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How to get better at Wordpress

How to get better at wordpress

Welcome! Would you like to figure out WordPress?

how to get better at wordpress

So you want to get better at WordPress? The good news is, that everyone has to start from scratch. Even the best WordPress developers started with zero knowledge and that means you can do the same.

There is no WordPress university degree, there is no course that covers everything. WordPress is a massive platform with multiple extensions to the software that in order to get better at it, you need to just start.

Not sure where to start? Well here are some tips to show you how.

14 ways to get better at WordPress

  1. Create your own WordPress website
  2. Review other websites
  3. Join relevant Facebook groups
  4. Build or maintain websites for other people for free
  5. Install WordPress on your local pc
  6. Read WordPress blogs
  7. Review the source code
  8. Attend Wordcamps
  9. Attend WordPress meetups
  10. Read the WordPress Codex
  11. Complete a WordPress course
  12. Find a WordPress mentor
  13. Watch tutorials on Youtube
  14. Practice Practice PRACTICE

1. Create your own WordPress Website

It can feel really daunting to actually get started with WordPress.

But by starting your own website you are really on the way to getting to know WordPress intimately.

Think of it as a test run. You don’t even need to make it public, you can keep it as a coming soon website while you start to figure out how it WordPress and creating a website works.

How to get better at WordPress

The best way to learn something is to get practical and nothing will ever beat you hopping on the software and starting to have a play.

Think about trying to teach someone how to use email if they never have used it before. It is much easier to open your computer and show them how to send an email. If you get them to watch a video first or give them some notes on how to do it, it will take much longer to explain than getting them to actually send an email.

The same goes for you learning how to use WordPress. There will be no comparison to you actually using real software on a website. You will need a domain name and hosting, and a plan. So no more excuses, if you haven’t already, hop on and give it a try.

2. look at other websites

Look at other peoples websites. Start taking a real close look at how those sites look, feel and what functions they achieve. What do you like or don’t like about them?

Google “best WordPress website designs” and start collecting a library of your favourite sites. 

What functions do those websites have? How can you achieve this with your WordPress site? Make a list of the cool and interesting things you see on these sites. Research how you can achieve the same functions on your website.

3. Join relevant facebook groups

Yes! I’m asking you spend more time on social media! There are number of Facebook groups that are dedicated to WordPress. These groups have experts in many different areas, from design to development. There are different types of groups, from beginner to advanced and the purpose is to help each other.

My top groups recommendtaions include:

4. build or maintain websites for free

We all have one or more friends or relatives with a website. Maybe you could convince one of them to let you help them maintain their site? Or maybe you have a friend wanting to create a new site but they don’t have the budget. 

Offer to help them out! Set some clear boundaries and expectations, but you will get lots of practice dealing with different requirements and WordPress setups. Sometimes being put under a bit of pressure helps the learning experience.

5. install wordpress on your pc

Did you know you can download and install a copy of WordPress to your own PC? 

Well, you can! WordPress is free open-source software. That means you can download and install it at any time. You can then use the software to have a play around. 

If you want to actually see what the website you built looks like live and online without having offline hosting, you can go a step further (this is more of an advanced technical step). Try setting up your PC as a local server. Free software such as  Local by Flywheel,  allows you to not only use the WordPress software but it will show you exactly what it would like like if your site was live on the web.

6. read wordpress blogs

WordPress is the software of choice for most bloggers, and because of this, there are heaps and heaps of blogs that detailed.

Regularly reading blogs about WordPress can help speed up the WordPress learning curve and really help you to get better at WordPress.

WPBeginner is one of the oldest and most comprehensive blogs and sources of information and one I recommend and follow myself. With lots of hints and tips from beginner to advanced users, you will learn something new every day.

7. review source code

This is another advanced technique, but it’s worth thinking about and possibly giving it a try. You will need to be on your desktop to check this out.

To give this a go, the next time you visit a website you like, right-click on your mouse and when the menu comes up, select “view source code” or it may be called “inspect element” depending on your website browser.

 

How to inspect the source code of a WordPress website

You will now have the following pop up on your screen:

All of that text are lines of code. This information is the HTML code that is the backbones of the website. 

What can you do with this information?

