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How to Become a Professional WordPress Developer

How To Become A Top WordPress Developer” by Smashing Magazine’s WordPress writer, Jonathan Wold, was written in 2012 but still holds true today.

…becoming a top WordPress developer is hard work — very hard work. It’s going to take a lot of time, energy and determination. If you’re looking for an easy checklist or some “fast pass” to the top, you’re going to waste your time. Being one of the best is hard, and statistically speaking, the odds are stacked against you.

The article covers the basic steps and practices you need to take to earn the name “WordPress developer.”

They include:

  • Learn Your Craft: Read and study WordPress a minimum of one hour a day. Read everything, especially the WordPress Codex and the most popular blogs on WordPress topics and techniques.
  • Learn from the Masters: The article features a list of the key WordPress developers with links to follow them and learn from the best of the best. It also recommends attending local WordPress Meetups and WordCamps.
  • Learn Your Foundation Tools: PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, APIs, jQuery, AJAX – learn the tools that run WordPress, WordPress Plugins, and Themes. Learn how to develop and design but also how to debug.
  • Live on the Bleeding Edge: If you want to develop for WordPress, you must live on the bleeding edge of WordPress development to experiment with the upcoming versions as well as stay backwards compatible with older versions. You have to be ready for what is coming down the WordPress development path.
  • Get Involved: Participate in one or more of the Making WordPress group project teams. Respond to questions on the and WordPress.com Support Forum to understand how to provide customer support for WordPress but also to know what people want and need to know about using WordPress. This helps you prepare for future clients and meeting their needs with WordPress.
  • Know Business: As a WordPress developer, it takes more to running your business than developing WordPress Themes and Plugins. Learn how to manage money, clients, contracts, and provide customer support and service. Learn marketing, advertising, billing, time management…all the skills to run any business.

Unfortunately, one of the early comments focused on the issue of giving up your pleasures to put your energies and focus onto being a WordPress developer. It’s fun to watch people justify their “personal time” activities.

Tough. There is a half-assed WordPress developer and an expert WordPress developer. If you want to make it as a professional and expert WordPress developer, you must do what you need to do to make money and survive, then put the rest of your energy into WordPress. In, out, around, and through WordPress. It’s a balance between income and earning the right to call yourself a WordPress Developer. In a few years, when you know what there is to know and have the income flowing in steadily, you can then take the time to find balance in your life.

If you are serious about earning a living full-time at WordPress development, it must be the priority in your life now.

Otherwise, you are just a WordPress ________. 😀

Here are more articles on this site about turning your WordPress skills into a profession.

For more information

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