How to Become a WordPress Developer: 3 Aspects

on Marketing, Website Builder, WordPress, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes • December 20th, 2021 • Write for Hevo

WordPress Developer

WordPress is one of the most commonly used platforms for businesses to create and customize their Websites. One key aspect of its popularity is that building a WordPress Website does not necessarily require coding skills. Users can incorporate Plugins, customize Themes, and publish Marketing Content without writing a single line of code. However, in this competitive market, simple Websites are not enough to propel a business to higher growth. This is where companies bring in a WordPress Developer.

A WordPress Developer can take Website building to the next level. A professional in this role can customize Websites with more flexibility as compared to a user working with default WordPress features. Moreover, a WordPress Developer can build advanced Plug-ins and Web Applications for businesses. Due to the high demand for professionals in this role, a career in WordPress Development is an attractive choice for individuals today.

This article will introduce you to WordPress and explain the role of a WordPress Developer. It will also discuss the responsibilities of a WordPress Developer and the various steps that you must follow to build your career in this field. Read along to get a thorough understanding of the role of a WordPress Developer!  

Table of Contents

Introduction to WordPress

WordPress Developer: WordPress Logo
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WordPress is an online tool that supports you in promoting your business on the web. It is a free tool that offers a lot more features than its counterpart and in a convenient form. WordPress is a powerful Content Management System that can enhance your Marketing Campaigns to gather more Leads.

You can also publish written content for your Product Marketing work and utilize the WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features to rank higher in search engines like Google. This tool is also adept for building Commercial Websites for Online Stores. 

This open-source software can allow your Development Team to create multiple Plugins, and Themes to meet your business strategies. WordPress offers drag and drop tools for new users to build a functioning Website. This way, you can use it for your business even if you have little to no technical knowledge.

WordPress utilizes a flexible architectural design. Therefore you can simultaneously streamline multiple online transactions. Furthermore, you can customize WordPress to suit your business needs and edit your published content without any hassle.

Key Features of WordPress

The following features make WordPress so popular in today’s market:

  • Convenient Publishing: WordPress offers one of the easiest platforms to publish your written content. Once you have added your content and the related images and widgets, you can publish that with a couple of clicks. Furthermore, WordPress lets you modify and update your published content in an equally simple manner.
  • Simplicity: The WordPress User Interface is easy to use even for beginners. It also provides you with simple drag and drops features using which you can customize your Websites without writing any code.
  • Flexibility: WordPress enables you to develop various types of Websites from scratch. Personal blogs, Marketing Content, Commercial Stores, etc., are some of the popular applications of WordPress. Moreover, using its multiple plugins, you can easily enhance the usability of your Website.
  • SEO Tools: WordPress provides you tools to modify your content using SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This way, your published work will have a better chance of ranking higher in Google and other Search engines.

To get a more thorough understanding of WordPress, visit here.

Responsibilities of a WordPress Developer

WordPress Developer: WordPress Developer Logo
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A WordPress Developer has a comprehensive understanding of the architecture and ecosystem of the WordPress Platform. In this role, you should possess the skills for both using and modifying the WordPress Platform for the company’s benefit.

As a WordPress Web Developer, you are accountable for both the Back End and Front End Development of Websites generated on WordPress. Moreover, you have to work with clients to build, customize, and maintain WordPress Websites for their Online Stores. 

Your main duties as a WordPress Developer will be a subset of the following:

  • Creating Custom Themes & Plugins: You need to generate customized WordPress Themes and Plugins for Customer Websites to fulfill their business requirements.
  • Creating a Roadmap for future Websites: This enhances the Marketing Campaigns and Business expansion Plans of your client.
  • Transferring Websites to WordPress: Many times, companies have built their Websites using other platforms, but are not satisfied with their user interface or working. In such a scenario, you can support them by transferring their Website to the WordPress Platform to boost its performance.
  • Redesigning WordPress Websites to improve SEO ranking: Companies implement various Product Marketing blogs and Guest Posts. You can optimize the WordPress features to provide users with simple SEO features and improve their published content.
  • Optimizing and Debugging the WordPress Official Codebase: Since WordPress is an open-source tool, you can scan through its code and improve it for all users. 

