Is WordPress Developer a good career?

18 replies
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I have been looking at a career change and based on some of the posts here on the forum, Craigslist, and other places, it seems that someone always needs a little help in the WordPress arena.

I already have some HTML/CSS experience and even some with databases so I think it wouldn't be too difficult to get up to speed. But then there's themes and plugins. Has anyone developed them? Is there a steep learning curve?

So I guess what I'm asking for is opinions on becoming a WP developer and what I might need to get into that area. Also, if you have any other ideas, I'd like to hear about them as well.

Thanks for your time,


PS: I thought this would be a good place to post this thread since it has to do with programming web sites, but if it's not, please let me know where it should be posted. Thx.
#career #developer #good #wordpress
  • Profile picture of the author rooze

    There's a big difference between setting up a WP website with themes, plugins and fixing the occasional setup bugs you'll encounter......and developing custom plugins.

    Personally I'd forget the plugin development part for now and just get yourself fully conversant with WP, installation, a bit of custom theme work and installing/configuring standard plugins. You'll learn a lot quickly and at some point you can decide if you want to get into programming or not. If in the meantime someone asks you for a custom module you can always farm the job out to someone else and add 20% for your involvement.

    On the idea in general, I find that there are so many people willing to work for next to nothing, doing WP setups, joomla etc, that it isn't a line of business I'd want to pursue. As a customer looking for a new WP website, you can list the job on elance and get bids starting as low as $50 for the entire project.
    It makes it hard to make a living particularly if you're based in the US or Europe.
    Now if you can find work locally, where you can build a face to face relationship with a client, then that's a different matter. There's always companies willing to pay a premium for people who are local. So craigslist might be a good place to start.

    Just my two cents FWIW.

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  • Profile picture of the author Filesonic
    If you plan on making website for sale it is good money for you. But the hard point is finding customers that really can't do wordpress.

    You can have about 1000$ for eCommerce with some pages. My friends bough that before and I think wtf expensive but he really too lazy to make it.
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  • Profile picture of the author mgreener

    Wordpress is a great platform to learn, but you will want to either create very custom, specific and valuable plugins or go after local businesses that want a fast, easy solution to get their business online and/or improve their online presence. Finding clients who can't use Wordpress is not hard, just don't focus online. Setup a few packages and go to businesses in your town offering them a turnkey service that's easy for them to understand and therefore value.
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  • Profile picture of the author KyleGolemMedia
    I would aim to understand how the PHP, CSS, and HTML interact within a WP install. You'll be much more valuable to potential clients. I have roughly a year of WP experience and find myself ahead of most people using it. That's just me though
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  • Profile picture of the author milusos
    Thanks everyone for your replies and information!
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  • Profile picture of the author beltane
    I agree with Kyle . I'm a web developer and found I get a good number of clients who want a completely custom look but still use WP for the backend. Being able to make themes myself rather than just customise existing ones gives me an edge.
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    • Profile picture of the author milusos
      Originally Posted by beltane View Post

      I agree with Kyle . I'm a web developer and found I get a good number of clients who want a completely custom look but still use WP for the backend. Being able to make themes myself rather than just customise existing ones gives me an edge.

      So do you create HTML/CSS websites and then use WP as the backend to manage the website's content? I've read that WP can do that. And you create a theme specific to the client's content?


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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Z
        Originally Posted by milusos View Post

        So do you create HTML/CSS websites and then use WP as the backend to manage the website's content? I've read that WP can do that. And you create a theme specific to the client's content?
        What I do, and I may be a little different because I started as a web developer before getting into WordPress a few years ago is this:

        I create an html/css mockup of the site then I break that apart and integrate it into the header.php, page.php, footer.php, sidebar.php etc etc of wordpress.

        I usually use the Twentyten theme as my basic framework, though now I've started using twentyeleven a bit, and I create a custom designed website that runs on wordpress.