You can see the fonts, sizes, colours of a website. You can see if that website is a WordPress website and see what themes that site is using. You can also investigate what plugins are used on a particular page. It’s a very sneaky tool to use and helps you to figure out what tools a website is using that you can also use on your site.

Now, this is more of an advanced tool, however, if you are curious, and with a little googling of HTML you will start to identify those components of a website you can “copy” from others.

8. Attend a WordCamp

WordCamp is a weekend conference dedicated to WordPress. It’s jam-packed full of presentations by speakers from all walks of life and about many different topics within WordPress. 

The speakers come from diverse backgrounds, the obvious ones such as WordPress developers and website designers, but the topics are so varied. I’ve attended a few Wordcamps now, and I’ve watched presentations on everything from copywriting, lead generation, top ten plugins, to how to speed up your website and how to get started with search engine optimisation (SEO).

They are run entirely by volunteers, so the cost of attending is very cheap. You can network your heart out, or just sneak in and watch and leave – whatever suits your personality. 

They are sponsored by various companies, usually, web hosters, plugin developers and other WordPress related companies, so that means that the event costs are covered included catering and the tickets prices are kept really low. The last Wordcamp I attended in Brisbane, Australia was $50 AUD!

WordCamp is usually held yearly. To find out the nearest one to you is on next, visit WordPress.org’s schedule of WordPress events

9. attend wordPress meetups

WordPress has numerous “meet up” groups all over the world. These are usually run by volunteers, sometimes local developers or owners of local businesses that use WordPress.

These events are aimed to get WordPress lovers together to network, share information and help each other out.

Usually, they are casual, and a presentation on a particular topic is run each meeting by somebody familiar with that area of WordPress.

You can search for these groups on the meetup app or by searching on WordPress.org’s website. Meetups near you are also listed in your WordPress dashboard.

Wordpress meetup events

10. read the wordpress codex

The WordPress Codex is the user manual for WordPress. The codex is the official set of instructions for WordPress and includes information on the following areas:

* Learn how to use WordPress

* Working with themes

* Writing a plugin

* Contributing to development – how to test, write code and debug

* Giving back – information for volunteers

Be warned the WordPress codex is very comprehensive and can be overwhelming for beginners, but it is a great reference. Treat it like a dictionary, come back to it when you’re stuck on how something works or wondering why WordPress behaves in a certain way. The codex will help you get a technical understand of the inner workings of WordPress

11. complete a course

Another great way to get started with WordPress is to take a course. There are hundreds of paid and free WordPress resources out there. Both in-person and online. You could try Udemy, Lynda or just google WordPress course for an unlimited amount of options. 

12. find a mentor

Don’t feel confident learning on your own? Still feel stuck? Maybe you need someone on one support. If you need that extra bit of guidance, finding yourself a WordPress mentor could do the trick.

A mentor is just someone who is that one step ahead of you on your journey.  Look for someone who fits this profile, maybe a friend or a local business owner.

Maybe someone at your local WordPress meetup group or at a Wordcamp can help guide you on your learning journey. You could also try finding one by joining a facebook group.

Don’t be afraid to ask, most people would be flattered to be considered for the position!

13. watch tutorials on youtube

There are hundreds of Youtube tutorials on all different aspects of WordPress with many starting at a beginner level. These beginner tutorials have topics such as setting up the basics of a WordPress website. Others are more advanced and may show how to code a plugin.

The beauty of learning on Youtube is that you can be working on your own site at the same time as watching, doing exactly the same steps at the same time. 

The downside to Youtube is that as WordPress gets updated so fast, sometimes the menus and steps are outdated and that can be confusing to beginners. 

There are many great channels that release content weekly on all things WordPress. You will learn something new each week with the instructor. My favourite channels are Ferdy KorpershoekElementor, and WP Crafter.

14. practice

It all comes back to practice!!!! There is just no other way around it, you need to practice practice practice. Then practice some more.

The more you try to design, build and write for a website, the more features you try to add and the more you create, break, fix and test, the quicker you will learn.

And you will learn. And before you know it, you will be GREAT!

How do I get better at WordPress?

Good luck! Let me know what other tips have helped you to learn WordPress. If you would like some training, I offer WordPress training – please feel free to find out more about my WordPress training sessions here

How to get better at WordPress checklist

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