9 WordPress Developer Skills: Tips for Improvement

Updated 25 September 2023

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) many companies use to manage web content. It's affordable and accessible and you don't need programming knowledge to build a website with it. Learning and developing these skills is essential to becoming a web developer for some of the largest corporations in technology, business and information technology. In this article, we define and highlight nine WordPress developer skills for IT and tech jobs with tips for nurturing these skills.

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What are WordPress developer skills?

WordPress developer skills enable an individual to build or manage a WordPress website expertly. WordPress is a CMS that enables you to build websites without writing codes from start to finish. Although this software simplifies web development, specific skills can make you a seasoned web developer. Besides soft skills like problem-solving and communication, WordPress developers require hard skills like design and general programming language.

Related: Essential web developer skills for jobseekers (With tips)

9 skills for WordPress developers

Here's a list of skills employers look for when recruiting a WordPress developer:

1. Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Many websites strive to appear on the first page of search engines. SEO involves all the practices necessary to make a web page or site appear organically on the first few pages of major search engines. WordPress has various SEO-friendly themes and plugins that make it easier to build websites. There are also sections of the software, such as the meta description and meta title, that can boost rankings. Integrating these factors into your projects allows you to build WordPress sites that attract visitors.

2. UX design

Most of the websites with high traffic have seamless navigation. An easy-to-use website improves the user's experience and reduces bounce rates. Positive user experience encourages visitors to stay longer on the platform. UX design practices involve knowing the audience, their profile, location and preferences. With the skills you develop from this knowledge, you can create WordPress websites that gain traffic.

3. Photoshop

Images are crucial to content creation on WordPress. They help to increase the reader's attention span and make the text more explanatory. Although the web developer may not be the one adding photos to web posts, knowledge of photo editing is necessary to build a WordPress site that enables content creators to express themselves.

4. Programming skills

Although it might take some time, learn how to use HTML and CSS. These skills enable you to understand how child themes function. Along with HTML and CSS, JavaScript and jQuery allow you to create a solid front end base for the website. While JavaScript gives you the general programming skills you need, learn the PHP syntax for more specificity.

5. Database management and hosting

Every website requires a database and hosting platform to exist on the Internet. Being a successful WordPress developer means being able to set up, secure and manage private and shared hosting. Your duties may include importing, exporting and removing data from a database. Although learning all the major SQL queries may not be necessary, know how to use a WP_Query or at least phpMyAdmin for editing or deleting data.

6. Creativity

There are many themes and plugins for creating WordPress websites. Many sites have similar functions and features because they use some of the same tools. Creativity helps developers create unique WordPress sites using various combinations of themes, plugins, tools and photos with superior speed, responsiveness and user experience.

7. Digital intelligence

A WordPress developer requires advanced knowledge of how gadgets work. Responsiveness is one of the most crucial features of high-ranking WordPress websites. It involves the ability of a website to display effortlessly on any electronic device. Prioritise developing an interest in gadgets and how they work. Learn about different screen sizes or dimensions, resolutions and processor speeds and how they affect website quality.

8. Keyboard shortcuts

WordPress web development is a competitive market and time management can set you apart from your contemporaries. One of the effective ways of managing your time is knowing how to use shortcuts on a computer. There're many useful keyboard shortcuts and memorising them can be tricky. You may write them on a note to utilise them easily when working. Not only does this skill help you save time, but it also sharpens your overall WordPress skills. Some of the helpful developers' shortcuts include:

  • Ctrl + D (Duplicate line)

  • F2 (Next error)

  • Shift + F2 (Previous error)

  • Ctrl + N (Go to File)

  • Ctrl + W (Expand Selection)

  • Ctrl + Shift + N (Go to Class)

  • Alt + A (Add Dart File)

  • Alt + D (Add Dart File)

  • Ctrl + B (Go to declaration)

  • Shift + Alt + Right Arrow (Select till next hump)

9. Web design

Although WordPress developers typically work on the back end of a website, it helps to know how to design website pages. A presentable and responsive website attracts visitors or leads, making it easier to convert them to subscribers or customers. Web design skills include a decent knowledge of graphic design, colour wheels and image resolution formats.

Related: 12 essential web designer skills

How to improve WordPress developer skills

Learn to develop WordPress skills with these tips:

1. Practise what you learned

The WordPress platform is one of the easiest to navigate. Before CMSs like WordPress, coding skills were paramount to developing even the simplest web pages. WordPress is relatively simple to operate and you don't need coding skills to use it. If you have some knowledge of accounting, graphic design or data analysis software, you can most likely navigate WordPress. Learning from an experienced developer enables you to learn faster. You can learn these skills yourself without an instructor by practising on the platform.

2. Always review web pages in code view

WordPress simplifies web development so users can only drag-and-drop files, install themes or download free plugins. You can create a WordPress website without writing lines of code. While you may not write codes, every website's image, character and page has a code. WordPress auto-generates codes when you add a character or adjust a page. To learn advanced WordPress skills like coding, always click the 'code view' icon to see the page in code form.

3. Develop positive habits

Learning WordPress skills and tips for development can yield results with the right attitude. Develop positive habits to enable you to exhibit these skills. Start by identifying where you struggle personally and professionally. For instance, many people struggle with indiscipline, procrastination or a carefree attitude towards life and work. When you discover your challenges, develop plans to substitute them for positive habits, like punctuality and diligence. A habit change can help you become a better version of yourself and demonstrate these skills effortlessly.

Related: How much does a web developer make? (With related jobs)

Useful tips for WordPress developers in the workplace

Using these skills to solve everyday problems at work can improve your career development and productivity. Here's how you can develop these skills for the workplace:

  • Pay attention to workplace practices. To develop skills faster, start learning from more experienced and skilled colleagues who may have developed unconventional methods of executing duties and exhibiting these skills. Pay attention to how they perform tasks, ask questions and start practising these methods.

  • Say yes to both simple and complex assignments. If you lack vital WordPress skills, this position allows you to learn while working. To speed up your skill development process, accept simple and complex tasks, learn from your mistakes and ask colleagues for help when in doubt.

  • Take advantage of learning opportunities. Some companies organise free workshops for their employees to nurture and improve their WordPress development skills level. Although these training sessions may be optional, attend them to improve your skills and practise what you learn.

Related: Web developer qualifications: a guide with tips and FAQs

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How to highlight WordPress skills

Although possessing and applying these skills is perhaps the most important factor for getting the job, employers also want you to highlight them on your CV. It takes unique methods to highlight these skills so employers can identify you as the ideal candidate. Here's how to highlight WordPress skills on your CV and a job interview:

WordPress skills for a CV

While seeking your next opportunity as a WordPress developer, write a new CV for this position and provide information on your skills. Besides the experience and academic qualifications, certain WordPress skills are vital to performing your role expertly. Employers prefer recruiting candidates with coding, analytics, web development and communication skills. While writing your CV for this role, arrange these skills in a bullet list. This list might influence the recruiter's decision to invite you for an interview.

Related: 6 web API interview questions (With example answers)

WordPress skills for a job interview

Employers or recruiters start with general questions to build rapport during an interview. As the interview progresses, they ask in-depth questions about experience and skills. Ensure you mention your WordPress skills in your answers. While you reference these skills, use real examples from previous experiences. Often, they ask questions about the details on your CV. Make sure you internalise the information on the document beforehand to enable you to give brief responses.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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