What language is wordpress written in

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2024 by

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in the world, powering over 40% of all websites on the internet. It is known for its user-friendly interface, customizable themes, and extensive plugin library. But have you ever wondered what language WordPress is written in? In this article, we will explore the programming language behind WordPress and how it contributes to the platform’s success.

The History of WordPress

Before we dive into the programming language of WordPress, let’s take a brief look at its history. WordPress was first released in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little as a fork of an existing blogging platform called b2/cafelog. It was built using PHP and MySQL, and its goal was to provide an easy-to-use platform for bloggers.

Over the years, WordPress has evolved into a full-fledged CMS, with the ability to create complex websites and online stores. It has also expanded its user base to include businesses, non-profits, and even government organizations.

The Programming Language of WordPress

PHP: The Core Language

PHP code

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The core of WordPress is written in PHP, a server-side scripting language designed for web development. PHP is a popular choice for web development due to its ease of use, flexibility, and compatibility with various databases.

WordPress uses PHP to dynamically generate HTML pages, which are then sent to the user’s browser. This allows for the creation of dynamic and interactive websites, where content can be easily updated and managed.

MySQL: The Database

WordPress also relies on MySQL, an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). MySQL is used to store and retrieve data, such as posts, pages, and user information, from the WordPress database.

MySQL is a popular choice for web development due to its speed, reliability, and scalability. It is also compatible with PHP, making it a natural choice for WordPress.

JavaScript: The Front-End Language

JavaScript code

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While PHP and MySQL handle the back-end of WordPress, the front-end is powered by JavaScript. JavaScript is a client-side scripting language that allows for dynamic and interactive elements on a website.

WordPress uses JavaScript to handle user interactions, such as form submissions, navigation menus, and animations. It also relies on JavaScript libraries, such as jQuery, to simplify and streamline the coding process.

The Role of Programming Languages in WordPress Development

Now that we know the programming languages behind WordPress, let’s explore their role in WordPress development.

Creating Themes and Plugins

WordPress theme development

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One of the main reasons for WordPress’s popularity is its ability to be customized through themes and plugins. Themes control the appearance of a website, while plugins add functionality.

PHP is the primary language used to create WordPress themes and plugins. Developers use PHP to interact with the WordPress core and database, allowing them to create custom features and designs.

JavaScript is also used in theme and plugin development, particularly for front-end elements such as animations and user interactions.

Extending WordPress Functionality

WordPress plugin development

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WordPress’s extensive plugin library is a testament to its flexibility and extensibility. Plugins allow users to add new features and functionality to their websites without having to write any code.

PHP is the language of choice for creating WordPress plugins, as it allows developers to interact with the WordPress core and database. However, plugins can also be written in other languages, such as JavaScript, depending on the desired functionality.

Customizing WordPress for Clients

WordPress customization

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Many businesses and organizations use WordPress to create their websites, and often, they require customizations to meet their specific needs. This is where the flexibility of PHP and JavaScript comes into play.

PHP allows developers to create custom themes and plugins to meet their clients’ requirements. JavaScript can also be used to add interactive elements and improve the user experience.

The Future of WordPress Development

As technology continues to evolve, so does WordPress. The platform is constantly updating and improving its features and functionality, and this includes the programming languages used in its development.

The Rise of JavaScript

JavaScript development

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In recent years, there has been a shift towards using JavaScript for web development, and WordPress is no exception. With the rise of JavaScript frameworks, such as React and Vue.js, developers are now using JavaScript to create more complex and interactive websites.

WordPress has also embraced JavaScript, with the introduction of the Gutenberg editor, which is built using React. This has opened up new possibilities for WordPress development and has made it more accessible to JavaScript developers.

The Importance of Accessibility

WordPress accessibility

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Another trend in web development is the focus on accessibility. As more and more businesses and organizations use WordPress, there is a growing demand for websites that are accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.

WordPress has made accessibility a priority, and this includes ensuring that the platform is compatible with assistive technologies and follows web accessibility guidelines. This requires developers to have a good understanding of accessibility and how to implement it in their code.


In conclusion, WordPress is primarily written in PHP, with MySQL and JavaScript playing important roles in its development. These programming languages allow for the creation of customizable, dynamic, and interactive websites, making WordPress the popular platform it is today.

As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see changes in the programming languages used in WordPress development. However, one thing is for sure – WordPress will continue to be a powerful and versatile platform for creating websites and online stores.

Moadood Ahmad

About the Author: Moadood Ahmad

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