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How to Become a WordPress Developer

Thirty-nine percent of websites are built on WordPress. WordPress development is one of the most interesting job roles in the web development sector and has the highest skill-to-pay ratio. 

WordPress has played a very vital role in helping small businesses build their online presence by showcasing their brand on a digital platform. Sound interesting?

Let’s discuss how you can acquire all the skills needed to become a successful WordPress developer and become a part of the exponentially growing web development industry. 

What Is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system that allows anyone to build a website without writing a single line of code. In simple words, WordPress is a software that simplifies creating websites by presenting a very user-friendly interface in the front end. 

WordPress automatically alters the code in the back-end according to the changes made in the front end. This allows anyone to create a website irrespective of them being from a technical background. 

WordPress was initially designed as a blog-publishing portal but as WordPress gained more popularity, it evolved into a content management system that is now considered to be the best in the world. 

The WordPress application is coded with PHP and supported by MySQL database. The application also allows for WordPress plugin development by using simple preset templates for many kinds of web development.

What Is WordPress Used For?

WordPress is so flexible that it can be used to create a website for almost any application but its uses can be further classified into four major categories.

  • Static websites. Building a static website is very simple with WordPress. Using WordPress plugins, you can create a very professional static website within minutes.

  • Listing websites. Websites such as real estate, property, e-commerce, and ratings websites require a listing layout. WordPress’s theme development feature can help in designing these websites. It provides users with a wide range of templates.

  • Portfolio management. The ease-of-use of WordPress provides allows anyone to create a professional portfolio in just a matter of a few minutes. The easy embedding of contact forms makes it easy for people to extend their reachability to the people on the Internet.

  • Blogs. Out of the 1.7 billion websites on the Internet, more than 500 million of them are blogs, and most of them are powered by WordPress. WordPress is a very important part of the structure of the blogging industry.  

WordPress Development Skills

Even though WordPress makes it possible for anyone to create a website without having to come from a technical background, there are a few essential skills that you must know to be a professional. 

WordPress API

The block API feature was introduced by WordPress in its 5.0 update. The release of the WordPress API has put an end to all the functional limitations WordPress once had. The API allows developers to access a WordPress site using third-party software to send, retrieve, or modify data.  

JavaScript, PHP and HTML

WordPress comes preloaded with a bunch of custom layouts and templates. Still, there are situations where you must create a custom plugin theme from scratch. Creating a custom plugin or theme requires you to have a proficiency in programming languages like HTML, PHP, and JavaScript.   

Security Alerts

The Internet is full of hackers who try to intrude into the databases to exploit a website’s resources. To be able to tackle such attacks you must know how to set up firewalls and harden the entry points to secure a website.


CSS is a very important part of WordPress development. CSS or Cascade Styling Sheets is a programming language that is responsible to make a website responsive across different platforms.  

What Is a WordPress Developer?

Being a WordPress developer can be fun. You get to use your skills to create websites, themes, plugins, and layouts for a particular project. Better yet, you get a decent paycheck for your work. 

As a WordPress developer, your job is to manage the front end and the back-end of a website. You must manage the security of the website and debug it in case of a malicious attack. You must make sure that the website performs well and does not glitch under any circumstances. 

Companies looking for a WordPress developer require them to have a refined knowledge of programming languages like HTML, CSS, and PHP.   

Duties of a WordPress Developer

The roles and responsibilities of a WordPress developer include:

  • Understanding a client’s basic needs for a given project. 

  • Designing the necessary layouts and plugins required for the website.

  • Designing the front-end of the website.

  • Setting up the backend database. 

  • Handling live website maintenance, troubleshooting, and performance tests, along with the necessary security checkups.  

WordPress Developer Job Opportunities

The Internet is expanding faster than ever and so is the demand for skilled WordPress developers. Clients in industries such as e-commerce, portfolio design, real estate, photography, and blogging, are often looking for WordPress developers.

The demand for WordPress developers is only going to increase in the future. New technology and products are created every day, and most businesses can’t wait months for their website to get live.

WordPress Developer Salary

A WordPress developer can earn a decent salary in the United States. It is usually based on the work experience the developer has. However, it is not easy to pinpoint a specific average salary, as it is heavily reliant on the location.

