Four Promising Careers in WordPress Development

wordpress development

You have your own WordPress site, and you’re no newbie: You can edit theme stylesheets, install plugins of your choice, and have a basic understanding of the core code running behind the scenes. You have a feel for both the power and versatility WordPress offers to build unique websites with radically different looks and functionalities.

So, you might ask yourself: Is it possible to have a career in WordPress development?

The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, but there’s a lot more you’ll need to learn. If you’re willing to put in the sustained effort over time, though, any of these four WordPress developer careers below could be yours.

WordPress Development Careers

Experienced WordPress developers have a running joke about the 7 types of developers:

  • the newbie
  • the tinkerer
  • the trainee
  • the rookie
  • the fix-it-guy
  • the professional
  • the architect

The punchline is the first five groups from newbie to tinkerer aren’t really WordPress developers at all as opposed to, at best, dedicated hobbyists.

Becoming a WordPress professional or architect requires a significant amount of time and energy doing the homework that sets experts apart from everyone else. You’ll have to learn PHP and MySQL and Ajax, read the Core Contributor handbook and develop your own patches, master debugging, and become an active member of the worldwide WordPress community.

1. Theme Developer

theme developer

A WordPress theme consists of the files working in tandem to create a website’s graphic interface. That is, how it looks as the colors, fonts, text layout, widgets, and more create a unified style. There are three different types of projects theme developers typically work on: building a secondary theme to integrate within a primary one, basing a new standalone theme on another one, or creating a new theme completely from scratch.

Being a theme developer can be especially attractive if you have a background in graphic or visual design because you will work on what end users see as opposed to working strictly behind the scenes. In addition, if you enjoy working with clients, this career path allows you to help them achieve both aesthetic and functional goals for their websites.

2. Plugin Developer

developers with blueprint

One commandment all WordPress developers must heed is this: Never edit the WordPress core code. That’s because every time a new WordPress version is released, it automatically overwrites existing core code on all earlier versions, so any changes you’ve made will be lost.

Therefore, functionality is extended and new features are added in WordPress by using plugins, standalone pieces of software which operate on top of the core code. Plugins can perform simple tasks like displaying the number of visitors to your site or more complex actions such as a robust help ticket system for site users.

Plugins are usually written in the PHP programming language, and a working knowledge of JavaScript and jQuery libraries will also be required. If you are interested in coding at the granular level – how things work more than how they look – this could be the route for you.

3. Ecommerce Developer

business executives

WordPress was originally developed as a blogging platform, but its use quickly expanded to all types of websites. Ecommerce sites – direct sales of products and services to site visitors – using WordPress have grown dramatically in the last ten years. While theme developers work with a site’s appearance and basic functionality and plugin developers extend functionality and add features, the ecommerce developer is a combination of the two.

The ecommerce developer must build visually appealing online stores selling physical and digital products, implement robust security measures, understand search engine optimization (SEO) factors unique to ecommerce, and much more. If you’re interested in how a site looks as well as how it works in all areas, the ecommerce developer’s “big picture” approach could be a good choice.

4. API Developer

taking down notes in a meeting

At its simplest, an Application Programming Interface (API) is code which allows other developers to write their own software. In that sense, an API developer isn’t so much concerned with end users, but the API will have great impact on end-user experience via the developers who utilize it. For example, a plugin API isn’t a plugin unto itself to use on a site as opposed to software which helps other developers create plugins.

The API developer has reached the top of the WordPress developer hierarchy and has skills far beyond the newbie or casual programmer. To reach this point, you’ll have the skill sets of the other three types of developers and be well-versed in both granular-level coding and abstract, high-level principles of site and server architecture.

WordPress Developer Resources

A great thing about learning WordPress development is the freely available online resources. The first place to start is the official WordPress Codex, a wiki repository covering all aspects of coding for beginners and experts alike. Another must-read is the WordPress blog with the latest information on topics ranging from plugin management to mobile app development and more.

