WordPress is a great open-source platform tool that you can use to create attractive and impressive web pages without much training. As an aspiring content creator or writer, polishing your web development skills may require following some simple guidelines.
There are several web development platforms, each with unique features, functionalities, and benefits. WordPress can adapt to changing needs of users, although it was initially meant for online publishing and blogging. Read on to understand how to become a WordPress developer in 2021.
The basics and features of WordPress
WordPress powers different websites globally, ranging from small blogs to complex sites for large corporations such as Time Inc., Sony, among others. It is one of the platforms that content management users and site builders can install for free. Its unique features make it popular among content creators and bloggers today.
When WordPress came into being about two decades ago, it was meant to enable people to publish content online. The platform has evolved to become popular among bloggers and has also gained international recognition.
At the point of inception, WordPress introduced various web formatting features, including in-line images, which enhanced its user-friendliness. As more and more people joined the blogging world, WordPress continued to introduce new features, which increased the site’s functionality.
WordPress features domain hosting, multiple paid and free plans, and other important tools. The tools help busy professionals and non-coders to build modern and attractive websites. As a student, you don’t have to worry about a lack of professionalism in the task, although it is important to master coding fundamentals.
WordPress users can access various themes and customize widgets and manage content in any way. The platform features plugins, including the Yoast SEO plugin, that facilitate the integration of third-party features for important tasks.
If you want to explore the meddler learning approach to site development, go for HTML or CSS, depending on your level of expertise. However, PHP is ideal for students because of its simplicity and user-friendliness.
The cascading style sheet (CSS) supports the process of styling a webpage. As such, if you use HTML write a heading and subsequent text, CSS will be the basis of determining the general appearance of the web elements. It edits everything to do with font size, typeface, color, margin, padding, font-weight, and so on.
The hypertext markup language (HTML) gives the web pages desirable structures by determining the level of web page heading. The Hypertext Preprocessor, on the other hand, enables you to perform some tricks, and more so to output HTML.
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Mastering coding fundamentals
If you are looking to create a unique design for user’s websites, understanding CSS and HTML will facilitate the sites’ customization. As a WordPress developer, it will be easier to perform some coding tasks as per the client’s requests.
Access WordPress resources
After understanding the coding basics, review the WordPress-specific resources to have an idea of what makes the codes unique. The following are a few resources to explore as you seek to become a WordPress developer.
- Envato Tuts+. On this website, you will find ebooks and how-to tutorials on WordPress and many other resources. The how-to tutorials cover a wide range of areas as the WordPress Codex but include videos and pictures for those who prefer visuals.
- WordPress Codex. WordPress Codex is the main WordPress online manual covering the basics of creating a site and how to add different functionalities to custom Plugins.
- Know the Code. If you like training videos, Know the Code will provide unique learning paths. Through this resource, you will learn all the details of building plugins, especially as an advanced developer.
- WordPress Developer Resources. This constitutes handbooks and code references for theme development, APIs, block editor, Plugin, and more.
Identify your niche
The different options for becoming a WordPress developer in 2021 include Plugins, core software, and themes. You may consider doing some work in all the areas, but it is better to be an expert in one.
The developers in Plugin development create personalized Plugins. You can create a Plugin for your client and upload it to the Theme Directory of WordPress or sell it through a third party.
Core development is concerned with creating and editing the WordPress core, software that you can download from the WordPress official site. Whereas there is a regular platform’s core team, any upcoming developer is free to review and scrutinize the code and report any vulnerabilities or bugs.
As a theme developer, you can create custom themes for individual clients and upload them on the Theme Directory of WordPress as well. As in the case of Plugins, the other option would be to market it through a third-party site.
In addition to the above three areas of expertise, APIs are also becoming lucrative and popular. When evaluating the areas to focus on, choose the one that aligns with your interests and skills.
If you don’t want to begin developing from scratch, try changing an existing plugin or theme. This is a great way to experiment, make changes, and test results without creating something new.
