So you’ve been working your current job for a while now, whatever it may be, and you’re looking for a change. There’s a lot of options out there, but you’re probably here because you like the idea of getting into development. As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, there are several paths in the world of development to choose from. So we’re going to discuss what you need to learn if you’ve decided to focus on being a WordPress developer. Let’s get into it.
You’ll definitely want to start here for sure. It’s literally the structure of the modern web. HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language, and it will tell the browser how to display things. What’s a header, what’s a paragraph, what’s an image, stuff like that. It all comes down to elements. We’re not going to go into detail about what elements and tags are in HTML, but it’s as basic as you can get for a web developer. HTML is honestly pretty easy. You can learn it in a day, even just a couple of hours. But like most things, mastering it will take a little longer. It all comes down to practice, as HTML skills don’t really come from learning more as it does coming up with more creative ways to use it to make your code clean and efficient. Organization is everything, and this is where it starts.
Without some sort of styling, your HTML is going to look like a crappy word document. Things will still be pretty easy at this point, but it’s perfectly normal to get a few headaches at this point. CSS is what makes the web page look like an actual web page. From stuff as simple as font sizes and colors to full-on responsive (meaning mobile friendly) layouts, CSS is going to handle (almost) all of this for you. You can ‘learn’ CSS over a weekend, but it’s something you’ll forever be improving upon. Part of it will be like HTML where it’s learning new ways to use old knowledge, but you’ll also be constantly learning new things. CSS is frequently updated and new modules are added, but don’t let that get you down. Learning anything doesn’t mean you have the entire ‘language’ memorized. Spend a couple of weeks using HTML and CSS to rebuild popular websites. Look at the code they have, which you can see by inspecting element, and then try and build some others without looking at the source code. You want to make sure you can actually do stuff on your own and just copy. You’ll also want to learn about media queries so you can create responsive websites that fit any screen size.
So now we’re getting into databases. You don’t really need to learn a lot of it for WordPress, at least not in the beginning, but it’s a valuable skill to have. It’s something you’ll be glad you did when it comes time to get into building plugins for WordPress. MySQL is what WordPress counts on to store data for your website, so you’ll want to be able to interact with the database, even if it means just looking at the database with a tool like PhpMyAdmin, without panicking. But don’t worry, it’s fairly straightforward. You can “learn” it in a day, then just keep practicing to learn more and become more efficient with it.
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