WordPress is an enormous digital ecosystem of happily co-existing creatures. As articles about WordPress are bound to point out (like this one apparently), over 30% of sites on the world wide web are powered by WordPress.
With that largesse comes a huge variety of job types. There are the people who create the content, those that design the sites, others who create functional plugins, or develop themes, or write the underlying code, or keep up on the day-to-day maintenance, and on and on.
With that in mind, it is super important to know what you are looking for, be you WordPress job seeker or employer seeking WordPress expert. Knowing the types of jobs out there and what they entail can help create clear job descriptions and better hires.
WordPress Job Descriptions
There is no control on how employers write job descriptions and the accompanying job title. Many companies, if they aren’t sufficiently technical, may not know exactly what they need when posting for a developer.
Within WordPress development, there are many types of experts — some more focused on custom code, some more adept at building a site with existing plugins and themes, and some that are mostly webmasters with their hands on the levers.
A company simply needing content updates, small template changes, and additional plugins will do just fine with a developer that lives in the WordPress dashboard. Some of the skills required for this (and which should be included in a proper job description) are Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator, experience with page builders (such as Divi and Beaver), some fluency with HTML and CSS, strong understanding of the WordPress CMS, understanding of best UX practices, experience creating responsive and mobile-friendly sites.
Then there exists the in between, the front-end developer that takes designs and makes them into custom themes, understands how plugins interact (but doesn’t create them), eschews page builders for HTML and CSS, and works well with both the coders and the designers. Their skills lay similarly between the two
Types of WordPress Jobs
To get a sense of the various jobs in the WordPress space, here is a partial list of job titles for job openings at the time of writing.
Some are asking for the same type of position with varying titles, some are asking for more than they will get, some do not know what they want. As I said, there is no convention around titling of job openings.
Let’s just take a look at these and what they are really asking for:
- WordPress Designer — A simple request, likely for someone with a strong understanding of design principles and aesthetic with the confident ability to mock up something for a developer or themer to finish. Understands the CMS.
- Jr Website Designer — Similar to above but with a clear hierarchy. Might bend toward development more than the previous. Possible HTML and CSS fluency.
- PHP WordPress Developer — A clear call for a specific language right off the bat. Knows how to code in PHP for WordPress, likely other languages as well. Probably custom coding experience. Who knows whether they need a junior or senior dev?
- WordPress Developer — Much the same as the last, an emphasis on the back-end. A generalist that can accomplish things the employer wants on their WordPress site. The slippery nature of WordPress could bring many types to this job posting.
- WordPress Developer with Graphic Design Skills — The emphasis here is at the end, indicating that they need someone with front-end skills — a web designer. They want to know that this “developer” can work with the themes and plugins of the WordPress ecosystem.
- Graphic Designer/Website Administrator — Make pretty things in Adobe. Manage the website from the admin panel. No need for a coder, just someone to mind the house and make things look good.
- WordPress Blogger — Well, here’s an easy one. You a writer? Have you used the WordPress CMS? Passing understanding of HTML and CSS (with no true necessity of writing it)?
- WordPress Designer, Developer, Web & Social Marketer — WordPress Swiss Army Knife. Seems like a large (possibly imaginary) shoe to fill.
Generally, as could be understood from the above, there are a handful of main types of WordPress jobs. The following were pulled from some WordPress job boards: Design, Theme Development, Admin, Plugins, Development, Migration, Performance, and Writing.
When hoping to snag a talented WordPress expert, there is much to be said for highlighting the perks of the job. More and more, people are looking for a fun and supportive work culture with a collaborative team. As they will be spending a great deal of time there, why wouldn’t they?
Culture differs from company to company and city to city. What is normal in Seattle may not be normal in Madison. Each company should understand what their own culture is or should be and create an expense line for boosting that culture.
For job descriptions, it is vital to highlight these things. Treat your potential employees like customers. You are trying to woo them at this point.
Some examples of popular perks: free snacks and booze, flexible schedules, gym memberships, ability to work from home, daycare services, free tuition towards education, company retreats, unlimited vacation, etc.
As you can see, there are a great variety of jobs out there for WordPress experts. Similarly, there are a lot of positions posted around the world. But, not all employers know what they want. This means that developers don’t always know that they are going for the job they want.
As there is no convention around titling, it can be difficult to judge whether a job is for you or not. At this point, developers need to dig into each one and see what they are asking for. Technologies, languages, emphases. Do the hard work now before finding the wrong work later.
Once you know what kind of developer you want as an employer, you will know what type of test you need in your pre-screening assessment. Then it is only a matter of time until you find the right person for the job.