The exciting career of a WordPress developer

WordPress is a powerhouse of the World Wide Web, with thirty percent of all websites using the platform. The flexibility and power that made it so popular with users make it an ideal framework for web developers. If you want to be an independent and creative contributor to the digital world, becoming a WordPress developer is an exciting and rewarding career choice. 

Developers at work

Opportunities powered by WordPress

WordPress emerged as a better alternative to writing the code for each website from scratch. It uses such scripting languages as PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and MySQL. The result is a standard platform for development, which is perfect for publishing content on the Web.

Since then, WordPress has grown tremendously, surrounded by a thriving community. Its versatility and power are boundless, and its users stretch from solopreneurs to enterprise-scale corporations. Nowadays, WordPress empowers websites of every size and purpose, just like:

In this kind of diverse and rich environment, it’s easy to find new opportunities and career paths, you “just” have to choose the best for you.

A worldwide developer community 

The basics of WordPress are simple, but the wide-open potential makes it suitable for advanced development at every scale. There are lots of opportunities for freelancers and company developers to make their names by building great websites.

The ecosystem includes open source code, tools, and plugins, as well as a vast knowledge base from which you can learn and apply to your website projects. Regular releases of updated versions of the platform will keep you on your toes.

With so much of the Web under its umbrella, the WordPress community is worldwide and passionate about coding. Developers and site administrators around the world work together and share information about new ways to extend the platform.

The community offers freelance developers the chance to connect, share and learn new skills at local meetups or WordCamps, the conference which brings all the WordPress ecosystem under one roof for 3 days.

Independence means working where you want

As a developer, you can work remotely, which is also one of the advantages of being a freelancer. The WordPress ecosystem embraces and encourages remote workers, and many companies have remote working employees. 

The ecosystem provides opportunities for you to advance and specialize. Focusing on one niche aspect of the platform will make you the expert and authority.

You can build a reputation and client base in many different specializations, such as e-commerce, membership sites, custom sites, SEO, and many others. Because the platform is growing and expanding all of the time you can become a leading authority as new niches appear.

A platform for creative expression

If you are naturally creative, the career of a freelance WordPress developer is an ideal way to earn a comfortable living, but there is so much more! However, you can go beyond that and supercharge your creative side. 

Once you are established and independent, exciting ideas will come to you quickly, and you can develop them as side projects that lead to great things. Many of the most popular parts of the Internet that we take for granted now were born this way.

How to get started as WordPress Developer

If all this sounds interesting, you are probably wondering how to get started and kick off your developer career. Well, the tech world is a place where skills matter, so my first advice would be to learn WordPress inside out, as well as the basics of web development.

There are many places around the internet where you can study and learn, and I feel confident in recommending a few of them (for a reason):

  • Codecademy – because the free plan is good enough to get started even if you have zero knowledge. You will not fond WordPress courses but very good ones about HTML, CSS, JS and other languages
  • WordPress 101 – because before coding on WordPress you need to know how to use it, and WP101 teaches you brilliantly
  • Lynda.com – because it covers everything from the basics to more advanced topics

When you have acquired enough knowledge to code a theme or a plugin, make it available for free on the WordPress repository and start collecting feedbacks from users and other fellows developers.

Last but not least, do not forget to “learn by doing”, have fun and share your first successes with friends, family and the awesome WordPress community!

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