Today, of all the available platforms, WordPress is the fastest and easiest tool to create a functional website. Despite this, the demand for good mean web developer does not fade away, because along with its simplicity, WordPress contains a large and varied functionality that only a truly top developer can handle. I decided to write this article with effective tips on how you can stand out among colleagues and have your place as a top WordPress developer. Being one of the best is difficult, it’s true, but I compiled all my knowledge in this article so that you do not make mistakes, but gain experience.
Who is a WordPress Developer?
For the most time, a WordPress developer is engaged in interactive additions to the customer’s site, improves his website with the help of plugins and themes. A universal WordPress developer is one that knows many programming languages as a mean developer. By the way, this is one of those points that we are to discuss in our top tips.
Improving WordPress includes writing stand-alone code that interacts with WordPress core code. If you make a mistake while writing the code, then you won’t have to reinstall the whole WordPress, as the basic code will remain untouched.
What is WordPress in the IT world?
WordPress is an open-source content management system. It is written in PHP and uses MySQL as a database. The most popular areas of application – from blogs to fairly sophisticated news resources and even online stores. The built-in system of themes and plugins together with a successful architecture allows you to design almost any project. At the moment, WordPress employs 76 million people, thanks to this popularity there are always people who are looking for a WordPress developer to improve the functionality of their site. According to the research WordPress powers 25% of the Web. It sounds crazy, but still, these are good news as WordPress developers for sure will have work to be done.
I would like to note that the creation of WordPress greatly facilitated the process of web development. For example, a client would like to write a web page or maintain and update content on a page that a development team or a developer has already created for him. Without this system, such a person would require a lot of special knowledge, such as knowledge of programming languages, MySQL databases, and others. With WordPress, creating web pages is much more convenient.
Tips to Become the Top WordPress Developer
1. Learn basic web programming languages
If you are planning to learn WordPress as a developer, you must understand the technology. If you are already a mean stack developer
and Java is not new for you, so move to the next tip.
WordPress platform is built in 4 languages:
PHP. This language is required for many tasks related to system logic, accessing the database, creating, saving and displaying content.
HTML. This is a markup language that determines how web pages on a site look in a user’s browser.
CSS. With this language, you can add an appropriate style to the content of a site (for instance, some colors or fonts).
Java Script. This interactive programming language is usually used to create additional elements on web pages.
Make sure your skills are relevant. Note for beginners: each of these languages is used in a variety of ways. If all this seems complicated for you, then for a start it is better to focus on HTML and CSS. These languages are easier and more understandable for beginners.
2. Make a list of necessary resources
The great popularity of WordPress has led to a large number of resources for developers. I want to advise you a couple of resources for beginners:
• Developer Resources – a resource with tutorials on developing themes and plugins, as well as more advanced topics, such as the REST API.
• Make WordPress – this is the central platform for WordPress developers of all types – programmers, designers, testers.
• Cheat Sheets for WordPress, Web Developers, and Designers – visual tip sheet for WordPress developers, sorted by topics.
3. Decide where to start
As already mentioned, WordPress development is a pretty wide area. You should familiarize yourself with all its sections. The most common way to start developing for WordPress is to modify an existing WordPress theme or plugin. This allows you to experiment with making changes and testing the results without having to come up with something new. You can create a fork – your private version of a theme or plugin that you can experiment with at your own pleasure.
4. Create a new plugin or theme
Logically, your next step should be to create your plugins or themes. To get to this area of WordPress development, start with the official WordPress plugin guide and the Plugin Handbook.
5. Take part in WordPress Core
If you want to know how the WordPress platform itself works, then a different approach is needed. The best way is to read the kernel developer’s guide. This will give you a lot of important information about what it means to be a WordPress developer. This participation will help you to improve the correction of errors, thus it will add valuable experience.
6. Turn on debug mode
Debugging is a built-in feature in WordPress that helps you display all PHP errors, warnings, and notifications (including legacy features). With debugging disabled, it is difficult to record abnormal situations that occur on the site, which ultimately can bring a lot of problems. Besides, errors can lead to a significant decrease in the speed of opening pages. Each time you add a new script or custom code in WordPress, enable debugging (but do not forget to turn it off when introducing new functionality into operation).
7. Create child themes and do not change engine files
Always create a layout theme if you plan to make changes to the template. In the original elements, anything can be overwritten on top of the changes made, and after the update, you will see that your efforts have disappeared forever.
8. Stop constantly indexing your site
When creating a website, you hardly want search engines to index it until you have finished working on it and created its final structure. In a case, you use test server, while your site, there is no use for search engines to index these duplicate pages. Search engines penalize sites with duplicate content, and your site will go down in search results.
9. Change permalink values
By default, WordPress uses the query string with the post identifier to return the requested content. This link format will be inconvenient to use, also, it may affect the indexing of your resource by search engines. The inclusion of permalinks will help to increase the ranking of pages, because there may also be keywords. This is best done right after installing WordPress.
10. Read useful info in WordPress blogs
It is reading thematic blogs that will help you learn more about WordPress. The Internet is full of WordPress leadership sites, news and training platforms for designers and developers.
Take part in the discussion in the comments and chat with the authors of the posts. Even if you have no desire to participate in discussions, follow all comments of other users. I advise you to read different interviews on CodePoet. Also, it is a good time investment to read WordPress articles on Smashing Magazine and about modular programming on WP Candy.
It is difficult to become the top WordPress developer, it is even more difficult to stay in this position amid strong competition. I recommend that you constantly be on the crest of wave reading materials on relevant topics about WordPress, communicating with like-minded people, working on your mistakes. This way you and your business will be competitive.