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The state of WordPress developer tools survey results

About two months ago I asked folks to complete the state of WordPress developer tools survey. I had planned to post the results about a week after the survey closed, but a trip to WCEU and another to my team meetup in the US delayed that post. Additionally, I was finding it hard to find time to summarize the data.

Total respondents: 253

I know this does not represent the entire WordPress developer user base, but hopefully, it’s enough to give me some insights.

Question 1: What operating system do you use?

251 users selected a single option from the list of Windows, macOS, or Linux.

  • macOS: 71.32%
  • Windows: 25.90%
  • Linux: 2.78%

Additionally, there was an Other option available to folks, which included the following answers:

  • Debian container inside macOS
  • Coding on Windows, building on Mac, and Linux for everything else.
  • Both Linux and Windows/Mac and Linux equally
  • Windows Subsystem for Linux/WSL
  • MacOS with a remote dev env on AlmaLinux
  • Local macOS, dev server Ubuntu

macOS is clearly still the most widely used, but Windows is still used by about a quarter of developers. This means that when creating developer-focused content, it’s still a good idea to add Windows OS-specific details where necessary.

Question 2: If you answered Linux or Other above, which package manager do you use?

The majority of users here are using the default package manage for their Linux distro, apt, yum, pacman, etc. A number of folks use Homebrew, which is now available on macOS and Linux. Lastly, I appreciated the Windows user who mentioned Chocolatey, which is also the package manager I recommend for Windows.

Question 3: Which local development environment do you use?

I had left this as an open-ended question, so I was interested to see what the responses would be.

  • LocalWP: 39.04%
  • Docker: 21.91%
  • Laragon: 6.77%
  • Laravel Valet: 7.17%
  • MAMP: 6.37%
  • XAMPP: 4.38%
  • DDEV: 3.98%
  • wp-env: 2.78%
  • DevKinsta: 2.78%
  • Lando: 2.78%
  • Custom: 1.99%
  • None: 1.59%
  • WampServer: 1.59%
  • Ubuntu on HyperV: 0.80%
  • Altis Local Server: 0.80%
  • 10updocker: 0.80%
  • Traefik + docker-compose environments: 0.80%
  • Manually-installed LAMP on the metal: 0.80%
  • Devilbox: 0.80%
  • ServerAvatar: 0.40%

As expected, the list was long, and the user base was spread out. I did expect LocalWP to be the most widely used, but was surprised to find Docker listed second. I wonder if this is folks using custom Docker containers, and not something that uses Docker, like wp-env. It was also interesting to see MAMP and XAMPP in the top 10.

This does however mean that it’s harder to create specific content around a smaller subset of local development environments, as there are so many in use, so I think the best would be to make sure any content is local development environment agnostic, or at least takes this fact into account.

Question 3: Which code editor/IDE do you use?

  • VS Code: 46.63%
  • PhpStorm: 20.32%
  • Sublime: 12.75%
  • Notepad++: 5.98%
  • Vim: 2.79%
  • Dreamweaver: 1.20%
  • Nova: 0.80%
  • Coda: 0.80%
  • BBEdit: 0.80%
  • IntellJ IDEA: 0.80%
  • Atom: 0.80%
  • Gedit: 0.40%
  • TextMate: 0.40%
  • Neovim: 0.40%
  • Dreamweaver: 0.40%
  • Nano: 0.40%
  • None: 0.40%

This list was interesting but confirmed my assumptions, that VS Code is the most widely used editor.

Question 4: Are you comfortable with the command line/terminal?

209 respondents answered yes, while 42 answered no, which indicates it’s still valuable for me to include details on how to navigate the terminal when it comes to terminal-based tools.


All in all, the results of the survey were not surprising, and help me in my decision to include certain topics in my tutorial content for Learn WordPress, the first of which has already been published.






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