WordPress is an open source web publishing platform. Once the favorite of bloggers, it is quickly becoming the go to application to build any type of website. There are a lot of benefits to using WordPress, including it being search engine friendly and it is simple to change an entire website’s design. The feature that makes it a must use for me is that you can put the control back into the web owners hand. WordPress is significantly easier to update than your traditional HTML websites. This is important because it means web designers can create a website that their clients can control. Anyone who has seen their web designer go AWOL knows the importance of this.
This brings up one question though: Where do I learn how to use WordPress?
1. WordPress.org: If you are new to WordPress make this your first stop. This site is home to the WordPress codex and it contains just about every piece of WordPress knowledge known to man. The codex can be a lot to wrap your head around at first, but there is also a message board here that is quite handy. The message board will allow you to ask the questions you couldn’t figure out from the codex. You might run into some people who just tell you to “Learn The Codex NOOB” but most people are willing to help.
2. Online Tutorials: There are a number of WordPress tutorials online. If you have a WordPress issue you can probably search and find a tutorial dealing with that. Using Google and YouTube searches is probably your best bet. Whether you prefer written or video tutorials you should be able to find what you are looking for. Some of the downsides of this method are that video quality can be bad and sometimes the person doing the voice over has an annoying or intelligible voice. I hate having to rewind five times tying to catch what someone is saying. Depending on where you find your tutorial, the creator may not be actively answering any follow up questions you have. This is extremely annoying if you get to end of tutorial and notice you have an issue they didn’t address. That said, if you search around enough you can find good quality tutorials.
3. Coaching: This is the proverbial Cadillac of learning options. There is usually a cost involved but when you figure in how much your time is worth, it is the best option. This is actually how I learned WordPress and it saved me weeks and weeks of time. I spent my first week on WordPress complaining about how it didn’t make sense, and how I wanted to switch back to HTML. I ended up spending a couple hours with a new colleague and he had me up and running in no time. A coupe hours of coaching was able to accomplish more than an entire week of learning on my own. The benefits are that a WordPress coach has dealt with new users before. They have probably already answered your questions. Also he had some tutorials that were unmatched quality. Lastly, instant feedback was amazing. I didn’t have to wait and see if someone would reply to my blog comment. I asked a question and it was answered. If their wasn’t an answer right away – I knew their would be within the day. This is definitely the easiest way to learn.
It is up to you what way you want to learn. All of the above techniques will get you where you want to be, it is just a question on how quick and direct the route is.