It’s no secret that WordPress (WP) dominates the worldwide web. WordPress powers roughly 43% of the world’s websites and isn’t expected to go anywhere anytime soon.
So how can you make a career out of one of the world’s leading content management systems in 2024? Simple – become a WordPress developer! While the idea of becoming a WordPress developer may seem daunting, it’s not as complicated as you might think.
If you’re interested in becoming a WordPress developer in 2024, keep reading on to find out more about this exciting career path and the steps you need to take to become a WP developer in no time.
What is a WordPress Developer?
A WordPress developer is a professional developer that specializes in the overall makeup of the WordPress platform. Put simply, WordPress developers specialize in WordPress development. They usually work with a wide variety of clients to assist in creating, customizing and managing a WordPress site.
What Do WordPress Developers Do?
WordPress developers usually work on the back-end and/or front-end development of WP websites. This can include the initial creation of the WordPress site by creating a custom WordPress theme and WordPress plugin to ongoing maintenance to ensure the website is fully optimized at all times.
Have you ever visited a website that took ages to load? Now think about a time you visited a website that loaded in an instant. The difference? A great WordPress developer.
While WordPress developers might be in charge of creating a client’s initial WordPress site, they also have the ability to build site maps and wireframes. In addition to that, they also help clients migrate websites off of different platforms onto WordPress and can help ensure the website is SEO optimized to lead to a higher conversion rate.
The job is varied and for good reason. Becoming a WordPress developer means wearing many different hats when it comes to creating and maintaining a killer website. The more hats you’re able to wear means more experience as a WP developer.
While creating an exceptional WordPress website is one of the most important parts of being a WordPress developer, it’s also important to note the importance of ongoing maintenance. WordPress developers can also be hired by clients to review and debug the codebase of their website, making the software clean without errors.
While you may think that becoming a WordPress developer is all about programming skills (and a large part of it is!) aesthetics are also a big part of the job. Having a keen eye for design and knowing what looks good is important. After all, clients could leave you in charge of certain design elements when it comes to creating their website!
Sound like a lot? There’s more! WordPress developers can either build WordPress sites or build applications. There’s a big difference between creating a sleek website designed for a client to attract customers vs. building a complex application based system based on WordPress.
While both of these processes utilize WordPress software, they have entirely different approaches.
Listing out everything a WordPress developer does in a few paragraphs is an impossible task. The core tasks mentioned above are common things WordPress developers do on the WordPress platform, but there’s so much more that goes into it.
WordPress developers can have a similar type of day 3 days in a row and then a completely different day the day after. The job is incredibly varied and involves many different skills. That’s why there are ‘junior’ and ‘expert’ WordPress developers available for hire. The more you practice, the more skills you’ll learn.
How to Become a WordPress Developer
While the idea of becoming a WordPress developer may seem daunting, remember that everyone has to start somewhere. Even the most skilled WP developers started where you’re at right now. So don’t panic. There are simple steps you can take if you’re interested in becoming a WordPress developer.
Do Your Research
As with anything in life, the more research you do ahead of a task, the better off you’ll be. Do your homework and read up on all things WordPress Look up job adverts in your area that are hiring WordPress developers. Browse through the required skills needed for WordPress development and take extensive notes on what’s required.
Reach out to a WordPress developer on LinkedIn and ask if you can pick their brain about their day-to-day job. Make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into before you jump into the deep end.
Get Familiar With Coding
The great thing about WordPress is that it doesn’t require users to code in order to create a website. While this sounds great in theory, having coding experience will allow you to utilize the content management system one step further than most.
Coding experience is also essential when it comes to troubleshooting and debugging certain WordPress sites. Not sure where to start? The following list includes the basics of what you need to know.
- PHP (programming language that most of the WordPress codebase is written in – created by WordPress core development team)
Depending on your preferred learning style, you can learn the basics of coding through books, online courses, university, etc. Some people have even learned the fundamentals of coding through popular websites like YouTube! Find a method that works for you and get stuck in.
Learn About WordPress
WordPress developers specialize in WordPress development. While you can have all the coding experience in the world, it’s important to become an expert on the WP platform. WordPress has an endless number of WordPress themes and WordPress plugins.