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How does WordPress work?

The Core, Themes, and Plugins are the three major components.

Core

All of the default functionality that makes up the WordPress Content Management System is contained in the Core code. This contains everything from the admin backend to features such as post scheduling, password strength verification, and user creation, among others.

Themes

While the core is in charge of a website’s backend and how it functions, themes are in charge of the front end and how it looks and feels. You can utilize the WordPress admin to produce posts, pages, and other website content, but the theme determines how those posts and pages are shown to visitors.

This provides you with a lot of control over your website. Pre-built themes can be installed and activated, or you can go completely off the beaten path with creative designs.

Plugins

The easiest way to define plugins is that they extend WordPress’ functionality. A plugin can change a website’s backend and/or frontend to do this. A nice example is a plugin that adds a Twitter Tweet button.

It would most likely add itself to the front-end of a website, most likely under a post, and create a new settings page in the backend admin menu where you could set up some default options for a user’s tweet. It would also add itself to the backend admin menu, where you could set up some default options for a user’s tweet.

What is a WordPress developer?

A WordPress Developer is a specialist who specializes in the WordPress platform’s infrastructure and ecosystem. They could concentrate on upgrading the WordPress program or developing new goods, such as plugins and themes. They may also assist clients in the creation, customization, and management of WordPress sites.

Key Roles of a WordPress Developer

Developers prefer WordPress because it allows them to experiment with its features and lets them customize its platform according to their requirements. In this process, Developers can write their own code and interface it with the Official Core Code of the WordPress Platform. This is a fail-safe approach as the Core WordPress Code will remain intact even if the Developer’s code fails. 

Your major tasks as a WordPress Developer are to create the following:

Developing Themes

WordPress Developer: WordPress Themes
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WordPress Themes are a collection of visual templates that decide the outlook of a WordPress Website. WordPress also provides a lot of in-built Themes.

The basic ones are free but most of the other themes fall in a price range of $ 50 to $ 200. Companies, still prefer to employ WordPress Developers to further customize these Themes to meet their requirements. 

The WordPress Themes decide the structure and style of your Website. Deciding, Headers, Footers, Text, Font, Background, Images, etc., all fall under the design and powers of a template. Since it is not a part of the  WordPress Core, you can customize the code to create templates that will match your Marketing Strategies.

This is a great setup from the perspective of a WordPress Developer. Now, even if there is a version update in WordPress since the layout is customized by you, it won’t be affected.

Developing Plugins

WordPress Developer: WordPress Plugins
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WordPress Plugins are software tools that are cable of adding new connections to your Website’s functionality. These tools enable you to easily connect your Website to 3rd party tools. The WordPress Official Code provides a rich Plugin Ecosystem consisting of 55,000+ free Plugins for your use.

However, often a client wants to connect its Website with a tool that WordPress doe not support. In such cases, you as a WordPress Developer even with minimal programming knowledge can add tons of additional features. Moreover, you can modify a WordPress Website using new plugins without altering the core code.

You can utilize PHP Hooks to create custom Plugins for your clients. These PHP hooks are beneficial as they allow any software tool to automatically execute a class or function. Therefore your new WordPress Plugins will be easy to use.

Developing Widgets

WordPress Developer: WordPress Widgets
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Widgets are tools that allow you to access certain pages or provide a quick link to certain functionality of a website. WordPress offers predefined Widgets that businesses can use to make their Website more user-friendly.

However, often businesses want to add unique functionalities to their Websites. Moreover, in case a company is using custom Themes and Plugins, then customizing a Widget will surely follow.

Similar to a Plugin, you as a WordPress Developer can create Widgets using the PHP Programming Language. This will require you to access the functions.php file present on your Website’s Theme and then utilize the WP Widget Class to develop custom Widgets. 

