How to Learn WordPress and Grow Your Business
Did you know that WordPress powers around a third of all websites on the Internet?
At its core, WordPress is a free, open-source website builder. It’s easy to manage, customize, SEO-friendly, and secure. Most importantly, it can be used without any prior coding or website experience. This makes it ideal for small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs just getting started building a website or working on a tight budget.
However, one of the best parts about WordPress is the strong community behind it and the wealth of resources that allow you to not only build a great website but learn how to scale your business.
In this post, we’ll share how to use WordPress to build your website as well as different resources available to you, including WordCamps, webinars, online tutorials, and courses.
Use WordPress To Power Your Website
Before we launch into how WordPress can help you teach—and learn—let’s look at WordPress itself.
One of the common misconceptions is that WordPress is just for blogs. However, it actually works well for everything from info products and courses to e-commerce sites. There are two versions of WordPress—wordpress.com, which is hosted by Automattic, and WordPress.org, which requires you to install it on your own hosting.
Many users find that WordPress.org gives them the added control and flexibility that they need for their website. The first step of using WordPress.org is to find a web host. At Namecheap, we make this process even easier with EasyWP, managed WordPress hosting designed to democratize and streamline the process of building and managing a WordPress website.
Besides creating the main, online hub for your business, here are some additional ways that you can use it, including:
- Start a blog to improve SEO, increase traffic, and establish authority and expertise.
- Create an online community and a network of loyal customers.
- Develop a knowledge resource or FAQ section to answer prospect and customer questions efficiently.
Teach People Specific Skills Using LearnDash
WordPress gives you a chance not just to consume educational content, but also produce your own courses. LearnDash, a learning management system (LMS) plugin, is one such tool that lets WordPress users share their knowledge through self-hosted courses. Through a simple drag and drop interface, you can create lessons for your students, employees, customers, or clients.
One popular model is charging a monthly fee for access to a password-protected site and releasing new training courses through it. But the course doesn’t have to be the product itself. LearnDash courses can also be used for running other aspects of your business.
For example, if your product is complex, you can create courses to teach customers how to use it. Yoast, a WordPress SEO plugin, is a prime example of this. The company teaches its customers how to use their product with SEO-related courses (a.k.a. Yoast Academy) created with LearnDash. This gives customers a hands-on learning experience that allows them to test their skills.
You can also use courses for in-house training purposes. In this example, Infusionsoft, a marketing automation software company, uses LearnDash to standardize their training process. This resulted in an effective onboarding system and reduced training overhead.
WordCamps are informal user conferences that gather WordPress communities together to network and share ideas. In fact, there are 10-20 WordCamps hosted each month around the world.
At WordCamps, WordPress users meet in person to listen to speakers covering a range of topics from plugin development to site security. For example, the latest Dallas / Forth Worth WordCamp had beginner-friendly topics on the roster like “WordPress 101” and more advanced discussions such as “Build your first custom Gutenberg block.
What’s great about WordCamps is that not only can you attend to learn both cutting-edge WordPress skills and information to build websites or boost your business, but you can also speak on an area of your own expertise. All WordCamps post calls for speakers shortly after announcing each event, and you don’t have to be famous or an experienced developer to propose a talk. In fact, speaking at a WordCamp is a great way for you to get your name out there, give back to the community, and share in the global WordPress educational efforts.
Want to know more about WordCamps? Automattic has curated videos from WordCamp presentations around the world on its website, WordCampTV. For example, typing ‘marketing’ in the search bar will show you a list of WordCamps presentations that can help improve your marketing efforts for your own WordPress site.
Pro Tip: In WordCamp Europe, they even produced this survey on the state of WordPress.
Watch WordPress Online Videos, Tutorials, and Webinars
There are plenty of platforms out there that are dedicated to providing the right tools to help WordPress users improve their websites and businesses including WordCampTV, Automattic’s YouTube Channel, Udemy, WPBeginner, LinkedIn Learning, and our blog.
Automattic’s YouTube Channel
This YouTube channel run by WordPress’s parent company is chock-full of helpful tutorials. Many of the tutorials include actionable tips for WordPress users to improve their sites. “How to Increase Traffic to Your Website” and “Four Simple Tips for a More Secure Website” are examples of the types of instruction you’ll find with Automattic.
Udemy has a course for almost any topic you can think of. This includes those on running a business with WordPress. Doing a search for ‘WordPress’ reveals thousands of videos on the topic from broad tutorials like “WordPress for Beginners – Master WordPress Quickly” to more specific videos like “Creating a Membership Site with WordPress.”
WPBeginner is a resource site that includes WPBeginner’s WordPress 101 video tutorials. These video tutorials are designed to teach beginners the basics of running their own WordPress website. In addition to the free video resource, WPBeginner features a blog that helps rookie WordPress users learn the ropes with detailed guides.
A few of the most popular guides on WPBeginner include:
- How to Make a WordPress Website in 2019 – This in-depth post covers the steps of creating a WordPress site such as choosing a web host. It also provides resources to further develop your businesses like adding an e-commerce store and starting a podcast.
- 61 Best Free WordPress Blog Themes for 2019 – If you’re stuck on picking a theme or wanting to give your website an updated look, this guide compiles and compares the top free themes for the year.
- Best WordPress Tutorials – This isn’t a single guide, but a roundup of WPBeginner’s best tutorials. This page is worth bookmarking and checking for new additions.
Lynda.com and LinkedIn have paired together to offer LinkedIn Learning. LinkedIn Learning combines premium LinkedIn features like the ability to send in-mail with Lynda.com’s full tutorial video catalog. This combination of educational content and networking capabilities is perfect for entrepreneurs looking to grow their WordPress skills and connect with other professionals in the same field.
LinkedIn Learning has put together a collection of tutorials dedicated to teaching you how to develop your WordPress site. You can search for videos by level (beginner, intermediate, or advanced) and by the time to complete.
Check Out More of Our WordPress Resources
We regularly share WordPress content on this blog. New content is posted frequently that teaches you business skills and best practices for growing a successful online presence.
Here are some posts worth checking out.
- You can do it! WordPress is not Rocket Science
- How much does a WordPress website cost in 2019?
- Getting your feet wet with the WordPress Dashboard
- How to overcome the limitations of WordPress.com
In sum, whether you’re already using WordPress or have yet to get started, these resources and communities can help you make the most of your website and grow your business.