WHAT WORDPRESS DEVELOPERS DO:
WordPress developers have the most versatile skillset in the world.
Approximately 60 million websites run on WordPress, but you’d never know it! That’s because WordPress developers know how to take the same set of raw materials and build beautiful, functional, and totally unique websites.
WordPress is THE Most Popular Content Management System in the World
More websites are powered by WordPress than any other content management system (CMS) in the world (a CMS is a piece of software that lets you easily write, edit, and publish content on the web).
So many sites you’d recognize use WordPress.
CNN’s blogs are built on WordPress and Forbes. Mashable, The Next Web, and The New Yorker are also all built on WordPress.
Other notable brands using WordPress include People Magazine, The Rolling Stones, Vogue, MTV News, Facebook (for their Newsroom), Harvard Business Review, and NASA, among lots of others.
WordPress - something more
WordPress got its start as a blogging platform, but somewhere along the way, developers realized you could do so much more with it. Now, WordPress is behind everything from e-commerce sites to communities to online courses—like Skillcrush Blueprints!
Whether you want to create a basic website for a local business or a huge online store selling thousands of products, it can be done with WordPress. And, of course, it’s still great for blogging and it's totally free!
WordPress Developer Skills
WordPress developer, most people have never heard of it. However, as many who frequent this website can attest, it is indeed a very legitimate way of earning a living.
What does it take to be a WordPress developer?
1. Technical Competence
No matter what you are doing in life, no matter which job you make a living off, you will have to “own your art.”
Developer, owning your art comes down to picking your favorite acronym: HTML, CSS, PHP, JS, maybe some MySQL. Which language you emphasize depends on what you are doing, however, your technical skills build the foundation of everything you do. They are the price of admission. Make sure you know your stuff and that you continuously hone your skills.
2. A Learning
Stagnation is not an option for developers. By definition, the area we are operating in is one of frequent and continuous change. Just like the versions of WordPress are steadily moving forward, so does the environment in which the platform exists. It is our job to keep up with it. For example:
- Design – What does modern web design look like? Are blinking website elements still as cool as they were during the heyday of Myspace? Is responsive design really necessary?
- Technology – The adoption of CSS3 and HTML5 makes things possible that weren’t a few years ago, which is awesome! At the same time, however, the lack of universal support has to be taken into account during development.
- Security – The wide adoption of WordPress for building websites also means that more and more people target those site with malicious intent (scoundrels!). An awareness of security concerns is therefore crucial.
One requirement of being a WordPress developer is to be an eternal student. We need to be both aware of the status quo, as well as future developments. Add to that an eagerness to learn and the ability to teach yourself new skills, and you are looking at a bright future.
3. Focus and Self-Motivation
While working with WordPress as a professional requires you to continuously push your abilities, it is also important to know that you will never know everything. From plugins to themes, from front-end design to eCommerce — WordPress offers a wide range of fields, which require different kinds of specialized knowledge.
In addition, the open source nature of WordPress has opened the door for many freelancers and entrepreneurs. It’s probably safe to say that a large number of those working with the platform do not necessarily work the typical nine-to-five.
4. Planning Skills
WordPress attracts a lot of people who are artistic in nature. The realm of the creative worker is the chaos that comes with the making of something from nothing. However, while passion and enthusiasm is to be admired (and is definitely a prerequisite), when trying to elevate your craft from hobby to occupation, a lack of planning can become a serious problem.
Working with customers and getting your work done on time requires serious planning skills. Besides setting and outlining goals — both big and small — this includes breaking down tasks into their components, setting priorities as well as creating and adhering to deadlines.
It is about knowing who your customers are, what they want and how to communicate with them in a way that they understand and appreciate. If you are working with clients and especially if you are planning to sell plugins and/or themes, basic knowledge in this area is an asset that is definitely worth cultivating.
A good developer with great marketing skills will almost always do better than a great developer with good marketing skills. But don’t worry, marketing is a skill which can be honed just like programming knowledge.
6. Customer Service
Offering a way for people to contact you, communicating clearly with customers, presenting your ideas, asking the right questions, providing solutions to their problems, and having a good refund policy all feed into a great customer experience. If your clients feel like they’re in good hands, they will most likely come back.
Plus, word spreads fast on the internet, and potential buyers can be quickly turned off by a few bad reviews or rants.
Legend has it that Steve Jobs, albeit he didn’t believe in customer research, was in the habit of asking a lot of people for their opinions during product development. Allegedly, he went so far as to show prototypes of devices to his neighbors and ask them what they thought of it. This provided him with much-needed feedback and insight. Whether that legend is true or not, thoroughly testing everything you ship is an important skill for any WordPress developer.
8. You are better off spending your time on the things you do best
You are better off spending your time on the things you do best, rather than on matters that could be taken care of by someone else quicker and without any extra hassle for you.
Arriving at this point should be viewed as a win, as it means you are moving forward. However, effectively leading a team, outsourcing tasks, working with an assistant, and any other type of delegation, is a skill that needs to be learned first.
9. Put your resources into something more
A project that is not working out is a little bit like a relationship that has gone sour beyond reconciliation. You still know why you got into it, and you still have an idea in your mind of what could have been, but at some point you have to admit to yourself that it’s not meant to be and move on.
For every person that remains in an unhappy relationship, there is a developer who continues to put his valuable time into a dead project. Knowing when to move on, and when to put your resources into something more promising, is a crucial skill for developers to learn.
10. Do what makes you happy
Very few people excel in things they hate. Enthusiasm and vision are great driving forces of creative endeavors. While the world can’t always be puppies and rainbows, and at times even the most fun job can feel like drudgery, it is important to retain an awareness of why you are doing what you are doing.
Whether you love the creative process, enjoy working with clients, or just want to give back to the WordPress community — know what you are in the game for.