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What Is A WordPress Developer? (Full Guide)

what is a wordpress developer

Hey there, up-and-coming expert, are you trying to learn what is a WordPress developer?

If you’ve ever thought about starting a blog, launching your own website, or even creating an online store, you’ve probably heard about WordPress. (Hey, it powers more than 40% of the internet!)

So, what is it?

Simply put, WordPress (WP) is a Content Management System or CMS for short.

Think of it as your friendly digital toolbox that helps you build websites without having to code everything from scratch.

This post covers:

Ready, set, code!

What Is A WordPress Developer?

wordpress developer explained
Now, let’s talk about the superheroes behind those amazing WordPress websites: The WordPress developers.

These folks are the architects and builders of the WordPress universe.

They don’t just slap a few pictures and text together; they CREATE digital experiences.

From designing beautiful, user-friendly layouts to developing those super helpful add-ons known as “plugins,” WordPress developers BREATHE LIFE into your online dreams.

They’re also the go-to experts for updating and maintaining your site, making sure it’s as awesome today as it will be years from now.

Hope you’re as excited as I am to dive deeper into what makes WordPress devs so special!

What Does a WordPress Developer Do?

what does a wordpress developer do
So, what’s a WordPress developer anyway?

Picture this: If a WP website were a house, a WordPress developer would be the architect, designer, and builder all rolled into one.

Sounds impressive, right?

They take care of the blueprint (that’s the code) and the interior design (that’s the theme), and they even install cool gadgets and devices (those are plugins, by the way).

Websites

Firstly, WordPress developers work on creating websites.

But it’s NOT just about slapping some code, content and lines of text together.

Oh no, these pros make sure the website looks amazing, runs smoothly, and performs well on search engines.

They’ll often work with you to understand what you want your website to do, and then they’ll go away and make it happen.

It’s like having your own digital fairy godparent!

Themes

Then, let’s talk about WordPress themes.

Themes control how your website looks, kind of like choosing the paint and furniture for your house.

WordPress has loads of pre-designed themes available, but sometimes you want something unique that screams “you,” RIGHT?

That’s where a WordPress developer comes in handy.

They can custom-create themes from scratch, ensuring your website stands out from the crowd and has that special ‘wow’ factor.

Plugins

And, ah, WordPress plugins — the salt, pepper, and secret sauce of the WordPress universe!

Want to add a photo gallery, shopping cart, or a contact form to your site?

There’s a plugin for that.

While 1,000s of pre-built plugins are available, sometimes you need something a bit more specialized.

That’s another area where a WordPress developer can help. (But they also build plugins (& themes) that you can find and download from the WordPress repository.)

They’ll build a custom plugin that does exactly what you need, just like crafting a homemade recipe instead of getting takeout.

What Skill Sets Does A WordPress Developer Have?

what skill sets does a wordpress developer have
Ready to dive into the skill sets that make a WordPress developer the superhero of the digital realm?

Let’s break down their toolkit and see what helps them create all those amazing websites and features we love so much.

Front-end Development

First up, we have the front-end skills — that’s all about what you see when you visit a website.

  • HTML is like the skeleton, giving the webpage its structure.
  • CSS is the fashion stylist that dresses it up, making sure everything looks fabulous.
  • And JavaScript? Well, that’s the special effects crew, adding all the interactive and dynamic elements to keep you entertained and engaged.

So, whenever you admire a website’s slick design or cool animations, you see the front-end magic at work!

Back-end Development

Ah, but what about the behind-the-scenes action?

That’s where back-end development comes into play.

  • PHP is the script that powers WordPress itself, kind of like the engine under the hood.
  • MySQL is like the website’s personal diary, storing all the data that needs to be fetched and displayed.

When browsing a blog post or making an online purchase, the back-end tech is working overtime to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Other Skills

And we can’t forget the cherry on top—the additional skills that make a WordPress developer so versatile.

Ever heard of Git? It’s a version control system that helps developers track changes and collaborate with others.

Basic server management skills ensure the website is up and running efficiently, and API integrations let your site play nicely with other platforms and services.

Basically, these are the special spices that make each WordPress site unique and functional.

So there you have it!

WP devs are like digital Swiss Army knives, equipped with many skills to build, customize, and optimize your online experience.

What Types Of Projects WordPress Developers Work On?

what type of projects wordpress developers work on
So, you’re curious about the kinds of projects WordPress Developers work on?

Buckle up, because these talented folks get to dip their toes into a whole ocean of exciting tasks.

Theme Development

First on the list is theme development.

