Is the idea of working as a WordPress developer appealing to you? WordPress, after all, runs more than 40% of all websites on the internet. It’s no surprise that WordPress development is a sought-after software expertise, and WordPress developers have a promising future ahead of them. In this article, I’ll go over the basics of […]
Is the idea of working as a WordPress developer appealing to you? WordPress, after all, runs more than 40% of all websites on the internet. It's no surprise that WordPress development is a sought-after software expertise, and WordPress developers have a promising future ahead of them.
In this article, I'll go over the basics of what a WordPress developer does, the abilities that are required, and how you may get started as a WordPress developer.
Sounds good? Let’s start.
A WordPress developer is a professional skilled in the design, development, and management of WordPress websites. They work on the WordPress back-end and front-end and specialize in plugin and theme development apart from having sound WordPress troubleshooting, optimization, and security management skills.
In short, they need to wear multiple hats at once. But a WordPress developer is required to not just build plugins or themes or modify the existing ones. They also need to ensure compatibility with the existing WordPress plugins and deep dive into the WordPress core and the MySQL database.
WordPress web design is another related skill set. It is a lucrative vocation that requires less technical knowledge than WordPress development. Apart from ensuring a seamless experience for website users, your main responsibility as a designer is to create WordPress websites with an emphasis on aesthetics or appearance.
WordPress is the most popular Content Management System (CMS) on the web and there are hundreds of WordPress development jobs available today ranging from theme and plugin development to technical support and everything in between.
So, as far as demand for your skills is concerned, there will be no shortage of opportunities once you dive headlong into the exciting world of WordPress development.
You'll begin as a WordPress developer, and after attaining the necessary expertise, you'll advance to the position of Senior Developer, with the possibility of eventually leading a development team as a Project Manager.
In order to supplement your primary source of income, you can also pick up freelancing gigs that include minor development tasks, troubleshooting, or optimization work on WordPress websites.
Many WordPress developers start off with a regular job and on building up a reliable client network, switch to full-time freelancing as this allows them more flexibility and location independence coupled with higher earning potential.
In order to become a WordPress developer, you need to develop certain skills. The most important ones are:
Apart from the aforementioned abilities, you should also master SQL database management because WordPress uses MySQL tables to store all website data.
However, you are not required to become an expert coder right away. You can begin by learning HTML and CSS, which will assist you in creating a simple static website.
You can also practice your coding abilities by downloading free virtual development tools like XAMP or WAMP. Local WP, a free solution from Flywheel Hosting, allows you to deploy and test your WordPress websites in a local development environment.
Where to apply for WordPress Developer jobs?
So, now that you've mastered the necessary skills, it's time to embark on your WordPress development adventure. Now is the time to create your LinkedIn profile if you haven't already done it. On Linkedin, several companies are recruiting WordPress developers. There are other job sites as well where you can publish your resume and apply for jobs that match your qualifications.
You can also work as a freelancer on sites such as Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr, where hundreds of WordPress development tasks are posted daily. Freelancing jobs are a great place to start if you want to build up experience as a developer.
Follow these tips to get off to a flying start as a WordPress freelancer:
By now, you’ve grasped the full scope of WordPress development. But there are certain things that any WordPress developer should know beforehand in order to avoid costly mistakes later on.
The WordPress database contains all the information required by WordPress, the installed themes, and plugins. This information is stored in different tables. Presently, there are 12 default WordPress database tables. As a WordPress developer, you should understand the nitty gritty of these core WordPress tables to be able to troubleshoot issues quickly.
The WordPress core contains the primary files used by WordPress. If you tinker with these core files, the customizations will be lost in the next WordPress update in which the core files get overwritten. This could also result in security vulnerabilities and malicious code injection. So, understand the intricacies of the WordPress core files but don’t attempt to modify how they work.
You might be thinking what’s the big deal about feeds. The big deal is that there are multiple WordPress feeds you can offer to your users during website development. For instance, there is the comments feed (site.com/comments/feed) or the author feed (site.com/author/authorname/feed). Your clients can use these feed options as per their specific needs.
The WordPress database accumulates all sorts of needed and unneeded information over time and can eat up valuable hosting storage if left to its free will. This includes database tables leftover by deleted plugins that are simply gathering dust. In order to keep websites running smoothly on the front-end and the back-end, you should regularly optimize the database by cleaning up the transients, leftover tables, deleting post revisions, trashed posts, spam comments, etc.
There are so many options to choose from when you start designing a WordPress website that it’s quite easy to go overboard with styles and effects that may not really be needed. But overstyling can also make a website appear gaudy when you should be actually focussing on user experience (UX) and functionality. That’s why the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) works like magic in WordPress design and development.
WordPress development is an exciting career for budding programmers. The demand for your development skills is linked to the increasing adoption of WordPress as the CMS of choice for thousands of websites that are launched every day. Once you’ve mastered the required languages used in WordPress development and gained some web design experience, your career as a WordPress developer will take off in quick time.
Additionally, WordPress freelancing presents limitless possibilities for those skilled in WordPress design and development. Freelancing offers location freedom and flexible working hours and is a preferred alternative to a regular 9 to 5 job for many WordPress developers. Take your pick.