WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) today, powering more than 30% of websites on the internet. Among the top CMS platforms, it holds around 60% market share, far ahead from second contender Joomla (6%).
Since the CMS has more than 76 million users, not all of them can do development work on their own. They look for WordPress developers to improve their site or add new functionalities. The work of a WP developer will include creating useful plugins, beautiful themes, improve core of the platform, and more.
The above stats show how much popular a platform WordPress is. Becoming a WordPress developer will prove to be a right choice for people who are interested in the platform.
I guess this is enough for encouragement. The next question that remains unanswered is how to become a WordPress developer. Well, this article is all about that. Below are the key steps that you should follow for a successful career as WordPress developer.
Analyze your existing skills
Before entering a niche, it is better to analyze yourself, your skill sets, and everything that involves the niche. Take your time and find what you already know about WordPress development and the areas where you need to work.
At the beginning of your journey, you don’t have to be a master of all languages. If you are good at any two, you are good to go. You can also use website builders in the beginning for setting up a website, and then play with the code. As you go along the journey, try your best to learn the rest of the languages to master the platform.
Along with languages, find the skills that can help in fulfilling the expectations of a client. The point here is to understand what you know and what you don’t. Then, learn required skills, improve existing ones, and make yourself a good fit for the world of WordPress.
Dedicate some time for studying about WordPress
WordPress releases updates to the platform on a regular basis to add new features, fix the bugs, and improve the platform. What you need to do is to spend some part of your time every day to study about WordPress. This will help you in being updated about the platform, and learning the things that you don’t know.
You can start with spending an hour a day to study. You may find it hard in the beginning, but hard work is the key in every field. Choose the right study materials online or offline and stick to them. There are numerous WordPress blogs and YouTube channels that post stunning stuff regularly.
Also, you can go for books related to WordPress. If you need more help, then don’t hesitate from taking an online course. It can help you boost your skills.
And no doubt, you should refer to the WordPress Codex, the official Wikipedia of WordPress. You can search any term there and find official tutorials and explanations.
Find an area in WordPress development to focus on
WordPress is a broad and versatile platform, which means that there are several areas to focus on. Although the knowledge of every area is important, you can choose to focus on a specific area like theme development, plugin development, solving technical issues, etc.
Primarily, you can focus on one of three areas— WordPress core, themes, and plugins.
The WordPress core will involve finding and fixing bugs, solving inquiry tickets, enhancing translations, and providing recommendations to clients for a better experience.
WordPress theme development is one of the best areas in this field as this can help in earning passive income. Build a beautiful and functional theme once and earn from it as long as it sells. Enterprises and individuals are always looking for powerful themes to make their websites appealing. You can create themes and sell them from various marketplaces, as well as from your own site.
Coming to WordPress plugin development, you will need strong command over the core languages to master this area. Plugins are the things that make WordPress an easy-to-use platform. Hence, there is a good scope in plugin development as well.
Prepare yourself for bugs
Regardless of your expertise in an area, pitfalls will occur no matter what. You will fix old bugs and find new ones to fix. This is very usual in development. The thing is to be prepared for these scenarios so that you can patch the problems without causing much downtime or other failures to your clients. Learn some effective WordPress debugging techniques that can save you hours of time.
Attend relevant conferences and meetings
As mentioned above, WordPress is a very broad platform. If you attend conferences and meetings related to the platform, you will get to explore numerous new things. Meet the people in your realm and spend time with them. You can learn from their experience and grow in your field.
Other than this, you should also connect with relevant professionals on social media platforms like LinkedIn, join their webinars, and share your feedback with them. At the end of the day, you will find that these things are really beneficial to your career as a WordPress developer.
At conferences, you might find the companies that are hiring a developer at a lucrative salary or looking for freelance developers. Hence, connecting with new people is always a good idea.
WordPress holds a lot of opportunities for developers today. If you are looking to become a WordPress developer and choose it as a career choice, then it will require hard work, dedicated time to study blogs and tutorials, relevant skills, and sharpening them with time.
Catherrine Garcia is a professional writer and currently works at WPCodingDev Ltd., an ideal place to hire experienced WordPress developer from the team of 150 experts. She along with her group of freelance developers are experts at creating Web sites on CMS.