Menu Settings.
  8. Click Save Menu to finalize.

Question 5: What are custom post types in WordPress?

Answer: Custom post types are content types that are different from the default post types like posts and pages. They allow you to create and manage different kinds of content in a structured way. For example, you can create a custom post type for portfolios, testimonials, products, etc. Custom post types can be registered using the register_post_type() function in your theme’s functions.php file or via a custom plugin.

Question 6: Explain the WordPress template hierarchy.

Answer: The WordPress template hierarchy is the system WordPress uses to determine which template file(s) to use when displaying a page. It allows WordPress to select the correct template based on the type of page being requested. The hierarchy is as follows (simplified):

  1. index.php – The fallback template for all requests.
  2. single.php – Used for individual post pages.
  3. page.php – Used for individual static pages.
  4. archive.php – Used for archive pages.
  5. category.php – Used for category archive pages.
  6. tag.php – Used for tag archive pages.
  7. author.php – Used for author archive pages.
  8. search.php – Used for search results pages.
  9. 404.php – Used for displaying 404 error pages.

WordPress will follow this hierarchy to find the most specific template file available for a particular request.

Question 7: How do you create a child theme in WordPress?

Answer: To create a child theme in WordPress:

  1. Create a new folder in the wp-content/themes directory for your child theme.
  2. In the new folder, create a style.css file with the following content at the top:cssCopy code/* Theme Name: Your Child Theme Name Template: parent-theme-folder */ Replace Your Child Theme Name with the name of your child theme and parent-theme-folder with the folder name of the parent theme.
  3. Create a functions.php file in the same folder and add the following code to enqueue the parent theme’s styles:phpCopy code<?php function my_child_theme_enqueue_styles() { wp_enqueue_style('parent-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/style.css'); } add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'my_child_theme_enqueue_styles');
  4. Activate the child theme from the WordPress dashboard under Appearance > Themes.

Question 8: How can you improve the performance of a WordPress site?

Answer: To improve the performance of a WordPress site, consider the following strategies:

  1. Use a caching plugin: Caching plugins like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache can significantly improve load times.
  2. Optimize images: Use image optimization tools or plugins like Smush to reduce image file sizes without losing quality.
  3. Minimize HTTP requests: Reduce the number of scripts and stylesheets loaded on a page.
  4. Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): A CDN can distribute your site’s content across multiple servers globally, reducing load times.
  5. Choose a reliable hosting provider: Good hosting can make a big difference in performance.
  6. Optimize your database: Regularly clean up your database using plugins like WP-Optimize.
  7. Enable GZIP compression: This can reduce the size of files sent from your server to the browser.
  8. Update WordPress, themes, and plugins: Keeping everything updated ensures you have the latest performance improvements and security fixes.

Question 9: What is the difference between wp_enqueue_script and wp_register_script?

Answer: wp_register_script is used to register a script with WordPress, specifying its location, dependencies, and version. It doesn’t actually enqueue (load) the script on the page. Here’s an example:

phpCopy codewp_register_script('my-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/my-script.js', array('jquery'), '1.0.0', true);

wp_enqueue_script is used to both register and enqueue a script. If the script is already registered, it will just enqueue it. Here’s an example:

phpCopy codewp_enqueue_script('my-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/my-script.js', array('jquery'), '1.0.0', true);

To register and enqueue in two steps:

phpCopy codewp_register_script('my-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/my-script.js', array('jquery'), '1.0.0', true);

Question 10: What are hooks in WordPress and how are they used?

Answer: Hooks in WordPress allow you to change or add functionality without modifying core files. There are two types of hooks: actions and filters.

  • Actions allow you to add custom code at specific points during the execution of WordPress. For example:phpCopy codefunction my_custom_function() { // Custom code here } add_action('wp_footer', 'my_custom_function'); This code adds my_custom_function to run when the wp_footer action is triggered.
  • Filters allow you to modify data before it is used or displayed. For example:phpCopy codefunction my_custom_filter($content) { return $content . ' Additional content.'; } add_filter('the_content', 'my_custom_filter'); This code modifies the post content by appending ‘ Additional content.’ to it when the_content filter is applied.

