State of WordPress development in London

WordPress development in London.
By Martin Dower.

The traditional home of WordPress Development might be in San Francisco, USA but the original version came from collaboration across the ocean with Mike Little in the UK and Matt Mellenweg in the US

The fact that WordPress already had a founder, and a home, in the UK explains partly why London is the centre of WordPress Development outside of San Francisco.
London continues the trend, hosting the London WordPress Meetup group where 100+ hardcore WordPressers and others interested in where it’s going meet up every second Wednesday of the month.

With so much demand from organisations and web development companies, London’s very much the in-place to be at the moment. And this naturally includes tele-commuting – nothing nicer than working in London and staring out over the hills of the Cotswolds, or the Lakes of Northumbria.

Fancy a job as a WordPress developer in London?

London, the second home of WordPressAlthough not commanding the super-high salaries of their SF counterparts, WordPress developers in and around London are some of the best paid in the world. With only a basic understanding of the web, and a couple of years of self-teaching you can expect to start on about £20k, with each additional specialist skill such as design, project management, client services and programming you can expect to add about £5k per skill.

Very few web developers have a relevant University degree, and many of them have little in the way of higher education so many other traditional doors will be closed to them, especially in London where the job market is competitive. Many have turned to the freelance market, where £40 an hour in the norm.

As the use of WordPress increases by London-based companies we’re starting to see the freelancer market fragment. Those with 4 or 5 years WordPress under their belt and a couple of additional skills are taking full-time jobs, and some are earning £35k+. Others are trying to grow companies by banding together, although this is fraught as not all have the skills required to run a business as well as code WordPress.

London is still the place to be if you are a WordPress developer. Lots of development companies are recruiting and end-user organisations are also demanding WordPress skills. And, you don’t need to migrate there, although with remote working you have to expect to be doing the trip a few times a year.

How do I get started?

WordPress is not tricky to learn, and you don’t need to live in London to land a job there. You’ll need to know web basics, but you can learn them quickly at Code Academy. Then you’ll need to build up experience, building your own sites, ones for friends and the small business world is great to play in – they always need small web-sites building and you should easily pick up lots of of (zero value) business where you can hone your skills and build your portfolio.

Get involved in WordCamps, take yourself along to WordPress Meetups (there are 500 groups in over 350 cities) and, most importantly, spend time in London meeting the folks in the industry and getting your name known.

You’ll need, in due course, to find your own innovation drum, the thing you bang when the rest of the development world is following a well-trodden derivative route. But not yet.

Or, talk to us – we’re always on the look out for good talent and don’t measure folks by their CV or degree.