Darren Ladner, Developer in Fort Worth, TX, United States
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Darren Ladner

Verified Expert  in Engineering

WordPress Developer

Fort Worth, TX, United States
Toptal Member Since
March 3, 2020

Darren is a full-stack developer with over a decade of experience building a plethora of WordPress websites and Laravel web applications over the years. By specializing in PHP, MySQL, and front-end web technologies, he's created multiple custom WordPress themes, plugins, Laravel web apps, custom site databases, and REST API platforms for mobile apps. Darren started as a Microsoft .NET developer, but after working at an agency that used Drupal and WordPress, he found PHP and never looked back.


Trinity Metro
MySQL, Laravel, WordPress, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP
Center for BrainHealth
jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP
Digital Reach Agency
jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP




Preferred Environment

Adobe Photoshop, Sequel Pro, MAMP, ITerm, Postman, MySQL Workbench, PhpMyAdmin, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), PhpStorm, Windows, MacOS

The most amazing...

...project: 99% ADA compliant site with lots of JavaScript, Google Maps integration, AJAX, custom theme, plugins, DB tables, API calls and working with ACF fields.

Work Experience

Senior Web Developer

2018 - PRESENT
Trinity Metro
  • Implemented a complete website redesign/build using WordPress, including the creation of a custom theme, custom plugins with custom database tables for our GTFS transportation data and build of a dynamic interactive maps using Google Maps API.
  • Created a custom Laravel website for the company's procurement department.
  • Developed a custom Laravel application for internal use for the company's corporate accounts.
Technologies: MySQL, Laravel, WordPress, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP

Contract Web Developer

2018 - 2018
Center for BrainHealth
  • Moved their website from in-house servers to AWS cloud servers.
  • Connected an internal Laravel portal application to their Salesforce system.
  • Finished out a custom functionality for their current website.
Technologies: jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP

Remote Full-stack Developer

2018 - 2018
Digital Reach Agency
  • Worked remotely as a full-stack developer for a temporary contract to help the company with multiple WordPress websites for medium-sized businesses.
  • Collaborated with a team of front-end and back-end developers to create custom WordPress themes and plugins.
  • Developed a custom JavaScript ROI calculator WordPress plugin for a client site.
  • Composed custom JavaScript code along with working with the Weather API and Google Analytics/Tag Manager to get weather readings when someone purchased tickets from a client's website.
Technologies: jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP

Senior Web Developer

2015 - 2018
Ivie & Associates
  • Worked with and oversaw an offshore remote team to build custom applications for large enterprise clients.
  • Built WordPress website using custom themes and plugins for many small to medium companies.
  • Developed custom Laravel portals and dashboards for large enterprise companies.
  • Created a custom website along with a custom API layer using Laravel for a mobile phone app.
Technologies: Laravel, WordPress, React, jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP

Contract Full-stack Developer

2015 - 2015
Yellow 7
  • Created a WordPress website using custom themes and plugins for small-to-medium companies.
  • Helped to develop a custom SilverStripe CMS website for a client.
  • Created a WordPress multisite for HTML5 web banners workflow.
Technologies: jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP

Web Developer

2013 - 2015
OpenRoad Lending
  • Completed a full site redesign of WordPress site using a custom theme and custom plugins.
  • Created a custom PHP application portal for application status reviews and connected it to the credit agencies' APIs for customer verification.
  • Developed a custom application form on the website that pushed data into the custom PHP application portal.
  • Moved the site from local in-house servers to Microsoft Azure cloud servers.
Technologies: WordPress, jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP

Web Developer

2012 - 2013
UTSW Medical Center
  • Completed a redesign of the medical school's library website using ColdFusion.
  • Worked with IT server admins to upgrade ColdFusion and move the websites to different servers.
  • Built an internal ColdFusion portal for library student services.
  • Developed an internal ColdFusion website for library use.
Technologies: jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Adobe ColdFusion, PHP

Contract Web Developer

2011 - 2012
Gateway Church
  • Worked with the digital team to create multiple Drupal sites using custom Drupal themes.
  • Created a small Drupal module that sent emails when page/content was ready for view.
  • Assisted the digital team with a custom functionality of the main church website.
Technologies: Drupal, jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP


2009 - 2011
North Central Texas College
  • Implemented the overall redesign of the main college website from a static HTML website with custom PHP forms for functionality into an ASP.NET Sitefinity CMS.
  • Created custom SQL Server database tables for use with custom Sitefinity modules.
  • Built custom Sitefinity templates for use on the new website.
Technologies: jQuery, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, PHP, ASP.NET

Trinity Metro

This project involved a custom WordPress theme with custom WordPress plugins. It was a total site rebuild from the ground up.

