Master Your Skills: How to Become a WordPress Developer Guide


Web Dev Orlando

Are you interested in a career as a WordPress developer? Wondering how to become a WordPress developer?  With over 60 million websites using WordPress, there is a growing demand for skilled professionals in this field. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps to becoming a successful WordPress developer. Whether you are a beginner or have some coding experience, this guide will provide you with the necessary skills, training, and tips for success.

Key Takeaways

  • Mastering the fundamentals of coding is essential for becoming a WordPress developer.
  • Reading up on WordPress-specific resources like the WordPress Codex and Envato Tuts+ can enhance your understanding of the CMS.
  • Choosing a focus area, such as core development, theme development, or plugin development, allows you to specialize your skills.
  • Creating a development environment for testing, using tools like DevKinsta or Local by Flywheel, improves productivity and collaboration.
  • Becoming an active member of the WordPress community through WordCamps and support forums helps to expand your network and learn from experienced developers.

What is a WordPress Developer?

A WordPress developer is a professional who specializes in working with the infrastructure and ecosystem of the WordPress platform. With over 60 million websites on the internet using WordPress, there is a high demand for skilled developers who can navigate the intricacies of this popular content management system.

The role of a WordPress developer involves improving the WordPress software, creating custom plugins and themes, and collaborating with clients to customize and manage WordPress sites. They have a deep understanding of the WordPress platform, its plugins, themes, and the overall WordPress site architecture.

WordPress developers are adept at using various programming languages such as PHP, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS to build and modify WordPress sites. They possess strong problem-solving skills and the ability to work with clients to bring their vision to life through customizations and enhancements.

Overall, a WordPress developer plays a crucial role in the development and maintenance of WordPress sites, ensuring that they are optimized, secure, and user-friendly.

What is a WordPress Developer?

Responsibilities Skills Tools
Improving the WordPress software Proficiency in PHP, JavaScript, HTML, CSS WordPress Codex
Creating custom plugins and themes Problem-solving skills Envato Tuts+
Customizing and managing WordPress sites Collaboration and communication WordPress Developer Resources

What Does a WordPress Developer Do?

A WordPress developer is responsible for various tasks related to the development and maintenance of WordPress websites. They possess the technical expertise to handle both back-end and front-end development, ensuring that websites function smoothly and provide an exceptional user experience. Let’s delve into the different responsibilities of a WordPress developer:

Back-End Development:

  • Custom Themes: WordPress developers create and modify custom themes to meet specific design and functionality requirements. They use their coding skills to translate design mockups into fully functional WordPress themes.
  • Custom Plugins: WordPress developers develop custom plugins to add new features and enhance the functionality of websites. These plugins are tailored to the unique needs of clients and can range from simple to complex.
  • Database Management: They handle database management tasks, ensuring that data is stored and retrieved accurately. This includes creating databases, optimizing queries, and managing database security.

Front-End Development:

  • Website Design: WordPress developers work on the front-end design of websites, ensuring they are visually appealing and user-friendly. They implement responsive design techniques to ensure websites look great on all devices.
  • HTML/CSS/JavaScript: They utilize their expertise in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create interactive and dynamic elements on websites. This includes animations, sliders, forms, and more.
  • Wireframes and Sitemaps: WordPress developers create wireframes and sitemaps to plan the structure and navigation of websites. These visual representations provide a blueprint for the development process.

Responsibilities Summary:

In summary, a WordPress developer is responsible for back-end development tasks such as creating custom themes, plugins, and managing databases. They also handle front-end development tasks, including website design, implementing HTML/CSS/JavaScript, and creating wireframes and sitemaps. With their expertise, WordPress developers play a crucial role in building and maintaining high-quality WordPress websites.

How to Become a WordPress Developer – Step 1: Master the Fundamentals of Coding

Aspiring to become a WordPress developer? The first step is to master the fundamentals of coding. Understanding key languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP is essential for WordPress development. These languages form the building blocks of websites and help you customize and enhance the functionality of WordPress sites.

HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is the foundation of web development. It provides the structure and content of web pages. CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is used to control the visual appearance of web pages, including layout, colors, and fonts. JavaScript is a programming language that adds interactivity and dynamic elements to websites. PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server-side scripting language that powers WordPress and enables dynamic content generation.

Gaining proficiency in these languages will allow you to navigate and manipulate various aspects of WordPress development. You’ll be able to customize themes, develop plugins, and optimize websites for performance and user experience.

“Learning the fundamentals of coding is like building a strong foundation for your WordPress development journey. It opens up a world of possibilities and empowers you to create innovative and functional websites.”

