@char502, There is some good advice in the comments above. Wordpress has a commanding share of web sites on the internet, in spite of the fact (in my personal opinion) that it is not as easy to use as many make out.
The by line for Wordpress is just install it on your host server and start adding content. However most people want to change a layout, or a header image etc, and these things are not as easy as they should be.
So small business folks need to get someone to help them. Thats where developers, i.e. you, come in.
So understanding Wordpress code, child themes, hooks, custom taxonomies etc are important to take advantage of its capabilities. Does this mean knowing how to program in PHP, well not really. Of course you need the basics but you don’t need to be an expert programmer in PHP to help folks with Wordpress.
Now the other thing to remember is even the folks at Automattic (the people who build Wordpress) acknowledge it was getting dated and needed an upgrade. Those upgrades came recently in the form of 2 major changes.
Before I comment on those changes however it is important to recognize that Wordpress is a Content Management System (CMS), i.e. it stores user content in a data repository. This is an important distinction from the earliest days when Wordpress was just a blogging platform. Over top of that CMS Wordpress has used PHP as a programming language for users to manage and render that content.
Now for the changes:
- The folks at Automatic have created an API interface to the CMS, which means you can write your frontend app in any language you like and still access the content which is stored in the database. Users can still use the Wordpress editor to add and delete content, but a completely different frontend layer to render it.
You now have the opportunity to use whatever skills you have to develop a frontend that suits your clients needs, it doesn’t have to be PHP if you are not proficient in that.
So, should you learn PHP. I think just enough to help clients manage existing Wordpress sites, but in my opinion even the folks at Automatic have signaled what the future looks like and it is not necessarily PHP as the language of the front end to their CMS.
I hope that helps.