Due to the wide popularity and it’s seamless features, WordPress has become a leading Content Management System and there are countless people who want to become developers themselves. And actually, there are some people who looked at code as their hobby and have emerged as “DIY Developers”.
WordPress is an easy-to-use platform because its functions are clear, documentation is phenomenal and coding style is easy to understand and extremely transparent. Becoming a top WordPress developer is not an easy task – It is going to take a lot of time, determination and hard efforts.
Being one of the best developer is little hard, The odds are always stacked against you. With this article, I’ll try to give you some quick and easy ways on how to become a real professional WordPress developer.
By the way, installing WordPress, customizing a few themes and reading a few tutorials will not make someone a top developer. They may call themselves an Expert, as they may know more than an average person. But a good developer should be far beyond the basics and able to break all the possible boundaries. Good developers innovate and demonstrate their mastery in their work and also contribute to the community. So, I want you to be the best developer – more than an expert.
1. Why Be A Top Developer?
If you work with WordPress, there’s no reason to settle for average. Because there is too much scope in WordPress and there are many things to do in life. There are some other reasons too:
Have the most influence
Being the best developer means you have the capability to shape the future of WordPress as well as the system built around it.
Get the best clients
If you are the top developer, you have the freedom to say ‘No’ to the projects you’re not interested in and ‘Yes’ to the projects you do.
Make the most money
There is high demand for WordPress development and the clients are ready to hire WordPress developer and pay more to the developers who are masters in their field.
2. An Hour Of Reading A Day
If you really want to become a top developer, you need to spend at least an hour every day focused on reading and learning more about WordPress, other than development. There is no short cut to success. Learning and mastering WordPress is going to take good time and if you are committed to learn and sacrifice some of your habits like watching T.V. or playing games, you will gradually reach the top place.
3. Hang out With The Right Crowd
There are many WordPress developers, you can follow them to get started. We become like those, who we associate with. And, if you want to become one of the top WordPress professional, start spending time with those who are at the top by reading their blogs, giving feedback on their thoughts and ideas, reading the interviews, ask them for advice, following their advice and reporting back.
4. Read The Material
There is a large amount of reading material on WordPress as there are thousands of people talking about WordPress. This is the reason, WordPress is becoming increasingly popular and at the same time difficult to filter through the noise. When you commit to master WordPress, you should start your journey by searching and using the highest quality resources and concentrating your efforts just on them. Here are some of the best resources to get you started:
It is a repository edited by the WordPress community for all the things related to WordPress. You should start with the basics and focus on mastering the interface from an end user’s perspective.
Books On WordPress
There are hundreds of books available on WordPress. Just start off with the titles you’re most interested and then work towards others. When you have finished reading, thank the author and write a review.
Blogs On WordPress
Find the best blogs on WordPress and follow. Read the blogs regularly, subscribe to the feeds and provide the feedbacks to the authors.
5. Understand The technology
If you are looking to master WordPress as a developer you need to understand the technology. Make sure your skills are up-to-date. If you are already a programmer, then technologies like PHP/MySQL aren’t new to you. Here are some ways to start:
Learn PHP and MySQL
Avoid accessing the old articles and read the latest updated material about PHP and MySQL. These two technologies are correlated and really very important. If you learnt them a few years ago, there are lot of practices which are probably out-of-date, so start getting the latest references from online sites and forums.
Explore The Codebase
Take the time to explore WordPress and be familiar with how WordPress is structured. Read through documentation and understand thoroughly how things work and if you have any queries ask questions on the WordPress forums or the experts.
Run The Nightly
It is crucial that you create a local development environment and run the nightly build to stay updated on WordPress as it’s being developed.
Read “Make WordPress”
Following the development discussions taking place on make.wordpress.org, is a good way to start understanding the WordPress technology. You can also follow the discussions about Plugins, Themes and Core for beginners.
6.Do The Homework
You should put into practice, the things you learn. Once you’ve read a tutorial, you need to follow it, experience and break things down. Track the things what you’ve learned and record the insights and important documentation for future references. Spend your maximum time in applying the things you’ve learned into your own projects and experiments.
Here are few areas which you should explore:
AJAX in WordPress
Though you are familiar with AJAX, you should learn about the use of AJAX in WordPress. Further, move on to learn how to tackle AJAX in plugin development and search for the tutorials to build your experience.
There are various APIs available on the Codex. Start familiarizing yourself by reading through the information on each of API and experiment by using them in your projects. There are number of tutorials to use each of the APIs, so get the experience on some real-world perspective on what can be done with each API.
WordPress PHP Classes
Get familiarized with the list of classes created by the WordPress developers. Experiment them by using in your own projects and master them. Specifically, you should pay attention to WP_Theme, WP_Query and wpdb. Find the tutorials on each of the classes and the non core community contributed classes like WPAlchemy.
To become a top WordPress developer, you require a good mindset and continual improvement and hard work. Starting with focussing on education and moving on to extensive real-world experience and having firm determination will finally lead you to the title of a ‘Top Developer’. Further, you need to have dedication towards WordPress community as well as recognizing the responsibilities of those who shape the future of WordPress.
Do you have any advice, How to become a top developer? Please share you thoughts in the comments section.