Wordpress Development

I took a gander at Guru.com and Upwork.com and I notice there are a lot of jobs for Wordpress development. The question I wanted to ask to everyone who has done projects with Wordpress is how much time and effort would it take to be able to build real-world projects that clients want?

I’m pretty deadset to finishing these backend projects as I originally intended when I took the leap of faith. On the other hand, it doesn’t hurt to do some gigs while I’m working on these projects.

Thanks guys for reading and answering back :slight_smile:



I’ve worked on a handful of wordpress sites for people and while it has been good for side money, I feel like its been kind of a waste of time for me overall. My main objective was to have sites to add to my portfolio and so far each client has went and messed with the site themselves, essentially ruining them and making it something I wouldn’t even want to display in my portfolio. Either that or the business never started or went under so the sites aren’t even online. That’s just my personal experience so it might turn out better for you, but I’d keep in mind that wordpress definitely encourages or makes it easy for clients to tinker around with things on a site that are probably better off left to a professional designer / developer, so if you want to build projects that you are proud of and can show off , sometimes wordpress gets in the way of that.

So you suggest that I should keep knocking these backend projects out of the way and start taking on full-stack jobs when I’m finished?

Since finishing my front-end certificate I’ve been studying WordPress and the Genesis Framework full time, sometime before Christmas I guess. I can tell you it takes time to get a good solid grasp of how things work, where plugins and themes fit in, and to get a handle on using Php to customize things. I think the time spent is very well worth it though, at least for me. I am not looking to be hired and work for someone else, so WordPress and Genesis seem to me to be a good way to work from home and make a decent living. I guess you have to decide what it is exactly you want to do. I do know there are lots of WordPress related jobs out there, but it may not be for you if your intention is to work for a shop that does everything from scratch. But if you are freelancing WordPress could be a good fit.


To be honest, I really want to build Javascript applications with Node. That’s what I have been building my projects out of and I plan on building my client’s projects with it as well.

If it’s going to require more effort and time to learn a cms and server-side language, I’ll be hard-pressed to do so without some sort of guaranteed incentive.

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It sounds like you know the right answer for you - that’s a good thing. I’ve advised people repeatedly not to get distracted going down side paths that are not core to what you want to do, it will slow down your development as a programmer. WordPress is surprisingly complex once you get past the surface features ( surface features intended for non-technical users to do rudimentary content management ). You can always pick up WordPress and Php later on.

Is there an alternative to Wordpress that uses Node? I know there’s Keystone.js and Blue Pencil but it doesn’t look like clients want that.

I spent a lot of time looking for a decent Node.js CMS. There’s nothing that comes close to WordPress (not yet, anyway).

Keystone.js looks solid. I installed it locally and really liked the simple setup and interface. But there’s not much of a community around it, so you’re going to be reinventing the wheel a lot.

Great responses!
This is something that I am also very interested in pursuing!
Many of the non-profit websites I’ve seen over the years make use of Wordpress. If I am to help them, I’ve gotta have a strong grip on Wordpress technology & logic. I’ve been taking free Wordpress classes on Udemy, which have been helpful. The pay-sites seem too expensive!

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I’m not really interested in pursuing Wordpress. Like I said, whole other environment and whole other server side language.

There are tons of jobs on Upwork that focus on WordPress, and in my opinion it is a worthwhile skill to learn. A lot of the WordPress work I do is mostly HTML, CSS and jQuery which is cool because you do get to do a lot of front end work. It’s fun to build themes from scratch and then convert them into WordPress worthy sites. But alternatively, in a lot of cases you can easily find a theme that your client likes and just build it out for them.

I loved doing this online course, which teaches you exactly how to build a WordPress website from scratch using Bootstrap. It really teaches you some great fundamental skills, and you’ll soon see that it’s not that hard, and actually PHP is quite similar to JS.

There is pretty good money doing this kind of work too! If you want to play around building something from scratch then check out the link below.