These hooks are integral to customizing WordPress functionality and appearance without altering core files, ensuring upgrades do not overwrite custom changes.

Question 11: How do you create a custom taxonomy in WordPress?

Answer: To create a custom taxonomy in WordPress, you can use the register_taxonomy function. Here’s an example of how to create a custom taxonomy called “Genres” for a custom post type “Books”:

phpCopy codefunction create_custom_taxonomy() {
    $labels = array(
        'name'              => _x('Genres', 'taxonomy general name'),
        'singular_name'     => _x('Genre', 'taxonomy singular name'),
        'search_items'      => __('Search Genres'),
        'all_items'         => __('All Genres'),
        'parent_item'       => __('Parent Genre'),
        'parent_item_colon' => __('Parent Genre:'),
        'edit_item'         => __('Edit Genre'),
        'update_item'       => __('Update Genre'),
        'add_new_item'      => __('Add New Genre'),
        'new_item_name'     => __('New Genre Name'),
        'menu_name'         => __('Genres'),

    $args = array(
        'hierarchical'      => true, // true means it behaves like categories, false like tags
        'labels'            => $labels,
        'show_ui'           => true,
        'show_admin_column' => true,
        'query_var'         => true,
        'rewrite'           => array('slug' => 'genre'),

    register_taxonomy('genre', array('books'), $args);

add_action('init', 'create_custom_taxonomy');

This code adds a hierarchical taxonomy called “Genres” for the custom post type “Books”.

Question 12: How do you create a custom field in WordPress?

Answer: You can create custom fields in WordPress using the built-in custom fields feature or using the Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) plugin for more complex needs. Here’s how to use the built-in feature:

  1. Edit the post or page where you want to add a custom field.
  2. If the Custom Fields meta box is not visible, click on Screen Options at the top right and check the Custom Fields option.
  3. In the Custom Fields section, add a new custom field by entering a name and value.
  4. Click Add Custom Field.

To retrieve and display a custom field value in a template file, use the get_post_meta function:

phpCopy code$custom_field_value = get_post_meta(get_the_ID(), 'custom_field_name', true);
echo $custom_field_value;

Question 13: What is the purpose of the functions.php file in a WordPress theme?

Answer: The functions.php file in a WordPress theme is used to add custom functionality to the theme. It acts like a plugin and allows you to:

  • Add custom PHP code.
  • Enqueue scripts and styles.
  • Register menus, sidebars, and widgets.
  • Define custom post types and taxonomies.
  • Add theme support for various features (e.g., post thumbnails, custom logos).
  • Hook into WordPress actions and filters.

Here’s an example of adding a custom function in functions.php:

phpCopy codefunction my_custom_function() {
    // Custom code here
add_action('wp_head', 'my_custom_function');

Question 14: What is the WP REST API and why is it useful?

Answer: The WP REST API allows developers to interact with WordPress sites using HTTP requests. It provides endpoints for WordPress data types such as posts, pages, and users, making it possible to retrieve, create, update, and delete content remotely.

The WP REST API is useful because:

  • It enables the development of decoupled (headless) WordPress sites where the front-end is separated from the back-end.
  • It allows for the integration of WordPress with other applications and services.
  • It facilitates the development of custom mobile and web applications using WordPress as the backend.

Example of fetching posts using the WP REST API:

javascriptCopy codefetch('')
    .then(response => response.json())
    .then(posts => console.log(posts));

Question 15: How do you secure a WordPress site?

Answer: To secure a WordPress site, consider the following best practices:

  1. Keep WordPress, themes, and plugins updated: Regular updates patch security vulnerabilities.
  2. Use strong passwords: Ensure all user accounts have strong, unique passwords.
  3. Limit login attempts: Use plugins like Limit Login Attempts Reloaded to prevent brute force attacks.
  4. Install security plugins: Plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri can provide comprehensive security measures.
  5. Use SSL/TLS: Ensure your site uses HTTPS to encrypt data transmission.
  6. Disable file editing: Prevent code changes through the dashboard by adding define('DISALLOW_FILE_EDIT', true); to wp-config.php.
  7. Regular backups: Keep regular backups of your site with plugins like UpdraftPlus or BackupBuddy.
  8. Change the WordPress database prefix: Use a unique table prefix to prevent SQL injection attacks.
  9. Set appropriate file permissions: Ensure file permissions are correctly set (e.g., 755 for directories, 644 for files).
  10. Hide the WordPress version: Remove the WordPress version from the HTML source to make it harder for attackers to exploit known vulnerabilities.

