WordPress Development: The Complete Guide to Getting Started

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Powering more than a fourth of all websites, WordPress is probably the easiest way to go about building a blog or website if you want to build a presence on the web. 

Building a website is an important part of establishing infrastructure on the Internet for your business. This is where most of your marketing and sales take place.

The first step in building a website is figuring out what tools and/or developers you need to do it. And if you want to do right by your business, you have to make sure you know what your options are.

If you’ve heard of Weebly or Wix before, you already have a good idea of what WordPress can do for you. However, for a number of reasons, people choose WordPress over these alternatives. Today you’ll find out why.

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What Is WordPress?

WordPress is a content management system (CMS) for the creation and modification of digital content, in this case, websites. It’s written in PHP and uses a MySQL database.

Like most of anything on the web WordPress also uses a bit of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But WordPress itself does not need programming to operate.

Its creators and community have made it especially accessible to use. You can find the free, open-source software that is WordPress on WordPress.org.

Unfortunately, WordPress.org is often confused with WordPress.com, a for-profit, paid service powered by WordPress.org software with strangely less flexibility than its free counterpart.

WordPress’s original origins can be credited to Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little in 2003. It was originally well-known for being an easy-to-use tool for creating blogs.

Since then it amassed much more online real estate. To add, its large community of open-source contributors has evolved and adapted the code to be palpable for any type of website.

Nearly 40% of all websites use some version of WordPress. Individuals and businesses large and small depend on WordPress to run their websites.

Here are some examples of websites you can build with WordPress:

  • Blog
  • E-commerce website
  • Membership website
  • Portfolio website
  • Forum website
  • Event website
  • E-learning website
  • Wedding website

WordPress is capable of managing your website no matter the purpose.

What Is a WordPress Developer?

A WordPress developer is a professional who is familiar with the basic coding and structural organization of WordPress software.

While WordPress does not require programming in the traditional sense, WordPress developers must have expert knowledge on how to tailor a website to a business’s needs.

Someone with this familiarity will more than likely have a background in other common web technologies for dynamic web pages such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

There are a few specific types of WordPress developers that you may want to be aware of.

Core Developer

WordPress core developers work on the back-end functionality of the platform. Core developers must work on the internal WordPress software. They can write code to improve WordPress for the better.

Theme Developer

A theme reflects the overall design of your website, including its layout. Theme development is a big part of front-end development as it encompasses what the user sees on their side.

WordPress.org has a directory with thousands of free themes available for use. But if you want to be unique, it pays to make your own.

Plugin Developer

Plugin developers are, unsurprisingly, responsible for plugin development. Plugins act as add-ons to websites and give them additional functionality. Plugins are the preferred way to do this as it limits any changes made to the core WordPress files.

One pre-installed WordPress plugin is Hello Dolly. When clicked on a WordPress web page, this plugin offers a lyric from the song of the same name by the famed Louis Armstrong.

Why Use WordPress?

There’s no question that WordPress is popular. The question is why? WordPress is useful, but that does not explain why businesses choose WordPress over alternatives. WordPress has some choice characteristics setting it apart from competitors in the industry.


Any free and open-source software will have automatic leverage over other software of any cost. Cutting costs at this level of software development is almost never a bad idea.


Many people may know WordPress as the platform that hosts their favorite blogs. But it’s more than that. WordPress caters to several different website types.

Everyone and every business can use WordPress. Some popular WordPress users are Beyonce and PlayStation. Look below for other popular websites that use WordPress.


WordPress does not just make a website but entire modes of operating. Anything from a social network to a forum can be made with the help of WordPress.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

WordPress makes SEO easy. It simplifies the use of different header tags and keywords in your website address. In addition, it supports various plugins that work to showcase your website to consumers everywhere.

Advantages of Using WordPress

Whether or not you’ve committed to using WordPress you should know about some of the qualities that draw developers to its doors.


Open-source software also means you have community contributors constantly altering the WordPress landscape towards improved function and performance.

Most HTML website builders do not do more than the basics. But WordPress is all about functionality to the max. New and useful themes and plugins are always at your helm.

Developers have the option to make their own themes and plugins as well. Skilled developers never have to settle for only what’s available.


Unlike some platforms, WordPress hardly discriminates against varying media types. Images, documents, audio, and video or accepted in a dozen or so formats including: .jpg, .png, .gif .pdf, .doc, .pptx, .mp3, .m4a, .mp4, .mov, .wmv, and .avi.

More obscure media types get along with WordPress just as well. For example, .odt, .key, .ogg, and .3gp., are all accepted file types.


