How To Land A WordPress Job

Employers increasingly consider “WordPress” its own skill set in today’s job market. It’s no longer enough to simply say “I know WordPress.” How do you prepare for WordPress-heavy job interviews? Learn some key bases to cover for the four main types of WordPress positions.

There are countless reasons to learn WordPress, check out my previous article. I have researched and listed 10 Really Good Reasons Why Learning WordPress Is A Great Career Move

Four Types of WordPress Jobs

What kind of WordPress job are you looking for? I’ll divide this article into the 4 types I see the most.

1. Writing / Editing / Managing a WordPress site

In addition to your general writing and editing abilities, you need to show familiarity with using WordPress in the backend.

Make sure you understand how to do everything the WordPress.org “Writing Posts” page shows you. That’s a pretty big page, so start with my list below, in order. If you get stuck, check the “Writing Posts” page to figure out what’s wrong. Make sure you can do everything on the following list.

In addition to Posts, you need to understand Pages. Check the WordPress.org “Pages” page, and make sure you know the differences between Posts and Pages.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You won’t find much about SEO on the official WordPress site, but it’s an important aspect to writing and managing any website.

  1. Understand what SEO is.
  2. Familiarize yourself with at least one SEO plugin.
  3. WordPress SEO
  4. Infinite SEO
  5. All-In-One SEO Pack

2. Theme Development

If you have what it takes to design great user interfaces, you should consider building some of your own WordPress themes. As you gain experience, make sure you’ve covered all the following to help you land a full-time theme-related WordPress job.

I have been developing wordpress for the better part of 10 years now. And The list below are the essential wordpress development skills one need to posses to land a good wordpress developer job!
  1. Demonstrate HTML / CSS / JavaScript proficiency.
  2. Build something using a grid framework.
  3. Build a responsive theme.
  4. Build your own custom page templates, including full width, left sidebar, and right sidebar variants.
  5. Understand the template hierarchy.
  6. Know how to make specific templates for specific category archive pages.
  7. Add your own sidebars to a theme in various places.
  8. Add editor stylesheets to a theme.
  9. Make a child theme.
  10. Understand efficient ways to debug theme problems.
  11. Know when to split functionality into a plugin instead of including in a theme.

3. Plugin Development

The problem solvers among us may thrive on building backend functionality for web applications. WordPress provides a great market for such coding skills. Before you knock on the door asking for a full-time plugin development job, make sure you can at least do the following.

  1. Demonstrate PHP proficiency and ability to optimize code.
  2. Understand object-oriented plugin development.
  3. Understand the need for namespacing, and how object-oriented development relates.
  4. Understand WordPress security and secure development practices.
  5. Debug WordPress code.
  6. Modify content using filters.
  7. Explain what Custom Post Types and Custom Taxonomies are, and when best to use them.
  8. Create your own widget.
  9. Add custom meta boxes to post / page edit screen for capturing extra data.
  10. Handle shortcodes in content to output certain results.
  11. Pull data from external data source for display on the WordPress site.
  12. Use jQuery for various effects and DOM control.

4. End-User Support

Site managers sometimes need help using WordPress, and can benefit from your multiple years as a WordPress user.

Those who love lending a helping hand might best provide support services to other WordPress users. Big players in the WordPress world increasingly hire full-time staff to provide top-notch customer support. Make sure you can do the following before trying to get a WordPress support position.

  1. Demonstrate ability to communicate well in writing.
  2. Know how to create meaningful screenshots.
  3. Demonstrate complete, in-depth knowledge of WordPress core functionality.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the specific product you’ll be supporting.
  5. Show your history on the WordPress.org support forums and other such places.

Your use of WordPress for an employer will fall within one or more of the above topics. Below, check out the important proficiencies you need to show for each of these areas. For most topics, I’ve provided what I think is the best link to move you in the right direction when you need a little help. By no means is this all you need to know about WordPress for the rest of your life, but completing these lists definitely puts you near the front of the pack.

Check out my new post 6 Habits To Increase Productivity as a WordPress Developer.

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