One of the best things about WordPress is how well it scales with your user skills. You can easily and quickly create a successful site without technical knowledge. For the “engine” there are many plugins that can add certain functions. However, they may not always realize all your ideas. And often in this case, WordPress users begin to search for and create solutions on their own, becoming WordPress developers.
Table of Contents
- Opportunities of WordPress Development
- Basic Web Programming Languages
- Top Free and Paid Courses
- Educational Video Channels
- A Few More Tips
- Final Word
With over 76 million users, WordPress is the most popular CMS. Due to this popularity, there are always people who are looking for a WordPress developer to improve the functionality of their site. Improving WordPress includes writing standalone code that interacts with the core WordPress code. If you make a mistake in the process of writing code, then you will not have to reinstall the entire WordPress, as the base code will remain intact. You can share your work for free in the WordPress repository or sell it on your website or in private marketplaces.
There are many ways to ease your way into the world of developing WordPress and begin to sharpen the necessary skills. In this case, the most important question arises: “Where to start?” To help you, we will focus on what you need to know and I will give you the best tips.
Opportunities of WordPress Development
First, let's clarify one point. When we talk about how to become a WordPress developer, it is not necessary to be engaged in the development of an entire working day. Some of the most common reasons for learning to program in WordPress include:
- default parameters are not enough to configure the site
- existing plugins and themes do not provide what you need, so you want to develop your own
- you would like to make money on developing WordPress; for example, by selling plugins, themes or ready-made websites
- you want to contribute to WordPress by developing the platform itself
There are many ways and means, but each person must find the best for himself. However, there are some common things without which it will be difficult to gain experience.
Basic Web Programming Languages
An important criterion for learning WordPress programming is familiarity with the languages on which the platform is built. There are only 4 of them:
- PHP. This scripting language forms the basis of WordPress and is required for many tasks related to system logic, database calls, creating, storing and outputting content.
- HTML. This is a markup language that defines how the website’s web pages look in the user's browser.
- CSS. This language adds style to the site’s content (for example, colors, sizes, fonts, and spacing).
Top Free and Paid Courses
To help you, here below, I have compiled the best free and paid courses for a WordPress developer.
Envato Tuts+ offers video courses and written tutorials to help you learn creative skills in code, design and illustration, photography, video, music, web design, game development, business, and more.
There are 26,920 Envato Tuts+ tutorials available to you completely free, including WordPress guides. Based on specific projects, they include step-by-step written instructions and screenshots to help you practice and master the skills needed to create a practical outcome.
Envato Tuts+ courses help you learn a particular skill from start to finish. Over 1,190 courses typically include 2—3 hours of video, organized into chapters and bite-size lessons. You can subscribe to Envato Elements to access the full library. You can filter courses by topics, level of difficulty, and turn on closed captions.
To get those courses, you need to buy a $16.50/month subscription. It includes two Envato sites: Envato Elements and Envato Tuts+.
Lynda is a leading online learning platform that helps people learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through different types of subscriptions, members have access to the video library and courses taught by recognized industry experts. Besides that, Lynda has tutorials in five languages. At the site, you can get a 1-month free trial and select a learning plan with the right to cancel at anytime.
At the moment, there are 2,323 WordPress related tutorials. You will find courses on website development, search engine optimization for WordPress, reviews of popular plugins, and specialized courses for developers on the use of modern approaches in programming for WordPress. Also, you can filter your search results by many options including skill level, duration, subjects, software, companies, and authors.
Udemy allows its users to publish courses on any topic, as well as study online. Beginners can learn how to create and develop a site, while those who already know the basics can learn advanced WordPress features. The choice is very rich. There are over 800 WordPress courses in the platform’s library, 160 of which are free.
Almost all online courses consist of video lectures, tests and additional materials. In addition, you can filter your search results by topic, level, language, duration, price, features, and ratings.
This is a popular blog about working with WordPress, tips, tricks, and a series of training videos. The author of the lessons is Syed Balkhi - a freelancer and blogger who actively uses the system for various tasks. In 2009, Syed began his blog so that the practical knowledge of working with WordPress was open and accessible to everyone, just like the system itself.
This is one of the most popular reference resources on WordPress, helping to understand the technologies and practices of creating sites on WordPress.
Here you can find helpful WordPress Beginner Videos. These short and simple lessons include basic skills for working with WordPress - how to create and fill the page, how to use the media library, how to insert a link, a video and not get lost in the settings. Videos are updated along with the release of WordPress new versions.