Below is an estimation of the salary a WordPress developer can bring in, broken down by experience level.

  • Junior WordPress Developer. A junior WordPress developer should be certified and have three to four years of experience in WordPress development. The average annual salary for this position in the US is $43,404.

  • Intermediate WordPress Developer. An intermediate WordPress developer will have five to ten years of experience. Since they have significant knowledge in their field, the average annual income is $63,000.

  • Senior WordPress Developer. To secure a position as a senior WordPress developer, experience of more than 10-12 years is required. The responsibilities of a senior developer are much greater than the two positions listed above. Hence, they receive an average annual pay of $114,000.

Learning WordPress Development

A closeup of a man typing on a Macbook Pro.
Learning WordPress may only take several months, and will pay off as you begin your web development career.

WordPress is a very useful skill when it comes to the future of web development. The application has changed the definition of website design by providing an alternative to HTML-based website development.

According to market trends, and partially as a result of the current global pandemic, the world is witnessing a digital shift. Websites are crucial to any new business that’s looking to expand, and since it’s free, WordPress is the top choice for many companies and developers. Therefore, it’s a good skill to learn, as it is likely to remain relevant for years to come. 

How Long Does It Take to Learn WordPress Development?

Becoming a pro at WordPress is not a difficult task. It has been reported that dedicating 10 to 12 hours per week of study for six to 12 months is enough to get up-to-speed with the application. You can even complete WordPress projects as you learn so you can finesse your skills.

How to Become a WordPress Developer: Step-by-Step

Learning WordPress is not complicated. However, the specific career you want to pursue in WordPress depends on your vision and goals. Below is a breakdown of the steps you should follow to become a successful WordPress developer:

  1. Get a degree. Attending a professional computer science program from an accredited university is a good way to learn the foundations before you start to focus on WordPress.

  2. Sign up for a bootcamp. Alternatively, you can attend an affordable coding bootcamp to learn WordPress quickly.

  3. Get certified. Pursue a certification course in WordPress offered by a reputable firm.

  4. Take an online course. Enroll in a paid online course, some of which offer certifications.

  5. Use online resources. You can also learn WordPress from scratch via online resources such as YouTube.

The Best WordPress Development Training

WordPress doesn’t have any official training certifications program, but several other organizations provide certificates after training. Some of the best certifications are below. 

WordPress Administrator Certification

  • Cost: $799
  • Duration: 8 weeks

The WordPress Administrator Certification program by WP academy covers everything you are required to know as a web developer working on WordPress. It covers WordPress fundamentals, coding in PHP and CSS, and choosing a host. 

The course also covers advanced search engine optimization techniques and security.

WordPress Business Training Certification

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: Self-paced

If you want to set up a website for a business and have no clue where to start, then the WordPress business training certification course by Udemy is the best choice for you. It covers everything that is there to know about WordPress and is one of the most popular courses on WordPress with a rating of 4.4/5  stars among over 13,000 thousand reviews.

WordPress 5 Essential Training Certification 

  • Cost: First free month
  • Duration: 3 weeks

The WordPress 5 essential training course certification by Lynda is one of the most beginner-friendly courses on WordPress. If you are new to WordPress then this course is right for you, Lynda also offers a free month of learning which makes this course all the more appealing.

At the end of the course, Lynda provides a certificate.

Best Online WordPress Development Resources

Several websites offer free resources you can use to study and brush up on your WordPress skills. Some of these widely visited websites are listed below.

  • Wpbeginner.com. This website has many tips, tricks, hacks, blog articles, and guidance videos for those who are new to WordPress.

  • Yoast.com. Yoast offers an SEO plugin for WordPress. It is one of the most active plugins, and has been installed more than 5 million times. 

  • Youtube.com. YouTube has several channels specifically dedicated to teaching WordPress tools and tips.

Should You Learn WordPress Development?

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WordPress is a good skill to boost your resume amid the current workforce turmoil caused by COVID-19.

The ongoing global pandemic has forced many people to look for new jobs or begin working remotely online. This has certainly increased the demand for WordPress web developers in the market. Learning WordPress development will add an essential skill to your resume that can help advance your career. After learning basic or advanced WordPress development, you can apply for a new job and get a chance to work with a reputed WordPress development company.

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