Writing quality code isn’t a skill you can be born with, which (fortunately for non-hackettes like me) means that you can make it a force of habit.
After spending nearly a decade developing front-end for WordPress websites, I succeeded.
How? By following these tips:
#1. General Etiquette: Coding for Computers + Humans
Let’s face it, if we people were meant to understand language of machines, being a developer wouldn’t even be a thing.
Code, especially long-wided sheets that are improperly formatted are large blocks of text that bring you closer to despair-event horizon the longer you look at it. It doesn’t even matter what language it’s in.
This is why, to make code comprehensible to others (and your own future-self), practice consistent naming, proper indentations and line breaks, commenting, concatenation and descriptive variable-naming, etc.
To become a WordPress expert, you have to first master the core value of the platform itself, which is user-friendliness. The user of your code could be another developer. Make things easier for them by writing clean, legible code.
#2. Feature Overload
Kindly Place “Feature Overload” image here
I have good interfaces and apps laid to waste because of feature creep.
This happens due to poor planning, inadequate research, and general chaos. You set out to create something, then ego steps in, and by the time you look up, you have created something else entirely. It may sound awesome, but it’s a pain for professional WordPress developers.
Remember that just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Keep the following in mind before settling down to code:
- Competition (what else exists that does the exact same thing?)
- Contribution (Are you solving a previously unidentified problem?)
- Commercial Viability: Would it sell/ be used (if you’re creating a free giveaway)
Maintain consistency in your development with theme frameworks and regular checks of version history to stay in touch with your intended goal.
#3. Make WordPress
There’s no more straightforward way to become WordPress expert than to learn more about daily improvements being made in the platform by WordPress Geeks across the world.
Follow the conversations, track the changes on trac, help debugging with Nightly builds, make suggestions if you have any… the deeper you immerse yourself into the platform, the faster you’ll grow.
#4. Codex is the WordPress Bible
Codex.wordpress.org is the single most exhaustive source of information and code related to everything on WordPress. It’s incomplete in places, but it’ll teach you more about WordPress than anything/one.
With pages upon pages of easily-digestible info on Theme Development, Plugin development, RESTful APIs, Functions reference, security, coding guidelines, and more, there’s no topic left untouched on the Codex.
Keep it open in the adjacent tab/window whenever you’re working.
Also: Don’t just trust any advice/code snippet/hack/plugin you find on the internet.
#5. Find your strengths
Here are some major (aka lucrative) areas of WordPress development. Instead of taking everything on at once, find the vertical that you are interested in.
Front-end development will have you working on live interfaces, aka Theme development, widgets, certain plugins etc. This requires knowledge of HTML, PHP, CSS (and its variants like LESS, SASS, etc.), and JS. If you have a keen eye for design and layouts, this is the perfect field for you.
If you are interested in function (rather than form) WordPress Plugin/App development will be your strength. Pay close attention to PHP and JS, along with rapid developments in RESTful API integration which will be complete by April 2016.
Make a list of things that attract you the most about WordPress. Then make another list of your strengths/focus.
Prioritize tasks on those lists.
Gather resources and become a WordPress expert.
Tracey Jones is a professional WordPress developer with years of experiences and has delivered many successful projects. She works with a leading WordPress development company- HireWPGeeks Ltd. who offers WordPress developer for hire
on an alternate basis. She has a strong passion for writing everything about WordPress and its related services.
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