First, to start with, becoming a good WordPress developer is not an easy task; it can be hard and quite time consuming work. Not only its takes a lot of time and determination, but it also requires you to be dedicated with your energy and focus. If you’re looking for something that is going to make you take a fast path to mastering it, you’re simply wasting your time. As they say, being the best at something is hard and it requires you to be someone who knows the ways.
Here are the few steps that are going to guide you onto their way to master the WordPress. The amount of reading material that you can get on WordPress is quite a lot and you can learn the basics of it from them quite well. The information needed is quite overwhelming and you can constantly update yourself with it at any given point of time. You can come across thousands of people and blogs that know a lot about WordPress but you need to filter out the details and knowledge out of them in order to get what you are looking for. There are certain authorities which you can consult on your way to the knowledge of WordPress and concentrating on these will make you efforts shine. Here are the few which can help you and get you started:
- WordPress Codex
WordPress codex is knowledge hub for all the things that are related to WordPress. It is a community oriented repository that gives focus on the basics of the WordPress, and helps you to master the interface of the WordPress from the user’s perspective thereby giving you all the idea and the information regarding the semantics, theme design and plug-in development.
- WordPress books
There are quite many books that are available on WordPress. They are quite good to get started with and they can be of the greatest resource and interest to you. It’s always better to start with a something that gives you an idea about the topic, and taking into consideration the clients need and their perspective is always good. These books give you an insight about the WordPress and you can gain quite a lot of info from them.
- WordPress blogs
There are various blogs on the internet that give you a whole lot of information about the WordPress. To start with, subscribe to their feeds and follow their daily updates related to the WordPress. This gives you an exposure to the information available and you can give your feedback and ask your related queries to the authors.
Understanding the Technology
If you want to master the WordPress as a developer you need to know the basic technology that is in use. If you’re already past the beginner stage and are a programmer, and the knowledge about PHP and MySQL is not new to you then this can be of great help. You need to update yourself with the on goings in the technology department and your skills need to be up to date. Here are some few ways to begin:
- Learning PHP and MYSQL
If you are going to start the learning in the WordPress, then it is really important for you to know about the PHP and MYSQL. If you learned it some time ago, then you need to brush them up again from the start as many of the practices you learnt at that time are probably out of date. Make sure you start with the latest updates knowledge about both PHP and MYSQL.
- Exploring the Codebase of WordPress
Explore the codebase on trac and on Xref. Go through the documentation of each of them and understand thoroughly how the things work. Gaining the knowledge and the working of these both will be of very much help and don’t be afraid and hesitant to ask questions. Learn and study how the WordPress is structured and familiarize yourself with the working.
- Setting up an environment
Set up a local environment and start with step by step process and run the nightly build. Keeping an updated knowledge on the WordPress is of great help at every stage.
- Follow make WordPress
To get the info on the technology and understanding the working better, follow the daily updates and discussions that take place on make WordPress. You can follow the discussions that take place about the knowledge and working of the plug-ins, themes and core, and this will give you a detailed insight about the working of them.
Collect the Knowledge and Do the Homework
Preparing yourself about what you are learning is always going to help you. Whatever you learn put it into practice. Start working on what you learn and follow them on your own. Always experiment and always break thins down. Keep a track on the knowledge of what you are learning and record you’re the knowledge you are gaining in the process. Keep a further track on your insights and breakthroughs that you achieve over time for the future comparative reference. Spend more and more time learning and then applying it to your own projects to see how you are able to do in actual. Here are some few areas that will help you explore further:
- API’s of WordPress
Learn about the list of the available API’s on the WordPress and familiarize yourself with the working on the codex. Go through the related and available information that is available with each of the APIs and after gaining the needed information, start to work and experiment with each of the APIs. Go through the tutorials that are available and get acquainted with the knowledge and work on them to get some real world perspective with each of them.
- WordPress Ajax
Learn the use of the Ajax in WordPress even if you are familiarizing with the term. After learning the basics and the use of it, move further and gain knowledge on the Ajax plug-in development with the help of the tutorials to further develop your skills and experience.
