How to Become
a WordPress Developer
Education Pathways, Skills, and Certifications
WordPress is arguably the most popular content management system on the Internet. Many websites post recurring content to keep their web pages active. In its function as a blogging platform and web publishing software, WordPress helps enormously with this process.
WordPress developers are in high demand. These professionals are well versed in several programming languages essential to the overall development process. If you are a WordPress enthusiast or a programmer looking to take your skills to the next level, this article will walk you through what it takes to become a WordPress developer.
What Is a WordPress Developer?
A WordPress developer is a skilled professional who works with several programming languages to create custom WordPress modules, plugins, and themes. They usually either work on improving the software itself or they work with clients to create, update, customize, and manage a WordPress site.
WordPress accounts for nearly 40 percent of the blogs and websites online, according to WordPress.org. Because there are so many users, there is also plenty of work for developers. The field of WordPress development is broad, and the job of a WordPress developer is varied.
To give you a better idea of what it means to be a WordPress developer, we’ll take a closer look at some of their day-to-day activities below.
What Does a WordPress Developer Do?
WordPress developers are responsible for both front end and backend development for content produced using the WordPress platform, often on behalf of a client. However, this general description does little to capture everything that they do.
Below are some of their most important duties and responsibilities.
Work with Clients to Build or Design WordPress Websites
Part of being a professional WordPress developer is working closely with clients to execute a specific vision for a website. They need to be in constant communication with clients during the development process about any data or files needed to get the site up and running.
The client will also check in with the developer periodically to ensure all website needs have been met.
Generate WordPress Themes and Plugins
WordPress themes are templates that make a website look the way it does. There are many different themes used to style WordPress sites. Your responsibility as a WordPress developer is to generate visually appealing themes and plugins according to a client’s instructions.
Develop Code and Troubleshoot for WordPress Core
Not all clients you work with will ask for new websites. Some clients need help fixing their existing WordPress pages, where errors are common. WordPress developers can troubleshoot errors on a WordPress site and make recommendations for debugging.
WordPress Developer Education Pathways
There are many paths to becoming a WordPress developer. As many entry-level jobs require a bachelor’s degree as the minimum educational requirement, you should consider pursuing one in computer science or a related field. However, many WordPress developers working today learned WordPress through web development bootcamps or online courses.
Below is a breakdown of each of the viable pathways.
WordPress Developer Degrees
Most employers require a bachelor’s degree, or an associate degree at the very least. Having completed a university degree program gives you an advantage when applying for WordPress developer jobs.
A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science is the best option for aspiring web developers. This program will cover critical programming languages and other technical aspects of WordPress development. If that’s not an option for you, consider an associate degree in information technology, a program that many community colleges offer.
WordPress Developer Bootcamps
Online coding bootcamps offer a faster way to learn the technical aspects of web development. In a matter of 12 to 28 weeks, you can gain the skills needed for the best tech jobs, including careers in WordPress development.
WordPress Developer Courses
WordPress courses are excellent ways for students to expand their knowledge of development tools and best practices. There are many massive open online courses (MOOCs) that cover web development.
MOOCs are available to everyone online, and a decent number of them allow students to learn to code for free. Signing up for a course with Udemy or EduOnix is a convenient and affordable way to learn WordPress.
How to Become a WordPress Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide
The journey to becoming a successful WordPress developer is fairly straightforward. If you’re wondering where to start, consider the following step-by-step guide.
Learn foundational programming languages
WordPress is developed and styled using programming languages such as HTML and CSS, which you can learn through bootcamps or online courses.
Enroll in a short-term bootcamp specializing in web development
Web development encompasses WordPress development. Enrolling in a short-term web development bootcamp will train you in the skills needed to master WordPress.
You’ll have to put in the work if you want to become a skilled WordPress developer. Consider taking on challenging projects or setting aside time each day to practice and learn more about WordPress.
Most jobs require at least a year of experience. For this reason, it would be in your best interest to apply for internships or take on entry-level jobs before competing for intermediate developer positions.
Top WordPress Skills
Although WordPress can be mastered without much formal education, you still need a few technical skills to become a professional.
Below are some essential skills that every WordPress developer should strive to attain.