Why Mastering the Fundamentals of Coding Matters

Understanding the fundamentals of coding is crucial for several reasons:

  • Flexibility: When you have a strong foundation in coding languages, you have more flexibility in customizing and troubleshooting WordPress sites.
  • Efficiency: With coding knowledge, you can write clean and efficient code, resulting in faster website loading times and better performance.
  • Problem-solving: Coding skills empower you to solve complex technical challenges, whether it’s debugging issues or implementing new features.
  • Career opportunities: Mastering coding fundamentals opens doors to a wide range of career opportunities in web development and WordPress specialization.

By mastering the fundamentals of coding, you lay the groundwork for a successful career as a WordPress developer.

WordPress Developer

Fundamentals of Coding Use in WordPress Development
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) Structure and content of web pages
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) Visual appearance of web pages
JavaScript Interactivity and dynamic elements
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) Server-side scripting language for WordPress

How to Become a WordPress Developer – Step 2: Read Up on WordPress Specifically

After acquiring the basics of coding, it is important to read up on WordPress-specific resources to understand the unique aspects of the CMS. Resources such as the WordPress Codex, Envato Tuts+, and WordPress Developer Resources provide in-depth information on WordPress development.

The WordPress Codex is a comprehensive resource that offers documentation, tutorials, and guides for developers working with WordPress. It covers everything from getting started with WordPress to advanced topics such as plugin and theme development. The Codex is a valuable source of information for developers of all skill levels.

“The WordPress Codex is like a treasure trove of knowledge for WordPress developers. It has helped me immensely in understanding the intricacies of WordPress development and finding solutions to complex problems.” – John Doe, Senior WordPress Developer

Envato Tuts+ is another excellent resource with a wide range of tutorials and courses on WordPress development. It covers various topics such as building custom themes, creating plugins, and optimizing WordPress sites for performance. The tutorials are well-structured and easy to follow, making them perfect for both beginners and advanced developers.

WordPress Developer Resources is an official resource provided by It offers a collection of articles, tutorials, and best practices for WordPress development. The resource is regularly updated with the latest information and developments in the WordPress ecosystem, making it a go-to source for staying up to date.

Resource Description
WordPress Codex A comprehensive resource offering documentation, tutorials, and guides for WordPress development.
Envato Tuts+ A platform with tutorials and courses covering various aspects of WordPress development.
WordPress Developer Resources An official resource providing articles, tutorials, and best practices for WordPress development.

How to Become a WordPress Developer – Step 3: Choose a Focus Area

As a WordPress developer, it is important to choose a focus area that aligns with your interests and goals. This allows you to specialize and become an expert in a specific aspect of WordPress development. Here are three common focus areas for WordPress developers:

  1. Core Development: If you have a passion for improving the WordPress platform itself, core development may be the right focus area for you. Core developers contribute to the WordPress open-source project, working on features, bug fixes, and security enhancements to make the platform better for all users.
  2. Theme Development: If you have a knack for design and enjoy creating visually appealing websites, theme development is an excellent focus area. Theme developers specialize in building custom WordPress themes, which determine the look and feel of a website. They work with HTML, CSS, and PHP to create unique and responsive designs.
  3. Plugin Development: If you enjoy problem-solving and enhancing the functionality of WordPress sites, plugin development may be the right fit for you. Plugin developers create custom plugins that add new features and extend the capabilities of WordPress. They work with PHP and JavaScript to develop plugins that can be used by WordPress users worldwide.

Choosing a focus area allows you to dive deep into a specific field of WordPress development, honing your skills and becoming an expert in your chosen area. It also helps you establish a niche and stand out among other WordPress developers, making you more attractive to clients or employers.

Remember, while choosing a focus area is important, it doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to just one. Many WordPress developers start by specializing in one area and then gradually expand their skillset to include other focus areas. The key is to choose an area that you are passionate about and continually work on improving your skills in that area.

Focus Area Comparison Table

Focus Area Skills Required Responsibilities
Core Development PHP, JavaScript, WordPress APIs Contributing to the WordPress core, bug fixes, security enhancements
Theme Development HTML, CSS, PHP, Responsive Design Building custom WordPress themes, creating visually appealing designs, ensuring responsive layouts
Plugin Development PHP, JavaScript, WordPress APIs Developing custom plugins, adding new features to WordPress, extending functionality

WordPress Developer Focus Area

How to Become a WordPress Developer – Step 4: Create a Development Environment for Testing

As a WordPress developer, it is crucial to have a dedicated development environment for testing your projects. This allows you to test new plugins, themes, and code changes without affecting the live site. There are several tools available that can help you set up a reliable and efficient development environment.

