WordPress 101 - How to Become a Successful Developer

Since its humble beginnings, WordPress has grown into a major hosting platform for many bloggers. It is used by big brands such as Google, Facebook, BBC America, The New Yorker and Variety. There are many advantages to using WordPress. One is the fact that it's free - completely free - for you to do whatever you wish. Moreover, it is easy to learn and easy to use, in addition to being highly customization with the use of various plugins and themes.

Learning the basics may be easy, but if you want to be the best of the best, you will need to invest more time and effort in order to master WordPress. A successful developer knows more than the average person. They are innovative and they go further into the unknown. If you want to be a pro, you will need to work hard for it. Here are a few tips that could guide you in the right direction.

Learn as much as possible, as often as possible
As with any other skill, in order to comprehend the platform, you will need to set aside a few hours a week to study it. The best solution would be to learn and read for at least an hour every single day. You can find a curriculum online or create your own.

You could start off with an hour a day, then slowly raise that number. As you gain more knowledge, you could increase the time you spend learning the ins and outs of WP. In addition to learning theory, you could slowly start applying your knowledge, too. For example, make your own website that you would use during this period. As you progress, apply the newly acquired skills to the website. By doing this, you will be able to see what your weakest and strongest points are. It would be a great way of practicing and improving.

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Find well-written, quality material. There are a lot of blogs, websites, and forums dedicated to WordPress. These are comprised of experts, as well as other beginners like you. For example, you can try out Bob WP or WPMV DEV. There are also books on this topic and you could always take up an online class on WordPress, and learn about it in a more traditional way. Either way, you have many different options, so you can choose whatever suits you best.

Get to know WordPress in detail
When you make the decision to learn WordPress, you should study the theory first, as mentioned previously. The next natural step would be to get down to the core of WP technology. If you want to be a pro, you will need to be familiar with programming and coding. This would be preferable, but it is not a necessity.

You could begin with theming. Themes are a major part of this platform, since they influence the layout of the website. How would you start, then? Well, let's say you find an existing theme and play with it. Go through the code and try to understand what makes it tick. Next up, you could modify the code and make it your own. This could get you started with the whole process of coding in WordPress. Once you get comfortable with this, you could make a new theme from scratch, and work on it by improving or changing it.

Next up, test out plugin development. After themes, plugins are the next big part of WP. These two make the whole platform interesting and engaging for users. Maybe create a completely new plugin that will have a real purpose. You could then release it and get valuable feedback. Plus, if it is good, you could get the much-needed attention and perhaps find some clients. Who knows what could happen?

Just like with the plugins, you could create themes and release them for the public. For example, at first, publish them for free, but as you get better, you could start earning some money from them. A good strategy could get you lots of clients and money.

Get yourself out there
Once you overcome the basics and get on with developing, you could start getting more involved with the WordPress community. Find forums where you can share your knowledge and experience. Maybe you could help someone, teach them, or find useful information for yourself. Forums are a great place to exchange tips and tricks.

Furthermore, you can create your own website, where you could share your insights about WordPress. For example, share tutorials, little-known facts about WP, or tips on how to master the platform. This engagement could help you spread the word about your work, which could take you to many interesting places. Additionally, you would meet other WP developers, make new useful contacts and, perhaps, get into a business deal with them. All in all, being a part of this community would be of great benefit to you.

In conclusion, becoming a WordPress developer requires time and firm dedication. It will not come overnight. You need to give it all you got, and then some. More importantly, you have to be active on the web. Try to get noticed because this will bring you clients and work. The more experience you have, the more efficient you will become.