Knowing WordPress Multisite is a key skill for developers. To learn more, check out this post about Multisite setup and plugin installation.

Most Popular Types of Blogs for Your WordPress Site

Popular Types of Blogs for Your WordPress Site

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If you have a WordPress site, you may very well have a blog you need to develop to inform and entertain your visitors. In many cases, blogs are placed on websites that are related to the website and the product or service it offers.

This blog content is written in a way to engage the reader, compelling them to take action related to the website’s offerings. For example, a website may be selling landscape services. In this case, a blog post that is titled “5 Steps Every Lawn Needs” could promote the services of the company, albeit indirectly.

Readers of these blogs often turn to the website that hosts them to solve the problems they have. Blogs are one of the biggest marketing tools on the internet and in the world today. Blogs are very effective as they communicate in an often informal, friendly way that makes it easy to convey information that persuades readers to become customers.

There are also many other types of blogs, for many different purposes. Some blogs are personal and are simply meant to entertain or inform friends, family, and others as to developments in someone’s personal life. Some are hobby blogs that are meant to exchange information about activities and items such as toys or fishing, for example.

With all of the purposes that blogs are used for, it is important that people write excellent content for them, or readers will quickly turn away and leave, most likely to never come back. Interest spans are very short in the information age, so you have to grab a reader and draw them in immediately or lose them for good.

In order to write popular blogs, you should know which types to write about when you have a WordPress website you are developing. We are covering four topic areas and providing numerous examples of types of blogs one could write about below:

4 Popular Types of Blogs Used on WordPress Sites

We narrowed down the different categories of blogs most widely written online and came up with a list of four major types. The major types of blogs by category that are popular among WordPress websites are as follows:

1. Popular Types of Fashion Blogs

Popular Types of Fashion Blogs

Photo credit to Collecting Labels

These types of blogs are all excellent examples that anyone in the industry could pick, and as long as they are originally written with hot headlines, would make awesome popular blogs.

Here is our assortment of fashion blog types:

  • Recreating Celebrity Looks. This type of blogs would be centered around the looks of celebrities and how to create similar styles and appearances.
  • Solutions to Common Fashion Problems. This general-purpose blog can educate readers in a technique or method to solve their fashion issues and can be a great segue into offering products or services pertinent to a specific company or service provider.
  • Secret Tips. This is a hot blog type because everyone loves a good secret, especially fashionistas. Secret tips can also be used to promote specialty items when possible.
  • Must-Have Items. If you are promoting an excellent fashion product along with a number of other items, a must-have blog can showcase your special offering while educating your readers on products that will make them look their best.
  • Worth-the-Splurge Items. Certain fashion products can be quite expensive, and if you are offering a unique item that is kind of pricey but well worth it for what you get, then writing a blog about it that focuses on the value you get for the money can compel readers to take action.
  • Affordable Alternatives. If you are selling discount, bargain items and want to work them into your blog, you can write up a blog that talks about several low-cost fashion solutions and weave your offer into it.
  • Could-Not-Live-Without Items. If you want to write a blog about items you feel people can’t live without and want to stick in a plug about your product or service, this is one great blog type to use.

Fashion blogs can be a lot of fun to create, and even if you are just a website owner and not a writer, you can use this list to create blogs that will fill the void. Great fashion blog types are everywhere you look. You can get ideas from just watching media or even people-watching on the street as well.

2. Popular Types of Food Blogs

Popular Types of Food Blogs

Photo credit to PapaOrder Blog

Food is the foundation of life. We need food, clothing, and shelter to survive. But beyond food (which you could write about, that’s one idea), there is all kind of popular blog types to explore that can also lead to many more through improvising on the original ideas. Finding something new is always a plus, and people love new ideas.