Imagine walking into a room and feeling an instant vibe — that’s what a well-crafted theme does for a website.

WordPress developers often design and code themes from scratch to match a specific look and feel.

It’s all about setting the perfect stage for your content.

Plugin Development

Plugins are like the awesome gadgets Batman carries; they add specific functionalities to a website.

Whether you need a photo gallery, social media feed, or a fancy booking system, a WordPress developer can code a plugin that does exactly what you need.

(But you can usually find a free and paid one WP devs already developed that does the job pre-made, only a click away.)

Talk about being resourceful!

Custom Websites

When off-the-shelf solutions just won’t cut it, custom websites come into play.

This is where WordPress devs truly shine, using their full range of skills to create a site tailored to unique needs and objectives.

It’s like having a custom-tailored suit — every detail is there to make you look and feel amazing.

eCommerce Solutions

Planning to sell stuff online? WP devs are experts at creating eCommerce solutions.

They can integrate shopping carts, payment gateways, and even help you manage your inventory.

It’s like having your own digital storefront, and they’re the shopfitters!

SEO Implementations

A beautiful website is great, but it also needs to be found, right?

That’s where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes in.

WordPress developers can optimize your site to rank better in search engines, helping more people discover your fantastic content.

It’s like putting up the perfect signpost to direct traffic to your site.

Performance Optimization

Last but not least, performance optimization is the behind-the-scenes magic that ensures your site runs smoothly (& fast!).

WordPress developers tweak various elements to make sure your site loads quickly and offers a seamless user experience.

It’s like tuning a car to get the best performance possible.

Where Do WordPress Developers Work?

where do wordpress developers work
Now, let’s talk about where all these WordPress developer hang their hats.

The cool thing is, they have a variety of options when it comes to work settings.

From going solo as freelancers to joining forces in agencies or even rocking the corporate world, there’s something for everyone.

Freelancing

Let’s start with freelancing, the ultimate route for those craving flexibility and independence.

As a freelance WordPress developer, your home office — or favorite coffee shop — becomes your workspace.

You can choose the projects that EXCITE you and set your own hours.

Feel like working in your pajamas? Go for it!

The world is your oyster, and the internet is your marketplace.

Whether a night owl or an early bird, freelancing lets you set your own pace and be your own boss.

Agencies

Next up are agencies, the places where teamwork makes the dream work.

Agencies often specialize in offering full-service solutions, and WordPress is frequently a big part of that.

Working in an agency can be SUPER rewarding.

You get to collaborate with other creative minds like designers, copywriters, and even other developers.

Plus, agencies often have a diverse portfolio of clients, so the projects are always fresh and exciting.

Imagine being part of a squad that brings multiple digital dreams to life!

Corporate Settings

Last but definitely not least, we have corporate settings.

Yep, some big companies have their own in-house WordPress devs.

You might work on maintaining the corporate website, developing internal blogs, or creating landing pages for marketing campaigns.

One of the perks here is STABILITY; plus, you get to dive deep into a brand’s identity and contribute to its growth over time.

It’s like being part of a digital orchestra, each section perfectly tuned and contributing to the symphony of the brand.

How to Become a WordPress Developer?

how to become a wordpress developers
Are you considering taking the plunge into the exciting field of WP devs? Fantastic!

Whether you’re a coding newbie or a tech aficionado looking to expand your skill set, there’s room for everyone in the WordPress universe.

Let’s break down what it takes to don that developer cape and leap into action!

Education and Training

First things first: Do you need a formal degree?

Well, the truth is, some folks go the traditional route with computer science degrees, while others are self-taught wizards.

Is one better than the other? No.

What really counts is your understanding of coding languages like HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript.

One ESSENTIAL thing to remember is that the WordPress ecosystem is ever-evolving, much like the Marvel Universe.

So, continuous learning is your trusty sidekick. Stay up-to-date, and you’ll be a WordPress Avenger in no time!

Tools and Resources

Alright, what’s in your utility belt?

For starters, you’ll want to get comfy with local development environments like XAMPP or MAMP.

These platforms allow you to practice without affecting a live website — think of it as your digital playground without Game Over.

Text editors like Sublime Text or Visual Studio Code will be your go-to for writing and editing code.

Now, how do you learn all this stuff?

You’re in luck!

There are COUNTLESS online courses, YouTube tutorials, and forums like WordPress Stack Exchange where you can ask questions and share knowledge.

Don’t forget about the WordPress community; contributing to discussions and helping others can be both enlightening and rewarding!