Alike to many other open-source, widely used software platforms, WordPress has a large community beside it. This means developers will never be out of the loop when it comes to helpful knowledge and new information.

Ease of Use

Easy is a word you’ll hear often in conversations about WordPress. WordPress is renowned for its five-minute installation and approachable support guides.

Because of its popularity and community, WordPress is easy to learn too. This, in turn, makes it just as easy to manage.

Websites That Use WordPress

  • Whitehouse.gov
  • Microsoft
  • The Rolling Stones
  • BBC America
  • The New York Times
  • Katy Perry

Reasons to Hire a WordPress Developer

WordPress is one of the easiest tools to create a functional website in minutes. A quick install and you can start adjusting for a look that suits your business.

In general, websites serve as an effective hub for regular consumers and potential customers both to learn more about your business. WordPress developers can build a website for your business and keep it up-to-date.

Your website should serve its visitors and your business. A good website will have a low bounce rate, making sure its visitors are here to stay.

By creating an informative website that keeps visitors intrigued, you can garner more leads and amp up your marketing. WordPress developers know how to do just that.

Further, on top of enhancing the website’s theme for the visitor’s visual appetite, WordPress developers can implement various add-ons to your website to keep visitors engaged.

This can include a forum for visitors to discuss whatever product your business is advertising or a contact form so customers can get in touch, for instance.

A WordPress developer can also employ Google Analytics or other Google Analytics alternatives, which can track the success of your webpage.

One of the biggest advantages of WordPress is that the platform is very accommodating towards SEO strategies. WordPress developers can work with you and your business to put your website on the map.

How to Hire a WordPress Developer?

For those who wish to take the high road and hire WordPress developers on your own, we’re still here to help. Hiring a developer on your own is a very focused and hands-on process that requires considerable knowledge about software development in general.

The last thing you want to do is trust your hiring process to someone with no technical ability. If you are a non-technical manager looking to learn a thing or two, we have a great resource here for you to learn more about the hiring process in detail. Otherwise, we’d recommend you contact Trio for consulting and developer allocation.

What should you look for in a WordPress Developer?

WordPress is a tool with many functions. Like mentioned, a WordPress developer can dive deep into plugins, themes, or the core of WordPress itself if they want. But there are some expectations for what every WordPress developer should be capable of.

At a high level, WordPress developers should be able to:

  • Build and maintain client websites
  • Implement and customize different themes and plugins
  • Work with clients to personalize the website to their preference
  • Troubleshoot WordPress software where needed

How much do developers cost in the U.S?

WordPress developers on average make $64,308 per year, according to ZipRecruiter. Of course, there’s variance. On the lower end, a WordPress developer will make $24,000 and on the higher end, $106,500.

Here’s a chart that visualizes the salary ranges within the United States for a Senior Software Developer. 

A bar chart displaying the salary range for a

How much do developers cost in South America?

Due to economic differences between the United States and South America as a whole, the cost of offshoring software development is significantly lower than hiring full-time with U.S talent. For WordPress developers in South America, the average salary is currently around $100,000 whereas a mid-level developer costs around $76,000.

How much do developers cost in Ukraine / Eastern Europe?

Eastern Europe shares very similar rates to South America, again due to the economic differences. When looking at salaries in Eastern Europe, data shows that a Senior WordPress developer costs around $100,000 on average.

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Hourly Rates for WordPress Developers

Another way to look at developer costs is through hourly rates. While salaries are good to understand for hiring developers for full-time and long-term, you might just need a developer for a period of 3-6 months or 6-12 months. In these types of situations, it’s best to calculate your costs based on the hourly rates of a developer.

Below is a table that lists the various hourly rates of developers in different locations based on their job title.

A table of

Why Hire a WordPress Developer?

Trio WordPress developers are pre-vetted, interviewed, and then trained further to become true software professionals, capable of adapting to situations that are both within and outside of the scope of their general expertise.

At Trio, we hold our developers to a higher standard. Much like how elite special forces units recruit only the best from main branches of the military, we recruit developers who either show amazing potential or demonstrate exceptional skill. We then take their talents and sharpen them even further.

Another benefit of hiring a Trio developer is that you won’t incur the costs of hiring, which can add up to be around 30% of a developer’s salary on average, as well as overhead costs associated with full-time employment.

By working with Trio, you can enjoy a highly experienced full-time developer for a fraction of the cost, along with the added project management assistance.

To learn more, get in touch with Trio today and tell us about your project. 

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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