WordPress is a fun CMS (Content Management System) that everyone loves.
WordPress makes things incredibly easy. It’s easy to build a website/blog using WordPress and its usability is also newbie-friendly. One can host their site within a couple of minutes– no wonder about 28.3% of all websites are powered by WordPress.
Once you get the hang of WordPress, you will find that WordPress offers a wider range of features that can drastically improve your website.
But, mastering WordPress can be a tricky task as the countless resources on the Internet can distract you from reaching your true goal.
Don’t worry though, we have got you covered. Here are 5 steps that will make you a WordPress expert.
1. Master the basics of WordPress
WordPress is huge. There are rooms for innumerable possibilities.
However, if you want to excel in WordPress, and possibly be a WordPress Professional, you will have to first master the basics of WordPress and how it works.
The best way to learn something is to do it, right?
That’s why that is exactly what you should do.
How to Start a WordPress blog walks you through all the important steps of building a WordPress Blog site from choosing the right plugins to SEO tricks and tips to boost your site’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking. The detailed step-by-step tutorial will have you running a fully functioning and beautiful WordPress site within an hour.
WordPress Tutorials for Beginners also has a great content (Text & Video) on learning WordPress if you are looking to gain an in-depth knowledge.
2. Learn the Languages
WordPress sites can be completely built without any knowledge of the languages that drive it. You don’t have to write a single line of code, and yet you can have an elegant website that is fully functional. That’s the beauty of WordPress, everything is ready for you.
But, to become a WordPress expert, you will need to have the technical knowledge of the languages.
HTML, CSS, and PHP are the core languages used to build and design WordPress sites.
Here is the recommended list of languages you need to learn.
HTML: HTML is the language of the internet. It is used globally to give the structure of the website. You will be able to create the pages for your website using HTML.
CSS: CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. CSS is used to style the elements in the HTML. CSS breathes life into HTML and is used for designing websites.
PHP: PHP is the programming language used by WordPress themes for the backend development. PHP sets up a connection with the database to feed our static website with dynamic data.
MySQL: You can query data from the database using MySQL languages. The database is where our contents (articles, pictures, etc.) are stored. WordPress uses PHP with MySQL to bring relative data to your website.
Learning these languages can be a daunting task, but the efforts will go a long way into making you a WordPress Expert. With the knowledge of these languages, you can customize your WordPress site as per your liking, and even contribute to the WordPress community.
Recommended Learning Resources
WordPress Codex is the official online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation. It will help you with all the necessary information regarding WordPress–its themes and plugins.
W3Schools is a website dedicated to providing free tutorials on the languages that are needed for web development. It’s very user-friendly and has a lot of examples for you to get started.
Udemy.com has tons of video content taught by professionals which will assist you to learn the languages.
3. Join the WordPress Community
After understanding the nuances of WordPress, and the languages used to build a WordPress site, it’s time to contribute to the community.
WordCamp Central is a community of WordPress users, moderators, developers, and contributors who meet to discuss on the betterment of WordPress. Meetups, just like WordCamps, happen all over the world but 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.
Join the forums, engage in discussions, and help the community improve, one step at a time. You can learn a lot just by being in the community of professionals.
4. Learn to Debug and Troubleshoot
There will always be some errors during the development stages of the product (WordPress themes or plugins), and every one of us has to troubleshoot the problems. And, debugging errors require a great deal of research and understanding.
Debugging is also beneficial as it brings up new ideas we hadn’t thought of before.
Debugging is a sure-fire way to make yourself feel like an expert. When you debug all your problems yourself without anybody’s help, you will learn so much about WordPress. Debugging teaches you to stay in control of your application and in control of your sentiments.
Encountering a bug is very annoying, but being able to debug the error? It gives a satisfactory feeling that can be seldom achieved.
Also, you can use the knowledge gained from solving your own problems to solve someone else’s problem. You can help yourself while helping others.
5. Build your own Plugin/Theme
After all the experience gained by troubleshooting your problems and getting the hang of editing themes, you are now ready to build your own.
If you are into designing, you could try building themes using existing frameworks or even build your personalized theme from scratch.
Or, if you prefer writing logical codes, why not pick up PHP to develop your own Plugins/Widgets? Your idea might be the next big thing, you never know.
WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP by Lynda has detailed tutorials on developing plugins for WordPress.
It is hard to define what exactly “WordPress Expert” is. But, if you follow all these steps successfully, you will soon master the advanced part of WordPress development.
And, eventually, with time and a lot of practice, you can become the Jedi of WordPress. Don’t forget to check our post: How To Start A WordPress Blog In 5 Minutes?