Is it worth becoming a Wordpress developer?

From what I've read, it sounds like Wordpress is quite widely used. I'm puzzled though why there's so few books out there for Wordpress developers. I'm thinking that surely if Wordpress is a lucrative field for a developer to get into, there would be more books out there, but I can only find a handful of them, and most of them are outdated.

So my question is this -- would it be worth it to pursue becoming a Wordpress developer? If so, why? If not, why?

Please be a professional Wordpress developer when you respond. Thanks.
elepilAsked:
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Jason C. LevineNo oneCommented:
would it be worth it to pursue becoming a Wordpress developer? If so, why? If not, why?

Depends.  WordPress has some staggering use rates (approximately 23% of all sites on the web are built on it) so there's a lot of potential business out there for a good developer.  

But. I would wager a huge number of the 23% are very simple sites that do not need nor want a professional developer, so the actual potential market is considerably smaller than the use rate suggests.  My personal experience is that it is best to find or carve out a niche within the WordPress developer community and get a reputation at being very good at one or more aspects of WordPress development (e.g. Theme Dev, Plugin Dev, Security, etc) so that you really have a good portfolio and some solid references behind you.

It can be lucrative but it's also very competitive.

Bears repeating. The competition mainly takes the form of every idiot out there who can write an if() construct thinks that they are a "developer" so not only will you have a lot of competition in your market, you will have competition that doesn't know or care about standards or best practices and also are ignorant of what a truly good developer is worth.  So when you do bid on jobs, your reputation can come pre-ruined because your predecessor was an idiot who left gaping security holes in the site and you will also be bidding against people willing to work at a fraction of your fees because they don't know any better.  It can be fairly brutal out there.

Please be a professional Wordpress developer when you respond.

I'm an in-house team lead for a company that manages 501c6 not-for-profits and organizes conventions and trade shows.  We produce a lot of web sites, both permanent properties and also short-term sites that have a 1-3 year lifespan. I've been steadily converting all of our permanent web properties (40+) to WordPress since 2009 and our transitory ones have been built on WordPress for some time. We use both off-the-shelf plugins and themes and also build custom anything if needed.  

Do I qualify to speak on the issue?
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Chris StanyonCommented:
Wordpress is constantly evolving so there not much point in writing books - they'd be out of date before they were published. This is the age of the internet - all the documentation, help, advice, tutorials and samples you'll ever need are available on the web - google it.

Wordpress is a framework built using PHP, HTML, CSS, mySQL, jQuery - all the standard web development tools, so you would struggle to just learn 'WordPress' - you'd need to know all the technologies that go on behind the scene. Once you have those skills, then learning WordPress is relatively straight-forward.

It can be lucrative but it's also very competitive.
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elepilAuthor Commented:
Thanks to all for responding.

Jason, as you've confirmed what I felt about Wordpress, and you certainly have the creds to say what you did. Thank you for the thoughtful response.
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