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New WordPress Dev here, got my first job creating websites. This was very exciting at first, very new to WP, learn something new, create websites for a living, etc.

Now almost two weeks in, I realize that I am VERY VERY slow when working with WP. So far I have only really done CSS changes to existing sites, but I still find it difficult to work with pre-made WP sites.

I have experience with other sites, basic static sites not using a CMS, I currently work on an open source project in React with three other devs, but WP just really stumps me half the time. So here are some questions I'm hoping some more experienced developers can answer for me.

  • Is there a way to edit the code of pages/posts that were created inside the CMS (user clicks "new page" instead of manually creating a file like a normal site) or am I limited to working within WordPress itself?
  • What is the easiest and most efficient way of getting a live WP site to local? I've tried BackupBuddy (has its issues), Wp Clone (currently found it easier to backup the DB, and FTP from live to local with large sites)

I can't be the only one asking these questions but I find it pretty difficult to find answers for WordPress. Are these problems that everyone new to WordPress goes through? It all feels really confusing.

I'm sure I have a ton more questions but any answers, tips, and general tricks to work in WP and save time, do things correctly, I would really appreciate them. This new job means a lot to me and I just want to kick ass.

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Is there a way to edit the code of pages/posts that were created inside the CMS (user clicks "new page" instead of manually creating a file like a normal site) or am I limited to working within WordPress itself?

Not really. The markup for pages is determined by the templates in the theme. What goes into the content editor is just one part of the final page. You should review the WordPress Template Hierarchy to see how WordPress determines which template to use for which pieces of content. Then you'll want to review Template Tags to see how to pull in content from the back-end into templates. If you wanted to manually edit the code for all your content, then you shouldn't be using a CMS. The CMS is designed to abstract that part away from the content.

What is the easiest and most efficient way of getting a live WP site to local? I've tried BackupBuddy (has its issues), Wp Clone (currently found it easier to backup the DB, and FTP from live to local with large sites)

You're just not going to find a single best answer for this. There's many approaches you could take and they all have their upsides and downsides. You'll just need to evaluate all the answers you do find and decide which best suits your needs.

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  • It seems I'm going about working in WP all wrong. It's almost like learning a completely new language. Thanks for the answer. Commented Nov 25, 2017 at 3:21

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