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How To Become A WordPress Developer: A Beginner’s Guide

How To Become A WordPress Developer: A Beginner's Guide

Out of all the free, open-source Content Management Systems (CMS) out there, WordPress is perhaps the most popular of them all. If we only take into consideration websites built on CMS then WordPress has a handsome two-thirds share. If we take into account all the websites on the internet even then WordPress has one-third share of users. The primary use of WordPress is for blogging; although there’s much more to it in the form of forums, multimedia and evenecommerce store.

Since it is free and open source, anyone having basic internet skills can make use of it. You can create websites, choose from hundreds of themes and even use plugins for more features such as widgets. However, to leverage the full benefits of WordPress and it’s customizations, you need software development skills and knowledge of computer programming languages. Someone who has mastered this is known as a WordPress Developer.

Who Is A WordPress Developer?

WordPress Developers are the ones who possess deep understanding about the core of WordPress, required programming languages such as PHP and knowledge about WordPress products to make sure the plugins, modules and themes work in harmony. They should be able to work with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, GIT, REST API and more.

Types Of WordPress Developers

The three main types of WordPress Developers are as follows-

  • Core Developer: A core WordPress Developer is someone who works on the very core software of WordPress itself. They analyze the code and recommend appropriate changes that affect the entire WordPress as a whole.
  • Theme Developer: A theme WordPress Developer is much like a UI/UX Designer is to a website. They are responsible for the appearance, layout, colour, and the overall presentation of the website that is built using WordPress.
  • Plugin Developer: A WordPress plugin developer is responsible for creating appropriate plugins for WordPress websites. Plugins are nothing but applications that enhance your website by adding relevant functionalities to it.

So, if you are interested to make a career in WordPress Development, then here are the steps you should follow-

1)  Learning The Technical Skills: In order to get a firm grasp on the basics and fundamentals of WordPress Development, you need to learn some technical skills viz. HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL, jQuery and Ajax. You must know at least 2-3 of these skills by heart and have a basic understanding of the rest. In the case of HTML, HTML5 is the latest and most preferred version to learn right now and for CSS, it is CSS3.

2)  Gather As Much Information On WordPress As You Can: Make use of the internet to watch YouTube videos on WordPress Development and read from online resources. There is lots of valuable information available on the web for free. You can check out the official WordPress Blog and the WordPress News section to keep up with the evolving trends.

3)  Choose Your Area Of Expertise: As mentioned earlier, WordPress is a versatile platform and there are mainly three types of developers- Core, Theme and Plugin. For beginners, it is recommended to start out by choosing one particular area of interest and master that. You can always try the others if you wish to expand your knowledge. You don’t want to end up as the jack of all trades but master of none, right?

4)  Be Prepared For The Challenges: No matter how many years of experience one has, dealing with software is such tricky business that even the most brilliant minds at Microsoft, Apple or Facebook sometimes face issues. So, it is very normal for a regular WordPress developer to face bugs in code, problems related to display of web pages, etc. This is why you must be ready to face challenges that may come your way. Some important tips are never compromising on the security of your website to prevent hacking and backing up all your data in case there is a system crash.

5)  Practice What You’ve Learnt: Once you have learnt how to develop a particular plugin or theme, practice it as much as you can. Try methodologies such as testing and troubleshooting to get the best feedback and results. Since practicing on live websites is probably not such a great idea, create a controlled environment for this purpose. If however you wish to try development on a live WordPress website then you might have to incur web-hosting charges.

6)  Connect With The WordPress Community: Networking is very important to gather insights from the real world experiences of WordPress Developers. When millions of people are doing something, it is likely that the problem faced by you has already been faced by someone else in the past and there is a precise solution available for such peculiar problems. Take part or at least read up about the discussions happening in various WordPress forums and spaces online.

So, these were some of the skills that are required to become a successful WordPress Developer. If you find it interesting and wish to take it up seriously, you can enroll in a WordPress Development Course and learn the latest industry skills right now!

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