How To Become A WordPress Developer

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June 20, 2020
How To Become A WordPress Developer | Aamir Ali Bangash

Thanks to the incredible popularity of WordPress, opportunities for development abound. Whether you would like to make useful plugins, weave gorgeous themes, or improve the core mechanics of WordPress, you'll forced an entry the sector with a touch time and energy Of course, simply Googling “how to become a WordPress developer” will present a bewildering array of paths to settle on from.

To simplify your journey towards becoming a WordPress developer, you’ll want to approach it methodically. This involves narrowing down your focus, identifying your skills, finding a distinct segment, and learning the maximum amount as you'll about the platform beforehand. Fortunately, there’s an outsized community out there willing and prepared to support you on your quest.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly what a WordPress developer does. Then we’ll explore six essential steps you’ll got to absorb order to become both a WordPress expert and a competent developer for the platform. Let’s jump in!

What a WordPress Developer Actually Does?

A WordPress developer may be a professional who works with the essential coding and infrastructure of the WordPress platform, to enhance WordPress itself, or to make entirely new products. Typically, WordPress developers perform some or all of the subsequent tasks:

Creating and customizing plugins and themes.

  • Developing code and troubleshooting for WordPress core (that is, the particular software of WordPress).
  • Working closely with clients to assist design and build their WordPress websites.
  • Ensuing that client websites are maintained efficiently.
  • Improving the accessibility of the WordPress platform.

In order to try to this stuff efficiently, the competent developer also has got to be a WordPress expert. That is, they ought to have a radical understanding of every part of the platform, also because the various programming languages wont run it (which we'll discuss in greater detail further on).

Before we approach the question of the way to become a WordPress developer, let’s first mention exactly why you would possibly want to try to so.

Why you would possibly Want to urge Involved in WordPress Development. In addition to the very fact that WordPress developers are in increasingly high demand, there are many reasons this field are often beneficial:

There is good money to be made if you become an adept developer, and manage to locate the proper niche. you'll develop for WordPress as a freelancer. this suggests it’s possible to be your own boss, work from home, and set your own schedule.

WordPress features a broad community of users who are wanting to help, meaning it’s easy to realize access to the support you would like the talents you acquire (especially with regard to the most languages of WordPress) are going to be readily applicable to an enormous sort of industries and niches.

If you've got an ingenious streak, an interest in coding, and a willingness to immerse yourself within the mechanics of the world’s hottest Content Management System (CMS), learning the way to become a WordPress developer are going to be worth your while. It’s also worth considering if you’re trying to find employment that’s ‘future-proof’. Of course, making the choice to enter this field is comparatively easy. the important trick lies in learning the way to become a WordPress developer. Let’s rehearse what it takes.

How to Become a WordPress Developer (In 6 Steps)

The process of becoming a WordPress developer first involves determining what knowledge you have already got , and what you’ll got to learn. Then you’ll want to select a neighborhood or niche that most accurately fits your goals and skill set, and adopt the simplest practices to interrupt into that field. Let’s jump right in!

1. Understand the first Skill Sets Required

A visual representation of the WordPress developer skill stack (including HTML, CSS, PHP, and MySQL). Before you'll find out how to become a WordPress developer, it’s important to know the platform’s various programming languages.

The acclaimed philanthropist Charlie Munger once said: “Knowing what you don’t know is more useful than being brilliant”. This maxim applies perfectly to WordPress development. It’s vital to spot the preexisting knowledge you'll have which will boost your development journey, also because the areas where your knowledge is lacking.
The most vital thing any WordPress developer must understand is that the languages the platform uses. Let’s check out each, one by one:

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language):
This foundational language is powerful and fairly easy to master. It’s comprised of markup codes (elements) that dictate how different aspects of a page are going to be displayed. These elements may include page titles, headings, paragraph text, data tables, and so on. As a really basic example, use of the HTML code would set “Learning HTML” because the title of a page.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets):
Whereas HTML comprises the building blocks of sites , CSS is employed to dictate the way elements look. CSS controls aspects like font types and colours , page layouts, click effects, and other stylistic facets. for instance , the HTML element for a few body text may additionally include the CSS code to specify what color the text should display in (such as: {background-color: darkgreen;} ).

PHP (Personal Home Page):
PHP may be a somewhat misleading acronym. Over the years, it’s come to more aptly represent Hypertext Preprocessor (since it’s applicable to all or any areas of a site, not just your home page). It are often used for several functions, including auto-generating files, accessing databases, encrypting data, and far more. Fortunately, there are many online guides for mastering PHP, which can are available handy when learning the way to become a WordPress developer.

MySQL (My Sequel):
Finally, MySQL is an open source electronic database management system. during a nutshell, WordPress uses PHP to retrieve and store data from MySQL databases. Important site administrative features, like user roles, are made possible on WordPress using MySQL. For that reason, a developer should a minimum of have a rudimentary knowledge of its capabilities.

You don’t necessarily need to be a master of of these languages. However, it's best to be adept at a minimum of a couple of before learning the way to become a WordPress developer. this may assist you better market yourself within the field, and more readily address client expectations.