Developing Entire WordPress Websites

WordPress Developer: Websites Logo
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Unlike Plugins or Widgets, designing a complete WordPress Website will require sufficient skills and experience on your part. In this process you need to unify various Themes, Plugins, and Widgets, to create a functional Website based on the client’s requirements.

You need to be proficient in Backend-End Programming Languages, Databases, and User Interface design processes. There are 3rd party Website Builders available in the market, but to build an advanced Website, companies rely on WordPress Website Developers. 

Developing Web Applications via Rest API

WordPress Developer: WordPress API
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A Web Application operates on a Web Server and provides a dynamic Web Page containing advanced functionalities. Similar to Websites, a Web application is also accessible via Web Browsers. However, the features and user interaction of a Web Application are far superior to that of a Website.

Gmail, Facebook, etc are all samples of some popular Web Applications. As a WordPress Developer, you are sometimes required to create a Web Application for your client businesses.

The working knowledge of REST APIs is a key skill required for this task. You can create and launch a Web Application on a Web server and integrate the WordPress code to that Web Server. using REST APIs. 

Note: This functionality is not available in WordPress versions launched before 2015.

Steps to Become a WordPress Developer

Now since you have an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a WordPress Developer, you can easily follow the steps required to enter this profession. The following 3 steps are essential for you to start & excel as a WordPress Developer:

Step 1: Decide Your Core Competency

The first step to starting your WordPress Developer Career is to select a key area in which you want to work. Generally, WordPress Experts are employed for one of the following 3 roles:

  • Core Development: WordPress Core is the official document that contains the original code for the WordPress Platform. Now, if you wish to be involved in Core Development, your responsibilities will be to study and enhance this official code.

    You will need to study the original code and report vulnerabilities or gas present in it. Moreover, you can provide your own solutions to optimize the WordPress Core code. If your idea works, your contribution will be acknowledged in the official WordPress handbook. 
  • Theme Development: This development field is ideal for you if you are seeking a job that involves client interaction. WordPress Developers in this role work on generating customized WordPress Themes to suit the demands of client companies. In this area, you can either freelance or work for a company that caters to the needs of other businesses.
  • Plugin Development: Similar to developing Themes, a WordPress Developer in this role will build custom Plugins. You can work for an organization or freelance to provide customized plugins for companies that wish to enhance their websites.

With experience, you can also move on to more advanced roles that will require you to build an entire Website for clients or create a Web application from WordPress using REST APIs.

Step 2: Learn the Required Programming Languages

In the role of a WordPress Developer, you need to have proficiency in multiple programming languages. As a minimum requirement, you must know the basic concepts and syntax of Programming Languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.

This will come in handy during the code review and debugging process. However, to carry out the main responsibilities of a WordPress Developer, you must dive deep into learning these programming languages. The utility of these coding languages are as follows:

  • PHP: This scripting language is essential to set up error logs and manage the backend processes of a WordPress Website.
  • Java Script: This programming language creates interactive entities on the web pages of your WordPress website. Moreover, it will allow you to add external links to these Web Pages.
  • HTML: This markup language allows you to structure the outlook and contents of the WordPress Website.
  • CSS: This language enhances the visual appeal of your WordPress Website. It is responsible to provide features like colors, fonts, etc., to the Website’s outlook.

Step 3: Connect with the WordPress Community

WordPress boasts one of the largest worldwide communities engaged in enhancing its platform’s usability and reach. You should join these communities and make new connections with experts present globally.

This will be a key set in your WordPress Developer career, as you will get new perspectives on things are done. Moreover, you will get fast answers for your development issues and will also provide you with new job opportunities. 

These communities are available on Social Media platforms, Slack Channels, etc, and organize various events and meet throughout the year. Participating in them will keep you on top of your age and updated with the latest developments in this field.

Conclusion

This article introduced you to WordPress. It further discussed the responsibilities of a professional working as a WordPress Developer. The article also listed down the various components of a Website that you will develop in this role. Moreover, it explained the steps that you can follow to start your career as a WordPress Developer. 

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