- PHP classes on WordPress
Get the knowledge of the PHP classes that are created by the WordPress developers. Go through each one of them and then experiment with them in your own projects and eventually master them. Pay special attention to Wpdb, WP query and WP theme. These are of much importance and tutorials on each one of them will help you to gain further details on them.
Gaining Experience Over Time
After going through the above mention points and experimenting your way to them, it’s time to gain the real world experience on WordPress. There is always a lot to learn when it comes to WordPress and gaining knowledge and experience outside the known areas of your own projects is a critical and important step in WordPress working knowledge. The best way to do is to work for others.
- Working For Clients
The best way to gain experience is to work for a client. Whether it is paid or free, doing it at the starting level helps you to gain experience and knowledge, and client introduce you the world of challenges which you could have never experienced while working on the project of your own. The goal here is to give hours of practice and working on WordPress that gives you an idea with the real world working and experience about working on the projects given to you by the clients.
- Developing a Theme
Develop a theme that is been designed and made by you and that you actually use. Release it, as paid or as free just to know the review of the people on it. This will give you the areas where you can improve and update your abilities. Work hard on the theme and make yourself proud with your work.
- Developing a Plug-in
Take what you have learnt over time about the WordPress and put it into practice in the development of the plug ins. Work and write a plug in that is different yet significant and solves the need. There are many plug-in out there and yours should be something that works for people. Release your own, either paid or fee, to get feedback on it.
- Master The Debugging
Master the way to write bug free codes. This is a first step in becoming a good developer, as starting with a codex that is bug free always helps. Familiarize yourself with Debug bar, Core control and Log Deprecated notices.
Join the WordPress Community
As you work further up the ladder of the knowledge about the WordPress and the working of it, make sure that become an active member of the community. Joining the community makes you visible to various other members and it makes your work recognized. The best way to do it is to share what you know.
- Writing Tutorials
A lot of people read what you write and they are keen to get updates from you. The knowledge grows when you share it, and sharing your work with others and reading theirs helps you a lot. Writing tutorials about the best that you have learnt over time and presenting it to others may reap the benefits of your work overtime. So share your work by writing tutorials and give insight to your knowledge and experience.
- Take Part In Forums
Take part in various forums and ask question about their work and put up the queries you faced in your work over the period of time. Learn from the answers and work in future accordingly.
- Contributing in the Codex
Spend time reading the codex and the working of it and gradually you will notice where it needs improvement and where you can further work on it to make it better. Always work in order to improve the quality of the documentation, continually improving the functions and features in the WordPress. If you find it a little hard, then taking help of the others and then earning it yourself helps you to learn the codex further.
Mastering the WordPress is not just about learning it in a detailed and in a way that helps you to work on it effectively and efficiently, but it also pays you quite well as you become increasingly affective at it. You get to work for many clients, and if one client likes your work, then he may recommend you to several others. This chain keeps on working as long as you serve your client well and work your way to the knowledge each day, as you continually strive hard to improve your skills on WordPress. Staying at the top and making good money while giving the best of your services requires effort and ongoing educational experience. The key here is to never stop learning and improving on your skills. Being at the place where you give the best of your services require you to be at your best all the time. Always weigh on the important matters and never leave a scope where you can learn more about the technological advancements on the WordPress.
Becoming a good and top WordPress developer and mastering the art of it is an ongoing process. The process of learning WordPress never stops and actually it makes you to learn about it each coming day. It is a hard work and complete dedication along with the mindset that involves continuous improvement and willingness to adopt the change and working accordingly contributes a lot to your growth. It starts with the educational growth that you gain while learning and then while working for the clients each coming day on the projects you get. To finally achieve the place that makes you master every area of WordPress development and making you the top WordPress developer is a hard process but not impossible. Working hard to gain the recognition and responsibilities are the signs of the people who mould and shape the future of the WordPress.