Question 16: What is the difference between get_template_part() and locate_template()?


  • get_template_part(): This function is used to include a template part into a theme file. It helps to break down a theme into modular components. For example:phpCopy codeget_template_part('content', 'single'); This includes the content-single.php file from the theme.
  • locate_template(): This function is used to locate a template file within the theme hierarchy and optionally include it. It searches the child theme first and then the parent theme. For example:phpCopy codelocate_template('template-parts/content-single.php', true); If the second parameter is true, it will include the located template file.

Question 17: How do you enqueue a stylesheet in WordPress?

Answer: To enqueue a stylesheet in WordPress, use the wp_enqueue_style function in the functions.php file:

phpCopy codefunction my_custom_styles() {
    wp_enqueue_style('my-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/css/my-style.css');
add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'my_custom_styles');

This code will load my-style.css from the theme’s css directory.

Question 18: How do you make a WordPress site multilingual?

Answer: To make a WordPress site multilingual, you can use plugins like:

  1. Polylang: A free plugin that allows you to create multilingual content easily.
  2. WPML (WordPress Multilingual Plugin): A premium plugin that provides extensive features for managing multilingual sites.
  3. TranslatePress: A user-friendly plugin that allows you to translate your site directly from the front-end.

Example with Polylang:

  • Install and activate the Polylang plugin.
  • Go to Languages > Languages and add the languages you want to support.
  • For each post or page, create translations by selecting the appropriate language and providing the translated content.
  • Use the language switcher widget to allow users to switch between languages.

Question 19: What is a WordPress hook, and can you provide an example of an action hook and a filter hook?

Answer: A WordPress hook is a method used to extend the functionality of the WordPress core by executing custom code at specific points during the execution. There are two types of hooks: action hooks and filter hooks.

  • Action Hook: Allows you to add custom code at specific points in the WordPress execution process. Example:phpCopy codefunction my_custom_action() { echo 'This is my custom action!'; } add_action('wp_footer', 'my_custom_action'); This code will output “This is my custom action!” in the footer of the site.
  • Filter Hook: Allows you to modify data before it is used or displayed. Example:phpCopy codefunction my_custom_filter($content) { return $content . ' This text is added by my custom filter.'; } add_filter('the_content', 'my_custom_filter'); This code appends “This text is added by my custom filter.” to the end of the post content.

Question 20: What are some common issues you might encounter when developing a WordPress site, and how do you troubleshoot them?

Answer: Common issues include:

  1. White Screen of Death (WSOD): This can be caused by PHP errors, memory exhaustion, or plugin conflicts. Troubleshoot by:
    • Enabling debugging in wp-config.php:phpCopy codedefine('WP_DEBUG', true); define('WP_DEBUG_LOG', true);
    • Increasing memory limit:phpCopy codedefine('WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M');
    • Deactivating all plugins and reactivating them one by one to identify the culprit.
  2. Broken Theme/Styles: This can be due to missing files or incorrect paths. Check the browser’s developer console for 404 errors and ensure all files are correctly enqueued.
  3. Slow Performance: This can be caused by large images, too many plugins, or inefficient code. Troubleshoot by:
    • Using performance plugins like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache.
    • Optimizing images and databases.
    • Reviewing and optimizing custom code.
  4. 404 Errors on Posts: This is often due to permalinks settings. Reset permalinks by going to Settings > Permalinks and clicking Save Changes.
  5. Failed Auto-Update: Sometimes WordPress core, theme, or plugin updates fail. Troubleshoot by:
    • Manually updating via FTP.
    • Ensuring file permissions are correct.
  6. By preparing for these types of questions, you will be well-equipped to demonstrate your knowledge and skills as an entry-level WordPress developer.
  7. Using performance plugins like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache.
  8. Optimizing images and databases.
  9. Reviewing and optimizing custom code.