WordPress is a popular and powerful content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all websites on the internet. WordPress developers are professionals who specialize in creating, customizing, and maintaining WordPress websites, themes, and plugins. WordPress development is a rewarding and in-demand career path for anyone who wants to build beautiful and functional websites with WordPress. In this article, we will cover the following topics:
- What is a WordPress developer and what do they do?
- What skills and tools do you need to become a WordPress developer?
- How to learn WordPress development and find resources to help you along the way?
- How to find WordPress development jobs and projects?
What is a WordPress developer and what do they do?
A WordPress developer is a type of web developer who works with WordPress, an open-source CMS that allows anyone to create and manage websites without coding. WordPress developers can create custom themes and plugins for WordPress, or modify existing ones to suit their clients’ needs. They can also perform tasks such as installing and updating WordPress, optimizing website performance and security, and troubleshooting issues.
There are different types of WordPress developers, depending on their level of expertise and specialization. Some common types are:
- WordPress theme developer: A WordPress theme developer creates the visual appearance and layout of a WordPress website, using HTML, CSS, and PHP. They can design and code themes from scratch, or customize existing themes using child themes or theme frameworks.
- WordPress core developer: A WordPress core developer contributes to the development and improvement of the WordPress software itself, by writing, testing, and debugging code. They can also participate in the WordPress community by reporting bugs, submitting patches, and reviewing code.
What skills and tools do you need to become a WordPress developer?
To become a WordPress developer, you need to have a solid foundation in web development, as well as a good understanding of WordPress and its various components. Here are some of the essential skills and tools you need to master:
- WordPress basics: You need to be familiar with the WordPress installation process, the WordPress dashboard, the WordPress settings, and the WordPress file structure. You should also know how to use WordPress themes and plugins, and how to customize them using child themes and hooks and filters. You should also understand the WordPress template hierarchy, the WordPress loop, and the WordPress database.
- WordPress APIs: You need to learn how to use the WordPress APIs, which are sets of functions and methods that allow you to interact with various aspects of WordPress. Some of the most important WordPress APIs are:
- The WordPress REST API, which allows you to access and manipulate WordPress data using HTTP requests and JSON responses.
- The WordPress Plugin API, which allows you to create and modify WordPress plugins using hooks and filters.
- The WordPress Theme API, which allows you to create and modify WordPress themes using template tags and template functions.
- The WordPress Transients API, which allows you to store and retrieve temporary data in the WordPress database or in the memory.
- The WordPress Options API, which allows you to store and retrieve persistent data in the WordPress database using the wp_options table.
- WordPress coding standards: You need to follow the WordPress coding standards, which are a set of rules and best practices for writing clean, consistent, and secure code for WordPress. The WordPress coding standards cover topics such as indentation, spacing, naming conventions, comments, and documentation. You can use tools such as PHP_CodeSniffer and WordPress Coding Standards to check and fix your code according to the WordPress coding standards.
- WordPress development tools: You need to use the right tools to make your WordPress development process easier and more efficient. Some of the most useful WordPress development tools are:
- Local development environment: You need to set up a local development environment on your computer, where you can install and run WordPress without affecting your live website. You can use tools such as XAMPP, MAMP, WAMP, or Local by Flywheel to create a local development environment with Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
- Code editor: You need to use a code editor that supports WordPress development, such as Visual Studio Code, Atom, Sublime Text, or PhpStorm. You can also install extensions and plugins that enhance your code editor with features such as syntax highlighting, code completion, code formatting, debugging, and testing.
- Version control system: You need to use a version control system that allows you to track and manage changes to your code, such as Git or SVN. You can also use platforms such as GitHub or Bitbucket to host and collaborate on your code repositories online.
- Debugging and testing tools: You need to use debugging and testing tools that help you find and fix errors and bugs in your code, such as WP_DEBUG, Query Monitor, Debug Bar, or Xdebug. You can also use tools such as PHPUnit, Codeception, or Behat to write and run automated tests for your code.
How to learn WordPress development and find resources to help you along the way?
There are many ways to learn WordPress development, depending on your learning style, budget, and goals. Some of the most common ways are:
- Online courses: You can take online courses that teach you WordPress development from scratch, or help you improve your existing skills. You can find online courses on platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, or LinkedIn Learning. You can also enroll in WordPress-specific courses offered by WordPress.org, WPBeginner, or WPShout.
- Books and ebooks: You can read books and ebooks that cover various topics and aspects of WordPress development, such as WordPress for Dummies, Professional WordPress: Design and Development, or WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook. You can also download free ebooks from WordPress.org or Smashing Magazine.
- Blogs and podcasts: You can follow blogs and podcasts that provide WordPress development tips, tutorials, news, and insights, such as WP Tavern, Delicious Brains, WP Mayor, or WP Elevation. You can also subscribe to newsletters that curate the best WordPress development resources, such as MasterWP, WP Weekly, or The WhiP.
- Forums and communities: You can join forums and communities where you can ask questions, get answers, and learn from other WordPress developers, such as WordPress Stack Exchange, WordPress.org Support Forums, Advanced WordPress Facebook Group, or WordPress Slack. You can also attend WordPress events, such as WordCamps, WordPress Meetups, or WordPress Contributor Days, where you can network and learn from WordPress experts and enthusiasts.
How to find WordPress development jobs and projects?
If you want to pursue a career as a WordPress developer, you need to find WordPress development jobs and projects that match your skills and interests. There are several ways to find WordPress development opportunities, such as:
- Job boards: You can browse job boards that specialize in WordPress development, such as WordPress Jobs, Codeable, or Toptal. You can also check general job boards, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, or Monster, and filter by keywords such as “WordPress developer”, “WordPress theme developer”, or “WordPress plugin developer”.
- Freelance platforms: You can join freelance platforms that connect WordPress developers with clients, such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer. You can also create your own profile and portfolio on platforms such as WordPress.com, WordPress.org, or Dribbble, and showcase your WordPress development skills and projects.
- Networking and referrals: You can network and get referrals from your existing contacts, such as friends, family, colleagues, or clients. You can also reach out to potential clients or employers via email, social media, or LinkedIn, and pitch your WordPress development services or resume. You can also join online or offline WordPress groups and events, and build relationships with other WordPress developers and enthusiasts.
WordPress development is a rewarding and in-demand career path for anyone who wants to build beautiful and functional websites with WordPress. To become a WordPress developer, you need to have a solid foundation in web development, as well as a good understanding of WordPress and its various components. You also need to use the right tools and resources to help you learn and improve your WordPress development skills. Finally, you need to find WordPress development jobs and projects that match your skills and interests, and showcase your WordPress development portfolio and experience. We hope this article has given you some useful tips, skills, and resources to help you become a WordPress developer. Happy coding!