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How Long Does It Take To Learn WordPress?

This is a question we are frequently asked here at Eggplant Digital. Let’s start by clarifying what “learn WordPress’” actually means. “Learn WordPress” is a bit like asking “Can you speak Chinese?” As we all know there is a huge difference between learning how to count from 1 to 10 and learning to conduct a business meeting completely in Mandarin.

As with learning a language, or indeed any skill, it’s a better idea to focus on the level you’re trying to achieve and the things you want to be able to do. To help you out we’ve split WordPress know-how into three different levels. So where are you in the scheme of things?

1. Basic Level User

You are someone who uses WordPress to update the content on your site. You post articles and photos, and changing text is the most common job. Basic level users don’t need to know how to code or how to download or install plug-ins (components for extra functionality). The goal here is simply to do things like adding blog posts and changing basic details on the site, such as working on the “About Us” page, or phone numbers and addresses, for example.

It’s a good idea to have at least a couple of basic users in any company to be able to post updates and make those small changes whenever needed.

Time to get to this level? 10 hours maximum.

2. Entry Level Professional

Many people can do quite a lot of things with WordPress, but still without touching any code. It’s one of the amazing things about WordPress. How does this work? Plug-ins. Plug-ins are files that you can bolt onto an existing program to give extra functionality. Think of it like this….

Imagine you are driving a car. The car has power, speakers and a radio, but no source of your own favourite music. You bring along your own music in your smartphone and connect it to the system. Immediately they all work together, and you have your own music coming from the speakers. If you remove the mp3 player then you can still listen to the radio, as before.

This is exactly how plug-ins work in WordPress. A great example of one of the most commonly used plug-ins is Google Analytics. This plug-in gives Google access to data about your site so that it can give you reports and information on how many people are visiting your site and what pages they are spending time on.

However, if you want to reach the level of even a basic professional, you’ll have to be able to learn at least a bit of code to make simple changes, and that will take you a bit more time and effort.

Time to get to this level? Six to 12 months.

3. Fully Professional WordPress Developer

Finally, we have the professional. A full-blown WordPress developer will have a vast set of tricks and tools available to be able to finish up and complete all WordPress-related jobs. Does our WordPress developer need a good level of coding experience? Yes, most definitely.

Fully accomplished WordPress developers will be able to deal with all the front end (visual) elements of a website, as well as the back-end (functionality) elements. High-end WordPress developers will be able to build their own plug-ins for use on their own sites or to sell for use by others. Other jobs for these developers include site migrations (moving your site to a new host), adapting your site to be responsive, or adding e-commerce functionality like WooCommerce.

The important thing to remember is that with technology everything is changing all the time. In order to stay at the top of your game as a WordPress developer, you need to be constantly learning and using new tricks and tools.

Time to get to this level? Two years plus. In addition, be ready to learn for the rest of your career…

Where Do I Go From Here?

If you want to use WordPress then the first thing to decide is what level is right for you. If you just want to know the basics, we offer basic WordPress training which will get you the top end of being a basic level user. We’ve already happily helped a good number of novices get confident with dealing with their day-to-day needs on WordPress.

If you want to progress further then it might be an idea to head over to teamtreehouse to have a look at their popular video tutorials which will explain more complex issues.

If you want to become a WordPress pro and are seriously considering taking up web development, then take a look at Mayden Academy. They offer one of the highest quality web development crash courses on the planet. They don’t specifically deal with WordPress, but they teach PHP which WordPress is built on. We’ve actually been around their site in Bath in the UK and had a good look at their course, including their taster day for novices. A crash course at Mayden Academy would be a great idea for people wanting to get into PHP and development in general.

If there’s a question that we didn’t answer then we’d love to hear about it. Drop us an e-mail and we’ll get back to you, or may even write an article to answer you on the blog!

This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. I’m curious to find out what blog system yo1r#82u7;&e utilizing? I’m having some small security issues with my latest blog and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any suggestions?

  2. What if someone one is already front end developer(html,CSS,JavaScript, responsive design) and with knowledge of back end (PHP and MySQL) .
    how much time will require to become
    Fully Professional WordPress Developer
    starting from zero.

