A Guide To Becoming A WordPress Developer

Illustration by Johanna Jonasson via Dribbble

Are You Looking Into Becoming A WordPress Developer?

Websites built with WordPress make up more than 40% of the websites on the internet. That means that there is the opportunity for a lot of jobs and career opportunities within the WordPress ecosystem. One of those jobs is that of a WordPress developer.

Becoming a WordPress developer is a great way to establish yourself within the web development marketplace.

How Much Money Do WordPress Developers Make?

What WordPress developers make can range quite a bit. WordPress developers make in the range from as little as $23,500 and as high as $111,500, according to ZipRecruiter, with the majority of WordPress developers making between $48,500 and $77,000. This means that there are a lot of opportunities for WordPress developers to grow within a company as their skills and experience grows or to make make more money on their own.

What Is A WordPress Developer?

Now that you have a reason for wanting to become a WordPress developer, what exactly is a WordPress developer? A WordPress developer is someone who either works on WordPress itself, creates, customizes and maintains WordPress websites or creates new WordPress themes and plugins.

That’s kind of a broad definition of what a WordPress developer is, but WordPress can be a broad ecosystem by itself.

As a WordPress developer, you have a few ways that you can go either in your career or on your own.

Do WordPress Developers Need To Know How To Code?

You can do a lot with WordPress without having to know how to code. WordPress allows you to create and design almost any kind of website without knowing any HTML5, CSS3, Javascript or PHP, which is what is used to create and style WordPress and its themes and plugins.

WordPress Themes

As I’ve said before, WordPress allows you to create and design almost any kind of website that you can think of, but the design that it comes with “out of the box” is probably the most vanilla and boring design that you will see on the web, or pretty close to it. What I’m talking about here is the blank WordPress installation and default theme that it comes with.

Luckily, WordPress allows you to create your own design, or to work with premade templates that are called themes.

There are many WordPress themes to choose from. Some of the most popular are OceanWP, Astra, Storefront, Hueman, Agama and Colibri WP, and of course there are many more to choose from and many more on the way since demand is only going up.

These WordPress themes are made with HTML5, CSS3, Javascript and PHP. WordPress is a great way to have specific designs for everything from simple brochure websites, blogs, membership websites, online stores and more.

Creating WordPress themes is one career path or option when working for yourself as a WordPress developer.

WordPress Plugins

A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that is added to WordPress websites, and that adds or extends functionality to the website.

WordPress plugins are similar to what apps on mobile phones. Apps add functionality to mobile phones similar in a way that WordPress plugins add functionality to WordPress websites.

There are thousands of free and paid WordPress plugins, and there are always more coming out. The repository at WordPress.org has almost 60,000 plugins, and there are many other marketplaces that have thousands of plugins as well.

Some examples of WordPress categories include forms, extended security, social media, SEO, e-commerce, online stores, live chat, drag and drop page building, mailing lists, and many more.

WordPress plugins not only need to be created, but they also need to be maintained, so building and maintaining WordPress plugins is another career path or option when working for yourself.

WordPress Jobs

With over 450 millions websites that are powered by WordPress, you can be sure there are plenty of WordPress developer jobs. There really is no accurate way to know how many WordPress developer jobs there are in total, you can simply go to the one many job boards, for example, Indeed, Hired, ZipRecruiter, Monster, etc., and you will see the number of jobs that are available are into the thousands.

These jobs can vary greatly, from working for a web design agency, to working for a WordPress marketplace.

Working For Yourself As A WordPress Developer

It’s hard to know how many WordPress developers are working for themselves as freelancers. You can take a look at online job boards like UpWork and FreeLancer and see that there are almost always job postings for some kind of WordPress development work.

There are also many WordPress developers that work locally in the area where they live, usually working for people that are self employed or small businesses.

Working for yourself as a freelancer can have many benefits, including making your own schedule, not having a cap on what you can earn, not having a boss, being able to not work when you don’t want to and more.

Working for yourself means that you will probably have a website. There are many great free as well as paid resources for building your website, for example, stock photography websites like Kaboom Pics and Pexels.com and web hosting coupon codes, where you can find great deals on web hosting.

Resources For Learning WordPress Development

There are many great, free and paid resources where you can learn WordPress development. You can simply do either a YouTube or a Google search and type in something like “WordPress development tutorial” and you will get what seems to be an endless supply of resources for learning WordPress development.

It is great to start off with free tutorials and courses, but paid courses usually offer a better quality and more in depth instruction compared to the free ones. You will probably want to go through some paid courses to really get a deeper knowledge base of WordPress development.

Some of the best paid courses to learn WordPress development can be found at Udemy, SkillShare and WP101.

Udemy is a video tutorial marketplace that has the largest collection of quality courses for learning WordPress development. Any person that teaches WordPress can make their own courses and sell them on Udemy.

The prices for some of these courses can be as low as around ten dollars, but usually around one hundred to two hundred dollars. Many times you can get some of these courses at a discount.


In conclusion, With some time and dedication, and at a relatively low cost, you can become a WordPress developer either working for a company or for yourself.

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