Have you decided on a career shift and want to know how to become a WordPress developer?
WordPress developers are in high demand because WordPress is such a popular platform for building websites.
To succeed in your new career, you must master the tools and skills defined in this article.
Hi, I’m Carol. I’m a former WordPress programmer and software trainer. Now, I study online education to help you make the best education choices for your career.
In this article, I’ll show you precisely what you must study to become a profitable WordPress freelancer or freshly minted WordPress programmer.
To become a WordPress developer, you need:
- PHP, HTML, CSS, and other technical skills
- Problem-solving, communication, and other soft skills
- Knowledge of integrated development environments (IDEs), version control, and other technological tools
Now it’s time to learn how to be a WordPress developer.
Essential Technical Skills a WordPress Developer Must Master
Developing for WordPress requires a mix of technical and soft skills to be effective. Here are the vital technical skills you must master to become a WordPress developer.
- PHP: At its core, WordPress is written in PHP. A solid understanding of PHP is crucial for theme and plugin development.
- HTML & CSS: These are the building blocks of web development. You need to understand HTML to structure content and CSS to style it.
- MySQL: WordPress uses MySQL for data storage. Familiarity with this database system, including how to write queries and optimize performance, is beneficial.
- Understanding of the WordPress Core: Familiarize yourself with the WordPress Codex, the main functions, hooks, and the template hierarchy.
- Theme Development: Knowing how to build and customize WordPress themes is essential for any developer working on the platform.
- Plugin Development: Plugins add specific functionalities to a WordPress website. Developing them requires a deep understanding of the WordPress core and API.
- Gutenberg Development: With the Gutenberg editor becoming a core part of WordPress, understanding how to extend and customize it is a valuable skill.
- Version Control/Git: This is important for collaborating with others, maintaining code histories, and deploying code.
- SEO Best Practices: An understanding of SEO ensures that the websites you develop are optimized for search engines.
- Performance Optimization includes caching, Content Delivery Network (CDN) implementation, and understanding how to minimize HTTP requests.
- Responsive Design: Ensuring WordPress sites look good and function well on all devices is crucial.
- API Integration: With the rise of the REST API in WordPress, understanding how to connect WordPress with other apps and services is beneficial.
Essential Soft Skills a WordPress Developer Must Master
- Problem Solving: Often, you’ll need to find solutions to issues that aren’t immediately clear or troubleshoot a malfunctioning feature.
- Project Management: Keeping projects on track, managing client expectations, and understanding the scope is critical.
- Communication Skills: Clear communication is essential, whether communicating with clients or collaborating with a team.
- Attention to Detail: Small mistakes can lead to big problems in web development, so being detail-oriented is crucial.
- Continuous Learning: The tech world, including WordPress, constantly evolves. Being willing and able to learn and adapt to new tools, techniques, or best practices is vital.
- Time Management: Being efficient with your time helps you meet deadlines and handle multiple projects.
- Client Relations: Especially for freelancers or agency developers, understanding how to interact with and manage clients is critical to a successful project.
Essential Tools a WordPress Developer Must Master
A WordPress developer uses diverse tools to design, develop, and maintain websites efficiently.
Here’s a list of tools commonly used in the WordPress development ecosystem.
This list is not exhaustive, but you need only master one of the items in each category in most cases.
However, these tools represent some of the WordPress community’s most popular and widely adopted options.
- Local Development Environments:
- Allows for easy local WordPress site development.
- Local server environments to run PHP-based applications like WordPress.
- An open-source Vagrant configuration focused on WordPress development.
- Code Editors and IDEs (Integrated Development Environments):
- A popular, lightweight, and highly customizable code editor.
- Another widely-used text editor with various plugins for WordPress development.
- A full-fledged IDE tailored for PHP and WordPress development.
- Version Control:
- Essential for tracking changes, collaborating with others, and deploying code.
- Platforms that offer hosting for software development and version control using Git.
- Dependency Management:
- A PHP dependency manager is often used in larger WordPress projects.
- Build and Automation Tools:
- A module bundler and task runner.
- Browsers and Browser Tools:
- Built into the Chrome browser, these tools help developers inspect, debug, and profile web applications.
- A version of Firefox tailored for developers.
- Design and Mockup Tools:
- For designing and prototyping user experiences.
- A vector-based design tool for macOS.
- A web-based UI and UX design tool.
- Database Tools:
- Web-based interface for managing MySQL databases.
- MySQL database management tools for macOS.
- A simplified database management tool, an alternative to phpMyAdmin.
- Performance and Optimization:
- A WordPress plugin to view ongoing queries, scripts, and requests.
- A web service to analyze site performance and speed.
- Another benefit of website speed testing.
- A WordPress plugin for security hardening.
- A comprehensive security plugin for WordPress.
- Migration and Backup Tools:
- Backup and restore plugin for WordPress.
- A plugin to migrate, copy, or clone a site.
- SEO Tools:
- A popular WordPress plugin for search engine optimization.
- Another widely-used SEO plugin.
- Collaboration and Project Management:
- Communication platform for teams.
- A visual tool for project management and task tracking.
- Task and project management tool.
Pros and Cons of Becoming a WordPress Developer
Learning to be a WordPress developer can open up numerous opportunities, especially considering the vast user base and demand for WordPress-based services.
Here’s a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages.
Resources for Learning WordPress Development
Now that you have a solid understanding of the critical aspects of WordPress development, it’s time to explore resources to enhance your skills further:
WordPress Community and Codex
The WordPress Codex is the official online manual for WordPress, providing detailed documentation and tutorials for developers of all levels.
WordPress Software Tutorials and Courses
- Best tutorial for learning WordPress developer code and tools: Become a WordPress Developer: Unlocking Power with Code
- Best tutorial for learning WordPress theme development: WordPress 101: Create a Theme from Scratch
- Best course for learning WordPress code and tools: Become a WordPress Developer: Unlocking Power With Code.
- Best course for learning WordPress theme development: Complete the WordPress Theme Developer Course With Bootstrap
- Best course for learning Wordpess plugin development: Creating WordPress Plugins The Right Way
How to Become a WordPress Developer Questions & Answers
What is a WordPress developer?
A WordPress developer specializes in developing websites and applications using the WordPress platform.
What are the responsibilities of a WordPress developer?
The responsibilities of a WordPress developer may include creating custom themes and plugins, managing content, optimizing website performance, and troubleshooting technical issues.
How can I become a WordPress developer?
To become a WordPress developer, you need to learn how to use WordPress, create custom themes and plugins, and gain experience with WordPress development.
Do I need coding knowledge to become a WordPress developer?
While coding knowledge is not required, having basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP can be beneficial for customizing and extending WordPress.
Are there any WordPress courses available?
Yes, there are many online courses and tutorials available that can help you learn WordPress development.
What is the future of WordPress development?
WordPress is constantly evolving, and there will always be a demand for skilled WordPress developers. WordPress development is predicted to continue to be in high demand in 2024 and beyond.
What are the different types of WordPress developers?
There are different types of WordPress developers, including front-end developers who focus on the visual aspects of a website, back-end developers who handle the server-side functionality, and full-stack developers who are proficient in front-end and back-end development.