Once you’ve determined that you simply understand the fundamentals required, you’ll got to find out how they will be applied to the WordPress platform. to try to to this, you’ll got to be nothing in need of a WordPress expert (at least when it involves the fundamentals).

2. Learn All you'll About WordPress

Before you tackle the question of the way to become a WordPress developer, you’ll got to learn the maximum amount as possible about the platform itself. After all, the more you recognize , the more you'll do. the great news is that there are many resources available to require you from being an entire novice to a WordPress expert.

The first step you ought to take is to line up a WordPress sandbox. this may enable you to rapidly get a pity the dashboard, and to fiddle with the functions of the platform during a secure environment. By employing a sandbox, you’ll even be ready to follow along side the tutorials provided in many online WordPress courses.

Although it'll likely require a financial investment, completing a WordPress course will assist you fast-track your learning progress. Most WordPress courses present information during a well-structured and beginner-friendly format, and may be easily referenced at later points. Popular examples include WordPress 101 (which also contains tutorials for essential plugins), WP Apprentice, and therefore the WordPress for Beginners course on Udemy.

Of course, no overview of WordPress learning resources would be complete without regard to the WordPress Codex – the official WordPress wiki. this is often a useful resource for searching terms and finding officially-approved explanations and tutorials. It also can be a useful reference when coding or contributing to the platform.
Finally, it’s smart to subscribe various WordPress blogs and YouTube channels. These function a superb way continue so far with WordPress trends, and find out ways to use the platform more efficiently. After you’ve acquired a solid grounding in WordPress basics, you’ll be during a far better position to tackle the question of the way to become a WordPress developer.

3.Choose the world of Development You’ll specialise in

WordPress is renowned for being a broad, versatile, and constantly-evolving CMS. this is often excellent news for prospective developers, because it means there are entry points that cater to a broad array of interests and skill sets. Although a robust technical knowledge is crucial, niches like theme and plugin development also present opportunities to be creative. Once you’ve made the choice to find out the way to become a WordPress developer, you’ll want to start out by that specialize in one among the platform’s three main components.

WordPress Core
WordPress development for the core (the default files that structure the back-end functionality for the platform) involves variety of tasks. These include identifying and resolving bugs, addressing user inquiry tickets, improving translations, and submitting improvement suggestions to WordPress track.

Despite being largely a voluntary area (since WordPress is open-source), core development is a superb thanks to develop knowledge which will be applied to other areas. If you’re an entire beginner to development, or don’t know much about the key WordPress languages yet, this is often a chance to find out . The Core Contributor Handbook is a superb place to seek out out more.

Focusing on developing themes may be a great way to draw in clients (providing that you simply adhere to best practices). Since themes function the graphical front-end styling for a WordPress site, prospective developers with a background or interest in graphic design may find this area appealing.

An understanding of HTML and CSS is crucial for theme development, as these languages are wont to dictate the looks of a theme’s elements. If you’re curious about this area, the Theme Developer Handbook can tell you most of what you’ll got to know.

Without plugins (software extending the functionality of the CMS without affecting core files), WordPress wouldn't have attained its current prominence. If you've got a robust interest in modifying WordPress to realize a specific goal, and a few grounding in PHP and HTML, this is often the world for you.

Although plugin development isn’t typically as lucrative as theme development, the market also isn’t as saturated. Once you’ve learned the fundamentals , and developed a plugin that you simply feel has an audience, you'll consider selling it on sites like CodeCanyon. Your initiative towards learning the way to become a WordPress developer for plugins are going to be to read through the Plugin Developer Handbook.

And More!
Of course, there are other areas of WordPress where you'll try your hand as a developer. for instance , REST API development might be your thing if you’re curious about creating applications for WordPress. However, this involves fairly complex coding practices. that specialize in one among the three major areas we’ve outlined above may be a better thanks to start, unless you've got tons of development experience already.

4. Prepare Yourself For Potential Pitfalls

Regardless of the world you would like to specialise in as a WordPress developer, you’ll likely encounter problems from time to time. This isn’t in the least unusual. However, failure to deal with these problems could mean hours of costly downtime, and even the loss of clients.

System bugs constitute one major recurring problem. they will cause everything from minor formatting issues to major system crashes. Learning some solid WordPress debugging practices is crucial, so as to save lots of yourself from even greater headaches down the road . WordPress plugins like DebugThis also can assist you to rapidly detect and resolve bugs.

In addition to bugs, you’ll got to pay close attention to potential security issues. Although the WordPress core is extremely secure by default, it’s good practice to form sure the installation you're using for development is as safe as possible. once you put what you’ve developed out into the planet , it are often susceptible to a spread of attacks if you aren’t careful. By familiarizing yourself with proven WordPress developer security practices, you'll proceed with greater confidence.

Finally, to avoid losing hours of labor (or, even worse, putting client data at risk), you ought to make a habit of backing up your WordPress development projects regularly. Sites like GitHub can assist you track and store your projects safely. After you’ve armed yourself with the knowledge required to resolve potential problems, you’ll be able to get your feet wet some actual development.

