Are WordPress Developers Real Developers? THE TRUTH

Are WordPress Developers Real Developers? WordPress has become increasingly popular as an utilized content management system (CMS) for building websites and blogs. Thanks to its user interface and extensive collection of plugins and themes numerous businesses and individuals prefer WordPress for establishing professional online presence. Due to the increasing need there is a growing demand, for WordPress developers who possess the ability to design, personalize and upkeep websites built on the WordPress platform. However some people may question whether WordPress developers are on par, with “developers who work with other programming languages and frameworks. In this blog post we will explore the question of whether individuals who engage in WordPress related work should be considered developers.

What is a WordPress Developer?

A WordPress developer is someone who builds and maintains websites using the WordPress CMS. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Installing, configuring and updating WordPress cores, plugins and themes
  • Developing custom WordPress plugins and themes to add unique functionality and design
  • Integrating WordPress with other technologies like databases, payment gateways, APIs etc.
  • Optimizing WordPress sites for speed, security and performance
  • Troubleshooting and debugging WordPress issues
  • Providing ongoing maintenance and support for WordPress sites

So in essence, a WordPress developer works specifically within the WordPress ecosystem to deliver complete, functional websites to clients.

Are the Skills Learned Transferable to Other Languages?

When considering the legitimacy of WordPress developers as “developers it is crucial to evaluate the actual skills required. Numerous competencies essential for excelling, in WordPress can be easily applied to web development languages and frameworks.

For example, WordPress developers learn:

  • Core programming fundamentals like PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Web development basics like server management, APIs, databases and version control
  • Software architecture patterns relating to extensibility and scalability
  • Security best practices around sanitization, permissions and encryption
  • Web performance optimization techniques like caching, compression and lazy loading
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) principles for boosting visibility
  • Responsive design skills to make sites mobile-friendly
  • Problem solving, troubleshooting and debugging using tools like browser dev tools

These skills form the core building blocks of web development that apply across many platforms. Learning WordPress thoroughly requires grasping these universal concepts that translate over to other languages like JavaScript, Python, C# etc.

What Makes for an Expert WordPress Developer?

Simply installing a WordPress theme and tweaking some settings does not make one a WordPress developer. True WordPress experts possess a blend of design, development and business skills along with experience needed to produce enterprise-grade solutions. Some key attributes include:

  • In-depth knowledge of core WordPress architecture, capabilities and limitations
  • Ability to develop complex custom plugins, themes and functions
  • Understanding of WordPress hooks, actions and filters for extending functionality
  • Experience integrating WordPress with external applications and services
  • Familiarity with related technologies like PHP, MySQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript etc.
  • Keeping updated with the latest features, plugins, themes and security issues
  • Adhering to WordPress coding standards and best practices
  • Testing and debugging skills using staging environments and tools
  • Ability to optimize site speed, scalability and performance
  • Providing solutions aligned with business goals and end user needs
  • Excellent communication skills to collaborate with clients and teams

Additionally, expert WordPress developers stay up-to-date with the latest industry advancements through continued learning and real-world experience. They are adept at finding solutions to complex problems that arise when dealing with dynamic websites at scale.

Examples of WordPress Projects Demonstrating Advanced Skills

Here are some examples of projects that allow WordPress developers to demonstrate deeper programming and problem-solving skills:

  • Developing a custom WordPress plugin – Requires strong PHP, action/filter skills
  • Building a headless WordPress site – Uses REST API to separate frontend and backend
  • Implementing complex WordPress migrations – Moves multisite networks across servers
  • Integrating with single sign-on providers – Connects to OAuth and LDAP for access control
  • Setting up staging and production environments – Clones sites across servers
  • Creating an auto-updates system – Enables plugins/themes to auto-update securely
  • Adding real-time functionality – Uses WebSockets to enable live updates
  • Launching an internationalized site – Builds in localization and translation workflows
  • Optimizing for high-traffic – Caches pages, uses CDNs, throttles traffic
  • Building custom Gutenberg block plugins – Extends editor using JavaScript components
  • Developing original themes – Designs, codes and tests new layouts and functionality

These advanced projects enable WordPress developers to demonstrate programming abilities on par with other stacks while solving complex business challenges.

The Value of Specialized WordPress Skills

Some may see focusing on one platform like WordPress as a limitation. However, given its dominance powering over 43% of all websites, WordPress specialty offers many advantages:

  • Huge demand and ample job opportunities as adoption continues to grow
  • Transferable core skills still apply to other languages if you decide to branch out
  • Ability to charge premium rates as a niche expert vs generalist
  • Large WordPress community provides support, inspiration and collaboration
  • Massive library of plugins saves time compared to building from scratch
  • Opportunity to make revenue selling custom plugins and themes
  • Flexibility to work either on small sites or large enterprise systems
  • Often less need to keep pace with fast-changing frameworks and re-learn languages
  • Lower barrier to entry for new developers vs more complex platforms

Rather than being a restriction, mastering WordPress to an expert level enables developers to deliver exceptional value efficiently. Specialization drives innovation as they uncover new ways to maximize what the platform can do.

The Verdict: WordPress Developers Are Real Developers

In summary, making full use of WordPress absolutely involves real web development skills from HTML and PHP to JavaScript and SEO optimization. Building custom solutions requires going beyond the basics to master complex features and integrations. Expert WordPress developers must learn and apply the same universal programming principles and problem-solving techniques as other stacks.

While requiring a specialty skillset, WordPress mastery enables developers to rapidly deliver business value. Those who invest time to become true WordPress experts exemplify what it means to be a real developer just as much as those using other languages and frameworks. The large and growing demand makes it a career path with tremendous upside potential. For those who’re interested, in the world of WordPress you can be confident that you are starting a journey, towards becoming a certified web developer.

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