This is a step-by-step guide on how to learn WordPress, aimed at beginner users who are trying to become competent with the platform in their spare time.
Even if you’re juggling work, family, friends, sport and fifty other things at once, learning WordPress isn’t beyond your capabilities. If you’re willing to invest a bit of free time whenever you’ve got it, you can master the fundamentals of WordPress a lot quicker than you might imagine.
This is a day-by-day WordPress learning regime that anyone can follow. In compiling this tutorial, I’ve made the following assumptions:
- You already have WordPress installed, or have at least used the platform a few times before. (You really should have access to a WordPress install before you start learning).
- You’re able to devote 2 or 3 hours per day to learning WordPress (before work, after school, on your lunch break, whenever).
So on with the show. Find out how to learn WordPress in a quick and logical manner with this 7 day plan.
Venture over to the WordPress Codex and read the Getting Started section.
This collection of articles walks you through the fundamentals of how to learn WordPress, and introduces you to all the essential concepts of the software. As you read, you’re encouraged to practice the things you’re learning on your own WordPress site.
The writing style is a bit dry and encyclopedic, but the information is rock solid. If you can follow and understand most of it then your week of learning WordPress is off to an excellent start.
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Get your head around WordPress themes.
Understanding how themes work is absolutely key to learning WordPress. Choosing a new theme is probably the first customization that you’ll make to your site, so it’s important to know what you’re doing.
As a starting point, check out Using Themes in the Codex. Once you’re comfortable with the concept of themes and how they work, venture over to the WordPress Theme Directory and start doing some exploring.
Familiarize yourself with the WordPress Plugin Directory.
Have a look in the ‘Most Popular’ section to see which plugins are widely used. Whenever you look at a plugin, pay attention to its average user rating (the yellow stars) and how recently it was updated. Poorly-rated and out-of-date plugins should generally be avoided.
For a broad overview of what’s currently hot among WordPress users, have a read of The Top 100 WordPress Plugins For Your Site.
Learn about WordPress SEO.
You can take some simple yet powerful steps to improve your site’s visibility in Google. Spend an hour or so learning the core aspects of WordPress SEO, and you’ll be much better off for it. We have a very excellent three part tutorial on this very subject.
If you’re a complete newbie to the concept of Search Engine Optimization, a great resource to get you off the ground is the Beginner’s Guide to SEO, which is available for free on the SEOmoz website.
Learn how WordPress hosting works.
As your WordPress site grows, so do your hosting requirements. If you’re just staring out with a new WordPress site, then just about any old hosting plan will do the trick. But as you build up more content and hopefully more traffic, you need to find a hosting provider that can properly support your site.
The crew over at WP Shout have put together a very comprehensive review of WordPress hosting providers, harvested from interviews with 252 different WordPress users. Well worth a read if you’re not too familiar with the market and various providers. For further reading, we also did an article recently on the pros and cons and free WordPress hosting.
Learn where to learn more.
Knowing how to learn WordPress really boils down to knowing where to look. It’s important that you identify a list of reliable and comprehensive resources that you can turn to for guidance. Get in the habit of reading the right blogs and the right books, and you’ll start learning WordPress almost by osmosis.
To point you in the right direction, we’ve got an article on 10 free resources for learning WordPress, comprised of blogs and eBooks dedicated to the mighty WP.
Crack a beer and congratulate yourself.
On the seventh day, the Lord rested. If you’ve put in a solid couple of hours learning WordPress for the past six days, then give yourself a big pat on the back. You’re now vastly more informed and capable than you were a week ago, and well on your way to becoming a hardcore WordPress rockstar.
All you gotta do now is keep at it!