Here is a link to a super easy to use starter theme using Bootstrap

At the end of the day, learning a CMS and building themes from scratch is a really valuable skill. You could probably find a CMS that is based on Node and learn how to build themes there (maybe something like ghost) It seems these days that you can basically build a website using whatever language or framework you like. Of course, WordPress has a solid track record and is definitely a good starting point, and don’t worry too much about PHP or databases - there is so much info out there to help you with literally every question you may have.


My main observation is that it’s very refreshing to finally see a WordPress developer openly and objectively consider other options such as Squarespace. Far too many website developers treat their chosen CMS as their children and religion, and react defensively if someone dares to question their favorite CMS (concrete5 peeps are a particularly defensive and angry group!).

I’ve been a “car nut” for a long time, but I don’t recall ever seeing a car nut get upset if someone compared their favorite car company or model to another one. In fact, doing so is generally considered entertainment and “sport.”

Plus, and obviously, the more WordPress developers learn about other CMS options, the more they’ll learn about WordPress’s strengths and weaknesses. WordPress may be the best overall CMS, but using it to its potential requires learning and using a lot of third-party plug-ins that must be properly maintained and oftentimes must be replaced with the next big thing.


This is absolutely true, but over the long term. In the short term you have to pick somewhere to start if you decide to go down the CMS road. It takes a long time, months, to get a good handle on WordPress or Joomla, or Drupal, which are the big three. The reason I think people start out with one of these is that they are mature and stable, the documentation is excellent, they have good online support when you run into issues, and the available add-ons ( plugins ) are vast and really speed up the time it takes to get that new website finished and out the door.

But I definitely agree @Legalwebb that learning more than one CMS, including a few of the less well known ones is a great advantage, and gives you a perspective you would otherwise not have.

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This is exactly the thing I’m looking to get good at in WordPress. If users/developers are conscious of this and there is a shortage of adept WordPress specialists, then there is opportunity!

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I’m having similar experiences myself. wordpress tells “the people” that they can and should be building it themselves (my peeps can’t even log into c panel) which causes them to put less value on the work we do as well as to get in and screw around with stuff. they they wonder why the sites ranking tanks… arggggg LOL

Take a screenshot of your work beforehand, or re-setup the same site on your WAMP/MAMMP environment and take screenshots from there. – or duplicate it on your portfolio.

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thats a great idea.
i have the wamp set up on my machine its giving me a green light,
i think i have all the databases set up correctly but i’m getting an error when i go to actually install WP. what folder does wordpress need to install into?

I’m sure it’s some simple thing i have overlooked…

Yes, I also got my first Job from Upwork, and I got a lot of jobs from Upwork, And thankfully I am running my own startup with a team of 15 employees.

Hi Rick. Don’t mean to gatecrash this thread i was just curious if you had tried the Bootstrap framework with Wordpress? I have recently started dabbling with Wordpress and was curious if they work well together as considering taking a Udemy course which covers how to use both as part of the development.

Hello @ChristineK

Well, it depends on how you use WordPress. WordPress uses themes. Either you use one someone else created or you build your own. And yes, you can be sure many of these themes use bootstrap.

If you create your own theme you are basically building the website from scratch, including the header and menu system, the footer, the homepage and the inner pages. You pick whatever you are comfortable with to build it out, and you use all the basic tools you would use on a non-WordPress website - that is, html, css, javascript/jquery, and perhaps bootstrap. Bootstrap plays nice with WordPress.

To answer your question about me specifically I would have to say that I do not use bootstrap very much. For one thing I do not build my own themes, I decided a few years ago to use the StudioPress Genesis framework and their themes - I purchased a developer’s licence. Even with that I don’t build too many websites anymore, I get hired almost exclusively these days to add to existing websites, or to fix something that gets broken. I do use bootstrap if the previous developer built using it just to keep things consistent.

If you have found a good course on Udemy don’t hesitate to take it, it will not be a waste of your time. The WordPress ecosystem is much more complex that most people imagine, including most non-WordPress working web developers, and I will tell you pretty much everything you can learn about web development, including bootstrap, will be of benefit to you.

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