How Hard is it to Learn WordPress?
In 17 years of teaching and developing WordPress websites, I have heard WordPress users say things like: “my toddler could use this” to “why is this soooo hard, I’m a physicist!”. So before we discuss exactly how hard WordPress is to use, let’s talk why you might find it harder than others.
Prior Knowledge and Experience: People with prior knowledge and experience in web development, programming, or content management systems may find WordPress easier to learn. For example, Microsoft WordPress or Google Docs.
Technical Aptitude: This is why it seems our kids pick up stuff faster than we do. Some people may have a natural aptitude for technology and find it easier to learn new software and tools. Others may not have the same level of comfort or experience with technology and may struggle to learn new software programs like WordPress.
Learning Style: People have different learning styles, and some may find it easier to learn WordPress than others. For example, visual learners may find it easier to follow video tutorials or graphical interfaces, while kinesthetic learners may prefer to learn by experimenting with the software. Apple is counting on visual learning styles to use their products.
Complexity: Some people may find WordPress difficult to learn due to its complexity. WordPress is a powerful content management system with many features and functionalities, and it can take time and effort to learn how to use them effectively. The perfectionists among us will find WordPress much more difficult to use.
Personal Attitude and Perception: Finally, personal attitude and perception can also play a role in how easy or difficult people find it to learn WordPress. Those with a go-getter attitude may approach learning with enthusiasm and perseverance, while those with a history of struggling with computers, may give up more easily.
With that said, here’s how I would recommend you learn WordPress, as a beginner. I’ll layout where you should start, how to get help, when to learn new things, and how to stay encouraged!
First – identify your particular learning style and go with that whenever possible. You like video / audio? Use that! You prefer experimentation and practice – then do that! You prefer methodical, step by step – great! There are courses just for you!
Make Technical Skills Easier to Learn
Here are some tips for those who want to learn the basics of WordPress:
Start with the basics
When learning new software, it’s important to start with the basics. Don’t try to learn everything all at once. Instead, focus on learning the most important features and functionalities first, and gradually build up your knowledge from there.
If you’re using self-hosted WordPress, get your host to install your WordPress website – skip learning installation stuff for now.
Start learning how to write blog posts.
Avoid adding plugins and themes
The good news is that the default installation comes with a free themes that is perfect to learn on.
Keep your site in “maintenance mode”. Do not add maintenance mode by yourself – simply ask your host to put it in ‘maintenance mode’ and give you special logins so YOU can see it and practice.
Take advantage of tutorials and online resources
There are many tutorials, guides, and online resources available to help you learn how to use software. Take advantage of these resources to help you get started and learn new skills. Start with the block editor courses here at WPBarista.
Besure to stick with tutorials that do not require plugins and themes. These tutorials are often sponsored by the provider of a theme or plugin. There are lots of tutorials on the basics – just learning how to write and edit a blog post is a good place to start.
Practice, practice, practice
The more you use software, the more comfortable and confident you will become. Make time often, to write your posts and pages. This will also get you ready to start your blog with lots of content already there.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you get stuck or have questions, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues who are more experienced with the software, or look for online forums or communities where you can ask questions and get advice.
Learning new software can be challenging and tiring, so it’s important to take breaks and give yourself time to reset. This is important for me as I tend to get hyper focused on one thing and can’t stop until I figure it out. If this is you – resist the urge! 🙂 This will help you avoid burnout and stay motivated to continue learning.
Step 1 to Learn WordPress: Use the Block Editor
The Block Editor is designed to make editing content on your website more intuitive and user-friendly. One of the best ways to learn how to use the Block Editor is by experimenting with it. Try creating a new post or page and add different types of blocks such as text, images, lists and headings. You can also customize each block by adjusting its settings like font size, color, alignment, and spacing. Start adding blogs to your pages in this order:
Paragraph: This is the most basic and commonly used block, and it allows you to add text to your content. It’s a good place to start because it will help you get familiar with the block editor’s interface and basic editing tools.
Heading: The heading block allows you to add different levels of headings to your content. It’s important to use headings to organize your content and make it easier for readers to scan and understand. (Search engines also read headings to understand the hierarchy of your content)
Image: The image block allows you to add images to your content. You can upload images from your computer or choose from your media library. Images can help make your content more engaging and visually appealing.
List: The list block allows you to create bulleted or numbered lists in your content. Lists can help break up text and make it easier to read and understand.
Quote: The quote block allows you to add a quote to your content. It can be a great way to highlight an important point or add some variety to your content.
