Our technical team at Illustrate is divided into 2 sections: WordPress Specialists and WordPress Developers. Since we’ve already looked into the day in the life of a WP Specialist, which you can read here, it’s time to jump into the life of a WP Developer at one of Cardiff’s best WordPress development agencies.

Unusually for someone working in an agency, I work solely with one client. As a leader in their field, they require daily development and constant tweaks and updates and so my workday revolves around close collaboration with them. A typical work day, after my 90 minute commute, will look something like this…

Client chat. My day almost always begins with a conversation with the client, catching up on any changes, new ideas they’ve had and making sure we’re on the same page. They are constantly evaluating their site to make sure it’s maximising traffic and clicks which means there’s always something to adjust.

Sketch it out. Before I start actually coding anything, I’ll map out what I’m going to do on my trusty Illustrate notebook. This helps me translate the conversation with the client to something I can work with. Mapping it out means I can see potential flaws faster and clarify my workflow. I’ll also jot down bits of code that I think I’ll use.

A bit more client chat. The client and I will then touch base again and I’ll fill them in on my approach, functionality and anything I might need clarity on. This process is where I’ll translate the technical approach I am taking to explain functionality and interaction from a front end user’s point of view. Keeping communication flowing is vital: it helps to constantly keep expectations realistic. It also has the benefit of educating the client and growing their technical knowledge, which means our processes are consistently getting faster.

Dreams are made in Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver is far more robust than necessary for what I am doing. I use the code editor because I like the code colouring, indentation, code collapsing and self closing tags. Although these features are common across most code editing softwares, they all have very subtle differences; I’ve become accustomed to Dreamweaver’s approach.

Plus, the search and replace feature is more robust than many open source alternatives and makes donkey work a lot faster and more tolerable. Which is a win.

Back to front. Having set up the backend, it’s time to pull everything to the front end. User experience and reliable functionality are essential so often I’ll work with our designer, Melin and one of our WordPress Specialists, Josh to make sure the site looks, feels and works brilliantly.

Testing times. All the work that we do here at Illustrate, whether it’s by a developer, or a specialist, is tested vigorously. Our reputation is for creating responsive, clean sites with great functionality and, in order to keep that up, we make sure our sites are tested in as many ways as possible so that when they launch, they work efficiently.

Some of the stuff that I work on will be done in 2 hours, other things will take 2 weeks. What I love about development is the constant challenge to improve your skills and your work. There’s nothing more satisfying than launching something that 80,000 people per day will get to use!


For more in this series, check out:

A day in the life of a WordPress Specialist

A day in the life of an Account Manager