One such tool is DevKinsta, a local WordPress development tool designed specifically for developers. It provides a complete local development environment with support for PHP, Apache, and MySQL. DevKinsta makes it easy to create and manage multiple WordPress installations, making it ideal for testing and experimentation.

Another popular option is Local by Flywheel, which offers a user-friendly interface and powerful features for local WordPress development. It allows you to create a local WordPress site with just a few clicks and provides tools for managing databases, SSL certificates, and server configurations.

Comparison of DevKinsta and Local by Flywheel

DevKinsta Local by Flywheel
Specifically designed for WordPress development Offers a user-friendly interface
Supports PHP, Apache, and MySQL Easy to create a local WordPress site
Allows for the management of multiple WordPress installations Provides tools for managing databases and server configurations

Both DevKinsta and Local by Flywheel have their strengths and are widely used by WordPress developers. Choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences to create a development environment that enhances your productivity and facilitates collaboration with other developers.

WordPress developer testing environment

How to Become a WordPress Developer – Step 5: Become an Active Member of the WordPress Community

Active participation in the WordPress community is essential for growth as a WordPress developer. By getting involved, you can expand your knowledge, network with other professionals, and contribute to the open-source project. Here are a few ways to become an active member of the WordPress community:

  • Attend WordCamps: WordCamps are community-driven events where WordPress enthusiasts gather to learn, share knowledge, and connect with like-minded individuals. These events provide valuable insights, workshops, and networking opportunities.
  • Join Support Forums: Engaging in WordPress support forums allows you to help others with their WordPress-related queries while gaining exposure to different challenges and problem-solving techniques.
  • Contribute to the WordPress Open-Source Project: Contributing to the WordPress core or its vast ecosystem of plugins and themes is a great way to enhance your skills, make a positive impact on the community, and establish your reputation as a WordPress developer.

Remember, the WordPress community is welcoming and supportive. By actively participating, you can gain valuable insights, learn from experienced developers, and build relationships that can further your career.

Testimonials from WordPress Community Members

“Being an active member of the WordPress community has been invaluable to my growth as a developer. The support and mentorship I’ve received have helped me tackle complex projects and expand my skillset.”

– Jane, WordPress Developer

“WordCamps have been an incredible source of inspiration and knowledge for me. Attending these events has not only elevated my technical expertise but also introduced me to an amazing network of professionals.”

– John, WordPress Developer

Benefits of Active Involvement

Active participation in the WordPress community offers several benefits:

  • Continuous Learning: Engaging with the community exposes you to new ideas, best practices, and emerging trends in WordPress development.
  • Networking: Building connections with other developers, designers, and industry experts can open doors to collaborative projects, job opportunities, and mentorship.
  • Recognition and Credibility: Contributing to the community and sharing your knowledge showcases your expertise, establishes your authority, and boosts your professional reputation.

WordPress Community

How to Become a WordPress Developer – Step 6: Build a Portfolio

Building a portfolio is an essential step in becoming a successful WordPress developer. Your portfolio serves as a showcase of your skills and expertise, allowing potential clients or employers to assess your capabilities. It is a visual representation of your projects and acts as evidence of your ability to create high-quality websites.

When building your portfolio, it’s important to include a variety of projects that highlight your versatility and proficiency. Showcase websites that you have developed using different themes, plugins, or customizations. This will demonstrate your ability to work with various tools and technologies within the WordPress ecosystem.

Furthermore, organizing your portfolio in a visually appealing and user-friendly manner is crucial. Consider using images, screenshots, or even live demos of your projects to give viewers a better understanding of your work. Be sure to provide a brief description of each project, outlining your role and the specific features or functionalities you implemented.

Remember to keep your portfolio up to date as you complete new projects. Continually refining and improving your portfolio will help you stay relevant in the competitive WordPress development industry. Regularly update your portfolio with your latest work and remove any outdated or less impressive projects.

In summary, building a portfolio is a crucial step in becoming a WordPress developer. It allows you to showcase your skills, demonstrate your versatility, and make a strong impression on potential clients or employers. Invest time and effort into creating a visually appealing and well-organized portfolio that accurately represents your capabilities as a WordPress developer.

How to Become a WordPress Developer – Step 7: Create Your Technical Resume

Creating a technical resume is an important step in establishing yourself as a WordPress developer. Your resume should highlight your skills, experience, and any relevant certifications, showcasing your qualifications for potential employers or clients. A well-crafted resume can make a strong impression and increase your chances of securing opportunities in the field.

Your technical resume should begin with a clear and concise summary of your skills and expertise as a WordPress developer. This section should include keywords related to WordPress development, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, and any additional programming languages or frameworks you are proficient in. Emphasize your ability to create custom themes and plugins, as well as your experience with website maintenance and optimization.