There are many ways to learn these programming languages. The most popular way and by far the most efficient is to enroll in a coding bootcamp.
CSS is a programming language used to style or design the visual elements of an HTML document. HTML is used for creating web pages, while CSS is used to style them further. WordPress developers use CSS to customize the appearance of any WordPress website.
Knowledge of CSS will help you meet the styling demands of your clients. CSS is easy to learn and use, especially if you attend a bootcamp or take an online course.
WordPress introduced the block API feature as part of its 5.0 update. This feature eliminated many limitations that older versions of WordPress suffered from. The API makes it possible for developers to access WordPress from third-party software.
Good digital and content marketing skills are vital to this job. In this day and age, content is king, and that determines your overall business success. If you create content with good SEO, you can bring significantly more traffic to your site. SEO managers plan high-quality SEO content to grab the attention of both the search engine and the target audience.
WordPress Developer Salary and Job Outlook
A WordPress developer’s salary depends on various factors, including your level of experience and the company you work for.
According to PayScale, a junior WordPress developer in the United States earns $43,404 per year on average. Intermediate and senior WordPress developers with over five years of experience, meanwhile, earn an average salary of $80,754, according to Glassdoor.
Entry-Level WordPress Developer Job Requirements
You’ll also need a year’s experience in a similar line of work.
How to Prepare for Your WordPress Developer Job Interview
After completing your training, you will be eligible to work in a professional setting. But first, you need to ace your interview. The best way to prepare for an interview is by familiarizing yourself with common interview questions beforehand.
Below is a list of questions that you might be asked during your WordPress developer interview.
WordPress Developer Job Interview Practice Questions
- How many WordPress sites have you worked on? How many of them have you launched, and how similar are they to our needs?
- How will you support our site after its launch?
- Do you own your code? Is anyone else permitted to use it?
- What files or data does our organization need to provide during the process?
- Walk us through your overall development process.
WordPress Developer Certifications
Unfortunately, there are no official WordPress certifications. However, there are several courses that offer certificates of completion. Many WordPress developers are simply web developers who gained knowledge of WordPress by taking such courses.
Below are some WordPress courses that are worth your time.
WP Training - WordPress Front End Developer
As the name suggests, this course will cover everything you need to know about front end development. You will learn database installation, maintenance and security, web design, and multisite networking.
WP Training - WordPress Manager
This course will teach you how to manage your website, including how to make modifications. You will also learn search engine optimization (SEO), plugins, custom themes and menus, and page settings.
WP Training - WordPress Administrator
This course is ideal for those aspiring to be full stack WordPress developers. During this course, you will learn database installation and maintenance, WordPress security, CSS, and advanced SEO.
How Long Does It Take to Become a WordPress Developer?
Becoming a WordPress developer is fairly straightforward. If you enroll in a WordPress development course, it will take you about six months before you have everything you need to become a professional.
As is the case with most tech jobs, however, experience and practice are mandatory. The quickest way to rise in the ranks as a WordPress Developer is to gain experience by completing side projects and applying for entry-level jobs.
Why You Should Become a WordPress Developer in 2021
Becoming a WordPress developer in 2021 is a great idea. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for web developers is growing faster than the national average. This means that you’ll always have job opportunities if you acquire the requisite skill set.
Learning these programming languages will take a relatively short time. Once you have your foot in the door, you will need to practice work constantly to improve your skills.
WordPress Developer FAQ
Yes, a WordPress developer is an excellent career choice, especially considering that the average senior WordPress developer earns nearly six figures, as estimated by Ziprecruiter. However, if you want to broaden your career horizons even further, you should consider a career in web development, which encompasses WordPress development.
You can make yourself more employable by enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program, which is a minimum requirement for many WordPress developer jobs.
Yes, WordPress is fairly easy to learn, provided you practice regularly. It would be best to commit a few hours each day until you’ve mastered it.
The best way to learn WordPress is by enrolling in online web development courses that cover critical programming languages and WordPress. If this is not an option, you can try looking up the best PHP bootcamps or teaching yourself the basics from home.
You can also seek help from the WordPress community. Whatever you do, always remember to keep your skills fresh by practicing regularly.