5. found out an area Development Environment

If you’re that specialize in theme or plugin development, it’s best to conduct your work locally. this is often to make sure that the testing and troubleshooting you conduct when developing is confined to your system. Working during a live environment can cause catastrophe, especially if you're handling a client’s site. Fortunately, WordPress makes it relatively easy to line up an area development environment.

The first thing you’ll need may be a server stack. this is often the software which will form the operational infrastructure for development on your computer. this might sound a touch daunting. Fortunately, there are well-documented bundled server stacks that you simply can download and use with little experience. These include MAMP (for Mac users only) and XAMPP (for both Windows and Mac users). There are many useful guides are available for getting both MAMP and XAMPP up and running on your computer.

Once you've got a stack which will facilitate local development installed, you’ll need a neighborhood to figure on your code. this is often where the text editor comes into play. Although you'll use almost any standard editor (such as Notepad), it’s recommended to use a more advanced system. Atom, for instance , allows you to share your workplace with other developers to facilitate smooth collaboration. Plus, it allows you to split your work into multiple viewing panes.

With these two elements in situ , you'll begin developing projects on your WordPress installation. If you would like a start , there are variety of WordPress tools and plugins to assist you run development tasks, including troubleshooting and theme data testing.

6. Join the WordPress Community

In addition to gathering information on the way to become a WordPress developer, you ought to make certain to hitch the broader WordPress community.

While learning the way to become a WordPress developer, it’s easy to fall under the habit of performing on your projects in isolation. However, so as to actually progress in your chosen area of development, it’s vital to attach with the broader WordPress community. This helps you supplement your skill set, gain access to additional development support, and better anticipate WordPress trends. Better still, by joining the WordPress community, you'll increase your chances of creating lucrative connections.

What’s more, beginning an entire new development project when you’re just starting out isn’t always the simplest course of action. By joining in on a preexisting project, you'll gain first-hand insight into the event practices others use. you'll apply this data to raised inform your own strategies. you would possibly consider, for instance , adopting an abandoned plugin or theme, and using it as a base to enhance upon (rather than spending time and energy ranging from scratch).

Whether or not you join a longtime project, it’s smart to urge into the habit of visiting WordPress forums regularly. By posting your ideas, also as responding to inquiries, you'll further establish your credibility as a competent developer. What’s more, by joining and browsing through these forums, you'll get ideas for plugins and themes which will address unmet needs.

Finally, you'll also consider starting a fledgling WordPress development blog. A blog presents an ideal thanks to connect with the WordPress community at large, and share your journey with others. By creating SEO-rich articles, and linking bent other prominent WordPress blogs, you'll also generate credibility and obtain your name out there.

How to Actually Start Developing for WordPress

If you’ve followed each of the above steps, you’ll be armed with the tools and know-how necessary to succeed as a WordPress developer. Of course, after learning the way to become a WordPress developer, the inevitable question you’ll ask is: “What’s next?” Although there are some ways to plug yourself as a developer, we’ve handpicked a couple of tried-and-true methods for getting started. Which route you're taking will depend upon which area of development you chose to specialise in earlier.

WordPress Core

Developing for the core may be a far more linear and structured process than getting involved in plugin or theme development. you ought to start by reading through the Core Contributor Handbook. Then, you'll apply the procedures it contains for adding code, solving bugs, testing new features, reporting potential security flaws, or providing the other service that interests you.


After you’ve conducted many research, and experimented sufficiently on your local development environment, you ought to choose a thought for a topic you’d wish to make public. It are often something relatively simple to start out with, although you shouldn’t recoil from innovation and creativity. Once you’ve created (and thoroughly tested) your theme, and submitted it to an accepting website, you'll use the feedback you garner to form tweaks and enhancements until it's in ok shape for monetization.


Before you begin wielding your PHP and HTML knowledge to write down a plugin, we recommend committing serious time to finding the proper niche for it. After all, clients aren’t likely to settle on your plugin if there are several well-established options already. Once you’ve identified a thought for a plugin you think are going to be profitable, and created an early version of it (ensuring that it’s copyrighted and secure), we recommend submitting it to WordPress and developing it further supported the feedback you receive.


Although learning the way to become a WordPress developer is comparatively straightforward, actually becoming one is another matter. It takes many diligence , time reading blogs and guides, and an excellent deal of trial and error. However, you'll take comfort knowing that you simply are learning skills that are readily applicable to major clients during a host of industries.

Let’s recap the six steps you’ll got to follow if you would like to become a WordPress developer:

  • Understand the first skill sets required. You’ll want to be conversant in core WordPress languages like CSS, HTML, PHP, and MySQL.
  • Learn all you'll about WordPress. We recommend getting a solid foundation by completing a web course.
  • Choose the world of development you’ll specialise in . this might be themes, plugins, or the WordPress core platform.
  • Prepare yourself for potential pitfalls. Save yourself from possible headaches by learning foundational debugging skills.
  • Set up an area development environment. this may enable you to securely test your projects.
  • Join the WordPress community. you'll establish a reputation for yourself, learn additional skills, make connections, and anticipate trends.
Do you have any questions on the way to become a WordPress developer? If so, allow us to know within the comments section below!

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