Wordpress Tutorial. These Videos Teach You How to Use Wordpress
Wordpress: The Blogger's Choice
To Learn How to Use Wordpress You Need a Good Teacher
Wordpress is the gold standard of Blogging Platforms. It is such a feature laden site that it's difficult to imagine what it's missing. I chose it for my blog about a year ago, having read reviews and comparison. An acquaintance who has a successful blog also strongly recommended it to me. If time management means anything to you, please read on.
So I made my decision and started writing blog posts. It was a maddening experience. As fine as this software is, using is not intuitive, at least not to me. The site never looked quite right to me. I wanted to put something here or there, but I was thwarted at every step. I looked to the help button, but was often directed to a forum that was populated by geeks with PhD's. Wordpress has no help desk, so it's up to you to get your questions answered. Part of the difficulty in using Wordpress was my inability to properly frame a question to search for an answer. I constantly had questions like: "How do I put a photograph here?" I can't blame Wordpress for not being able to answer that question.
Compare Wordpress to a writing site such as HubPages, on which this article is written. HubPages is not a blogging site but a site where writers post articles, or Hubs, on various subjects. It is not a blog but a community of writers. Like many writers, I have my own blog and I also post articles or Hubs on HubPages. On HubPages, the writer is surrounded by a community of fellow contributors, or "Hubbers," and they are all helpful. Wordpress and HubPages are similar in that they both use sophisticated software to prepare articles for online publication. HubPages is much more intuitive and easier to use, and you're surrounded by a community of writers who want to help.
You Can't Search Your Way Out of Every Problem - Sometimes You Have to Learn From the Beginning
Recently it dawned on me: I didn't know how to use Wordpress. I had jumped into the software thinking that any questions I had would be a simple "search" away from a solution. Before you post your first blog you have to learn how to use Wordpress. That may sound alarmingly obvious, but it reminds us that we have become captivated by the Google revolution that we can search our way out of any problem. Wrong! When you're dealing with something complex, you can't "search" your way to mastery; you have to learn it.
So I figured that there must be some instructional materials on YouTube. I came across a mother load of Wordpress tutorial videos. The one that I review here is the most extensive by far. It takes you step by step through Wordpress in nine lessons. The instructor is Robert Wimer from a company called Desire a Difference. He has recently set up a new website devoted to Wordpress. The site is is aptly named. Wordpress Tips, Tricks and Tweaks. He is articulate, clear speaking and an obvious expert in Wordpress. The great thing about a taped video tutorial, as opposed to a live webinar, is that you can stop and start the video as you click back and forth to your actual Wordpress blogsite.
In the remainder of this article I will give an explanation of what is in each Wordpress tutorial lesson, along with the corresponding video. If you are well versed in Wordpress, you may just want to check out videos on subject that you want to know more about.
Lesson 1 - Intro and Guide
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 1
In this video, Robert introduces you to Wordpress and explains the difference between Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org. I'm still not sure I understand why the company has these two distinctions, nor am I sure that I care. But this introductory video goes into much more than that.
Lesson 2 - The Dashboard
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 2
This is a very important lesson,. It takes you through the Wordpress dashboard in your administrative console and shows you the basics of handling all of the incredible features. You will always work from the dashboard, a common metaphor in modern software and used here by Wordpress as well.
Lesson 3 - General Settings
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 3
Here, Wimer holds your hand and brings you through all of the general settings on your administrator console. I realized that I didn't understand some of these basic tools until I watched these videos. There are functions contained in the general settings that you might not suspect were there. Pay close attention to this lesson. It will save you from frustration down the road.
Lesson 4 General Settings Part 2
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 4
All of the remaining general settings options are reviewed here. Wimer doesn't just say, "You can do this or that," he suggests options, gives reasons and shows you how it's done on the screen.
Lesson 5 Appearance Settings, Menus and Widgets
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 5
Wordpress has a vast number of "themes" that you use to customize your site. He goes over the benefits of various themes, and then drills down to help you design custom menus and install helpful widgets that perform various functions.. As you're watching the video you will constantly hit the stop button and click over to your blog to execute what you have just learned. When I chose my theme over a year ago I did not have the benefit of having watched this Wordpress tutorial. It took me many frustrating hours to get it right.
Lesson 6 - Adding Users - Guest Blogs
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 6
Many bloggers like to have other writers contribute blog posts, not just comments but actual posts. These are often referred to as guest blogs.This lesson shows you how to add multiple users for Wordpress collaboration. You can create your own community right on your blogsite.
Lesson 7 - Installing and Managing Plugins
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 7
Wordpress is amenable to downloading plugins, those wonderful little programs that can help your site to stand out. Most important is the Facebook "like" button, which Robert strongly recommends. He also shows you how to evaluate the quality of plugins. For example, you may see one that has a five star rating but only two posts, indicating that it's not very popular. He warns against going crazy with plugins and creating a site that's too busy with distractions.
Lesson 8 - Difference Between Pages and Posts
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 8
This is a very important lesson. Wimer goes into the difference between a page and a post. A page is typically static, such as a home page or a page that explains a product or a service. A post, on the other hand, where you write your new periodic content. A post is what blogging is all about. This video shows you how Wordpress can act like a regular website wit some static pages. Wimer also shows you how to order the priority of pages and posts.
Lesson 9- Inserting Media and Managing Comments
Wordpress Tutorial for Beginners Part 9
The final lesson takes you through the process of uploading media to your blogsite. It also shows you how to manage the comments field to prevent spammers from putting garbage into the comments. When I first started blogging using Wordpress I received a huge number of spams, most barely in English. Watch this video carefully. It will save you time and frustration.
It took me a week to finish all of the lessons, putting in a couple of hours a day. I was getting so frustrated with the complexity of Wordpress that I was about to hire a consultant. I wish I had discovered Robert Wimer and his terrific Wordpress tutorial a year ago. It would have saved me a lot of aggravation. I strongly recommend it to you.