How to Start as an At-Home WordPress Developer

How to Start as an At-Home WordPress Developer

Are you planning to start your career as a WordPress developer but need to know where and how to start? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place. Today’s article will show you how to start as an at-home WordPress developer!

Who are WordPress Developers and What They Do

WordPress developers are highly skilled professionals specializing in building and managing websites based on the WordPress platform. They thoroughly understand the WordPress framework and are proficient in coding languages like HTML, CSS, and PHP.

Similarly, WordPress developers are crucial in building aesthetically pleasing and functional websites that cater to users’ individual and business needs.

Here are the primary responsibilities of WordPress developers:

  • Modify and customize existing WordPress themes and plugins or create new ones from scratch.
  • Work closely with clients to understand their requirements and turn them into a fully functional website.
  • Designing user-friendly interfaces and incorporating various features and functionalities into the site.
  • Troubleshoot and debug problems like broken links, slow loading times, and compatibility issues.
  • Identify and resolve issues to ensure that the website runs smoothly.
  • Protect against hacking and data breaches by implementing security measures such as encryption, firewalls, and regular backups.

And so on.

How Much WordPress Developers Make a Year

WordPress developers with the right skills and experience can earn a competitive salary and have a rewarding career in the ever-changing world of web development.  But how much do WordPress developers make in a year?

WordPress developers’ salaries vary depending on experience, location, and expertise. According to our research, an average WordPress developer can earn between $50,000 and $100,000 annually. However, experienced developers with a strong portfolio and in-depth knowledge of WordPress can make even more.

In addition to their base salary, many WordPress developers can earn their income through freelance projects or by providing additional services such as website maintenance and support.

Now that you know what WordPress developers are and what responsibilities one should possess, let’s jump to the article’s core.

How to Start as an At-Home WordPress Developer

Here’s an overview of how to start as an at-home WordPress developer:

  • Plan the Steps
  • Set Up a Local Environment
  • Learn Learn Learn
  • Find Freelance Opportunities
  • Build a Portfolio Website
  • Get Assistance
  • Explore Plugins and Themes
  • Stay Updated with the Community

Like anything else, any skill can be mastered if you follow the proper steps. For WordPress, we would like to suggest these steps:

1. Plan the Steps

It is critical to plan your steps before diving into the world of WordPress development. You can start by identifying your goals and objectives as a WordPress developer. First, determine what to specialize in, such as theme development, plugin development, or website customization.

Once you have a clear vision, it is time to plan your learning journey—plenty of resources, such as online courses, tutorials, and documentation. Make a schedule that allows you to commit enough time to learn and practice WordPress development.

2. Set Up a Local Environment

To develop WordPress websites, you must first set up a local development environment on your computer. It lets you work on WordPress projects without interfering with live websites.

Creating a local environment requires setting up a local server, such as XAMPP or MAMP, and configuring it to run WordPress. You can also use software like Local.

Begin by downloading and installing your preferred local server software. Start the server after installation and configure it to run Apache and MySQL. Then, download the most recent version of WordPress from the official website and extract the files to the server’s document root. Create a new MySQL database and connect WordPress to it.

After completing these steps, you can access your local WordPress site via a web browser. This local environment will be your testing ground for WordPress websites.

3. Learn Always

To become an expert WordPress developer, you must dedicate time to learning the platform’s technicalities. Begin by learning the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and PHP, as these are the foundations of WordPress themes and plugins. These languages can be learned using online courses, tutorials, and documentation.

After you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you can move on to WordPress-specific topics. Learn about the template hierarchy in WordPress, theme development, plugin development, and the WordPress REST API. Understanding these concepts will allow you to create custom themes, extend WordPress functionality with plugins, and interact with third-party applications.

Additionally, learn about the extensive collection of WordPress plugins and themes. Look into existing plugins and themes to understand how they are built and the best practices applied by experienced developers. This understanding will help you develop high-quality, efficient, secure WordPress solutions.

4. Find Freelance Opportunities

Once you’re confident in your WordPress development abilities, it’s time to start looking for freelance work. Popular platforms for connecting freelancers with clients looking for WordPress development services include UpworkFreelancer, and Toptal. For that, create an engaging profile that highlights your skills, experience, and portfolio.

When starting as a freelancer, being proactive in finding clients is critical. Contact potential clients directly, participate in online communities, and network with other industry professionals. Building a solid reputation and client base takes time, so be patient and persistent.

As you gain more experience and positive client feedback, you can gradually raise your rates and take on more challenging projects.

5. Build a Portfolio Website

A portfolio website is essential for establishing your presence as a WordPress developer and showcasing your skills. A portfolio website lets potential clients view your previous work and evaluate your abilities. It is a virtual resume emphasizing your expertise and demonstrating your ability to design visually appealing and functional websites.

Consider design, user experience, and performance when developing your portfolio website. Use your WordPress development skills to create a one-of-a-kind and professional website that reflects your personality and showcases your best work.

Include case studies for each project, outlining the challenges and solutions implemented. Most importantly, update your portfolio website with new projects and search engine optimization. This ensures potential clients can easily find your website and evaluate your abilities.

6. Get Assistance

When starting as a WordPress developer, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Join WordPress-specific online communities and forums where you can ask questions, seek advice, and learn from experienced developers. Participate in discussions, share your knowledge, and connect with people who share your interests.

Consider attending WordCamps and joining local WordPress meetups. These events offer valuable networking opportunities, workshops, and presentations from industry experts.

7. Explore Plugins and Themes

WordPress has many plugins and themes that can help you simplify your development process. Explore the official WordPress Plugin and Theme Directories to find valuable tools that save you time and effort. When choosing plugins and themes, prioritize those that are actively maintained, regularly updated, and have a high user rating.

While pre-built plugins and themes are convenient, customize and extend their functionality. Modify existing plugins and themes to meet project requirements. This adaptability will enable you to provide unique and tailored solutions to your clients.

However, when customizing third-party plugins and themes, proceed with caution. Always create a child theme or use a custom plugin to avoid losing your changes during updates. Backup your projects regularly and thoroughly test them to ensure compatibility and stability.

8. Stay Updated with the Community

The WordPress community is thriving, and it is constantly changing. It is critical to stay connected with the community to stay on top of the latest trends, updates, and best practices.

Follow influential WordPress blogs, sign up for newsletters, and participate in online discussions.

Participate in webinars and online conferences to learn from industry experts and gain insights into new technologies and techniques.

WordPress development constantly changes, with new features and enhancements regularly introduced. That’s why you can provide the best solutions to your clients and maintain a competitive edge in the market by staying up to date.


Starting as an at-home WordPress developer can be an exciting and rewarding journey.

By planning your steps, setting up a local environment, investing time in learning, finding freelance opportunities, building a portfolio website, seeking assistance, exploring plugins and themes, and staying connected with the community, you can pave the way for a successful career in WordPress development.

Also, remember that the critical factors to becoming a skilled WordPress developer are determination, commitment, and endless learning.

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