WordPress Development

How to Become a WordPress Developer
With WordPress being the most popular content management system, there will always be users looking for developers to help enhance their websites. By becoming a WordPress developer, you can monetize your work or share them for free.

Either way, it’s essential to understand the fundamental aspects of the job first. So, this tutorial will explain what you need to learn to become a capable WordPress developer.

What Can You Create and Develop?

  1. Themes
  2. Plugins
  3. Widgets
  4. Entire WordPress websites
  5. Web Applications via Rest API
    What Do You Need to Know as A WordPress Developer?
    HTML (preferably HTML5)
    CSS (Preferably CSS3)
    PHP
    MySQL
    JavaScript
    jQuery
    AJAX
    Sharing Your Work For Free through WordPress Repositories
    Monetizing Your Work by Finding Clients
    Dealing with Contracts and Invoices
    Counting Taxes and Income
    What Can You Create and Develop?
    Modifying WordPress involves writing a standalone code that interfaces with the WordPress core code. If you make any mistakes, the core code is untouched, so you can experiment as much as you want without having to reinstall the WordPress software.

A developer can change the look and feel of the site, modify the core behavior, tweak the admin panels, or create a whole new user profile page. In other words, what you can do is only limited by your knowledge and willingness to learn.

Here are the five main creations of a WordPress developer:

  1. Themes
    In a nutshell, themes define the layout and styling of a WordPress website. It’s responsible for the overall look and “feel” of the site. A WordPress theme is the combination of multiple elements, including HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and JQuery.

With more than 31.000 available options, there’s still room to display your creation as it’s high on demand. Besides, creating a free theme for the WordPress repository can be a great way to elevate your name as a developer.

Currently, creating a responsive WordPress theme is the trend among developers. With the fluid workflows of grid systems, image use, and CSS media queries, WordPress sites with responsive themes will look good on any device, including mobile phones, tablets, monitors, or large screens.

You can create themes from scratch or use starter themes such as OceanWP, Divi, and Astra. They are basically “blank canvases” or themes with minimal layouts and basic elements that you can improvise and develop.OceanWP is one of the best WordPress starter themes out there.

  1. Plugins
    Right now, there are more than 54,000 plugins on the WordPress directory. It’s the most sought-after and used WordPress feature. Take the advantage to contribute to the pool as well.

Plugins enable you to modify the behavior of WordPress without touching the core code. Users can also add tons of extra functions to their website with little or no advance knowledge of programming.

PHP hooks are used heavily on creating a plugin. It’s the technique that allows an application to run a function or class automatically. There are two types of hooks — action and filter. You’ll need to master both of them to create a working plugin.

While a lot of popular plugins, such as WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, or Google Analytics Dashboard, are made with complicated programming and hooks, there are tons of simple WordPress plugins that are very useful, like Search & Filter and Easy Google Fonts.Easy Google Fonts is an example of a useful, simple plugin.

  1. Widgets
    Widgets are web components that are usually added to websites to give extra content and functions. They can be used to access certain pages or parts of a website and provide a quick gateway for a particular feature.

WordPress comes with default widgets that can be arranged via the dashboard by clicking appearance -> widgets. You can also get third-party widgets by installing plugins, such as Simple Page Sidebars or Ninja Forms.

Just like creating a plugin, making WordPress widgets also need sufficient knowledge of PHP. You can start by accessing the functions.php file on your current theme, then construct the widget using the combinations of functions provided on the WP Widget class.

A custom widget is often the solution to create the desired function you can’t find anywhere. This is especially true if you aim to create your own WordPress theme or plugin.

  1. Entire WordPress websites
    Designing and developing a whole WordPress site means that you will combine themes, plugins, widgets, and custom codes (SASS, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP) to create a unique website based on a client’s (or personal) needs.

While there are various website builders, such as Hostinger Website Builder, Wix, and Squarespace, the market’s demand for creating a personalized website by hiring a WordPress developer is still high.

However, building an entire website requires more than just technical skills like writing lines of code — you need to be creative, know the basic principle of UI/UX design, and use reliable resources, such as fast and secure WordPress hosting.Hostinger Website Builder allows you to create a stunning website with ease.

  1. Web Applications via Rest API
    A web application is functional, dynamic web pages that operate through a web server and can be accessed via a web browser. This program works great with any operating system or device, as long as the browser is compatible.

Unlike a website, web application has a more practical function. While sites are mostly static, web application works interactively. Some of the most popular web application you must have heard before are Gmail, Google Docs, and Facebook.

Since 2015, WordPress has integrated its core files with an independent REST API. This communication architecture works as a “bridge” that connects the WordPress core with any working application on a web server.

By mastering the key concepts of the REST API, you would be able to create a working web application using WordPress.

What Do You Need to Know as A WordPress Developer?
The WordPress core is build using the standard web coding languages — PHP and MYSQL. The front-end presentation is a combination of HTML and CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and AJAX.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

HTML (preferably HTML5)
The implementation of valid Hyper-Text Markup Language (HTML) is required for the sake of a smooth user experience. It ensures that your pages will fit in any web browser. If your code is not valid, browsers will misinterpret your code and display parts of your page poorly.

HTML5 is currently the latest version of this markup language. It has several significant advantages over its predecessor (HTML4), such as video and audio support, JavaScript compatibility, and tons of new elements, like footer, header, track, summary, etc.

Valid HTML is written using the correct syntax, the formula that refers to the overall document structure, the order of HTML elements, nesting elements, and formatting attributes.

The structure should always start with a DOCTYPE declaration, opening tags, then a head section with document metadata, such as the title of each page or a body section, and finally a closing tag.

In general, HTML is split into three elements — flow, metadata, and phrasing. Each of them has different application model rules for what is allowed inside of it.

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