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How to Start Career as a WordPress Developer (and find your first client)


WordPress is the leading content management system out there. It is so popular than almost every third website is built using WordPress. This popularity also means that there are plenty of WordPress related gigs out there. If you are interested in the development side of things, then you are in the right place as we are going to discuss how to start a career as a WordPress developer. We will also cover some necessary steps on how to land your first client. So, without any delay, let’s get started.

There are many things that you need to take care of before you can call yourself a WordPress developer. To better understand the approach, we will be guiding you through two significant categories, i.e., strategic and technical. Each of these categories will help you give a better perspective. Let’s get started.

Strategic guide

Becoming a WordPress developer is no easy task. However, before you start your journey as a WordPress developer, you should learn clearly what WordPress has to offer. This means learning about your expectations and motivations, and what do you want from the WordPress platform.

Working as a WordPress developer means enjoying every single aspect of what WordPress has to offer. You also need to be sure about some drawbacks while working. For example, WordPress development can be fun and challenging for the most part. If you are working as a freelancer, this means that you have to work with people more and less with code. You also need to be creative when solving problems. As WordPress is so popular, you will also get more flexibility when working with WordPress. You can manage your holidays better or even work from remote locations.

You will also become the savior when it comes to building website. Many people who want to start their online journey can take help from you as you can guide them.

Technical Knowledge

Technical knowledge is the core skill that you need to have if you want to succeed with WordPress. As a developer, you not only need to have excellent coding skills but problem-solving skills as well. You should know that there is no in-between and you need to learn how to deal with WordPress technically.

There are many online tutorials and guides that you can follow to become proficient in WordPress. You should also want to follow the official WordPress Codex. Apart from that, you should be well versed with the use-cases of WordPress. Learn what it is good for, and then also focus on when and why to use it. You can check out WPShout guide where they share an intuitive yet powerful flowchart.

Apart from that, you also need to use basic technical tools. For example, you need a text editor such as Sublime Text, FileZilla for file transfer through FTP, a hosted server software, and a browser that supports modern tags. This will enable you to start your journey.

So, which programming language do you need?

There are four major languages that you need to learn. This include HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript. Mastery of these languages will enable you to make the most out of WordPress. If you are starting without any previous coding knowledge, then we recommend learning PHP that can be used with WordPress, rather than learning it separately. Learning programming language in conjunction with WordPress will help you identify the problems that you can solve.

You may also want to learn about popular page builders so that you can get up with speed when a client requires fast turnaround. Page builders such as Beaver Builder helps you create a basic website structure for client’s approval. Apart from that, also get familiar with Gutenberg as it is now fully integrated with WordPress 5.0 onwards.

Furthermore, you also need to make sure that you know how to work with major hosting service providers like A2 Hosting or SiteGround. Without practical knowledge, you will find it hard to handle projects.

How to find your first customer?

Great! If you follow all the suggestions, you will be ready to handle WordPress projects. However, you need to find your first project right? This is where we come in as we will guide you on how to get your first client.

You need marketable skills to land your first client. The best way to get your first client is through a connection. However, it is not always a necessity as you can still use platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer.com, and others. You can also try Fiverr. It is a vast marketplace where you can get projects and serve customers for only $5. Even though five dollars is low, but it will help you get started. With experience, you will be able to grab more projects and charge accordingly.

To help you find your first client, you can look for clients that require immediate action. You can see them through social media platforms such as Twitter. Frustrated clients would go to social media and share their frustration. All you need to do is tell them that you can help them.

You may also want to create your own website that showcases your skills. As a developer, you will find it easy to set up a blog. You may also want to start blogging which can help you further attract more customers. Being a blogger will also help you grow your skills and even open up new revenue streams.

As a developer, you should always be proactive in searching for new gigs. Never settle as it will only lead to periods with no projects.

Conclusion

This leads us to the end of our small guide. We hope that you found the article useful. So, when are you going to start your journey? Comment below and let us know.

Pawan Sahu Author

Pawan Sahu is the founder of MarkupTrend. He is a Digital Marketer and a blogger geek passionate about technology and marketing. Follow me on Twitter @impawansahu