    1. Hey Blendlight, it’s a good question and suppose it depends a lot on how much time you can dedicate to learning and how much experience you have in programming already. But I would say around 2 years to become competent in different aspects of WordPress development. In an ideal world you would work alongside professional developers to increase your learning and have them check your code to iron out mistakes. There are a lot of online courses that can help you, there are also intensive 2-3 month courses that can get you up to speed quickly. The important thing is to keep on learning, even after 10 years of working with WordPress we are still learning new methods as HTML5 and CSS3 evolves. My advice is do an online course, get involved with online development communities, challenge yourself to make your own WordPress theme or plugin, and follow the WordPress developer docs closely. Good luck!

  3. Hello Alex

    I am a mainly print-based graphic designer with no experience with WordPress and only front-end design experience of websites.

    I am thinking of purchasing an existing WordPress template designed for portfolio work and am wondering if it would be very difficult to use.

    I’m hoping that most of the work is done as the template has been set up… and that it will be a matter of simply swapping out the elements with the placeholders… or is this perhaps a naive assumption?


    1. Hi Alexa, it really depends on the theme you buy and how close it is to your design. If you do the design based specifically on the theme you like (some themes include the PSD files too), then you should just be adding the content, but every theme works slightly differently.

      There will definitely be a learning curve when trying to get your site to look like the theme demo, so check to see if the theme has an import demo content feature, so you can get it setup quickly.

      Also if the theme uses Visual Composer, that can add a lot of flexibility for non-coders to make the site look unique.

      Finally make sure the theme has active support and good documentation, so you can ask questions when you get stuck.

      Good luck!

  4. Hi Alex! I have done the front end course with code academy intensive and am now studying WordPress development with WPMUDEV.

    Do you know of a better course than this?
    I love CA structure and the in built text editor, and they have advisors who can check your code. WPMUDEV has24/7 tech support and there are a few that are very good but sometimes they are not available when you need them.

    Finally I’m looking at the up and running WP dev course by WPShout which looks comprehensive but there is no tech support it’s just an e book and some videos.

    I have tried Lynda and tree house and they were both so video based and no tech support so they are out.

    Ideally I’d like an interactive learning environment with tech support. If only a Codeacademy would bring back WordPress!

    Oh and one more question! If you have the title of WordPress dev and you get an agency job- how skilled do they expect you to be? Themes and plugins built from scratch? I am doing this now and honestly to create a commercially viable theme would take me two years.

    Looking forward to your thoughts.

    1. Hi Jane, Thanks for your comment. In my opinion those courses can only take you so far, it’s great you have done them and by all means continue to do them to learn new skills. But maybe now it’s time for you to take the next step, create your own WordPress theme and publish it on the repository. I think this is a great learning experience and will force you to learn more about code standards to get your theme approved. It also means you can come into contact with other developers, and they can help push you in the right direction. Start downloading some free theme and look at how they are built, try to understand the code and use the best ideas to build your own. Yes it may take a year, but that’s really not a long time if you are keen to make this a long term career…. but that’s just one man’s opinion, perhaps other readers here can point you in the direction of some good online courses or other resources?

  5. It depends on the person how long he/she takes to learn WordPress. There are lot of best online resources available for WordPress beginners to learn WordPress including WPblog, Wpeka etc.

  6. Hello Alex, I started learning front-end web development a few weeks ago and currently learning CSS after completing HTML. As you are an expert I believe you can explain the question I have better than anybody else. My question is, IS WordPress and web-development different things? should I focus on web-designing or should I go for word-press? if I learn HTML,CSS,JQUERY,Bootstrap,PSD to HTML- will it be enough to go on marketplace as an entry level professional?

    1. Hi Nazmul, well done on getting started in web development. In my opinion, “web development” covers a very broad range of technologies, and is really just a term for the overall job we are doing. Whereas WordPress is a specific technology or tool you can use to build a website with in the web development universe, but there are so many other options, such as Drupal, Wix, Weebly etc. It is good to focus on the essentials at the beginning, that is HTML5, CSS3, JS and PHP. These are the most important elements for web development, and if you understand them, WordPress development will make a lot more sense.

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