You can brainstorm and create something entirely new using the following ideas about blog posts, and your spin could even go viral and create major traction if it’s good enough. Let’s see what ideas to start from here:

  • The Positive Vs. The Negative Rant. We’ve all read negative rants and they are often times thought-provoking and amusing and may shy us away from things that truly should be avoided, like a restaurant with really bad food and lousy service. If you can stand the heat, write about the kitchen in as un-glowing terms as you desire. However, be prepared for fallout and potentially crazy things to develop. Positive rants are better because for one, the thing there is already enough bad press out there and general negativity. Positivity will help promote a product or service or place much better than merely bad-mouthing the competition. Staying positive whenever possible is a good way to go.
  • Evergreen Content. These types of food blogs are built for mainstream promotion and can be launching pads for new recipes, products, or restaurants. You can help with branding efforts by creating a lot of immensely readable and enjoyable evergreen content. Go evergreen when in doubt because it will not go out of style and will live on long after it gets published.
  • How-Tos and Kitchen Tutorials. Many times, it is necessary to give readers information they can use for their culinary needs. Even basics like how to can soup and make homemade ice cream can be immensely useful in a practical way for many people just starting out in the kitchen, such as younger folks. It is also a good thing to note that certain kitchen products can be written into these guides as part of the process to accomplish a cooking task, promoting a product as a suggestion, one reader might use if they perform the cooking task in question.

Food blogs are always open to new ideas. Think about what you might be able to do better, differently, with the same subject or idea.

3. Popular Types of Travel Blogs

Popular Types of Travel Blogs

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Travel is a multibillion-dollar industry, and people want to know everything they can from hot spots to out-of-the-way or secret destinations that they and their loved ones would love to escape to when possible.

There are tons of potential ideas that are popular among travel blogs, so let’s take a quick look at some of the best popular travel blog ideas here:

  • Real-Life Experience and Reporting. With all of the destinations possible around the globe to visit, people want to hear firsthand the accounts of people who have actually been to the places and seen for themselves what there is to see, taste, and touch. Writing blogs like these may require some investment of time and expense to accomplish.
  • How to Get Past Homesickness. Many people get homesick on long trips, especially kids or young adults. Those who write blogs about travel could easily include certain products such as stuffed animals or blankets that will help the traveler overcome their homesickness with the minimal possible discomfort.
  • The Best Luggage on a Budget. For those who are writing about low-cost luggage pieces, they can squeeze them into articles that feature a number of items ideal for those on a budget.

There is literally an unlimited number of blog types for popular travel blogs, and these are just a few. Read up on travel blogs to see what others are talking about, and soon enough, the right idea will just pop into your mind.

4. Popular Types of Music Blogs

Popular Types of Music Blogs

Photo credit to Sun Valley Blogs

Music is the medicine of the soul. It has shaped the better part of our lives and contains the memories of our generations. Music lovers are almost universal among all. There is hardly anyone who does not enjoy music, no matter what genre they prefer.

There are tons of different types of music, and blogs can be written about each one of them. There are also music industry and band news blogs that need endless material to support them. There is a never-ending variety of new groups that make the scene, and then there is even music therapy to consider.

No matter what type of blog you pick, these popular blog types are commonly found all over the internet, read by millions:

  • Reviews of Albums. If you are promoting a certain artist, make sure to include lots of background and anecdotal information, as well as interesting stories, about the band. Wild stories often accompany many groups, so be sure to capitalize on this and stress the most extreme aspects of the artist, or in the case of more subdued musicians, a focus on their integrity and character will also help you write a great blog with this blog type.
  • Evolution of a Genre. When writing about a musical genre, such as punk rock, you may want to go back to the roots of the movement and explain the times and what life was like for young people growing up in the 80’s, for example. There are modern punk groups still thriving in certain areas, so be sure to explain where they fit into the history of the genre and what makes them unique. Promoting a new act can be easy if they are good and people love them. Always provide links to the band and the albums they sell.
  • Run a Contest. If you are selling anything musical, tickets albums, or merchandise of any kind, give one of the items away. This will increase the interest in the offering and some people may act upon that later in favorable ways, or at least increase awareness and exposure of the artist or merchandise.