Next, outline your relevant work experience, highlighting projects where you have successfully implemented WordPress solutions. Include details of the websites or applications you have developed, the technologies used, and any challenges you overcame during the development process. If you have worked with clients or within a team, mention your collaboration and communication skills.

Lastly, list any certifications or formal training you have acquired in WordPress development. This could include certifications from reputable organizations or online platforms, such as the WordPress Certification Program or recognized educational institutions offering WordPress development courses. Certifications demonstrate your commitment to professional growth and validate your expertise in the field.

Table: Sample Technical Resume for a WordPress Developer

Summary A highly skilled WordPress developer with expertise in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. Experienced in creating custom themes and plugins, optimizing website performance, and providing exceptional solutions to clients.
Work Experience
  • Developed and deployed multiple WordPress websites for clients, resulting in increased user engagement and conversions.
  • Collaborated with a team of designers and developers to create custom themes and plugins, ensuring seamless integration and functionality.
  • Performed website maintenance and updates, resolving issues and optimizing performance to enhance user experience.
  • WordPress Certification Program –
  • Advanced WordPress Development – Udemy
  • Front-End Web Development – Coursera

Remember to tailor your resume to the specific job or project you are applying for. Highlight the skills and experiences that align with the requirements of the position. Additionally, keep your resume up to date, including any new projects or certifications you have acquired. A polished and well-presented technical resume can significantly enhance your chances of success as a WordPress developer.

WordPress Developer Technical Resume

How to Become a WordPress Developer – Step 8: Consider Your Ideal Work Environment

As you embark on your journey to become a WordPress developer, it’s important to consider your ideal work environment. This decision will have a significant impact on your career path and overall job satisfaction. You have several options to choose from: freelancing, working for an agency, or remote work. Each option offers unique benefits and challenges, so it’s essential to assess your preferences and goals before making a decision.

If you prefer flexibility and autonomy, freelancing may be the ideal choice for you. As a freelance WordPress developer, you have the freedom to choose your projects, set your own schedule, and work from anywhere. However, it’s important to note that freelancing also comes with the responsibility of finding clients, managing your own business, and dealing with unpredictable income.

On the other hand, working for an agency can provide stability and a collaborative work environment. You’ll have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects and learn from experienced developers. However, you may have less control over your schedule and the projects you work on.

Lastly, remote work has become increasingly popular, especially in the tech industry. With advancements in communication technology, many companies now offer remote positions for WordPress developers. Remote work allows you to work from the comfort of your own home or anywhere in the world. However, it’s important to consider the challenges of remote work, such as potential distractions and the need for self-discipline.

By carefully considering your ideal work environment, you can make informed decisions that align with your career goals and personal preferences. Whether you choose freelancing, agency work, or remote work, remember that the WordPress developer field offers abundant opportunities for growth and success.

Work Environment Benefits Challenges
Freelancing Flexibility, autonomy, choose your projects Client acquisition, business management, unpredictable income
Working for an Agency Stability, collaborative environment, diverse projects Limited control over projects, potential for rigid schedules
Remote Work Flexibility, work from anywhere, no commute Potential distractions, need for self-discipline, communication challenges

Opportunities for WordPress Developers in Recent Times

As a WordPress developer, you have a multitude of career opportunities to explore. The demand for skilled developers in the WordPress ecosystem continues to grow, offering various paths to specialize in. Whether you’re interested in front-end development, back-end development, or specializing in specific technologies like PHP, React, Elementor, plugins, or themes, there are abundant options to pursue.

Front-end development focuses on creating the user interface and user experience of a WordPress site. It involves designing and implementing the visual elements, responsiveness, and interactivity of a website. This role requires proficiency in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and a deep understanding of WordPress theme development.

On the other hand, back-end development involves working with the server-side components of a WordPress site. This includes database management, server configuration, and maintaining the core functionality of the website. Proficiency in PHP and other server-side languages is essential for this role. Additionally, knowledge of WordPress APIs and plugin development is highly valuable.

Additionally, there are opportunities to specialize in specific tools or platforms within the WordPress ecosystem. For example, becoming an Elementor developer allows you to leverage the popular page builder plugin to create stunning and customizable websites. As a plugin or theme developer, you can contribute to the vast library of extensions and designs available to WordPress users, enabling them to enhance the functionality and appearance of their sites.

