Before I share with you the top WordPress developers, let me share what a WordPress developer is.
What is a WordPress developer?
Here are some more answers I found online about what a WordPress developer is:
“…A WordPress developer is one who can make custom plugins and modules for WordPress. WordPress designer (a true one) is able to develop a theme around WordPress. A WordPress expert is someone who is able to do all of it, probably not as well as the specialized listings I previously mentioned and can help you get the end product done by knowing the right plugins and themes for the project…”
“…A WP expert is someone that understands WP and is familiar with WP core functions and how the entire thing works. Yes, a WP expert is also a PHP developer, but not every PHP developer intimately familiar with WP…”
Top WordPress Developers
We become like those we associate with. If you want to be one of the expert WordPress developers, start spending time with those at the top. Read their blogs, follow them on Twitter, give feedback on their thoughts and ideas and listen to their talks. Follow their examples, ask them for advice, and follow their advice.
Here is a list of the top WordPress developers to get you started, follow these developers to sharpen your WordPress skills:
Matt Mullenweg, Expert WordPress Developer and Creator of WordPress
Matthew Charles “Matt” Mullenweg is an American online social media entrepreneur and web developer living in San Francisco. He is best known for developing the free and open source web software WordPress, now managed by The WordPress Foundation.
After dropping out of college and working at CNET Networks, Mullenweg quit that job and founded Automattic. Automattic is behind WordPress.com (which provides free WordPress blogs and other services), Akismet, Gravatar, VaultPress, IntenseDebate, PollDaddy, and more.
Mullenweg was born on January 11, 1984 in Houston, Texas, and attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he studied jazz saxophone. He studied at the University of Houston, majoring in Political Science, before he dropped out in 2004 to pursue a job at CNET Networks.
Andrew Nacin, One of the world’s expert WordPress developers
Andrew Nacin, is a Lead Developer of WordPress, living in Washington, D.C.. He now works for the U.S. Digital Service federal government service that aims to “redefine public service for a new generation.”. Nacin continues his role as WordPress lead developer, but he has stepped back from working on the project full-time.
Andrew Nacin worked at Audrey for more than four years for WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, exclusively on the WordPress project. Those that are aware of WordPress core development know that he’s enormously influential on the project. He led WordPress 3.5, 3.7, and 3.9 in a span of two years. In 2014, Nacin spent a lot of time on security related projects for WordPress.
As a WordPress lead developer, he wrangles contributions, develops new features, and tries to fix more bugs than he creates. He works in many facets of the WordPress community, ranging from the development cycle to meeting users at WordCamp. I can often be spotted on the bug tracker, development blog, many mailing lists and throughout wordpress.org. I also work on the infrastructure behind the WordPress community as it extends beyond the software — like the wordpress.org site.
Mark Jaquith, One of the world’s expert WordPress developers
Mark is one of the leading developers on WordPress Core. He was an early leader in the WordPress Community, helping to define code standards. Jaquith worked closely with the fledgling Community as it was developing its strong identity.
Mark Jaquith has over ten years experience with WordPress, including writing popular plugins. His experience also includes contributing patches to the core WordPress engine.
Jaquith tried WordPress in 2003 and didn’t like it very much. By 2004, he was a convert. The plugin system was a huge selling point. In 2006 he realized that he loved it, he was good at it. Jaquith got to the point where he could make a living doing it. He dropped out of college to do WordPress Development full-time in 2006. He makes a living as a web publishing consultant to everyone from entrepreneurs to startups to established media companies. His personal goal is to bring intuitive, low-cost web publishing to everyone who has anything to say.
The most fun Jaquith has doing consulting is when someone has a problem they’ve been trying to fix and he can find the problem just after hearing a few of the symptoms, and have a fix out in just a few minutes. These are the days that he doesn’t feel bad charging for what he does.
Cory Miller, One of the world’s expert WordPress developers & a passionate entrepreneur
Cory Miller is a former newspaper journalist turned full-time entrepreneur. In 2008, he started iThemes. iThemes builds web design software and offers training for thousands of customers around the globe.
