What Programming Language Does WordPress Use?

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⚡Quick Answer

WordPress primarily relies on PHP as its core programming language, forming the foundation of the platform. This dynamic language interacts with a MySQL database to retrieve and present content on web pages.

In addition to PHP, WordPress incorporates the following:

  • HTML: Responsible for structuring web page content.
  • CSS: Styles elements, ensuring an attractive visual presentation.
  • JavaScript: Provides interactivity, enhancing the overall user experience.

WordPress’s adaptability allows users of varying coding backgrounds to efficiently build websites. With the help of themes and plugins, even beginners can create impressive websites without extensive coding knowledge.

WordPress is a powerful platform that can be used to create a wide range of websites, from personal blogs to fully functioning eCommerce stores.

In this article, we will discuss the programming languages that are used by WordPress, and what they are used for, to give you a full understanding of what goes on at the backend of the platform. 

What Programming Language Is WordPress Written In?

WordPress is written in the programming and scripting language, PHP. This is what creates the open-source platform that helps developers build dynamic and powerful websites.

It runs in conjunction with a MySQL Database, and the job of PHP is to pull information from the database to be displayed on a web page. 

We will take a closer look at PHP, along with other programming languages used by WordPress, in the next section.  

What Programming Languages Does WordPress Use?

Programming languages used for WordPress

Fortunately for most developers, WordPress uses four of the main programming languages that almost every coder will be at least familiar with.

Those languages are HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and of course PHP.

Let’s take a closer look at each programming language individually and what role each plays in delivering a WordPress website.


HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is present on every web page you have ever visited and is the key driver of the internet in terms of displaying information.

HTML has been around for a long time but has constantly adapted to work alongside newer programming languages, with HTML 5 being the latest version. 

Siteefy's HTML source
Part of Siteefy’s source code in HTML

However, HTML is actually a markup language, as the name suggests, and not a programming language.

HTML can be considered as one large text file, with markup added to explain what each element is.

It is down to PHP, CSS, and JavaScript to bring HTML to life. 

2. CSS

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is how the HTML web page is styled, with each element of the page given its own formatting properties to create the modern designs we have become accustomed to. 

Using the CSS, a single element or a group of elements are assigned rules that can dictate many things, such as color, size, placement, transparency, and more.

A skilled developer has full control of how a web page will look within the style sheet, turning a plain text file into something visually pleasing.

Combined, HTML and CSS create the front end of a WordPress webpage.

However, the web page still needs functionality, and that is where PHP and JavaScript come in.  

3. PHP

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is the programming language that runs the WordPress website from the server, and without it, your HTML and CSS web pages will not see the light of day.

If you want to develop WordPress websites, then this is the most important language to get to grips with. 

PHP Code on WordPress Page

Php code on WordPress page

PHP works alongside HTML and speaks to the web server to tell it what to display on the web page, based on certain conditions, such as ‘true’ and ‘false’ statements.

For example, PHP is used on responsive websites, so the mobile version is displayed on mobile, and the desktop version is displayed on a desktop.

4. JavaScript

JavaScript is a clever programming language that starts after a web page has been loaded, controlling elements such as when a user hovers over an image and it flips, or when a navigation button changes color. 

JavaScript is not essential to creating a WordPress website, but it is important if you want to add more interactivity to your web pages and you wish to create a more engaging experience for the user. 

Do You Need To Be a Coder To Use WordPress?

Fortunately, the WordPress platform provides an easy-to-use content management system that means you do not need to be a coder to create a great-looking website that has tons of functionality. 

Using Themes and Plugins, you can create an impressive website in very little time, even if you are a complete beginner.

Thank you for reading, browse the rest of our blog for more useful tips and advice regarding WordPress and web development.

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NJ is all about websites and AI. With years of experience building cool sites, he's also got a knack for diving into AI's exciting possibilities. Always on the hunt for the next big thing, NJ loves to share his discoveries with the world. Whether it's a groundbreaking tool or a fresh concept, if NJ's talking about it, you know it's worth a look.
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