You can do so by creating a private version of a plugin or a theme that may allow for personalization. However, a better approach is to “adopt” a theme or a plugin that has been abandoned by another developer. This approach can also let you experiment with a code or resubmit improvements where necessary.
Build a testing development environment
Building a development environment is important for any WordPress developer because it results in quality outcomes and speeds up the process. You can build a remote or a local environment for storing all your theme files, core files, and WordPress plugin. This will let you instantly review and make changes to your work to ensure improved outcomes.
The files will be stored on your computer rather than the website’s hosting server. As a result, you can collaborate with other developers and six any errors before releasing the custom theme, custom plugin, or security patch. Consider automating the process of building the testing development environment or do it manually.
Join the WordPress community and create a portfolio
Compared to other platforms such as Drupal and Joomla, WordPress has a dedicated community for improvement. You can connect to the members of this community through Slack channels, support forums, or in-person meetings across the globe. By joining the members of the WordPress community, you will be able to troubleshoot issues and get updates regarding product releases, network, and other announcements.
One of the best ways to showcase your skills when looking for website development opportunities is by building a portfolio. Build a portfolio to “show” your skills and capabilities and increase the chances of getting hired as a freelancer or as a full-time employee.
Getting hired as a WordPress developer in whatever capacity is a great opportunity, but it comes with a lot of challenges for students. You need to deliver quality work to your clients and, at the same time, complete lots of assignments and essays. Therefore, the main issue here is how to balance work with studies.
Develop a technical resume
A technical resume is as important as a portfolio because it forms part of a job application for a role of a WordPress developer. As a student, you may want to work as a freelancer, so repurposing the technical resume provides important information to potential employers.
A technical resume should have various sections, including professional experience, key skills, projects completed, and education level. If the information about professional experience or education is limited since you are a student and a beginner, that’s okay.
Pay more attention to the other sections while clearly illustrating personal projects and your skills. Providing as much information as possible regarding your previous work can increase the chances of getting hired.
Leverage tutorials and become a habitual reader
Specific WordPress development tutorials can be quite helpful, especially when you have set some goals. If you are looking to publish a section of an article rather than the full content, check some tutorials on how to do it. The tutorials will provide insights into the specific content of interest.
There are also tutorial sites that offer detailed courses on programming languages and WordPress including, Tutsplus, Treehouse, and Premium. Search for easy-to-understand and fun tutorial sites to enjoy learning and implementing the skills.
One of the benefits of using tutorial sites is that despite being pricy, they offer a comprehensive guide. It does not make sense to rely on CSS, PHP, JSS, and HTML alone. Make sure that you learn everything from the basics to advanced as this may enhance your productivity and effectiveness.
Reading top articles and blogs in the area of WordPress development is important for beginners and pros. By becoming a habitual reader, you will be able to learn the basics and stay on top of the game. Many websites have detailed and interesting pieces for any level, so check the most relevant resources and implement what you learn.
Theme and plugin development
WordPress themes don’t form part of WordPress core but are a series of template files that alter the way a website is displayed. It is good to do so without interfering with the core WordPress software because every time new software is released, there will be no immediate effect on the site’s appearance.
WordPress themes are popular due to their ability to let users customize their websites without affecting the codes. As a theme developer, you can choose to develop a custom theme for yourself, clients or the public. It is important to set production goals and define various ways of achieving those goals.
WordPress plugins help to “plug into” a site and have other diverse functionalities. They don’t interfere with the WordPress core, so they are ideal for any developer. Plugins are good for putting additional features to a web press website, and their ecosystem is quite robust.
The official WordPress directory offers thousands of free plugins, while third parties offer additional premium plugins. Based on their goals, the plugins can enhance tweaks of major alterations to your site.
Becoming a WordPress developer in 2021 can be fun and lucrative as long as you start where you are and set achievable goals. Investment in resources and time into experimentation and education is important, but at the end of the day, it will guarantee flexibility and income. WordPress is a great place to learn web development, and following the necessary guidelines is a sure way to take your career to the next level.