Start researching the different types of plugins and their functions and visit popular WordPress sites to see which ones are commonly used. You should create your own WordPress website and play around with both the front-end and back-end to get you up to speed.
This is a great way to become familiar with the CMS as a whole as opposed to learning on the job. There’s much to learn when it comes to WordPress software!
As with coding, there are countless WordPress courses available to help you become well versed in the world of WordPress. Not keen on courses? No worries. You can learn with books, videos and forums, too.
As WordPress is forever evolving, even WordPress experts have to continue learning as they go. A great place to start would be The WordPress Codex. The WordPress Codex is a central repository of information on all things WordPress.
It was created by developers and contains extensive information on how to create a WordPress plugin, WordPress theme, and just about everything else under the sun when it comes to learning about WordPress software. There’s an endless amount to learn when it comes to the WordPress platform.
Choose an Area of Focus
Remember how we said that WordPress developers wear many hats? That’s because the job is broad and involves many different elements.
While it’s helpful to have skills and experience in WordPress development services as a whole, it’s important to become an expert in one of the three core elements of the platform. These include core development, theme development and plugin development.
- Core Developers: Core developers create and edit the core of the WordPress website. This essentially means becoming an expert in the actual software itself. This is helpful when it comes to security issues, bugs and coding requirements.
- Theme Developers: Theme developers create custom WordPress themes. These WP themes can be for individual clients or can even be sold on third-party websites. To get a better idea of WordPress themes, go to your own WordPress website and browse the theme directory for more information.
- Plugin Developers: Plugin developers create custom plugins. This is an especially useful skill if you have a client that wants something unique on their website that isn’t available elsewhere.
Create a Portfolio
Once you are confident in your WordPress skills, it’s time to create a portfolio that showcases your WordPress projects. If you haven’t worked on a website before, why not start with your own?
As you are selling your service as a developer, create a stand-out WordPress website that showcases your skills as a developer and deep knowledge of the WordPress software.
Once you start working with clients, you can add their websites and other WordPress projects to your portfolio to build your career as a developer. You could even offer your services to smaller companies with a limited budget to gain clients. Once you have a few outstanding WordPress websites under your belt, people will take notice.
Join the WordPress Community
There are lots of online groups and forums where you can exchange experiences with other WordPress developers, find partners and even find clients.
You can ask for help to solve your difficulties in the development process. You can also help other community members solve their issues – this way you will get more experience.
Look for WordPress events – either online or even offline which can be held in your area. Meeting other WordPress developers face to face can be really motivating and useful at the start of a career.
Take a Deep Breath
There’s a reason why WordPress developers are paid handsomely. It’s a tough job! Expect to experience some hiccups along the way. There will be days when a website you’re working on won’t display correctly or you’ll discover bugs in the code. This is all part of the wonderful world of becoming a WordPress developer.
Even WordPress experts have tough days! Take a deep breath and know that you’re doing a great job. It’s helpful to go for a walk, clear your head, and go back to your computer with fresh eyes. You got this.
Become a WordPress Developer in 2024
If you’re looking to become a WordPress developer in 2024, simply follow the steps listed above and you’ll be on your way to a new and successful career path in no time. Make sure you do your research, get familiar with coding, learn about all things WordPress and choose an area of focus.
Keep track of your WordPress projects and create a portfolio you’re proud of. The more you work at it, the better you’ll become.
If you’re looking for helpful tools on your WordPress developer journey, look no further than CreativeMinds. We’ve developed over 200 leading WordPress plugins and apps and have over 800,000 downloads to date.
We’re your one-stop shop when it comes to quality plugins and development services clients love and have successfully accomplished many integrations with existing plugins, themes, 3rd party API and more. We’re proud to offer our clients a transparent hourly rate of $60 per hour.
This includes reliable support, development based on your requirements and WordPress plugin additions and changes. Aside from providing developers with inspiration from the many plugins we’ve produced, we’re also always on the lookout for WordPress Developers.
Whether you’re interested in our plugins or are on the hunt for a job, get in touch today. We look forward to hearing from you.