Is WordPress a good skill to have? Even if you don’t want to be a web developer, the answer is yes! At its most basic level, understanding how to create a website using existing WordPress themes and plugins makes job seekers highly valuable, especially in tech startup and marketing roles. Not every company has a budget for web design, but they still need a website to make a great impression. Even the basic ability to create and maintain a WordPress site that is professional, functional, and gives users a great experience will make you a marketable talent that can become a key member of many different teams across industries.
Basic Skills of a WordPress Freelancer
Learning the basics of WordPress only takes about 10-12 hours, no coding required. In fact, you can just create an account and login to begin experimenting for yourself. The platform offers built-in capabilities for creating webpages, posting content, and applying different themes to give the impression and user experience your employer (or future employer) is looking for. While the sites you create as a basic WordPress user won’t be highly customized, they will be more than adequate for growing companies who just want a simple website. A desire to get more creative and break out of the mold to implement your own designs is where the transition to web developer jobs begins.
Should I Learn WordPress as a Developer?
Working as a web developer, the question of “learning WordPress” is really connected to a mastery of several different programming languages.
- PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor): PHP code is read by a server and determines what HTML formatting is sent to your device for displaying a webpage. WordPress is built with the PHP programming language. The site takes care of this code for you, so it’s not required to know to use basic features. However, learning PHP yourself allows you to highly customize the look and format of a site.
- HTML (Hypertext Markup Language): HTML tells a computer how to format content on a webpage. This language tags control headings, paragraphs, lists, and other textual elements to make your content easy to read. And, once you know how to use it, you can control those elements of a theme and make them unique to your client or employer’s desires.
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): When you open a website on your device, all content, images, and buttons have a specific place. This is CSS. Learning it will allow you to change the style and design elements of a webpage to make it visually appealing, including colors and fonts. Additionally, CSS is used to adjust the formatting of a website across many platforms so that both mobile and desktop users can view a site the way it’s intended. Some themes may not appear the way you want on one type of device, so if you know CSS, you can correct the issue and make everything perfect.
When you hear “mobile device,” you probably think of smartphones and tablets—but what about smart watches, home devices, smart refrigerators, and more? A lot more mobile devices can access a company’s website than ever before, and a basic WordPress user can’t address the design and performance elements that make each one unique. This is why a developer who knows PHP, HTML, and CSS will be even more marketable and valuable than someone with basic WordPress understanding.
Can You Make Money as a WordPress Developer?
There are multiple ways to earn money as a WordPress developer. One, as we’ve described, is working for companies and organizations who need a website. Whether you’re hired in-house or working as a freelance contractor, the WordPress developer salary is an average of over $76,000 a year nationwide. This might seem high for using a platform that is already pre-designed itself to develop websites, but what you might not consider is that 35% of the websites in the world use WordPress. Companies want their web presence to stand out and make a great impression, not match the same theme as some of their competitors. This is why a custom WordPress developer can make such a great living.
Another way to make money as a WordPress developer is to flip the script and start creating your own themes and plugins to enable new features. This means you are providing tools and resources to other, less-experienced WordPress users who need those skills to self-create their website. Each person who pays to use your theme or plugin puts money in your pocket.
Like any other web development career, success working as a WordPress developer is related to your skill with the product and design aesthetic. But what makes WordPress such a great choice is how common and well-known the platform is. Hundreds of thousands of people visit WordPress websites every day, and over 500 sites are created through the platform every day. With a basic understanding of PHP, HTML, and CSS, you can go beyond the basics of WordPress and create a lucrative career for yourself doing it.
Prepare for WordPress Projects with Eleven Fifty Academy
Learning coding languages on your own isn’t easy, much less learning three languages! The Web Development Bootcamp at Eleven Fifty Academy provides a structured learning environment where you’re supported by world-class instructors committed to giving you an edge in the workforce. Whether you attend part-time or full-time, you’ll leave coding bootcamp with a portfolio of completed projects and the support of our career services team to help you land a job or grow your freelance business. Attend our free Intro to Coding course to learn more about HTML and CSS to see if you’re interested or connect with our admissions team to satisfy questions about tuition, schedule, and more. Your future is waiting at Eleven Fifty Academy! We can’t wait to see you here.