Are you trying to learn WordPress? Are you struggling a little too much? Relax! You’ve found a friend.
No need to get all upset and frustrated as you go about learning the web’s most popular Content Management System. You need some friendly help.
Having taught a lot of people WordPress over the years, I’ve discovered a few things about learning WordPress.
Here are my tips for mastering WordPress as a beginner, no matter what type of site you want to create. Follow these suggestions and you’ll find WordPress is fun to learn. Plus, what it can do for you is amazing!!
1. Don’t expect to learn WordPress all at once.
It took me more than a few weeks to get comfortable with WordPress. What I discovered was to break things down into smaller pieces. First, I learned how to publish pages and posts. Then I learned how to add images and other media and how to manage my site’s links with the Menu feature. I stayed with the basic features of my theme, and didn’t add many plugins until I really had mastered the basics.
At least, that’s how I’d go about learning it now.
2. Speaking of the basics, stick with them when you’re starting out.
This will take a little discipline, but it will pay off big time in the end.
As a beginner, you’ll be tempted to try a premium theme which usually is more complicated than a good free one. Or you will try using a plugin that really is not well suited for a beginner.
Biting into the juicier parts of WordPress right away is understandable, but not really a good idea. When you start learning WordPress, avoid things that will be confusing because you don’t have the foundation to work with complex themes and plugins. Stay with the bread and butter. For example, master a default theme like 2014 or 2015 before you buy that sexy premium theme.
Make sure to learn how menus and widgets work because you will need them no matter which theme or plugins you use.
I don’t want you to get discouraged because you bit off more than you can chew by jumping into the deep end of the WP pool with premium themes and complicated plugins.
3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
You’re not going to break your site if you make a mistake. That doesn’t mean you won’t do something then try to undo wondering just how to do that. But that is how we learn. Trial and error is a good thing. I messed up WordPress a bunch of times when I started out but once I figured out what I did wrong that was a great learning experience form which I could move on.
Students have told me that they learn a lot when they watch me make mistakes in class or in a webinar. If that’s the case, you have my permission to make lots of mistakes!
4. Ask for help.
There is a huge, worldwide community of WordPress developers that will help you. All you need to do is ask.
It is in the best interests of designers and developers to answer your questions in support forums (for example, forums found on wordpress.org). Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to ask.
There are good WordPress groups on LinkedIn that I use all the time. Most everyone will be friendly and the advice you can get will be worth the effort.
5. When you can’t figure it out, just walk away.
After you’ve spent way too much time trying to figure out something, just quit trying. Go to a movie, have an adult beverage, go to bed (not necessarily to sleep). Just do anything besides sit at your screen trying to solve your problem.
When you come back, you just might find out that the answer was there in front of you all the time!