…I’m finding it really hard.
Long story short, I started in FCC about 7 months ago, last week I got a job interview for a frontend developer position and they said ok, that we could start slowly in about 2 weeks. That in the meantime I could start looking some of the things that I would be doing. They mentioned that most of their clients that ask for a website want them to use Wordpress, because they think they will be managing the website themselves(which they never do) and think Wordpress will be easier/cheaper. So I thought ok, I know HTML/CSS and JS well enough to do any kind of website, how hard can Wordpress theme development be?
Well, it’s pretty damn hard.
I find it harder than learning I don’t know, Angular. It’s like a whole new language. I’m not talking about the PHP part but the whole structure and wp specific functions you must know, etc. It seems like someone who develops specifically for Wordpress would specialize and really just focus into that, and that’s not something I want to do.
It’s my first job and they seemed very understanding in the fact that I’m a Junior and that I know nothing about Wordpress as a developer, yet the interviewer who is also the company owner seemed very adamant on wanting to bet on me specifically, and so I have turned down two interview offers after this because it was nice to hear, but now I’m having doubts.
I guess my question is, has anyone had to deal with Wordpress as a frontend developer? How common is it for clients to ask for websites made with tools like Wordpress, squarespace, etc? Was it hard for you to learn?
From my experience around 90% of customers will want some kind of CMS usually wordpress. Creating a basic theme with some standard functionalities is pretty straightforward. However, most of the clients will want some extra functionalities and customization. This is where it gets a little harder and if you know only basics it may be hard for you. It’s not that it’s extremely difficult but to fully understand themes and plugin structure requires some effort. I would say around 3-4 months study. But…as a front-end developer you really shouldn’t be implementing back-end environment like Wordpress. If they expect you to do so they actually think about you more like a full stack dev.
I guess I’m scared to spend my time in that job just creating Wordpress websites, and not growing as a Frontend developer, but it’s not like I can turn down a possibility of real job experience. I did tell them I know 0 PHP.
But you can grow as a front-end developer creating Wordpress websites It depends where they want you to spend most of your time. If they only occasionally want you to implement some basic theme with let’s say news functionality you should be ok. But if they want you to engage in creating e-commerce or large websites with custome made plugins then well…you’ll spend more time doing back-end then front-end
If you are developing with WordPress, you are still a developer.
I had to do a couple of WordPress jobs. One was a form which I just did on a separate page. One was a new plugin.
I had to learn PHP and MySQL first which took about 2 weeks (I used a WROX book) but it was fun,
My main job was building things in VB.NET with MS SQL backend so WordPress was a new skill for me.
I’ve never worried about themeing but I know how to change a theme. I would start with an existing theme and modify that.
Welcome to the wonderful world of WordPress! I’m only being a little sarcastic here because in fact WordPress is pretty cool, its no longer your granddads WordPress, its come a long way.
I started focusing exclusively on WordPress around Christmas break and have been spending 6 - 10 hours on it every day and I can tell you I still have lots to learn. But honestly I think you will grow into liking it.
Okay, I would recommend seeing if your new boss will spring for a Lynda dot com subscription for you, or just buy it yourself. The WordPress courses are pretty decent, and they have a lot of them. My personal flavor has been WordPress Genesis and the Lynda library has helped me quite a lot.
You’ll need some php as well, but it seems silly easy to learn after FCC frontend development.
Good luck to you. Please give some feedback down the road on how you are finding it…
Thank you for the encouragement. I’m currently doing many courses on Treehouse, they have a very big Wordpress library. I’ve been paying for Treehouse for a few months now and I’m satisfied.