In our world today, more than 50 million websites on the internet run on the WordPress platform. For someone new to the platform, there are so many perks to enjoy and it’s so easy to get immersed in it. Apart from the recognizable fact that it’s free, it’s also easy to understand and navigate.
WordPress makes it easy for anyone to write and publish articles on a blog or website and for the average WP user, learning at this level is enough. But to become an expert WordPress developer, you must decide to make that leap. Time, dedication, energy, and determination must be devoted for you to be the best at it.
Like we mentioned earlier, there are so many perks to becoming an expert WordPress developer. Some of them are;
- Gain Influence
If you are passionate about WordPress, you become established and this will cause you to enjoy better influence and reputation on the platform. Remember that the number of companies looking to hire WordPress experts is on the rise.
- Get Better Clients
This is obviously the best part of being an expert in WordPress. You can be a freelance expert for clients and you can begin to make money on the side even if you have a day job. When clients are impressed with your service, they’ll recommend you to other clients and the cycle continues.
- Make Your Contributions
Expert WordPress programmers can actually give back to the community by attending WordCamps and Meetups. You can make the right connection with like minds and gain more ground.
In essence, the possibilities of using WordPress are quite endless.
Below are the steps one can take to become an expert in WordPress:
This is where it all begins. For you to be really good at WordPress, you must install the software on your computer and familiarize yourself with the various functions.
You can download WordPress from the official site and install it using a server stack like MAMP (for MAC users) or XAMPP for (Windows and Linux users). This is to ensure that the testing of new features and the development of your plugins and themes don’t prove stressful.
Learn and understand the language of WordPress
For you to fully weave your way and fully utilize WP, you must understand that the platform runs different programming languages, and a basic knowledge of these languages will help you rise to the level of an expert WordPress developer in no time. And when companies are looking to hire WordPress experts, you’re a potential candidate.
HTML: The hypertext markup language is the official language of all the websites on the Internet. This is the language that gives structure to web pages and web applications. It informs you of where your heading and subheadings and titles should be. It can also be used to recall information through hypertext links as well.
CSS: While the structure (or HTML) for every webpage is mostly the same, the styling differs. And this is where the Cascading Style Sheets come in. CSS is used to denote the differences in the structure and it ranges from the font style, font color, typeface, font size, margin size and spacing, positions of images on the page, animation effects and other elements on the webpage.
PHP: The Hypertext Pre-processor is known as an open source, the server-side programming language used in WP, which can be applied to all areas of the webpage. With this language, you execute several functions on the webpage like accessing databases, encrypting data, automatically generating files and much more. PHP is encoded on the server before it appears in the browser.
Learning these languages can be time-consuming, but in the long run, it will shape you into a professional. You don’t need to be a guru in all of these tools, but it‘s important to be deft in most of them.
After learning the scripting languages in WP, the next step to take is to troubleshoot your WP pages for errors and solve them. WordPress has an inbuilt debugging feature that can help you identify errors on your webpage. You can turn it on manually in the wp-config.php page located under the main directory where WP is installed. Then you can type in the following lines at the bottom of the file:
define( ‘WP_DEBUG’, true );
define( ‘SCRIPT_DEBUG’, true );
When you do this, errors messages will display on your screen. Errors can come in the form of blank pages, missing files, PHP errors, plugin malfunctions, and you can solve them while running a “website under maintenance” page to alert those who visit your website.
Create Your Unique Personalized Projects
As an expert WordPress developer, you should know how to create your own themes and plugins for your web pages and the pages of your clients. This will help distinguish you from others in the community and it’s what companies look for when they want to hire WordPress experts.
You can put your CSS skills to go use by using a feature like Genesis or Bones to create your child themes and plugins.
Join WordPress Forums
WordPress has a community of blogs and forums you can go to and learn a thing or two from. It’s important to develop the habit of visiting these forums. Each of them is specific and unique, and your constant comments and contributions will connect you with experts like you and prospective clients who are in need of your services.
From what has been discussed above, you can see that to become an expert WordPress developer, it takes a great deal of work, time, errors and patience. The steps are daunting to practice, but rewarding and can open up a host of opportunities to you in the end. Here’s a brief recap of the steps expert WordPress programmers take.
- Install WP
- Learn the various languages (HTML, CSS, PHP, JS)
- Troubleshoot and Solve problems in WP
- Create your own plugins and themes
- Join the communities
So, what are you waiting for?