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How to Become a WordPress Developer in 2021

November 02, 2021
How to Become a WordPress Developer in 2021

WordPress powers 37.8 percent of all websites on the internet, according to W3Techs.

The fact that users do not require technical abilities to create a WordPress website is one of the factors driving its growing popularity. They can quickly install plugins in WordPress to enhance its capabilities, alter its look with a theme, create and publish content, add multimedia, manage its settings, and more – all without touching a single line of code.

A total lack of technical expertise, on the other hand, might lead to issues down the line. Some inexperienced users have difficulty protecting their site, backing up their data, totally changing their theme, and revamping their website. These are just a handful of the reasons why people look for WordPress developers.

In summary, WordPress developers can handle the more technical aspects of developing and administering a WordPress site that the ordinary user lacks the knowledge or time to do.

WordPress development is a profitable profession that draws both enterprises and independent freelancers due to its big proportion of the CMS market and the user base it attracts. According to Delicious Brains research, the majority of WordPress developers earn between $45,000 and $150,000 per year from development work.

We’ll provide you with all the knowledge you need to become a WordPress developer in 2021 to assist you to get a footing in this industry. We’ll go over:

  • What is a WordPress developer?
  • What is the role of a WordPress developer?
  • How to Become a WordPress Developer?
  • WordPress Theme Development
  • WordPress Plugin Development
  • Beginning a New Career Path

What is a WordPress developer?

A WordPress developer is a specialist who specializes in the WordPress platform’s infrastructure and environment. They may concentrate on upgrading the WordPress program or developing new products, notably plugins and themes. They may also assist clients in the creation, customization, and management of a WordPress site.

Because WordPress development is such a large topic, this is a broad definition. We’ll look more closely at the duties and job descriptions of WordPress developers below so you can get a better picture of what they do on a daily basis.

What is the role of a WordPress developer?

A WordPress developer is usually in charge of either the back-end or front-end development of WordPress sites (or both). This frequently involves but is not limited to, the development of custom WordPress themes and plugins. WordPress developers may also be engaged to create a sitemap or wireframes for a new site, transfer an existing site to the WordPress platform, or redesign it to improve its SEO and conversion rate.

Given WordPress developers’ variety, it might be tough to determine where or how to begin earning the skills and expertise required to create a career as a full-time professional or part-time freelancer in this sector.

We’ll walk you through the fundamental steps you can take to become a WordPress developer to help you get started and prevent feeling overwhelmed.

How to Become a WordPress Developer?

  • Understand the principles of coding.
  • Learn more about WordPress in particular
  • Select a focus area
  • Create a testing environment
  • Join the WordPress community and become an active member
  • Create a portfolio
  • Create a technical resume

Understand the principles of coding

As previously said, WordPress is well-known for being a content management system that does not need users to code or even understand how to code. However, as a developer, understanding the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP is critical for troubleshooting, debugging, and expanding the platform’s capabilities.

Learn more about WordPress in particular

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals of coding, begin reading up on WordPress-specific resources to learn what makes this CMS distinctive. The resources listed below are just a handful that can assist you at various stages of your road to becoming a WordPress developer.

  • WordPress Codex: This is the authoritative online handbook created by WordPress’s developers. It goes through everything from the fundamentals of site creation to the most technical features of WordPress, such as how to add AJAX capabilities to your plugin or a theme.
  • WordPress Developer Resources: WordPress has collected an official collection of developer resources, which includes a code reference and handbooks for APIs, plugin and theme development, the block editor, and other topics. This is another must-have for developers as they grow in their careers.

Select a focus area

When it comes to becoming a WordPress developer, you basically have three options. You have the option of concentrating on the core software, plugins, or themes. You may work in all three fields, but you should be an expert in at least one.

Create a testing environment

For whatever sort of developer, setting up a development environment is critical. It not only expedites the development process, but it also usually results in a superior product.

