If you are ready to take the plunge and become a full-fledged expert in all things WordPress, you are in the right place. In this post, we discuss how to become a WordPress expert, what that means, and resources to help you get there.
What Does It Mean To Be A WordPress Expert?
So how do you begin to work toward the massive goal of becoming a WordPress expert?It should be a given that knowing how WordPress works is a prerequisite to becoming a WordPress expert.
If you’re just getting started learning WordPress, you might find Getting Started with WordPress ebook to be a big help. You’ll learn the benefits of using WordPress, as well as step-by-step instructions for getting familiar with the WordPress Dashboard. You’ll also learn about WordPress themes and plugins, how to create your first post or page, and optimize your site for search engines—all with helpful links to video tutorials.
Learning how to become a WordPress expert requires you to know the ins and outs of WordPress.
How to Become a WordPress Expert
Becoming a WordPress expert is a significant task that requires focus and dedication. Even writing this post is a little overwhelming because there is so much to WordPress, so let’s break it into pieces and develop a game plan.
Install WordPress and Explore All the Possibilities
First things first, install WordPress and start using it. Explore all the plugins and themes available. A word to the wise, not all plugins and themes are created equal. Some are less reputable than desired.
There are loads of reviews for WordPress plugins. Do your research on getting started with WordPress plugins, and use plugins that improve your site and enhance functionality. Pay attention to the number of active plugin installs and how often they are updated.
Choosing a WordPress theme is a big job, too. Your WordPress theme is responsible for presenting your brand and the overall design of your website. In the free ebook How to Pick a WordPress Theme, you’ll learn everything you need to know about WordPress themes.
Maybe you will discover a need for a WordPress plugin or WordPress theme that hasn’t been met yet. Keep track of those ideas and maybe you can be the one to implement them.
Make an effort to dedicate time every day to learning more about WordPress.
Submerge Yourself In The WordPress Culture
Start blogging and interacting with the WordPress community. Join forums and pay attention to discussions happening, and maybe even jump in.
Research ways in which you can meet face to face with the WordPress community. Surround yourself with the “right” people. In this case, that means WordPress connoisseurs.
You can also meet other WordPress fans at WordPress meetups. Meetups happen all over the world, just like Wordcamps, but meetups are usually held on a smaller scale and happen more frequently.
Both WordCamps and WordPress meetups provide great opportunities to talk to others who might know more about WordPress than you.
Make Your Own Contributions to WordPress
As I mentioned previously, you may come across a need for a plugin or theme that doesn’t exist. Yet. Recognize this as an opportunity for you to create your own WordPress plugin or theme and contribute to the WordPress world.
Even if it’s not a completely new idea, developing a plugin is a great way to challenge yourself to learn.
If you are thinking you lack the coding knowledge to develop a plugin, just know, even Chris Jean had zero coding knowledge at some point in his life.
*Chris Jean is a developer at iThemes and a walking, talking Wikipedia.
If you don’t feel ready to dive into the waters of plugin development, you can create a WordPress theme instead. Use these 13 helpful cheat sheets for building WordPress themes.
Maybe development is still too intimidating to you. Don’t worry. You can still contribute and continue learning how to become a WordPress expert.
Write tutorials over miscellaneous WordPress processes. You’ll be surprised how much you learn by teaching others.
Become a Debugging Master
Debugging is arguably the most annoying yet beneficial task. When you learn to debug something, it can take time and it requires research.
I find myself learning the most when I have to debug because I spend so much time focusing on one problem and all the possible ways to resolve the issue. Consequently, I end up retaining the most information through debugging.
All this to say, do not underestimate the benefits gained from debugging. The more time spent debugging will likely result in developing your own process.
The following five tips offer a jumping off point for debugging WordPress:
- The last change made is probably the culprit.
- Are you able to reproduce the issue following the same pattern of the alleged issue?
- Fix the problem. Don’t put a band-aid over the symptom.
- Log everything.
- Don’t lose faith. Frustration will be just one of the many emotions you will experience when debugging.
Debugging is definitely a skill and one you should master while learning how to become a WordPress expert.
There are a ton of resources out there that are dying to help you learn WordPress.
Take this one, for example, 300+ Resources to Help You Become a WordPress Expert. That’s right, 300 resources in just one post!
That’s not even counting all the links available in this post alone. WordPress resources inside of a resource, inside of this resource. Resource inception.
One of the greatest lessons I have learned in life is that Google is my friend. I will even go as far to say Google-ing is a skill, so start practicing.
It Takes Time
Don’t expect to learn how to become a WordPress expert overnight, in three days, or even a week.
Becoming a WordPress expert will take a long time, maybe even a few years.
Expert level means you have some serious knowledge in a particular subject. Considering the subject in this scenario is WordPress, you better buckle up.
As long as you set a clear goal for yourself of becoming a WordPress expert, and maintain determined attitude, you will get there.
Saylor writes blog posts and designs/develops various projects for iThemes. Saylor loves gardening and is currently at war with all squirrels (if anyone has tips on how to get rid of squirrels, she’s all ears). If she’s not traveling or hanging out in OKC, there’s a good chance she’s in southwest Oklahoma doing manual labor, including roofing, or as her father likes to call it – “building character.”