WordPress Developer - Everything that you should know
If you haven't heard about WordPress even today, then don't worry, as this article will take you out from the stone age to the 21st century. For a brief intro, WordPress is a platform that comes in the category of CMSs (Content Management Systems. Which essentially are the platforms in which people create their websites and manage how their websites look and what it shows to its viewers.
WordPress is at the top of every website creator's list as many millions of websites have been made on it until today, which gives it the advantage to be the most trusted CMS compared to the other CMSs.
Now, since you understand what we're working on here, let's get to know about who's working here. The creators who create websites on this platform from scratch with the help of coding are known as WordPress developers. These WordPress developers are the ones who not only create websites but also create and put up many tools that other people in the WordPress community need to utilize.
The developers are the ones who create every website that you see on the internet, whether it's a cool one or a really cold one that irritates you enough to leave the website immediately.
This difference between a website that you want to scroll on and the website you immediately want to leave is created due to either a poor production team with a hopeless idea or poor execution of portraying a potential idea through code or maybe both sometimes.
- More about WordPress
- Things that every web dev should know
- Reason to learn WordPress
- Must-have skills
More about WordPress
WordPress is a great, if not one of the greatest online platforms to create a website. What is even more of a famous fact of it is that it isn't just a platform for developers and designers who know how to code their way through the whole process of making a website, but it is also one of the greatest platforms for those who don't need to know how to make a website but still want to make one.
For people like these, WordPress also has an online store in which web developers and designers can put up their pre-compiled set of codes that have all its attributes and functions embedded into which can be bought, instantly installed, and modified by the buyer according to his/her own needs.
This makes it a great website for anyone who's a non-developer or a non-designer, or maybe a non-both. But this makes this platform even more of a sweet pie, and the developers and designers who put up their codes in the form of templates can even charge for these templates. This makes it a great and free platform for developers and designers who can now even have a side hustle or a way of passive income by making a traffic-worthy template and just putting it up on the WordPress store.
Things that every web dev should know
Since it is covered as to the platform, a web developer can work on and what exactly he can work on, let's talk about what he needs to know before starting to work upon anything. WordPress is one of the platforms whose basics can be learned in about a matter of minutes but could take years for learning its premium aesthetics, and that is one of the things that differs the learners or intermediates from the professionals. So, here are some things every web developer must know to set out on a journey of becoming a professional or just becoming a decent web developer:
Using .gitattributes in your WordPress flow is a must as not only it allows you to configure path-specific settings properly and lets you clean up the themes and plugins for the end-users to give them a better browsing experience. Knowing the right way to use these attributes is more of a compulsion for web development in the new generation as its top-notch features are everything that a web dev needs in his/her list of assets.
Making sure that your website doesn't get invaded by black or gray hat hackers is a must. If you don't do so, your website users will start feeling insecure and eventually prevent or even stop using your website for services.
These days amongst all the news about websites getting hacked, users' information getting stolen has already created much awareness between people. If you can't provide security and satisfaction to your users that they are safe, then there is nothing much that you can do even if you have the best working and best-looking website on the whole planet. However, there is a security plugin available on the WordPress store, ready to be used by developers.
Embed scripts and styles
This also allows the user to skip scripts and link HTML tags to include scripts and CSS files, which can result in very beneficial for the web developer as now he/she can embed scripts and styles themselves.
Making the right hosting provider choice
Choosing the right hosting provider is as important as coding the website properly itself is. On the other hand, making the wrong choice of hosting provider can result in the faulty working of your website and impose unnecessary restrictions on making modifications to your website. This is because hosting websites are like the headquarters of your websites from where you operate your whole website and make every change related to your website's looks and working.
Due to this, making the right choice is as essential as making the website itself. WordPress is still the best hosting provider to choose between every other competition in the online marketplace as there is statistically no other hosting provider with such a big community. The ease of working with plugins, custom templates, and frameworks flexibly just makes up one more reason to join WordPress.
Learning about templates
Templates in WordPress are linked with each other page-by-page, due to which the users' search goes through each page to display the most appropriate one. Therefore, templates aren't just mere tools that a developer can utilize in WordPress. Instead, they are one of the most important parts of WordPress. To understand the meaning of this, you need first to know that templates made from these files are stacked on top of each other layer by layer.
Whenever you call for a certain web page in a website, the web browser runs the search's keywords through all the theme files one by one until it finds one and then displays the one that resembles the search's keywords the most. So, learning SEO and how to embed keywords is quite an essential part of building a website that you intend to make the reach of your desire.
Learning and knowing about all these themes will increase your employability chances and grant you a huge boost against the other competitors who pursue the same goal. But what is even more interesting about most custom templates is that they allow plugins to be applied.
