How to Run PHPUnit Tests with wp-env: Detail Guide

Running PHPUnit tests with wp-env is a crucial aspect of WordPress development, enabling developers to ensure the reliability and functionality of their code.

Here I will explore the process of setting up and executing PHPUnit tests using wp-env, a powerful tool for WordPress testing.

With real-world examples, expert insights, and step-by-step instructions, you’ll gain a deep understanding of how to leverage wp-env effectively for seamless testing in your WordPress projects.

Understanding PHPUnit Testing and wp-env

What is PHPUnit Testing?

PHPUnit is a unit testing framework for PHP that allows developers to write and execute test cases to verify the correctness of their code.

It is especially valuable in the context of WordPress development, as it ensures that plugins and themes perform as expected and do not introduce regressions.

Introducing wp-env

wp-env is a development environment tool specifically designed for WordPress. It enables developers to set up a clean, isolated WordPress environment for running PHPUnit tests without affecting their live websites.

wp-env provides a consistent and reliable testing environment, replicating a real WordPress installation.

Setting Up wp-env for PHPUnit Testing

Step 1: Installing and Configuring wp-env

To get started, install wp-env using npm (Node Package Manager). Create a new directory for your WordPress project and run the following command:

npm init @wordpress/env

Follow the prompts to configure your testing environment.

Step 2: Creating PHPUnit Test Suite

Next, set up the PHPUnit test suite by creating a “tests” directory in your plugin or theme root. Inside this directory, create a new “bootstrap.php” file and define the path to the WordPress installation using the following code:

$_tests_dir = getenv( 'WP_TESTS_DIR' ) ?: '/path/to/wordpress/core/tests/phpunit';

Adjust the path according to your local WordPress core installation.

Step 3: Writing PHPUnit Test Cases

Now, you can start writing PHPUnit test cases to check the functionality of your code. Ensure that each test case is self-contained and tests a specific aspect of your codebase.

Executing PHPUnit Tests with wp-env

Step 1: Running PHPUnit

To run the PHPUnit tests, open your terminal, navigate to your project’s root directory, and execute the following command:

npm run test-unit

wp-env will automatically set up a temporary WordPress environment, install your plugin or theme, and execute the PHPUnit tests.

Step 2: Analyzing Test Results

After the test execution, you’ll receive a summary of the results, indicating whether all tests passed or if there were any failures. This valuable feedback helps you identify and rectify any issues in your code.

Advantages of Using wp-env for PHPUnit Testing

1. Isolated Environment: wp-env provides an isolated environment for running tests, preventing conflicts with other plugins or themes in your WordPress installation.

2. Automated Testing: wp-env automates the setup and execution of PHPUnit tests, saving developers time and effort while ensuring comprehensive code coverage.

3. Consistent Results: With wp-env, you can expect consistent test results across different development environments, increasing the reliability of your tests.

4. Rapid Development: By streamlining the testing process, wp-env facilitates faster development cycles, allowing you to iterate and improve your code more efficiently.

Real-World Example: Testing a WordPress Plugin

Let’s consider a real-world example of using wp-env for testing a WordPress plugin called “AwesomeSlider.” We have written a test case to ensure that the slider images are being displayed correctly.

class Test_AwesomeSlider extends WP_UnitTestCase {
    public function test_slider_images_displayed() {
        // Add test slider data
        $slider_id = $this->factory->post->create( array( 'post_type' => 'awesome_slider' ) );
        add_post_meta( $slider_id, 'slider_images', array( 'image1.jpg', 'image2.jpg', 'image3.jpg' ) );
        // Display the slider
        awesome_slider_output( $slider_id );
        $output = ob_get_clean();
        // Assert that the images are displayed
        $this->assertContains( 'image1.jpg', $output );
        $this->assertContains( 'image2.jpg', $output );
        $this->assertContains( 'image3.jpg', $output );


Running PHPUnit tests with wp-env is a critical practice for ensuring the quality and reliability of your WordPress plugins and themes.

By setting up an isolated testing environment, you can confidently test your code and catch potential issues before they reach your live website. With automated test execution and consistent results, wp-env streamlines the testing process, allowing you to develop high-quality WordPress projects efficiently.

Embrace wp-env in your development workflow to enhance your code’s robustness and provide a seamless user experience to your audience.

Happy testing!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top