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Navigating the Challenges of Becoming a WordPress Development: A Day in the Life of a Developer

By Mike Bowden —  | |  — No Comments
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Navigating the Challenges of Becoming a WordPress Development: A Day in the Life of a Developer

What are the basics of a WordPress Developers's Job?

Welcome to the wonderful world of WordPress development! If you're reading this, chances are you're interested in learning more about what it takes to design, build, and customize websites using the open-source WordPress platform. Or maybe you're just here for the humor...Right.

First things first, let's start with the basics of what you'll learn as a WordPress developer. In a nutshell, as a WordPress developer, you'll be responsible for creating, maintaining, and customizing websites using the official WordPress platform. This includes learning to design custom themes, plugins, and the skills you need to optimize website performance and security. It's a lot of work, but it's also incredibly enriching.

You might think, "What the heck is WordPress, and why should I care?" Great question! WordPress is a content management system (CMS) and website-building platform that allows users to create and manage a website without requiring extensive coding or technical knowledge. It's like the Lego of website building - it's easy to use and customize, but the possibilities are endless.

But why is web development so important in today's digital landscape? We live in a world where the internet is a fundamental part of our daily lives. Everything can be done online, from ordering groceries to connecting with friends and family. And with more and more businesses moving online, having a strong online presence is essential. That's where web development comes in - it's the foundation for creating an engaging and effective online presence for any business or organization.

What Does a WordPress Developer Do?

Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of a WordPress developer's job, let's delve a little deeper into what a developer actually does on a day-to-day basis.

As previously mentioned, a developer is responsible for designing, building, and customizing websites using the WordPress platform. This includes everything from creating custom themes and plugins to integrating external APIs and 3rd party services.

One of the most important tasks of a developer is the design and development of custom WordPress themes and plugins. This is where creativity comes in. A good WordPress developer can turn a client's vision into a visually stunning and fully functional website. This can involve creating custom templates, custom post types, custom fields, and custom taxonomies, among other things.

Another critical aspect of a developer's job is the integration of external APIs and 3rd party services. This can include anything from integrating with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to integrating with e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce or Shopify. It's all about making the website as functional and efficient as possible. For instance, if you look closely at this website, there are social media share buttons that can automatically share this post on your social profile of choice.

Optimizing website performance and security are also crucial to a developer's job. This includes ensuring the website runs fast, making it mobile-friendly (responsive), and securing it from hacking and other online threats.

How Hard is the Job of a WordPress Developer?

Welcome to the not-so-glamorous side of WordPress development - the level of difficulty. Now, I don't want to scare you away, but it's important to have a realistic understanding of the challenges faced by developers.

Let's talk about the level of difficulty of the job. It's not easy. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn and adapt constantly. As technology and the web are always evolving, developers need to be able to keep up with the latest technologies and best practices. And let's be honest, keeping up with the latest technologies can be a full-time job on its own.

But what exactly are the challenges faced by WordPress developers? For starters, there's the ever-present challenge of staying up-to-date. As I mentioned earlier, this can be a full-time job in itself. Additionally, there's the challenge of dealing with client expectations and interactions. Clients can have a vision of what they want their website to look like and do, but it's the developer's job to turn that vision into a reality. And let's be honest— not everyone has a clear vision. We must remember that most clients have yet to learn what can or cannot be done with a website and WordPress.

Another big challenge is problem-solving and troubleshooting. As with any job, things sometimes go differently than planned. And when things go wrong, it's the developer's job to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. It can be a real brain teaser sometimes. And, yes, it is true that things will sometimes get fixed, and we have no clue what corrected the issue.

So, is it hard? Yes, it is. But is it worth it? Absolutely. The satisfaction of seeing a project come to life and knowing that you played a part in it is gratifying.

What is The Difference Between a WordPress Developer and a WordPress Designer?

Let's start with the roles and responsibilities. A developer is responsible for the technical side of things - the behind-the-scenes work that makes a website run smoothly, also known as back-end development. This includes things like coding, optimization, and security. On the other hand, a WordPress designer is responsible for the visual side of things - the look and feel of the website or the opposite of a back-end developer, a front-end developer. This includes things like design, layout, color, and typography.

Now, how do these two roles complement each other? Think of it like a cake. A web developer is the flour, sugar, and eggs - the foundation and structure. A web designer is the icing and decorations - the visual appeal. Without the developer, the cake wouldn't hold together. Without the designer, the cake wouldn't look appetizing. Together, they make a delicious cake (or, in this case, a website).

A developer needs to have a solid understanding of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP regarding technical skills. Likewise, a WordPress designer must understand design principles such as user interface and user experience, layout, color theory, and typography. While they share some similarities, the skills required for each role differ.

How to Become a WordPress Developer

So, you still want to become a WordPress developer? First, let's discuss the steps and resources to start learning WordPress development. The good news is that there are plenty of resources available. From online tutorials to college courses, the options are endless. Some popular resources include Codecademy, Udemy, and Coursera. The key is to find a resource that works for you and stick with it; consistency is required.

Next, let's discuss the significance of continual learning in this discipline. The web is constantly evolving, and if you want to be a successful developer, you need to be able to keep up. That means staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and best practices.

Another important aspect of becoming a developer is building a solid portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your work and a great way to showcase your skills and attract potential clients or employers. It's also a great way to keep track of your progress and see how far you've come.