Named the 7th fastest growing company in Oklahoma City in 2011 by the Metro 50, iThemes employs over 20 people around the globe with headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma.
In 2011, Cory co-founded The Div, Inc, a nonprofit tech foundation for inspiring and training the next generation of web developers through its kid’s program, Div Jr.
Miller is the co-author of WordPress All-in-One for Dummies (Wiley, 2011) and is a member and current communications chair of the Oklahoma chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a network of over 8,000 entrepreneurs in 40 countries with companies that have revenue over $1 million dollars annually.
Carl Hancock is one of the co-founders of Rocketgenius, Inc. A premier provider of WordPress plugin solutions and the creators of one of the most successful commercial WordPress plugins: Gravity Forms. He loves building creative solutions for WordPress, and is a devoted father, loving husband, amateur photographer, startup founder and travel addict.
Carl Hancock knows a thing or two about the power of WordPress and how different plugins can extend the powerful CMS to do just about anything.
One of the great things about Carl is his ability to give and receive advice, even when it’s not the easiest thing to say or hear. He understands that there’s often a learning experience to take away from negative criticism; one that can help you find issues to create solutions that can take your business to a whole new level.
Carl was part of Expert Business Panel at the 2014 Prestige Conference in Minneapolis.
Justin is best known for his work with WordPress. He has over 200 posts about WordPress, many of which are awesome tutorials to teach you how to do cool stuff with the system.
He also co-wrote a book called Professional WordPress Plugin Development with Brad Williams and Ozh Richard.
Most of Justin work involving WordPress is on Theme Hybrid. Theme Hybrid is where Justin runs his WordPress theme and plugin community. It’s one of the oldest and longest-running clubs in the WordPress ecosystem.
Nathan Rice, One of the world’s expert WordPress developers
Nathan Rice is one of the modern WordPress developers and one of the developers for Rainmaker Digital. He built the Genesis framework for WordPress, which powers millions of sites on the internet. Nathan has also worked for iThemes, ModThemes, and StudioPress.
Nathan Rice lives in the southeastern United States. He is a blogger and web designer/developer. He does freelance web design and co-owns a web design firm with his business partner Cory Miller. They run a free WordPress theme site called RockinThemes.com. RockinThemes.com is where a handful of designers release quality themes for the public as their contribution to the community.
Rice contributes weekly posts to the Blog Herald and Performancing, and he also contributes to a WordPress tip site called WordPressThemes.com with Cory Miller and Brian Gardner.
Bill Erickson is a WordPress Developer and entrepreneur living in Georgetown, TX (north of Austin). Erickson has developed with WordPress and contributing to the community since 2006.
He has released 19 free plugins on WordPress.org and he has spoken at 14 conferences about WordPress.
Bill has developed an incredible reputation in the WordPress community for the sites he’s built, as well as the code that he continues to give back to the community.
Several years ago he was working for Texas A&M’s business school assisting with their websites. As static HTML sites, he found himself often tasked with simple text changes (i.e., changing Spring to Fall or 2004 to 2005). It did not take long before he began rebuilding the smaller sites using WordPress as a CMS. The editors loved managing the content themselves, and he loved focusing on web development.
Jeff Starr is a professional developer, designer, author, and publisher with over 10 years of experience on the Web. He enjoys all aspects of web design and development, with WordPress and Web Security among his favorite pursuits. He is the co-author of “Digging into WordPress” and author of “The Tao of WordPress”, “.htaccess made easy”, and “WordPress Themes In Depth”. Jeff blogs at Perishable Press, runs his own web-design business at Monzilla Media, and recently launched Plugin Planet and USP Pro.
Starr works with WordPress on a daily basis creating high-quality plugins and themes that focus on performance, security, and web standards. He develops over 20 WordPress plugins and has published over 1,000 WordPress articles around the web.
Starr started with WordPress back in 2005 when it was still pretty new. There were only a handful of decent blogging software/CMS programs available back then, and WordPress was the simplest and most capable of them all. So he got into it and started customizing things and sharing his work at Perishable Press. From there, he got into theme and plugin development, and then things just took off and he hasn’t looked back.
Also published on Medium.