Reason to learn WordPress
Now that it is covered what WordPress is like, what being a WordPress developer is like, and what basic things every WordPress developer must know. Therefore, now the question that arises is why anyone should learn WordPress development? Well, the answer to that question is quite fascinating and also a little bit optimistic. As we step towards a more technological future every day, the number of people who want to get a website for themselves is also increasing.
This creates a chance of an increased population of WordPress due to its community, amongst many other things, which will cause demand for more WordPress developers as a website doesn't just magically create itself. And as the same phenomenon that goes in every other work field, in web development too, the experiences hold much weightage when it comes to getting employed. This makes this time as best as possible to become a web dev as the competition is not at its peak.
To become one of the top-notch WordPress web developers out there, you have to have competitive web developer skills and competitive WordPress skills and knowledge to utilize all its tools and components. These skills are the ones that have taken non-geeks to the learner stage, and even the intermediate to the professional stage is mastered properly. All of these skills are highly appreciable by clients and well in demand. Some of these most important skills are as follows:
- Management of time
- Elementary Photoshop
- Business Skills
- Use of comments
- Tool creation
Bootstrap is a framework that mainly consists of all the codes of HTML elements such as navigation bar, forms, modals, etc., and anything that is an element of a theme. Bootstrap is a must to learn as it saves much time spent in vain due to writing unnecessary codes. All that needs to be done after using it to save your time is to make some modifications to make a difference. The codes that are provided by bootstrap are also quite flexible, which allows the developers to get those imaginations down on their custom web page without any limitations.
MySQL is a database and is considered one of the best tools for back-end developers, thanks to its easy-to-use user interface. The main job of MySQL is debugging, and it does it like no other in the development industry. PHP is another alternative for MySQL but is not preferred as much when compared.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) consists of a very self-explanatory term and does exactly what it reads. It controls the website's artistic section, and understanding how it works can open an innumerable number of opportunities for a web developer. Mastering CSS is an important aspect of learning web development; no matter how secure and proper functioning you make the website, it will be considered a basic website if its custom theme looks like a basic website.
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is not a normal coding language, but it is a markup language, as its name clearly states. This means that any content that the website will contain and display will be stored with the help of HTML. Thus, HTML is one of the crown jewels in the asset collection of front-end developers.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the method by which a developer increases the website's traffic by putting in as many keywords about the topic that the web page is about on the meta and excerpt descriptions of the website. These keywords are what a browser or search engine runs its process from when it needs to find the apt web page according to the users' search words.
Frameworks are something that every web developer should be as familiar with as it could be called playing when he/she works with them. Frameworks are the tools with which one can write one of the cleanest codes that are possible. Some of the most common frameworks widely known are React, Divi, gantry, foundation, and semantic UI.
Management of time
No matter which field of work you are in, if you can nail learning this skill and applying it to your daily success, then the only thing impossible for you to do in a day is nothing. Excuses such as "I didn't have enough time" would go out of your dictionary, and all you'll not be able to do in your day is what you don't want to.
Photoshop is an unsaid compulsion in learning web development as it is not directly taught in many web development courses but is very much required in daily web dev tasks. No web dev needs to be a master in Photoshop, but to deal with the photoshopping matters between the projects, basic Photoshop should be learned.
The secret aspect of becoming one of the best developers in the market is learning how to make websites that sell. Because what are most websites really for? Either they are businesses that want to sell their products or their services. And if you make a website that can't sell, it wouldn't be much of a useful one now, would it?
Use of comments
This is an aspect taken very lightly by most learners and is regretted quite a lot by them later. Comments are one of the best things that a web dev could learn. It is because comments are one of the main components of a code, as if written at proper places, can tell what step a web dev took at that instance. It is bliss for either the web dev himself when he tries to make changes or corrections to it later and bliss for any other dev that works himself too, as it would be an easy code to read.
Now, this right here can change your journey as a WordPress web dev. Creating tools is one of the best things that a web dev could spend his/her time on. Creating custom tools from the lines of code that you know that you use in your works in day-to-day life can ease your mind and save your energy by a good amount. Every tool that a person creates comes from the previous experience that the person has experienced through his time as a web developer. Due to this reason too, a larger portion of the client section prefers experienced web developers instead of fresher ones.
The WordPress community is sure to keep growing every year that passes, and every new step humanity takes towards technological advancements. Becoming a WordPress web developer is a right choice now more than it has ever been and probably more than ever. But the road isn't going to be a buttery one, and be sure to expect boulders the size of mountains in the way of becoming a web dev.
But if you manage your time properly and put in the hard work needed, overcoming the mountain would seem as much as getting over a pebble. Before you start feeling overwhelmed or hesitant from listening to the WordPress community, always remember that the world is a big place, and most people welcome new web developers. Taking a shot at it might be one that backfires, but it surely wouldn't kill you.
About the author
Dennis Hoinkis has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2020, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.
Dennis Hoinkis CEO, FSOM Group Corp.