I did all of the front-end and back-end work. A majority of the site's data runs off of their own GTFS data. The data sits in custom database tables. There is a lot of Ajax requests along with a lot of custom JavaScript that makes up the functionality of the site. The site is also 98% ADA AA compliant and has the Advanced Custom Fields plugin along with custom post types to make up most of the content.

Procurement Web App

This project involved a Laravel web application built for the procurement department.

I was the only developer and built the front-end, back-end, and database. This app allows the procurement department to create solicitations up for bids. Users can then create accounts on the site for viewing all of the documentation for the solicitation. When a user views a solicitation, JavaScript code tracks the documents a user has downloaded. This allows the department to view the interest and amount of customers looking into the solicitation.

Laravel API Platform

I created an API platform using the Laravel framework for a mobile application. By working with the mobile app developers, I created this API layer on the back end of an existing Laravel website for a grocery retailer. The current website had a user system for dealing with coupons. I created the API layer between the website and the mobile app so customers could use the coupon system on the website or the mobile app.

WordPress with a Custom PHP Application

This was one of my favorite projects was where I utilized most of my skillset.

I created a custom website by building a custom WP theme, custom WordPress plugins and custom database tables for specific pieces of functionality. I also created a custom PHP application that sat on the back end of the website.

There was also a financial form on the site that saved certain pieces of data into the custom app. The purpose of the app was for users to log in to view their loan status, upload any missing documents and leave messages to their assigned loan officers. User verification was done by making API calls to the major credit bureaus.

The other thing that made this project so fulfilling was doing something I have never done before. All of the servers were on Azure. So I had to jump back into my Microsoft .NET days and learn how to set up PHP and WordPress along with IIS in the Microsoft Azure cloud.

Retail Grocery Store WordPress Store Locator Plugin

I was the lead developer on this project and oversaw a team of four developers where we created an enhanced custom WordPress Store Locator plugin for a retail grocery store.

I acted also as the go-between the customer and our team, and I had weekly meetings with the client and daily meetings with our team. I worked hand-in-hand with the team by assisting with coding, doing code reviews to make sure we followed WordPress coding standards, and pushed the code to clients' development servers when ready.

Internal Social Dashboard Web App

I was the lead developer on this project where I worked with and oversaw our off-shore team.

We created an internal custom social dashboard for a Fortune 500 company. The application was built using Laravel and Vue js. The app tapped into the customer's social media accounts using APIs and displayed certain pieces of data pulled from each of their accounts based on the client's requirements.

Restaurant WordPress Locator Plugin

Here, I was the lead developer where I worked with a junior developer to create a custom WordPress Restaurant Locator plugin for a local sandwich shop. The custom template pulls the data from a custom database table to display all of the information. This plugin also had a cron job, where it made API calls to another web app to gather all of the store data for saving in the database.

Internal Custom Web App for Store Openings

I was the lead developer on this project where I worked with and oversaw our off-shore team. We created an internal web application for a large company for aiding the company's store openings team. The application was built using Laravel and Vue js. The store openings team was in charge of opening new stores across the US. We had to make API calls into the current team's database servers to access their data and using the client's requirements we were able to streamline the overall task of opening a new store and saving the team tons of time.
2007 - 2009

Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems

DeVry Unversity - Irving, TX, USA

1989 - 1992

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Degree in Management and Marketing

Southeastern Louisiana University - Hammond, LA, USA

1986 - 1988

Earned Credits towards a Bachelor's Degree (Transferred) in Business Administration

Louisiana State University - Baton Rouge, LA, USA


jQuery, React, Vue 2


PhpStorm, PhpMyAdmin, MySQL Workbench, Postman, ITerm, MAMP, Sequel Pro, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe ColdFusion


WordPress, MacOS, Windows, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Drupal


Laravel, CodeIgniter, ASP.NET


PHP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript




Software Development, WordPress Plugins, WordPress Themes, APIs

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