5 Great Tips for Becoming a Top WordPress Developer
Reading is a God’s gift to us in every way possible and if you stick to this rule from the beginning, you’re definitely going to go places. Your first and the biggest work is to read about WordPress and know all of it that the resources have to offer. Now it is impossible to know everything at one go which is why you need to give time for reading every day. Obviously there is a lot available on the internet about WordPress and not all of it is good quality material which is why you need something trustworthy to start with. WordPress Codex, the community edited repository is the best place to start from for the basics and then you can graduate to more advanced material given to it. Other than this there are some good books as well blogs available and can be found easily.
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# Know More about Technology
Technology is an important part of being a WordPress developer as most of it deals with programming and if you aren’t already a programmer, you have a good deal to know about various aspects of programming. To start, you need to know PHP and MySQL inside out which means you need to know the basics as well as the current updates and developments which will help you in staying up to date. The next most important thing is to know the codebase and exploring the documentation to understand them is very important. Explore and get accustomed to all the aspects of it and also keep track with how WordPress is being developed. Once you know all this, it will be easier for you to acquire expertise. You can follow the development process of WordPress at make.wordpress.org and be actively involved in discussions about the new plug ins, Core and different themes.
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# Put the Knowledge into Practice
Once you are aware of the basics, you need to continue reading to stay up to date but simultaneously you also need to fold up your sleeves and get dirty with the way WordPress functions and how things are done in the real world. You will be surprised to see how much you know after your reading exercise. Start with creating your own WordPress site and then play around with it and its features. Read more tutorials and experiment with what they have to offer you and become familiar with the APIs provided in the Codex. Start experimenting with the APIs and look for new tutorials for each API. Apart from the APIs, learn more about Ajax and its use in WordPress and plug in development, and the WordPress PHP classes. Master the classes and use them in your own projects with a special focus on WP_Query, WP_Theme and a few other more important ones.
# Gain Some Good Experience
Once you are sure you are on the write path and the reading and experimenting is going well, you need to start gaining some real WordPress experience which is your path to becoming a good WordPress developer. Hang out with the right people who are at the top and follow everything they have to say. This will help you to know more.
Start working for other people as that is the only way you will be able to come out of your comfort zone and face some pressure. It doesn’t matter if its free in the beginning but the real experience is to be gained this way only. The next thing you must do to create a ground for yourself is create a theme which is actually good and something which you and other people would want to use. Release it and get feedback from developers, users and designers which would ultimately help you in improving that theme. The other ways you can gain some good experience is by creating your own plug-in which you think is needed for WordPress. Use your knowledge about plug in development and write a plugin which is actually secure and helps out people. This way, your experience will be priceless and take you forward in huge strides.
# Contribute To the Community
Once you have gained experience, now is the time to give it back to people who would benefit from your knowledge. Contribute a patch which is challenging, write tutorials on which you have an expertise and write blogs about your new developments. Contributing to Codex when you are up there and taking part in forums and wordcamps is also going to help you a great deal in becoming an even better WordPress Developer.
Once you are on these guidelines with your complete mind and heart, you will know WordPress inside and out and these tips are an excellent way to achieve the tag of a great WordPress developer.
“Mark Ross is a WordPress Developer. He is working with MarkupBox providing PSD to WordPress Conversion services. Follow him on twitter @MarkupBox.”