You may create a local or remote environment in which to store all of your WordPress plugin and theme files, as well as the WordPress core files. This allows you to test and observe changes in a browser in real-time. While it will appear to be the same as browsing any other website on the internet, the files will be called in from your computer rather than your site’s hosting server.

This allows you to work with a team of other developers to troubleshoot any concerns before publishing your security patch, custom theme, or custom plugin to the public.

Join the WordPress community and become an active member

When compared to Joomla, Drupal, and other content management systems, WordPress has the greatest worldwide community committed to platform improvement. You may contact these millions of members via support forums and Slack channels, and you can even meet them in person at WordCamp conferences and other community events across the world.

Participating actively in this community can assist you in troubleshooting difficulties with the program or a specific site, staying up to speed on updates and product releases, and networking.

Create a portfolio

You should present as much proof of your abilities and qualifications as feasible when applying for any job. This is true for almost every job, but it is especially true for a career in WordPress development.

A portfolio is an excellent approach to “show, not tell.” A portfolio of your development work might increase your chances of being employed as a full-time employee or freelancer.

Create a technical resume

A technical resume, like a portfolio, is an integral aspect of any job application for a WordPress development career. If you operate as a freelancer, a technical CV may be repurposed to offer relevant information on a site like Upwork or for an About page on your own personal website.

A technical CV consists of a few important elements, which include key talents, professional experience, education, and projects. It’s fine if you have little or no information to provide in your professional experience because you’re just starting started. Just make sure to fill out the rest of the sections with clear examples of your talents and personal projects.

WordPress Theme Development

WordPress themes aren’t built into the foundation of WordPress. In reality, they are collections of template files that alter the appearance of a site without altering the core WordPress program.

This is perfect since the design of the site will not be much impacted when a new version of the WordPress software is published and the site is updated. If the presentation styles and template files were not segregated from the core files in this manner, all of your customization work would be lost every time the core software was changed.

WordPress themes are extremely popular because they allow users to totally personalize their site without touching a single line of code. Some are free, while others have a premium price tag ranging from $60 to $200.

Custom themes can be created by theme developers for themselves, particular clients, or the general public. If the latter, developers may either submit it for free to the WordPress directory or sell it on a marketplace like Theme Forest.

Theme developers not only have varied production goals, but they also have different methods for achieving those goals. Some developers will simply choose an existing theme, install it, then personalize it with the built-in options and capabilities for their clients’ or personal websites. Others will begin with a theme, then totally alter it with code so that it looks and performs precisely how the customer or they desire. Others will begin from scratch.

Regardless of why you want to create your own theme, theme creation allows you to hone and flex your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript abilities.

WordPress Plugin Development

WordPress plugins are programs that “plug into” your site and increase its capabilities. Plugins, like themes, do not affect the WordPress core, which is excellent. If you alter core WordPress files to add functionality to your site, the code will be lost when your software is updated. This is due to the fact that each update overwrites core files.

WordPress plugins are thus great for enhancing the functionality of a WordPress website. With over 55,000 free plugins available in the official WordPress directory alone, the plugin ecosystem is tremendously robust. That doesn’t even take into account the thousands of paid plugins accessible on third-party sites.

These plugins might make little or major modifications to your site depending on their purpose. For instance, you might use a plugin to add a WhatsApp share button to your articles and pages, or you could construct a completely bilingual site. There are plugins for scanning your site for broken links, doing A/B testing, improving your contact forms, creating stunning sliders, backing up your site, collecting emails, and much more.

With so many plugins accessible, one may assume that new plugin makers entering the market will simply oversaturate the industry. That, however, is not the case. There are still many holes in the market that you may cover by offering WordPress consumers a new or improved plugin that meets their expectations.

Beginning a New Career Path

Becoming a WordPress developer may be profitable – and enjoyable! – career path. While you will need to invest time and resources in studying and experimenting, WordPress development may provide you with the earnings and freedom you desire.

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