        For example: I just created a website for a travel agency at

        I designed it in Photoshop, then designed an html/css page. Then integrated into WordPress. So I have all the dynamic functionality of WordPress and I have a website that looks unique and custom.

        Hope that gives you some idea of the process.
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        Jason Zimmerman is an offline marketing and consulting professional. He has been developing web sites and digital marketing plans for local businesses since 2000.
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  • Profile picture of the author mkarmocha
    every thing has its own plus and negative points, however if you chose to be a wordpress developer then you should be perfect in it, try to create plugins and be very competent and fast..if you achieve all this then u can do good in future
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    • Profile picture of the author beltane
      I'm pretty much the same as Jason, except that I use Thesis as my framework. I mock up the site in PSD and then turn that into a custom skin for Thesis. I have made some themes completely from scratch for custom purpose sites too, and I quite often mess with the loop to make custom functions on particular parts of the site. It's worth learning the nuts and bolts for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blindbiz
    I would use your skills to develop your own sites that produce $. Site leasing is a great place to start. Thousands of niches! Example: You want to start selling leads to computer repair guys. You develop one and make sure it works. Then start duplicating your stuff to more areas. Make sure you own the address, phone and site. If one guy stops paying you call his competition and sell him the leads. This way you won't have to constantly find new customers. One last point. The address is a UPS store, the phone is forwarded to the lessee and the site is yours. Depending on the value of each call you could get as low as $400 and as high as $1500 a month for each site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex564
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  • Profile picture of the author xtrapunch
    Website development can help you make good money, but you need to build reputation and trust. WordPress being the most popular CMS, you should learn how to create websites with it. I charge $250-1000 for custom websites. I have my own customer base who keep coming back to me with new projects. Make sure that you build trust with your customers. You can start by offering your service through Warrior Forum classifieds or just through your signature link. I get new customers from Warrior Forum and through free WordPress themes that I offer.
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  • Profile picture of the author EricDelano
    I do the same as Beltane and Jason. I would love to learn how to do a theme from the ground up, but for now it seems easy to just take Twentyten and strip it down, then rebuild the html/css the way I want it. Once you earn the core of a theme, you can use the skeleton of the theme for functionality and user backend, and make it look however you want. I love creating custom widget areas for clients. With that in mind, you can do whatever you want.
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  • Profile picture of the author linkmonster
    Wordpress developer is good carrier it boost to SEO which is mostly used.

    I myself designed 5-10 sites on Wordpress and uploaded many themes and edited.
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  • Profile picture of the author goldmineberry
    I have been doing wordpress development full-time for a couple of years and I have personally gathered a huge database of clients.

    I personally feel that being a wordpress developer cum internet marketer is an extremely profitable and promising career online.

    I don't call this a "career" but rather Internet Entrepreneurship.

    At the end of the day, we will need to have passion, determination and perseverance in order to succeed in any industry.


    Warmest Regards,
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  • Profile picture of the author marcans2011
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  • Profile picture of the author milusos
    Thanks for all the input!

    Can you recommend some good resources (books, videos, websites, etc.) that really teach the ins and outs of WP?

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  • Profile picture of the author kan969
    Definitively good for learning and developing skills. You will always learn something important knowledge here. Also you will earn something but hardly some big money, depends where are you from and what is enough for you. Generally agree with Rooze.

    Regards, Vukan.
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  • Profile picture of the author ericbryant
    Wordpress custom web design (making your OWN themes), Wordpress development (PHP, Plugins, Custom Theme functionality) is a FANTASTIC wide-open opportunity for both technical and creative expression. I built my 1st commercial website in 1993. Over the years have specialized in HTML/CSS/SEO/Wordpress, and social media. I wouldn't change a thing! We work all around the planet. Very satisfying work. GO FOR IT! Be the very best that you can be at it! We like to say that we're not the Walmart of Web Design. You can make plentymoney in this field. Become a PRO. Differentiate yourself. Get an experienced, proven business coach. I could go on forever!
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