Once you’re comfortable using these basic blocks, you can start exploring other blocks like video, gallery, table, and more.
Remember to take it one step at a time, practice regularly, and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things!
Overall, learning how to use the Block Editor may take some time and effort at first but it the best and most rewarding place to start learning WordPress.
Is it easy?
That depends on how technically comfortable you are! If you can use Microsoft Word, then yes, I think you’ll catch on quickly to WordPress block editor. 🙂
Note on Contact Forms & Email
When creating a website, contact forms are essential for communication with visitors. This is because you do not want to type your email address into the pages in your website, to avoid spam. (more spam).
WordPress has several plugins that make it easy to add contact forms to your website. One of the most popular plugins is Contact Form 7. One of the easiest to use is Happy Forms.
- keep your forms simple: adding too many fields can lead to fewer submissions
- do not send from your personal email, use an SMTP plugin
- do not use this form for email newsletters
Your email sending server (SMTP) will not like you sending more than a few hundred per hour from your personal email. This is considered spam, and if you do this, your email will be added to blacklists. And no one will receive your emails. This is why we recommend an email marketing service provider.
We recommend Flodesk or Mailerlite for beginners.
Note on Search Engine Optimization
If you’re new to WordPress, the concept of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) may seem daunting. However, it’s an essential part of creating a successful website that attracts and retains visitors. SEO involves optimizing your site’s content and structure so that search engines like Google can easily crawl and index your pages.
One important factor in SEO is keyword research. This involves identifying the words and phrases that people use when searching for information related to your site’s topic. Once you have this information, you can strategically incorporate these keywords into your content, meta tags, headings, and other elements on your website.
In addition to keyword research, there are many other factors that contribute to a well-optimized website. These include things like page load speed, mobile responsiveness, user experience design, backlinks from reputable sources, and more. While learning about all of these factors may seem overwhelming at first glance, with practice and patience it is possible to become proficient in optimizing your WordPress site for SEO success.
Again – we recommend starting with the block editor while your site is in maintenance mode. Before you go live, you will want to know a bit about SEO and also security. Let’s get into that next.
Note on Security
When it comes to learning WordPress, security is a critical aspect that should not be overlooked. WordPress is one of the most popular and widely used platforms for creating websites, which makes it vulnerable to cyber attacks. Therefore, it’s essential to take note of the security features that come with WordPress.
Firstly, always ensure that you select a reputable web host who offers strict security measures such as firewalls and regular backups.
Secondly, keep your plugins and themes updated; outdated plugins are known to cause vulnerabilities in your website’s security.
Lastly, implement strong passwords for both your WordPress admin account and FTP accounts.
TIP: you do not need a security plugin if you do the above 3 things.
By following these simple steps mentioned above in securing your site will give you peace of mind knowing that you have taken the necessary steps in keeping your online presence safe.
Note on Development and Coding Languages
When it comes to learning WordPress, the development and coding languages you need to know depend on what kind of customization or functionality you want to add to your website. As a beginner, HTML and CSS would be the starting place. If you want to learn by experimenting we recommend the free W3Schools website. If you would like to be more methodical, WordPress is an open source CMS (content Management System) and there are thousands of great courses available online. I’d start with Linkedin Learning if I were you.
Overall, while having some familiarity with development and coding languages can make customizing WordPress easier, it’s not necessary for most situations. With the vast array of resources available online and the user-friendly interface of WordPress itself, even beginners without much technical expertise can create professional-looking websites in no time.
Further Learning Options
If you want to dive deeper into WordPress, there are plenty of further learning options available. One popular approach is to enroll in courses on platforms like Udemy or Coursera. These courses will typically cover everything from the basics of setting up a WordPress site to more advanced topics like theme development and custom plugin creation.
Another option is to attend workshops or bootcamps that focus specifically on WordPress. These events usually offer hands-on training and personalized assistance from experienced developers. They can be a great way to accelerate your learning curve and gain practical experience working with the platform.
Finally, if you prefer a more self-directed approach, there are countless resources available online for learning WordPress. From documentation on the official website to forums and blogs like ours – there’s no shortage of WordPress information out there.
TIP: Our youtube channel answers lots of questions via video tutorials
Conclusion: Is Learning WordPress Hard?
WordPress can be challenging for some people, especially those who are reticent to dive into new software.
However, with the help of tutorials, guides, and me!, many people find that they can learn the basics of WordPress relatively quickly.
WordPress has a user-friendly interface, and the block editor makes it easier to create and manage content without needing to know HTML or CSS. With practice and persistence, most people can become proficient in using WordPress.