An online community of studying various web disciplines: design, programming, layout. Here you will find a complete series of WordPress development training courses. More than 30 WordPress courses and seminars have already been published in the library of the system. They are designed for users and developers of different levels. The subscription price starts from $25 per month; however, before purchase you have a 7-day trial period.
The Treehouse Bonus System supports students during the course and makes the learning process fun.
A series of courses on the use of WordPress, targeted at DIY site owners. Bonus to each course offers additional training on site security and a question and answer forum, where users get practical advice. For now, they offer four different WordPress training bundles:
- WordPress Quick Start: this free course covers the beginner skills. It will help you to learn the basics in about an hour.
- WordPress Essentials: this course covers the core WordPress functionality. Lifetime access costs $47.
- WordPress Website Blueprint: a step-by-step guide to building a business website with WordPress. The WordPress Essentials course is included in this training bundle. The price is $99.
- WordPress Business Blueprint & E-Commerce Bundle: for business owners who want to sell directly from their websites. The price is $147.
The crash course on working with WordPress was created by the designer Shawn Hesketh in 2008. The course is constantly updated and new lessons describe the updates in WordPress. Short video tutorials introduce the basics of working on WordPress or help to remember some of the techniques if anything has been forgotten or not understood. Subscribers have access to collections of reference resources and a forum in which students receive practical teacher assistance. You can get access through the subscription from $19 per month. Also, if during the first 30 days of using WP101 you don’t like it, you can cancel the subscription and get all of your money back.
WP Sessions consists of training webinars on WordPress where the developers, in addition to accessing the video archive of records, get access to video courses created by well-known WordPress community members Pippin Williamson, Tom McFarlin, and Zack Tollman. To get access, you need to become a member of WP Sessions. The price starts from $4 per month.
Level Up Tuts
This free video course platform for web developers contains more than 30 courses on modern design and web development tools. For now, there are 3 free courses for WordPress development.
Educational Video Channels
In addition to WordPress courses, there are many educational video channels where you can find tips on a specific issue, see reviews of new features, or listen to practical recommendations from developers and site owners. I have included several popular and interesting channels to this article.
The official WordPress video channel regularly publishes recordings from all WordCamp conferences around the world, including speeches by key developers and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg.
Video tutorials and how-to’s on how to use WordPress and various plugins for it. New videos appear every day in addition to regular blog posts of WP beginner.
A selection of video tutorials demonstrating the process of developing a theme for WordPress is highlighted in a separate series within the channel for learning web development LearnWebCode. The principles of the organization of templates, work with menus, widgets, record formats, interaction with the Customizer API are considered.
Let’s Build WordPress
A series of DIY lessons on building a site on WordPress. The series contains practical techniques and tips from choosing a strong password to creating sitemaps for search engines.
A Few More Tips
There is a large amount of material available on WordPress. There are thousands of people talking about WordPress, so it’s getting harder to “filter noise”. However, when you start mastering WordPress, you should start your journey by searching for the highest quality resources, concentrating your efforts on them. Here are some resources for you to understand what I mean:
- WordPress Codex. A publicly editable repository for everything related to WordPress. Start with the basics and focus on mastering the WordPress interface from the end user's point of view. Learn about the semantics of WordPress. Read about theme design and plugin development.
- Developer Resources. This is a resource with themes and plugin development guides, as well as with more advanced topics such as the REST API.
- Cheat Sheets for WordPress, Web Developers and Designers. Descriptive "cheat sheets" for WordPress developers conveniently sorted by topic.
- WordPress Books. Start with those whose names will attract you. Just ask yourself if the book “WordPress for Dummies” is too easy for you? Or not?
- We become like those with whom we interact. If you want to be one of the best WordPress developers, begin to spend time with those who are at the top. Read their blogs, follow them on Twitter, give "feedback" on their thoughts and ideas, visit the WordCamps and socialize with them. Read the CodePoet interviews. Follow their example, ask them for advice, follow their advice, and report the results. Here, for a start, is a small list of WordPress developers:
Hopefully, this article has helped you answer the question of how to become a WordPress developer. Once you learn certain subtleties of WordPress and practice them a bit, it will not be difficult to apply your programming skills in your work. What you can achieve is limited only by your knowledge and desire to expand it.