How to Choose Types of Popular Blogs

When writing a blog, it’s all up to you what you want to write about. These are just ideas about types of popular blogs that can guide you in what to focus on. You can even use these ideas to write completely different blogs if they stir your imagination.

It’s important to use whatever ideas you can find that work best to facilitate great writing and formulate your blog creations. It is not always necessary to use completely 100% original ideas. Many times, a new take on an old favorite will do the trick quite nicely.

In fact, old topics and ideas are often recycled with new twists that breathe fresh air into old standards, and that is what makes blogs interesting. The variety of blog types are infinite. They are hardly limited to the few examples we have listed here.

If you are looking for popular blog types and found some you like here, you can always find more by doing some study of the topics and learning more about the subject matter. The more you know and the more you read, the quicker your imagination can come up with all kinds of new blog types.

How Much Does a WordPress Site Cost?

How Much Does a WordPress Site Cost

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For anyone looking to post written content on a website, WordPress is arguably the way to go.

The term “arguably” is only there because there are many content management systems (CMSs) on the market. While WordPress isn’t the only option available for the management of blogs, news articles, or other types of content, it’s easily one of the most popular.

What makes it this way? There are many factors contributing to WordPress’s stellar reputation and continued widespread use. These include the convenience of the system, as well as the amount of support available via WordPress-optimized websites and WordPress plugins.

But there’s one more important matter to consider – the price. How much does WordPress cost? While the CMS itself is free, users need a website to use it on. This means the more accurate question would be: “How much does WordPress hosting cost through a supported site?”

While most sites are optimized to be used with WordPress, getting hosting and a domain is an important process that requires a lot of research. Plus, despite the variety of hosting/domain service packages on the market, some sites work better than others with WordPress.

WordPress Cost Analysis: Considering the Full Price

WordPress Site Cost

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WordPress is massively popular, in high demand, and it’s free – what’s the catch? The truth is, there is no catch. It’s more like a fine-print type of situation where the salesperson promotes their product without noting that batteries, chargers, or whatever accessories needed to make use of it aren’t included.

Luckily, there are plenty of web hosting companies out there that understand just how valuable this CMS is. Their hosting costs and domain registration fees represent the bulk of expenses WordPress users will need to cover. Aside from plugins and add-ons, this is the main price point to be aware of.

WordPress recommends hosting sites like Bluehost and Siteground for their seamless compatibility with the system. These sites offer hosting and domain services for as low as $3.95 a month, making it very economical.

The domain name cost and hosting cost are the primary expenses for a website, just as rent and utilities are the primary expenses for physical locations. But just like brick-and-mortar destinations have additional costs to consider, the same can be said for digital destinations.

How Much Should Web Design Cost?

How Much Should Web Design Cost

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WordPress sites offer a lot of flexibility in terms of design, and the top site makers associated with them usually offer convenient site designers.

These design platforms are generally based off drag-and-drop functionality, making it easy for users to create a beautiful site even if they lack a coding background. But this can only take a site so far – for professional web design needs, many people outsource to the professionals.

Web design cost per page can vary greatly depending on the amount of work that needs to be done as well as the number of people needed to do it. For example, a new website will need copy and thus need a copywriter. But they may also want graphics, necessitating the hiring of a graphic designer. If they want to tinker with the site’s code to make it a little more personalized, they could benefit from hiring a programmer.

Web design cost per page can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. While tallying up these expenses, it’s also wise to think about all the extras a site may need. Does it come with a security feature to scan for malware? What about an SSL to protect information sent over the site? There are also backups to consider, which are sometimes included with hosting packages but sometimes cost extra.

While considering these extra expenses for a WordPress site, it’s also wise to consider the option of plugins.

