High-Level Roadmap to Learning WordPress Development

Things I’ve heard recently:

  • How do you learn WordPress? In what order should I learn things?
  • Learning WordPress is easy, there are so many resources.
  • Why can’t these senior ReactReact React is a JavaScript library that makes it easy to reason about, construct, and maintain stateless and stateful user interfaces. https://reactjs.org/. front-end devs understand WordPress?

WordPress is versatile and open, as in open-source, and also as in jump in where you want and go as far as you’d like.

When we say “learn WordPress”, that can mean many things:

  • Learn to write a post/page?
  • Learn to manage a site?
  • Learn to create a child themeChild theme A Child Theme is a customized theme based upon a Parent Theme. It’s considered best practice to create a child theme if you want to modify the CSS of your theme. https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/advanced-topics/child-themes/.?
  • Learn to customize with pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party overrides or using plugins to achieve customization?
  • Learn to make a theme from scratch?
  • Learn to make a plugin?
  • Learn to make a blockBlock Block is the abstract term used to describe units of markup that, composed together, form the content or layout of a webpage using the WordPress editor. The idea combines concepts of what in the past may have achieved with shortcodes, custom HTML, and embed discovery into a single consistent API and user experience.?
  • Learn to use APIs for a decoupled approach?

When we think about building a website, there are skillsets around

  • Content
  • Design/UXUX UX is an acronym for User Experience - the way the user uses the UI. Think ‘what they are doing’ and less about how they do it./UIUI UI is an acronym for User Interface - the layout of the page the user interacts with. Think ‘how are they doing that’ and less about what they are doing.
  • Development (with code)
  • Quality Assurance
  • Front end
  • Back end
  • Full stack
  • DevOps
  • Translation
  • AccessibilityAccessibility Accessibility (commonly shortened to a11y) refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design ensures both “direct access” (i.e. unassisted) and “indirect access” meaning compatibility with a person’s assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessibility)

At 41% of the internet and growing, there really is a lot to learn. Where you start, and what your own outcomes are can vary. We progress from being a website visitor to using the software and some of us even go on to write code that makes the software. There are so many skills to acquire in that journey.

My favorite myth to dispel is that teaching or learning is easy. Like a final release, things should be free of bugs and intuitively work well. Behind the scenes, a great deal of work happens to provide the user or student with a cohesive learning experience. Likewise, without a roadmap or guidance on what to learn next, you can get lost in a sea of resources.

I’ve had the honor of teaching WordPress in a development bootcamp environment this past year with a focus on front-end development. While getting a good look around at the bootcamp and non-WordPress (or even non-CMS) web developer ecosystem, I frequently encountered roadmaps to learning. Think of the map as a syllabus handed to students, sharing where we are starting and what our goals will include. Yet there are few maps that incorporate WordPress or PHPPHP PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a widely-used open source general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. http://php.net/manual/en/intro-whatis.php. into the web developer’s learning.

Let’s help folks get started at any point on their journey, and discover any gaps in learning, and provide suggestions on what could be learned next.

This map will hopefully help shape the content on https://Learn.WordPress.org and could be implemented in a more visually organized way of navigating lesson plans, courses, and workshops.

Roughly, here is what I have found. The image may be a bit small, so check https://whimsical.com/embed/EG8T9S7zddbSVhnm85MmDf.

High Level Roadmap to learning WordPress development

I am attempting to get these details and sequences out of my head and into something presentable for others. I welcome feedback, collaboration, and input on these.

Certainly far more can be included into this roadmap that encompasses more details. However, I wanted to pause here to avoid overwhelming folks with too many specifics.

I have incorporated @chanthaboune WordPress Contributor Team Structure and @mapk’s Care and influence: a theory about the WordPress community into the overview.

What’s Missing?

Leave your feedback below

  • Employers, what do you look for in new-hires?
  • Experienced developers, what do you wish you had more guidance around? What is new or emerging that should be included?
  • Aspiring developers, what have you discovered so far?