If you’ve just entered the world of content management systems (CMS) or you’re interested in learning more about Web programming, you may be asking “What does a WordPress developer do?” These Web developers create themes, plugins, scripts and database routines for the WordPress CMS, which is based on the popular PHP programming language. WordPress is an open-source application for creating blogs, forums, storefronts and company Websites through an intuitive graphical user interface.
Most WordPess developers earn money by creating custom themes and layouts for private clients or customers in an open market, such as Themeforest.net. Only a few of these developers earn enough income from theme development to work full time. Others may supplement their income with freelance work.
What Are the Educational Requirements to Become a WordPress Developer?
Many full-time WordPress developers have at least an associate’s degree in Web design or a bachelor’s degree in computer science, but there are no standard requirements to entering this field. If you’re developing themes on a freelance basis, simply knowing how to create themes in HTML and CSS is sufficient, as long as your themes are attractive and popular.
In an open marketplace, themes can sell for $40 to $50 and often attract hundreds or thousands of buyers. When working under contract for a private client, you may spend a month developing themes, scripts and plugins and receive $3,000 to $4,000 in payment. If you’re applying for a full-time position with an employer, you may be expected to have a degree, although the equivalent experience and work samples may convince them that you’re right for the job.
How to Find Work as a WordPress Developer
In the world of WordPress development, experience and examples of your work are more important than a college degree. The first step to becoming a WordPress developer is to start building themes and plugins to distribute through the WordPress plugin library or other open platforms. This path can take several months before you begin earning money, so you should have another source of income while you’re learning.
When you feel that you’ve mastered the intermediate to advanced aspects of CSS3, HTML5 and PHP, you can begin looking for work in freelance markets such as oDesk, Elance and Craigslist. This stage of your career can also take several months before you begin earning a full-time income, but once you have a track record of happy clients, you can take on more advanced jobs for more money. When you have enough examples of professional-level work, you can apply for a salaried position with a company.
Related Resource: Content Developer
Since WordPress is one of the most popular CMS platforms on the Web, the need for WordPress developers continues to grow. Consider how different the many types of WordPress sites can be when asking “What does a WordPress developer do?”