Do you use the WordPress Codex?

July 28th, 2009
Blogging News, brainstorming

Jeff and I have been having some interesting discussions surrounding the WordPress Codex and WordPress documentation. In case you were not aware, there is some fantastic volunteering work going on in WordPress documentation. We would like to see more people involved in the use of and help with the Codex and have some ideas up our sleeves towards that end. However, I think we also need to know what we are dealing with and would like some input from our readers.

I see two different audiences of the Codex and thus the two separate polls. Comments are also appreciated. Let us know if you want to help with the Codex or if you would like to help with WordPress documentation.




  1. Ron (7 comments.) says:

    I probably average using the codex about once a month. I keep a local svn copy of both WP & WPMU trunk. For hooks, filters & functions, I search code locally. So, I’m more likely to look at the codex for things that I don’t use that often.

  2. xxxevilgrinxxx says:

    I use the Codex frequently for the nuts and bolts of how to get something to work in WP, or if I’m having a hard time understanding how to get something to work. When WP updates, I hit the Codex to figure out what changed and how it affects me. I’d love to see more stuff in there, and more code samples on how to get things to work for example.

  3. Landscribe says:

    Having developed with both WordPress and Drupal, I have to say one of the things that is a big plus for WordPress is the Codex!

    Not being much of a PHP developer, I find its examples fabulously easy to understand; compared to the Drupal API which I find very hard to make sense of, with no examples I can use as easily as the ones in the WordPress Codex!

    I heart Codex :)

  4. Jamie (1 comments.) says:

    I always use the WordPress codex!..

    Any web related google search I make related to WordPress coding instinctively has “codex” somewhere within it.

    Its a great resource, and if all else fails the support forums has some very in-depth answers.

  5. Lisa says:

    I actually used it this evening. It’s usually my first stop when I’m stuck for how to do something.

  6. chun (1 comments.) says:

    i seldom use codex unless that’s something bothering me and i couldn’t figure it out.

  7. Frank (1 comments.) says:

    I use the codes a lot, because i like to develop my own theme and maybe i gonna try writing some plugins by the end of this year.
    The codes is perfect for getting to know WordPress better. Finding out how a WP blog works under the hood. Helps me to understand my own blog so to speak. ;-)

    It’s the Codex and the way it’s setup that made me decide to come back to WordPress after trying Joomla for about 6 months.

  8. Steven Bradley (3 comments.) says:

    I use the codex all the time. I discovered it the same day I installed WordPress for the first time and have been using it ever since. I add it as a search engine in every browser I use. Whenever I’m trying to figure out something new in WP it’s my first stop. Not always my only stop, but almost always my first one.

    I’m not sure what I’d be able to do to help with the Codex or the documentation, but I’d be happy to help any way I can.

  9. Nathan (1 comments.) says:

    Of course I do, where else can I find all these template tags and function references helping me in turning WordPress into online operating system? :)

    IMHO it’s the best on-line documentation for open source project so far!

    • Benedict Eastaugh (17 comments.) says:

      IMHO it’s the best on-line documentation for open source project so far!

      Really? Better than the Django Book? Better than the Prototype documentation? Don’t get me wrong, the WordPress documentation isn’t bad, and it’s certainly improved a lot, but it’s far from being the benchmark to which other open source projects should aspire.

  10. Sue Bailey (10 comments.) says:

    I’ve been wondering for a while about how to get involved with this – how much knowledge you have to have, how long you have to have been using WP and so on. I’m not the most technically whizzy person, but I think I’m pretty good at explaining things so people can understand them. So if volunteers are wanted, I’d like to volunteer!

  11. manga (24 comments.) says:

    I visit the codex when I want to try and learn how a piece of code work when I want to make changes to a theme or out of curiosity on if a function exists.

    What I see is a usually good description on what the function does. But sometimes I´m having trouble using it to the extent that I want.

    But that is mainly because I´m not used to the high level of English these texts are usually written in. I´m starting to get used to it though.

    I do find that the navigation can be somewhat confusing at times. But it´s a great asset.

  12. Tadd Mencer (9 comments.) says:

    The only problem I have with the codex is that it doesn’t yield the answers I need very often.

    Where is the fountain of youth?
    – We couldn’t find anything!

    How can I make my millions?
    -We couldn’t find anything!

    But I guess for WordPress related topics it works great providing you know what you need and how to use it effectively.

  13. Hicham (36 comments.) says:

    As a blogger, ‘Codex’ is an important portal to reach what I look for. I however wonder if it’s possible to re-design the frontpage and place the contents in a form of “Two-Colums” to make it shorter.

    The while space beside each section can be used by this way. I am talking about a screen resoultion 1280*1024 so maybe it’s not that wide over other lower resoultions?!

  14. Haris (1 comments.) says:

    As I am a regular wordpress developer, I use WordPress Codex and Forums as the ultimate guide daily. :)

  15. Benedict Eastaugh (17 comments.) says:

    While some of the API documentation is handy, I generally tend to use the Codex more for the ‘why’ than the ‘how': if I really need to see how to implement something, I’ll just read the WP source code. The various pieces of API documentation have been slowly improving over the last couple of years, but the coverage isn’t really there to treat the Codex like a manual.

    It’s probably worth noting that the boundary between ‘blogger’ and ‘developer’ is a vague one. I’m constantly answering queries from end-users who want to customise their blogs and are willing to go beyond merely installing an existing plugin. They usually don’t have the knowledge to do so themselves, but this is probably to some extent an educational issue: they’re simply not aware of the resources out there, even if those resources are adequate to the task.

  16. Cathy Tibbles (1 comments.) says:

    The only reason I’m not on the codex more often, is because I’ve already memorized it. I usually look up stuff when I forget an argument for one of WP’s fantastic tags.

    I would love to give back to the WP community, but I know css, html, and wp tags, NOT php, so I’m not sure I can make the docs any better than they already are… let me know if there’s anything i can do.

    thank you!

  17. Alphawolf (6 comments.) says:

    I’m using it quite often as well, but do also use WP code documentation services like or

  18. Diana (1 comments.) says:

    As a function reference and also for know about changes and releases. Right now, I’m working on translating and adapting WordPress Codex to Portuguese-Brazil. That is sad, but I´m the only one so far.

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