WordPress is a web publishing software used by millions of websites globally. Since its launch in 2013, many people use it to create personal blogs or websites. WordPress is a helpful system that doesn’t require any technical skills to operate. However, with the time you will become more interested in how to develop a site using WordPress.
Today, many website owners using WordPress require talented experts to improve their sites regularly. Thus, you can become an expert developer and decide to share your work for free or monetize it to your clients.
Our objective is to help you understand that you can grow into a professional WordPress developer if you put in the work and effort.
Who Is A WordPress Developer?
A WordPress developer is a qualified expert who has coding skills and understands the framework of WordPress software. The expert can improve specific components of a site or create new codes. The following are some of the responsibilities of a developer:
- Generating personalized themes and plugins.
- Creating codes.
- Designing sites.
- Maintaining websites.
- Enhancing WordPress access.
Skilled developers can execute all the tasks mentioned above. Ensure that you learn all the necessary programming languages that run the platform to have an in-depth insight into how it works.
Steps To Become A WordPress Developer
WordPress may seem like a simple content management system, but developers must put in the time and effort to understand the basics first before incorporating any other programming skills into the platform. If you are an aspiring WordPress developer, ensure that you choose a specific niche that aligns with your knowledge and skills.
Since WordPress is quite versatile, it can be challenging to know the specific skills to learn and whether you are on the right track to becoming an expert or not. Whether you want to be a freelancer or a full-time developer, it is a career worth taking a chance on.
With so much to learn, you can feel confused with all the complicated programming jargon. Hence, we have compiled a few essential steps to give you the right edge to become a better developer.
Learn the Coding Basics
Since WordPress is an efficient management system, expert developers already have codes that operate the core system. Although you don’t need to know the technical aspect of coding, it is essential to understand at least the basics.
Therefore, it is imperative to learn vital languages that will help you perform various coding assignments. If you want to become a good developer, you must have passion and self-motivation to learn new ideas as you progress along.
After you are done learning the coding languages, you can now start researching more about WordPress. Read all the content you get relating to the platform to give you a deeper understanding of the system. We have highlighted insightful resources with vital information to assist in becoming a better developer:
- WordPress Codex
Use this manual if you want to learn from the best WordPress developers. You will learn all the basics of website creation to all other technicalities that surround the system. For instance, what to do if you want to add AJAX to a customized plugin.
- Know the Code
If you are a fast learner through videos, then this resource is perfect for you. It is an e-learning platform that provides crucial learning points for themes and plugin professionals. Although it is for more advanced experts, it will help you understand theme or plugin creation from scratch.
- WordPress Developer Resources
Here, you will find all the information you need to understand different functionalities. If you need to refer to any code or know more about theme development, these resources will come in handy. You will learn more about plugins, APIs, block editors, and many other important components.
Select Your Niche
WordPress has three major focus areas that developers can choose for specialization. Core software, themes, or plugins. Hence, ensure that you select one that you feel comfortable and well-versed in to perform tasks with ease. Although you can be conversant with all of them, make sure you are pro-developer in one focus area to enhance competency levels and effectiveness.
Below is an overview of the main development focus areas:
This area entails creating and editing the core software that you can download online. Although the platform has a dedicated team managing the core, users can still perform analysis to check for any security loopholes or bugs and provide coding solutions. If you want to become a core contributor, you can access the handbook on the WordPress site.
As a developer, you must have the knowledge and skills to create customized plugins for various clients, these plugins may be free version or premium WordPress plugins. You can choose to upload the plugins for free in WordPress or sell them to third-party websites or online market places. Plugin experts also have a handbook with insightful resources.
You can develop a customized theme for specific clients or upload them in the Theme Directory for free. Just like the plugins, you can opt to sell them on other sites or market places. You can get more information on the theme handbook for professional developers.
API is another focus area that you can choose as a developer. But to become a professional, it is paramount to select a suitable niche that is compatible with your skills and one that arouses your interest and compensation package.
One of the most significant aspects of site development is the ability to have a testing location. As a developer, you must set up a development environment for testing codes to get an exceptional product.
Whether you select a remote or local setting, you have to store all theme, plugin, and core files in a central location. It allows testing and viewing code changes immediately on your web browser.
Creating a location for testing allows you to partner with other experts to generate exceptional products. You can fix any bugs before you sell or release your work to interested parties.
Join WordPress Community
WordPress prides itself in having a large community worldwide compared to other systems. The community of professionals commits themselves to improve WordPress. Thus, you can join the community of like-minded individuals through forums, conferences or events organized globally.
If you become an active community member, you will become more informed about various aspects relating to site development. From troubleshooting issues to developing new codes. You will be at the forefront of receiving updates and alerts on upcoming releases.
If you search for employment, you ensure that you give enough proof of your skills and professionalism. WordPress creation is no exception since it is a career that is mostly skill-based.
With a detailed portfolio, you can showcase your work with evidence, and you will get more employment opportunities in various organizations. Thus, ensure that you design your portfolio and include all your achievements, whether big or small.
Include all your projects in the portfolio. From developing customized themes to eCommerce websites, make sure that you capture all your tasks.
Write a Technical Resume
A portfolio goes hand-in-hand with a technical resume, which is a critical document when you are applying for various developer positions. Not only on WordPress but also on other online sites offering freelancing developer jobs. You need to provide adequate information about your projects so that a client can make an informed decision on whether to hire you or not. You can find more info at PrivateWriting.
There are essential sections that you must include in your resume. First is your skill-set, qualified experience, and years you have working as a developer. Also, your education details and all successful projects. If you are a beginner, don’t worry; ensure that you fill out all other sections appropriately. Ensure that all the evidence is accurate and you are clear about your competencies.
Always remember that whatever you write on your resume must reflect your professional skills and focus areas.
Ultimately, all it takes is self-drive and motivation to become a better developer with WordPress. It is also quite rewarding since it offers impressive compensation with flexible hours. However, you must be willing to learn and sacrifice your personal time to experiment and test numerous codes before execution. Become the best WordPress developer, and clients will be lining up to seek your professional services.
Nicole Henry is an IT PM(in the past) and freelance journalist. He is the guru to hundreds of students, the author of hundreds of analysis studies, and the voice behind most liked articles on content creation and strategy at PrivateWriting.