WordPress Plugin Selection and Pricing

WordPress Plugin Selection and Pricing

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No CMS is truly complete without a variety of helpful plugins. Using these add-ons, a person can get more out of their WordPress site and reap the full benefit of content creation.

OptinMonster is a great example of a tool created for conversion. It helps people turn site visitors to email subscribers, allowing them to grow their email list with ease. WP Forms is a plugin dedicated to making secure contact forms. This makes it easy for customers to reach out, subscribe to opt-in media, and make payments through the site.

As for analytical tools, MonsterInsights is designed to combine the insights of Google Analytics with the simplicity of WordPress. It allows site owners to learn more about their traffic, so they can optimize the site for better performance.

WordPress cost analysis is important for anyone looking to buy a site for this CMS. With plugins and site add-ons, there is a lot to consider, but there are some very affordable hosting/domain packages that make WordPress easy to use.

WP Updates Updater Code Changes

In case you had not noticed, back when we released our big update we changed the updater code and they way you download the wp-updates-plugin.php and wp-updates-theme.php for themes and plugins. This had no affect on plugins and themes using the old code, but improved the code going forward.

The wp-updates-plugin.php and wp-updates-theme.php files are now generated specific to your theme or plugin and accessed from the plugin or theme screen. That means the call to the WPUpdatesPluginUpdater or WPUpdatesThemeUpdater now has your plugin or theme ID as a suffix, eg. WPUpdatesThemeUpdater_101. This means the plugin or theme ID is no longer required as a parameter:

new WPUpdatesPluginUpdater_x( '', plugin_basename(__FILE__) );

We have just released an update to the wp-updates-plugin.php file for plugins. This fixes an issue we have recently encountered if there is a free plugin hosted on the repository with very similar name to a premium plugin on WP Updates. If the free version has a higher version number than the premium plugin, WordPress shows an update available for the premium plugin but will actually serve the update of the free version.

To apply this fix to your premium plugin login to your dashboard and select the plugin you want to update. Download the new version of the wp-updates-plugin.php file and make sure you have updated the code in your plugin to call the WPUpdatesPluginUpdater if you haven’t yet done so, to reflect the aforementioned changes.

Recent Downtime

First of all we have to say a big thank you to you all for your patience and understanding as we have dealt with our server issues over the last couple of days. On Tuesday last week (5th Nov 2013) our server were compromised, apparently by spammers in South America. They most likely got in due to some outdated software on our servers. Thankfully it doesn’t appear that any data was compromised so all of your passwords and personal information are still secure. We don’t store any financial data on our servers (all of our billing is handled by Spreedly) so any financial data is also completely safe.

Once we realised that our servers had been compromised we immediately started a migration of all of our (Dev7studios) sites to new servers. This took much longer than anticipated due to quite a large amount of data, which is the main reason for the length of the downtime. Thankfully however this won’t be an issue in the future as we have migrated all of our important file data over to Amazon S3. This means that the files you upload to our websites are securely stored and served from Amazon’s own network and not our servers, adding an extra layer of security and speed to our file storage. It also means if our servers are ever compromised in the future, we won’t need to migrate all of these files again.

So as of this morning we are back up and running, and as an added bonus we are now on a much faster setup. Again we appreciate your patience and understanding as we have worked through this issue and we apologise for any inconvenience it may have caused. We ask that you keep an eye out for any bugs or issues that might appear after the migration and let us know if you find anything.

New and Improved Pricing

We’re pleased to announce that as of today WP Updates will be much cheaper than it was previously. We’ve taken a look at our pricing model and tweaked it to better suit our customers. As of today the pricing is as follows:

  • Solo Package: $5/month or $49/year
  • Agency Package: $9/month or $79/year
  • Enterprise Package: $19/month or $149/year

We also have some cool updates in the works, but more on that later. So if you haven’t already upgraded to one of our paid plans now is the time to do it.