WordPress is inarguably the most popular content management system and offers a series of professional opportunities for those willing to learn and acquire skills necessary to build online content. As consumer society keeps on adapting to online product and service acquisition, the need for expert WP developers is growing larger. Therefore, caching the train of progress on time is of paramount importance if you wish to grow as a WordPress developer.
Our current article is going to lead you through six elemental steps you need to take if you wish to become a WP expert. It’s not a simple list of actions you can take within a week; it’s a layout of fundamental processes you should go through within your timeframe and one at a time.
Learn the tools
Anyone can download a WordPress theme and use it as a template for their website, however, if you wish to be able to exploit the full potential of this popular platform you need to master the tools required to build software products with it. Let’s take a look at what you should learn and why this knowledge is necessary:
- HTML – A standard web page markup language. Confused? It’s a language you need for the development of content you wish to display.
- CSS – If HTML helps us create and display web content, CSS allows us to manipulate that content. It’s the tool you’re going to use if you’re to change the color of an object, its position, size, etc.
- PHP – a computer language necessary to build scripts that provide the functionality of your website. It’s the engine of web content.
- MySQL – A popular database management system that allows the transfer and storage of information.
Explore WordPress potential
After you get the hang of basic tools, it’s time to learn what you can do with them within WordPress boundaries. You could start by creating a WP account and setting up a sandbox so you can unleash your creativity and have a safe environment for numerous cycles of trial and error. There’s also a wide range of online courses you can take or use tutorials to complete different tasks that will help you understand the capacity of this content management platform. The more practice you have, the more capable you’ll be to become an expert later.
Choose a path
Depending on your personal preference there’s a choice of software solutions you can develop using WordPress tools.
You can become a core developer, which is not a very popular choice among people but gives you the chance to enhance your coding skills and contribute to the growth of the WP platform. As a Core developer, you look for bugs and issues within the platform and devise fixes and updates to keep the core functionality uninterrupted.
Theme development is a lucrative path to take; it requires a profound understanding and extensive experience in the development of WordPress themes. It will allow you to build custom themes for clients who need a website or online apps for their business.
If you wish to build scripts that extend website functionality, you should look into plugin development. This is where your PHP training will come most handy.
Learn to cut corners
As a developer, you’ll be placed under immense pressure by your clients. Meeting the deadlines, working out bugs, performing last-minute changes, these all require years of experience if you’re to get through easily. It’s best if you don’t wait to get into a bad situation to learn how to handle it, so try and find some WP debugging or other kinds of problem-solving tasks to get that experience you lack.
Also, you can save a lot of work hours if you keep your projects stored online so they could be used later when necessary. This will save you time that you would otherwise spend typing lines of code you already wrote before.
Set up your lab
It’s not recommended to develop web content, whether it’s a website, app, or a certain plugin in a live environment. Moreover, your client could ask you to keep the software offline until it’s fully developed and tested. Therefore, you need a way to keep your work strictly local until the job is done and the project is ready to go live.
WordPress has a series of helpful tools and resources for all occasions; among those stands the ability to set up a local development environment. This means that you can install a virtual server on your machine that you can keep offline and use a text editor of your choice to write code. When your coding process is done, you can run your project using the local server and make sure everything is ready or detect bugs and fix them.
Connect with the rest of the community
While you’ll probably spend most of your work hours alone at the computer, it’s important to stay connected with the rest of the WordPress community. This will help you build a network, learn to cooperate with others and get your hands in more work. It’s also a good way to get in touch with the latest trends and changes in the industry that you should be aware of.
We hope this clarifies the route you need to take to become a WordPress expert developer. Arm yourself with patience and learn as much as you can. Remember that even at your peak, there is much to be learned.