WordPress certainly needs no introduction. With over 41% of the top 10 million websites in the world using it as of May 2021, WordPress is still the go-to platform for content management, including blogs, online stores, forums, media galleries, mailing lists, and many more. To quote Fred Meyer, WordPress is a factory that makes web pages.
But like any other content management system, WordPress needs professional developers to tweak it to optimal performance and truly make it shine. Needless to say, the hunt for these professionals is becoming quite intense, which spells exciting employment opportunities for those ready and willing to try. But, if you are considering a career in this direction, you need to know which skills and abilities are required, and what makes a WordPress developer perform well.
To find that out, we took a look at the myriad job descriptions available out there for the “WordPress developer” job ads. Jooble alone provides over 300 thousand WordPress vacancies after in a single search. We have identified the qualities and skills which show up most frequently in these ads, as follows:
- First and foremost, a strong WordPress ability and a solid grasp on template hierarchy.
- Experience creating interfaces for websites. This should include experience with responsive design, cross browser compatibility and design-to-code implementation.
- At least some basic knowledge of the Search Engine Optimization process.
- Good command of the English language, both oral and written. This is crucial for communicating with stakeholders, as well as understanding the content.
- Excellent attention to detail and good visual tastes. Today, the value of any content is increased (or decreased) by its visual presentation. You need enough attention to detail to be able to accurately build user interfaces based on design references.
- Self-motivation and a methodical approach to all tasks. You need to be able to work efficiently with little to no supervision, while prioritizing workloads by yourself, in order to meet deadlines.
- To further your career, you will eventually need considerable strong organizational and leadership skills, because somewhere down the road, you will inevitably find yourself leading a team.
We are fully aware, that this list seems like a handful at first. However, once you break it down and analyse it (much like you would with your WordPress tasks), you will find that it is quite reachable. Here are a few tips to improve your skills and knowledge, on your way to a successful career as a WordPress developer:
- Spend A LOT of time with WordPress. The only way to get to know a platform, system or tool, is to use it as much as possible, while getting into as much detail as possible.
- Take online courses for the technologies that you feel less confident about. From SEO to HTML to Foundation, there are accessible courses for anything out there. This applies to your English as well. Get on it and start studying!
- Try some freelancing to get more experience. Jooble and UpWork offer literally thousands of gigs for WordPress developers. Taking on a couple of them will help you build confidence and broaden your horizons.
- You could also try some personal branding and time management trainings. Improving your soft skills and your social acumen is at least as important as being tech savvy.
No matter which step you occupy on your career ladder right now, the only way forward is up. Dare to strive for more and you will surely be rewarded!
Text by Teodor Birsa