What Is a WordPress Developer + How to Become One

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore a WordPress developer’s role, salary, and responsibilities with the following article.

[Featured Image] A WordPress developer works on a website design on their computer.

WordPress is an open-source content management system (CMS) used to build websites. A 2022 study by W3 Techs indicates that 43 percent of all websites on the internet use WordPress [1]. Although the software is free, many people hire professional WordPress developers for high-quality website design and development. The following article explores the role of a WordPress developer and how you can become one in just three steps. 

What is a WordPress developer?

A WordPress developer is a type of web developer. They specialise in building websites with WordPress. They are also full-stack developers, meaning they can develop the front-end and back-end of a website. Individual clients or organisations may hire a WordPress developer to enhance the WordPress software or build a custom website for a client. 

Where do WordPress developers work?

A WordPress developer can work for a company or be a freelance developer. For freelance opportunities, several job-seeking platforms exist to connect WordPress developers and potential clients—for example, WordPress Jobs (the official WordPress jobs listing platform) and Codeable.io. You also have options if you are an aspiring WordPress developer not interested in freelancing. Examples of organisations that employ WordPress developers include software development companies, digital marketing agencies, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) management businesses. 

WordPress developer job outlook

As the fastest-growing CMS for 12 years, WordPress has secured its place in the market. The job market for WordPress developers is also experiencing rapid growth worldwide as more platforms develop using WordPress [1].

Did you know? All WordPress developers are web developers and designers. The skills you gain in becoming a WordPress developer can also help you succeed in other web development roles.


What does a WordPress developer do?

Typical responsibilities of a WordPress developer include:

  • Designing and developing new features and functions

  • Translating client requirements into technical specifications

  • Implementing and maintaining the architecture of a website

  • Writing, testing, and debugging code

How much does a WordPress developer make?

As of April 2024, Indeed reports the average WordPress developer salary in India to be ₹3,33,496 per year [2]. Factors like the city and your company can impact your final salary. 

Related roles

WordPress developers are web developers who specialise in WordPress infrastructure and tools. Many similar jobs exist. A few examples of related roles include:

  • Software developers. Like web developers, software developers are programmers who create computer software and applications instead of (or in addition to) web development.

  • User experience (UX) designers. UX design refers to curating the interaction between users and websites or other software products. UX designers are software developers who focus on the UX of a website or application.

  • Full-stack developers. Regardless of specialisation, any programmer is considered a full-stack developer if they can independently create a minimum viable product. Using both disciplines, full-stack developers can identify and resolve errors between the front and back end. 

  • User interface (UI) developers. UI developers combine creative design and technical skills to craft the visual elements of a website or application. 

How to become a WordPress developer in 3 steps

1. Familiarise yourself with WordPress.

You can start using WordPress before you've mastered front-end and back-end development. WordPress is accessible for beginners, making it a popular choice for those who want to make a website themselves but don't have any coding experience. It's similar to how an aspiring photographer will likely purchase a camera before graduating from a photography class. You can learn about the basics and build a foundational knowledge of the software while learning how to manage more advanced development. 

2. Gain the essential skills.

WordPress is popular, in part, because it requires users minimal technical proficiency. In contrast, professional WordPress developers must possess web development and design skills. The list below outlines some critical disciplines for a WordPress developer to master.

Programming languages. As a WordPress developer, you will need to learn four primary languages. 

  • First, hypertext markup language (HTML) enables you to structure a website by organising content like headers, footers, and sidebars. 

  • Next, cascading style sheets (CSS) allow you to apply stylistic elements like text colour, border thickness, and image alignment to your HTML structure. 

  • PHP: hypertext preprocessor (PHP) is the language you should learn to become a WordPress developer. It is the back-end scripting language for WordPress and 77.9 percent of all websites (where the language is known) [3]. 

  • JavaScript is a crucial skill for WordPress developers. It is the most popular programming language worldwide [4] and is used extensively in WordPress development to create dynamic functionalities. 

You can learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript all at once by earning a Certificate from Johns Hopkins University:

Plugin development. Plugins are packaged extensions of code that enhance WordPress's features and functionality. WordPress developers create custom plugins based on client requirements. 

Database management enables users to store, maintain, and control access to pertinent data. WordPress uses MySQL, a database management system.

Digital marketing. WordPress developers often utilise search engine optimisation (SEO) and other digital marketing techniques to increase site traffic and quality.

Web design and development. Since WordPress developers work extensively on UX and UI, they need excellent web design and development skills. A WordPress developer's responsibility is to ensure the website they build is functional, responsive, aesthetically pleasing, and accessible to all users. 

Familiarity with popular development tools. Familiarising yourself with popular development tools is helpful regardless of the type of developer you want to become. Git, Bitbucket, and Jira are some of the tools most commonly used by developers worldwide [5]. 

3. Enhance your CV.

Establishing your competitiveness as a job candidate, regardless of the demand for your desired occupation, is necessary. Educational backgrounds for WordPress development roles range from a senior school certificate to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

Higher education is a great way to gain the skills to excel in an entry-level role. However, other ways exist to build expertise and showcase your abilities to employers. 

Earn a Professional Certificate.

Another way to demonstrate professional experience to employers is with relevant certifications. If you need help figuring out where to begin, you can browse job listings to find in-demand qualifications. For example, a WordPress developer who wants to enhance their UX skills may pursue a Professional Certificate from an industry expert like Google:

Build a portfolio.

A portfolio is a collection of your best work. If you have experience with WordPress or web development, consider compiling the projects that best communicate your technical ability. You can then send your portfolio along with your CV to prospective employers. It's okay if you still need to create something for your professional portfolio. You can start with an online Course like Introduction to Accessible Web Development, a Guided Project that navigates you through creating an accessible custom component with ARIA. 

Start today with Coursera

Take your first step toward becoming a WordPress developer and earn a web development and design certificate by completing a Specialisation with the University of Michigan or a Professional Certificate programme with Meta—both on Coursera.

Article sources


W3 Techs Web Technology Surveys. “Usage statistics and market share of WordPress, https://w3techs.com/technologies/details/cm-wordpress.” Accessed April 5, 2024.

Keep reading

Updated on
Written by:

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.