Moving Beyond the Codex: Learning WordPress from Itself (WordCamp NYC 2012)

A few weeks ago, I presented a new talk at WordCamp NYC 2012. Here’s an overview of what I covered:

The WordPress Codex is a great resource for new developers, but as many have noted, it is far from complete and isn’t necessarily always accurate. While there are myriad web-based alternatives that can serve as a guide to WordPress’ inner workings, there is no better aid than Core itself.

Intimidated by all of those files? Don’t be. They’re actually rather well organized, and with a bit of guidance, one can easily locate the appropriate function for a given task. As you’ll find, there are even many useful functions that don’t appear in the Codex.

I’ll provide an overview of how Core is organized, discuss why certain functions exist only in wp-admin, and highlight some of the exceptions to the organizational rule that lead to frustration when first exploring Core. With this understanding, not only can one more efficiently identify the proper function for a given situation, but also give back to the community by updating the Codex; it’s just a Wiki after all.

The slides from my presentation are available at or

I’ll be giving the same presentation at WordCamp Boston next month (