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 does it take 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 master 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 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 in 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 that you can consult on your way to the knowledge of WordPress and concentrating on these will make your efforts shine. Here are the few which can help you and get you started:
WordPress codex is a 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.
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 something that gives you an idea about the topic and taking into consideration the client's need and their perspective is always good. These books give you an insight into WordPress and you can gain quite a lot of info from them.
There are various blogs on the internet that give you a whole lot of information about WordPress. To start with, subscribe to their feeds and follow their daily updates related to WordPress. This gives you 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 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 ongoings in the technology department and your skills need to be up to date. Here are a few ways to begin:
- Learning PHP and MYSQL
If you are going to start learning WordPress, then it is really important for you to know about 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 learned at that time are probably out of date. Make sure you start with the latest updated 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 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 WordPress is structured and familiarize yourself with the work.
- 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 of WordPress is of great help at every stage.
- Follow make WordPress
To get the info on the technology and understand 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 into their functionality.
Collect the Knowledge and Do the Homework
Preparing yourself for 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 things down. Keep track of the knowledge of what you are learning and record you’re the knowledge you are gaining in the process. Keep a further track of your insights and breakthroughs that you achieve over time for 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 website. Here are a few areas that will help you explore further:
API’s of WordPress
Learn about the list of the available APIs on WordPress and familiarize yourself with 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.
Learn the use of Ajax in WordPress even if you are familiar 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 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 the client introduces you to a world of challenges that you could have never experienced while working on a project of your own. The goal here is to give hours of practice and working on WordPress that gives you an idea of 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 learned over time about 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-ins 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 knowledge about 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.
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 learned over time and presenting it to others may reap the benefits of your work overtime. So share your work by writing tutorials and giving insight into your knowledge and experience.
Take Part In Forums
Take part in various forums and ask questions 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 the future accordingly.
Contributing to 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 WordPress. If you find it a little hard, then taking the help of others and then earning it yourself helps you to learn the codex further.
Mastering WordPress is not just about learning it in detail 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 effective 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 your skills. Being at the place where you give the best of your services requires 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 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 learn about it each coming day. It is hard work and complete dedication along with the mindset that involves continuous improvement and willingness to adopt the change and work 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 recognition and responsibilities are the signs of the people who mold and shape the future of WordPress.