Portfolio and Experience

You wouldn’t go into battle without armor, right?

In the WordPress world, your portfolio is your shield.

Start by creating demo websites that showcase your skills.

But how do you gain actual experience?

One awesome way is to contribute to open-source projects.

WordPress itself is open-source, meaning you can chip in and improve existing themes and plugins, or even create your own!

If you’re up for it, you can also do some freelance projects or internships.

The key is to build a portfolio that SHOWS OFF what you can do, not just what you know.

WordPress Developer Career Prospects & Salary

wordpress developers career prospects and salary
You’re not just curious about what a WordPress Developer does—you’re pondering the long-term prospects, too?

SMART MOVE!

Let’s chat about the career path and, yes, the moolah involved.

Career Path

First up, your career journey. Like many professions, you’ll likely start as a junior developer.

Here, you’re the Padawan, learning the ropes and honing your skills.

As you gain experience and maybe tackle more complex projects, you’ll climb the ranks to a mid-level and then a senior developer.

But the FUN doesn’t stop there.

Specializations offer you a chance to become the go-to guru in specific areas.

Ever heard of headless WordPress or WooCommerce?

These niches within the WordPress universe allow you to focus on specific skills, making you super valuable in those areas.

Salary Expectations

Now, let’s talk dollars and cents (or pounds, euros, or whatever your currency may be).

Salary can vary widely depending on where you’re located.

In the U.S., for instance, you might start at around $50,000 to $60,000 as a junior.

As you gain experience and level up, salaries can go up to $100,000 or even more, especially if you specialize.

Cities with higher living costs often have higher salaries, but remote work offers more flexibility.

And if you’re freelancing, the sky’s the limit, but you also have to consider things like healthcare and taxes on your own.

In short, becoming a WordPress Developer can offer not just a fulfilling and creative career but also solid financial prospects.

Plus, the field is always evolving, meaning endless growth and learning opportunities.

The Challenges & Rewards Of WordPress Developers

challenges and rewards of wordpress developers
Just like any epic quest, a career in WordPress development comes with both challenges and rewards.

Trust me, it’s a mix that keeps the journey interesting!

So, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty and explore the hills to climb and the treasure to be found.

Challenges

First, the not-so-fun but super important part—challenges.

Keeping up with updates is like chasing a moving train.

WordPress and its many plugins are always evolving, and it’s crucial to stay updated to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Next, let’s talk security.

Websites are like fortresses, and as a developer, you’re the guardian.

Hackers are out there, and dealing with security issues is part and parcel of the job.

Lastly, customization and scalability can get complex.

Every client thinks their project is simple — until it’s not! Creating that seamless blend of functionality and style sometimes requires an intricate dance.

Rewards

Now, the goodies!

Creative freedom is a huge perk in this field.

You get to build, design, and innovate, turning a blank canvas into a digital masterpiece.

If creativity is your jam, you’ll feel right at home. Plus, WordPress development skills are in high demand.

Companies, small businesses, bloggers—they all need websites, which means they need you.

And let’s not forget the incredible community support.

WordPress has an army of developers, designers, and enthusiasts who contribute to forums, share knowledge, and even organize events.

It’s like being part of a guild in your favorite online game — you’ve got teammates who have your back.

So yes, while there are dragons to slay (figuratively speaking, of course), the rewards you reap — creative satisfaction, job opportunities, and a supportive community — are well worth the challenges.

The feeling you get when a project goes live, and you know you’ve made something amazing?

It’s like hitting the game-winning home run, landing the lead role in a play, or finding the hidden treasure.

Conclusion: What’s Stopping You? Become A WP Dev!

Sheesh, that was a long one!

With over 40% of websites using WordPress, it’s no exaggeration to say that developers like you can literally shape the digital landscape.

From freelance gigs to agency roles to corporate work, there are many opportunities to make your mark.

And though the path has its share of challenges — like keeping up with constant updates and dodging those pesky security issues — the rewards of creative freedom, job demand, and a supportive community are hard to beat.

If you’ve ever dreamed of a career that blends technical skill with creative flair, this is it.

Start your learning journey, get your hands dirty with some real-world projects, and build that portfolio.

Trust me, there’s a whole wide world of WordPress opportunities out there, just waiting for you to dive in. Go ahead, code that dream into reality!

About Author

Rok decided to put his original approach and vision into action by starting ULTIDA, thanks to his extensive experience with web development and design since 2011. Working with 100s of clients made his subconscious mind think of nothing but themes, HTML, plugins, mockups, etc.