Position Description
Front-end Developer Focuses on the user interface and experience of a WordPress site, implementing visual elements, responsiveness, and interactivity. Proficiency in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and WordPress theme development is required.
Back-end Developer Works with the server-side components of a WordPress site, managing databases, server configurations, and core functionality. Proficiency in PHP and WordPress APIs, along with plugin development knowledge, is essential.
PHP Developer Specializes in PHP development within the WordPress ecosystem, working on server-side scripting, customizations, and performance optimization.
React Developer Leverages the React JavaScript library to build interactive and dynamic user interfaces for WordPress sites.
Elementor Developer Utilizes the Elementor page builder plugin to create visually stunning and customizable websites.
Plugin Developer Contributes to the extensive library of WordPress plugins, enhancing the functionality and features available to users.
Theme Developer Designs and develops unique WordPress themes, offering users a wide range of design options for their websites.

Basic Responsibilities of a WordPress Developer

A WordPress developer is responsible for various tasks related to back-end and front-end development, as well as website maintenance, migration, and redesign. Let’s delve into each of these responsibilities:

Back-end Development

As a WordPress developer, you’ll be working on the back-end of websites, which involves handling the server-side processes and functionalities. This includes managing the database, implementing security measures, optimizing performance, and integrating third-party services. You’ll also be responsible for ensuring that the website’s core functions properly and efficiently.

Front-end Development

In addition to back-end development, WordPress developers are skilled in front-end development. This entails creating the user-facing elements of a website, such as the layout, design, and interactivity. You’ll use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build visually appealing and user-friendly interfaces that align with the client’s requirements and industry best practices.

Website Maintenance

Maintaining websites is another crucial responsibility of a WordPress developer. This involves regularly updating plugins, themes, and the WordPress core to ensure optimal website performance and security. You’ll also be responsible for troubleshooting and fixing any issues that may arise, such as broken links, compatibility problems, or performance bottlenecks.

Website Migration and Redesign

WordPress developers are often tasked with migrating websites from one hosting provider to another or from a development environment to a live server. This involves ensuring a smooth transfer of all website assets, including files, databases, and configurations. Additionally, WordPress developers may be involved in redesigning websites, giving them a fresh look and feel or enhancing their functionality.

By taking on these responsibilities, a WordPress developer plays a crucial role in creating and maintaining high-quality websites that meet the needs of clients and provide a seamless user experience.


Becoming a WordPress developer opens up exciting opportunities in the field of website development. By mastering the fundamentals of coding, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP, you lay a solid foundation for your WordPress development career.

Remember to delve into WordPress-specific resources such as the WordPress Codex, Envato Tuts+, and WordPress Developer Resources to gain a thorough understanding of the CMS and its unique features. Choosing a focus area, whether it’s core development, theme development, or plugin development, allows you to specialize and excel in your chosen field.

Dedicate time to creating a development environment for testing purposes, as this will enhance your productivity and collaboration with other developers. Active participation in the WordPress community, attending WordCamps, and contributing to open-source projects will help you build connections and expand your knowledge base.

As you progress, compile a portfolio that showcases your skills and versatility as a WordPress developer. Additionally, craft a compelling technical resume that highlights your experience, skills, and certifications. By considering your ideal work environment, be it freelancing, working for an agency, or remote work, you can make informed decisions to shape your WordPress development career.

Why Choose Web Dev Orlando

As an Orlando WordPress Developer committed to excellence, we offer seamless integration, custom analytics, and stress-free website development experiences. We focus not just on delivering a project, but also on creating value for your business. If you have any questions about Web Dev Orlando and what we can do, please reach out to us today! We also provide a no-cost IT strategy call for all new clients to ensure we are the perfect fit for you.


What is a WordPress developer?

A WordPress developer specializes in the infrastructure and ecosystem of the WordPress platform. They focus on improving the WordPress software, creating plugins and themes, and working with clients to customize and manage WordPress sites.

What does a WordPress developer do?

WordPress developers are responsible for back-end or front-end development of WordPress sites, which includes creating custom themes and plugins. They may also be hired to build sitemaps or wireframes for websites and perform website maintenance tasks.

How can I become a WordPress developer?

To become a WordPress developer, start by mastering the fundamentals of coding, such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP. Then, read up on WordPress-specific resources to understand the unique aspects of the CMS. Choose a focus area, create a development environment for testing, become an active member of the WordPress community, build a portfolio, and create a technical resume.

What opportunities are there for WordPress developers?

There are various career opportunities for WordPress developers, including front-end developers, back-end developers, PHP developers, React developers, Elementor developers, plugin developers, theme developers, and more.

What are the basic responsibilities of a WordPress developer?

Basic responsibilities of a WordPress developer include back-end development, front-end development, maintaining websites, migrating websites, and redesigning websites. The specific job responsibilities may vary depending on the nature of the project and the expertise of the developer.