7 Ways to Start Learning JavaScript as a WordPress Developer

By Madan Pariyar

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JavaScript, also known as JS, was invented in 1995 and has been utilized in various programming fields since then. It is a high-level, yet lightweight, interpreted programming language. It is not only used by web pages but also by many non-browsing environments such as Apache CouchDB and Node.js. With the help of JavaScript, dynamic content is displayed on web pages nicely and smoothly. With that being said, if you are looking forward to becoming a successful WordPress developer, you must learn how to use JavaScript to enhance your users' experience. Follow along as we discuss some easy tips that can come in handy when learning JavaScript.

1. Know Your Level

Before learning JS, you should know which level you stand on. Generally, there are 3 types of people:

  • Complete beginners or level 0: Somebody who has very less or zero knowledge of HTML, CSS, JS and has zero experience in editing code for themes
  • Tinkering beginners or level 1: They have basics of CSS and HTML and have some experience in editing or making themes
  • Experienced beginners or level 2: As the name suggests, they have previous knowledge of HTML and CSS. They also have some experience in developing simple themes.

Once you are clear on your level, you can take the next step to learn JavaScript as a WordPress developer. This will help you enhance the UX for simple blogging audience to big e-commerce sites. People new to blogging and digital marketing often find that JS is difficult to master, but it can turn the tables and make your content stand out.

2. Learn PHP

Now, when you know your level and if you already have some knowledge about CSS and HTML, learn PHP, the best database language to keep track of your marketing needs. PHP helps to store and then process all the content we require. Honestly, learning PHP is not easy but there are certain sites that can prove to be helpful.

  • Core course: Previously known as PHP Academy. They offer a variety of tutorial videos giving an idea of how PHP works and a great merit with this is, they are all free!
  • Codecademy: They offer a course on PHP that helps to learn basic codes, concepts, and functions.
  • Treehouse: They also offer tutorial videos that are over 20 hours and lot educating coursework.
  • W3 Schools Tutorials on PHP: Offer free tutorials especially from version 5 and onwards.

3. Select a Framework

Selecting an appropriate framework is important for saving time and working efficiently. Some of the most famous frameworks are:

  • Angular
  • ReactJS
  • Ember.js
  • Meteor.js

It is important to pick the right framework and different frameworks work for different developers. Make sure to choose each framework according to their expertise and preference. Generally, if you are aware of the MVC structure, AngularJS can be really helpful, especially for initial phasing. If you are not well acquainted with MVC, ReactJS may be the right option for you. It also contains the View option and is popular among designers. There are several other frameworks that are available, but it is recommended in the initial stage to choose any of the above-mentioned frameworks in order to save time and trouble.

4. Choose Your Requirements

It is important to set your requirements and vision in order to specify what techniques and skills you should learn. Generally, WordPress developers' needs can be divided into two main categories:

  • Frontend Development: This category provides a number of options to choose from e.g. angular/ angular.js, ember.js (helps to create ambitious web applications), tasteJS/todomvc (helps to select an MV framework) polymer (build modern apps using web components), spine (lightweight MVC library), etc.
  • Backend Development: Node.js is the ideal framework for this category. It is used by developers who take care of server-side programming. However in order to use Node.js. you must have knowledge of PHP

It is essential to provide the same value to mobile users as desktop users, so make sure to employ the correct use of JS for your website. It is also important to select a website builder  that provides efficient service, speed, and reliability to both mobile and desktop users.

5. Learning Resources

With the advent of the internet, there is no shortage of resources for learning any particular skill. This applies to JavaScript as well. Here are some very helpful resources:

  • Lynda.com: very helpful tutorials
  • JavaScript is Sexy: a great tool for both beginners and advanced developers. However, this site hasn't been updated in a long time
  • Codecademy's JavaScript Track: very popular among beginners and definitely worth a try.
  • Superhero.js: full of resources and tutorials to help learn JavaScript

You can also refer to the literature written by bloggers on WordPress and if you are into books, there are several books available on this topic, such as Exploring ES6.

6. Deepen Your Knowledge

Although basic level knowledge of JavaScript is enough to start working as a WordPress developer, you will definitely find it rewarding to know JavaScript in detail in the near future. In order to achieve this, you must have good command of the following:

  • Modern/modular patterns
  • JavaScript idiosyncrasies
  • Architecture of application
  • Cross-browser compatible JavaScript and DOM

With the help of things above, you can develop web applications and learn the difficult technical tricks that come with the territory.

7. Test and Evaluate Your Skills

Learning JavaScript is not a one day task. It requires continuous practice and assessment. You can do the following things to improve your skills and gain command over JavaScript. Needless to say, all of them require time and effort, hence you should be patient:

  • Seminars: JavaScript seminars are held worldwide, you can attend these seminars and learn from experienced programmers
  • JavaScript Toolsets: These prove to be really helpful, especially in JavaScript code
  • JS assessments: Quizzes and assessments exist on the internet on various websites. Evaluate yourself weekly and improve your scores
  • JS errors: Try to study and research on your own and solve your queries with the help of books, resources, and other developers.

In Conclusion

Knowing JavaScript surely benefits WordPress developers in many ways. Again, it is your choice about how much you want to learn. If you just want to be an average developer, learning the basics of JavaScript should be sufficient. But it is recommended to learn JavaScript in depth to keep using its amazing features in your WordPress developer career. Similarly, learning PHP and gaining practical knowledge is very important in order to achieve something big. We hope that these above-mentioned tips will be helpful. Good luck!



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