Need advice on what to do, thanks!

So far I have built a list of things I need to learn. It goes like this:

-Digital Marketing
-FCC courses
-Look for projects on freelance sites (I am beginner-intermideate level in terms of web dev coding languages… I learned html, css, javascript, and am learning python)
-Work on my own projects
-Build my website for a beat store I am making / for my personal portfolio website… would wordpress be able to make a beat website where I need people to be able to download beats and listen to them?
-Learn installing software properly
-Learn command line in depth (already know basics)
-Learn about software depencies
-Version control
-web design

My main goal is to become a freelance web developer but looking at the job postings on upwork has left me very confused as to what to actually learn. I have been thinking that I should just follow codeacademy and freecodecamp curriculum, but again, after looking at the job postings, I see lots of skills I have never heard of.

Also the issue of wordpress vs handcoding is really confusing me, as I dont see the point of being a web developer if people can make their own websites these days really easily. My uncle runs a business and his website was made by him with wordpress.

How do I learn to build a website from scratch is their any good websites or videos on this? I would not know where to start coding or how to start.

Is my list of things to learn smart for my goal of becoming a freelance developer?

Again the upwork postings have left me really confused as to what to learn. Most of the skills are not stuff I find on FCC or Codeacademy but Ill have to look deeper. Also the skills seem to change drastically from job to job, so how do you specialize in one field while freelancing.

Is it smart to get a broad base of knowledge or should you focus yourself on one skill? I feel the latter is better, but it is proving hard to do.

I have more questions but cant think of them at this time.

If you have time to answer this I would be very grateful.



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Hey Andrej.

So if this is your main goal, I would start thinking about the core skills you need to have, e.g.:

  • finding clients
  • selling products/services to clients
  • building the product/delivering the service

So as you can see, 2 of 3 skills are not technical ones.

It’s like buying ready-made food vs. learning to cook. It depends on the situation.

I think a good starting point is to plan the site and its core features and try to implement them one after one.

I think your list is very big and very generic.

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Hey @andrejjj222

Its really hard at first to get a handle on what you need to know. It does become clearer as you move forward though.

There are a few ways people use WordPress.

One way is the way you described it. People with little to no experience find a nice WordPress theme, then they just “fill in the blanks” with there own images and text. Add a little color and poof! you’ve got yourself a website. And to be fair you can make yourself a pretty decent website this way. And as you noted, you don’t need an expensive freelance web developer to do it.

Another way people use WordPress is to use it as a starting point for a much more complex website, the kind of website a non-developer has no hope of doing on their own. This second category is the majority of WordPress job offerings you see on Upwork. ( I know because I am a freelancer that works 100 percent on Upwork and only does WordPress )

WordPress vs handcoding is really not a real question at all. The WordPress jobs posted on Upwork ( and on other similar platforms ) do use WordPress, but only as a starting point, you still need all of your coding chops to do the work.

Most of what you would be doing is coding up webpages, many from scratch, to meet the unique client needs. You would also be writing some very complex code to add special functionality to the website, or to fix a bug.

Core skills you would need, or at least the core skills I need, are much the same as non-WordPress developers. I don’ t need to know much in the way of fancy frameworks, but you need to be really good at html and css - for building webpages, and you need to be really good with javascript/jquery and php to write that complex code I mentioned.

So, back to the question of what to learn. Whether you choose to do WordPress or not, or if you decide to freelance or work of an agency, the core starting skills are the same. Learn html, css, and javascript inside and out. I personally like jquery too, especially for the way it uses selectors. Freecodecamp is excellent for this. I will note also that doing the FCC curriculum will answer many of the other questions in your post, it will fill in a lot of the blanks. You may not need to add php, it depends on what you decide to do, but regardless, the html, css, and javascript comes first.

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide on.


Ok thank you so much for the detailed response!!

Where does python and backend languages fit into your work as a wordpress freelancer? Im guessing PHP is a backend language, but do you find it useful to know python and MySQL and that sort of stuff?



I learned some python in school but never used it in the real world.

Yes, you are correct about php, it is a backend language. WordPress and other CMS systems use it extensively. Php on the server side, and javascript/jquery on the client ( browser ) side. They play nice together, a bonus. I know people are of an opinion php is terrible, but I’ve come to really like it, and version 7 php has become a true, mature programming language regardless of what you may hear. ( I’m climbing off my soapbox now, lol… )

Yes I did learn some database skills, and that can be useful. I only occasionally need to use SQL, but understanding database structures does give you insight into problems you might not otherwise understand. I’m thinking of tables, records, keys, table relationships, that kind of thing, the basics of how all relational databases work.

Basically everything you can learn about programming can be useful. I learned using Java and C#/.net, and although these are very different languages to php ( and REALLY different to javascript ) the basic programming principles carried over quite nicely.

You can’t do everything at once though, so start with the basics everyone needs, then you will have a much better understanding of what to pick up next.

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