Web Design

What Makes a Great WordPress Developer?

A friend recently asked me – “what makes a great WordPress Developer?” Having written a book on WordPress development, I actually hadn’t thought as much as one might guess on this particular…

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What makes a great WordPress developer

A friend recently asked me – “what makes a great WordPress Developer?” Having written a book on WordPress development, I actually hadn’t thought as much as one might guess on this particular topic – but for many of us still looking to attain mastery in this area, it’s a GREAT QUESTION.

This is what I came up with – this is what makes a great WordPress Developer: 

  • Technical Skills like CSS, PHP, and basic Javascript and Jquery.
  • Soft skills like adaptability and an obsession with what’s most effective over what’s fanciest.
  • The ability to stick with it, even after certain aspects of development become mundane – and growing every day.

What makes a great WordPress developer

How do you get started as a WordPress Developer?

I think one great way to get familiar is trying to modify a premium WordPress theme for a side project or a friends company… as well as just making your first custom theme if you’re so inclined!

Technical Skills that make a great WordPress Developer:

1. CSS skills and the ability to quickly write code to style pages.

2. Basic understanding of PHP, working with the WordPress loop, and moving back and forth within the WordPress CMS, a code editor and the visual aspect of the website.

3. A desire to grow – not being closed off to Javascript, J query, plugin knowledge, and always looking for ways to do things smarter not harder without sacrificing speed or performance.

Soft Skills that make a great WordPress Developer:

1. A desire to grow your skills and pushing every day to go just a little bit further.

2. An excitement looking at code because of what it builds – and even more excitement looking at a site as it’s getting completed and what it can do for a client.

3. Focusing on EFFECTIVENESS first and foremost – not who can use the biggest baddest, newest framework – but what result does this accomplish for the client, and always looking for a the next little edge you can get for them by wielding your skills as they grow.

On Getting bored after mastering WordPress

WordPress to my mindset is relatively easy to learn – especially if you’re not scared of code. The challenge as I see it – is not getting bored of the mundane and making things overcomplicated or focusing efforts on new fancy aspects that don’t move the needle for clients. 

Sticking with it

So then it comes down to sticking with it, and finding new ways to wielding WordPress better and better, because some people move on before they truly master something. They get bored, because WordPress development isn’t that crazy – but the problem is, clients love WordPress. Because it’s SEO Friendly, there’s always people building 3rd-party plugins that are free and cheap, and because there’s a familiarity and anywhere you look you can find a WordPress developer. 

Wrapping up – what if you want to become a WordPress Developer?

I think even though it was only written 5 years ago – my book on WordPress Development might be out of date in certain areas.

WordPress Development, and Web Development in general just move along so quickly that that is bound to happen.

Here are some current amazing resources aspiring WordPress developers should check out and use the best of:

  1. Udemy – Learn to be a WordPress Developer
  2. WP Beginner – Website with all the questions you might have about learning WordPress
  3. Lynda.com – WordPress courses
  4. WP101 – WordPress resources site
  5. WordPress.tv by the folks who brought you WordPress – Automattic

Also of course, feel free to check out my full book on WordPress online for free here.

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