Becoming a WordPress developer is a journey, and it's essential to clearly understand where you want to go and how you will get there. Setting realistic and achievable goals will help you stay focused and motivated. Remember, consistency is key!

List of WordPress Developer Jobs

As we've discussed, a WordPress developer is a professional who specializes in creating, maintaining, and customizing websites using the WordPress platform. In addition, they have the skills to develop custom themes, plugins, and add-ons that extend the website's functionality. Based on if you are a front-end or back-end website developer.

Some of the jobs that a WordPress developer could do are:

  • Theme Developer: Design and develop custom WordPress themes for different genres of websites. They are also known as front-end designers.
  • Plugin Developer: Create custom plugins and add-ons to extend the website's functionality. This would be a back-end developer.
  • Performance Optimizer: Optimize website performance, including page load speed, mobile responsiveness, and search engine optimization.
  • Security Specialist: Ensure the website is secure and protected from hackers and other security threats, such as malware and DDoS attacks.
  • Web Designer: Work with clients and developers to create and maintain a consistent design and user experience across the website.
  • Project Manager: Manage the development of a website from start to finish, including planning, budgeting, and client communication.
  • Technical Support: Provide technical support and troubleshoot any issues with the website.
  • Consultant: Provide expert advice and guidance to clients on effectively using WordPress to achieve their business goals.

These are only a few of the job descriptions that a front-end and back-end developer experienced with WordPress would be qualified for. A WordPress developer may specialize in front-end and back-end development, plugin development, web design, and more. The WordPress community also has job boards and developer resources specifically for WordPress developers, where you can find various job opportunities that fit your skills and expertise. Whether you're looking to work on complex projects, design, build and customize websites, or create plugins, becoming a WordPress developer is an ideal path for a wide range of positions and pay scales.

Becoming a WordPress Developer: Insights and Strategies

So, you want to become a successful WordPress developer? Duh... Well, you're in luck because I'm here to give you the insider scoop on what it takes to make it in development.

Characteristics and mindset are essential to be a successful developer. Successful developers are problem-solvers with a passion for learning, a strong work ethic, and the ability to adapt to change. Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies, having a solid portfolio, and setting and achieving professional goals are also key to building a thriving career as a WordPress developer.

One common challenge is staying up-to-date with the latest WordPress trends and technologies. Try to always to stay informed and actively seek out new information. Communication skills are also a must for any good website developer, regardless if you plan to work on the front-end or back-end, as you'll deal with other professionals, clients, or employers. It's also essential to track your progress with a portfolio, social media accounts, a personal website, or a combination of these. This blog is an excellent example of how I keep track of my progress, as it serves as a place to test and deploy new skills. How to Know When You Are an Expert with WordPress Being a WordPress expert is about more than just knowing how to code or design a website. It's about having a deep understanding of the platform and its capabilities and the ability to solve problems and create effective solutions for clients.

When it comes to proficiency in development, there are different levels of expertise. For example, some developers specialize in design and customization, while others focus on performance optimization and security. However, all experts should have a strong foundation in core WordPress concepts such as theme development, plugin creation, and the WordPress codebase.

But expertise continues beyond there. With technology constantly evolving, WordPress experts must keep up with the latest trends and updates through ongoing learning and professional development. This helps you stay current in the field, gives you an edge over competitors, and positions you as a valuable asset to clients or employers.

Earning certifications or recognition for your WordPress expertise can boost your credibility and showcase your knowledge to potential clients. Whether it's becoming a certified WordPress developer or receiving recognition from industry leaders, these accolades demonstrate your commitment to the platform and your ability to deliver high-quality work.

How Much Does a WordPress Developer Make?

Ah, the age-old question, how much does a WordPress developer make? Well, as a world-renowned WordPress expert, I'm here to tell you all the dirty details.

According to Glassdoor, WordPress developers' average salary range in the United States is around $74,000 annually. However, it's important to note that this number can vary depending on various factors such as location, experience, and skill level.

Experience and skill level are two of the most significant factors affecting a developer's salary. Developers with more experience and a higher skill level can command higher salaries than those just starting. Another essential factor that can affect a developer's salary is location. Salaries can vary significantly across different regions and industries. For example, a WordPress developer in San Francisco will likely make more than a developer in a smaller city. Of course, working for a company, freelancing, or running your own business can also affect how much you would make as a developer.

As the demand for WordPress developers continues to grow, there is a lot of potential for career advancement and earning potential. With the right skills and experience, a developer can quickly advance to a lead developer or even a manager position.


Well, folks, we've made it to the end of our journey through the world of WordPress development. From understanding the basics of a WordPress developer's job to delving into the nitty-gritty of what a developer does, we've covered a lot of ground.

WordPress development is a challenging but rewarding field with a lot of potential for career advancement and earning potential. As the demand for WordPress continues to grow, understanding the basics of a developer's job and role in the industry becomes more important than ever.

So, whether you're a beginner just starting out in development or an experienced developer looking to improve your skills, I hope you've found this article informative, helpful, and fun. And remember to use WordPress daily whether you want to become a back-end or front-end developer, freelancer, or work directly for an agency.

Happy coding!

Mike Bowden
With a diverse background as a tech enthusiast, writer, educator, and small business owner, I bring decades of experience creating, hosting, securing, and maintaining WordPress websites. Join me on my journey as we navigate the digital age and uncover insights that inspire growth and success.
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