Training Customers to use WordPress

When I tell my clients they will be able to update their site on their own, the most common response is disbelief. It’s easy to forget that people who don’t develop websites themselves aren’t aware of the latest tools and features available to them.

Also, many people have still not even heard of WordPress. I have had several initial meetings and when I brought up WordPress they had no idea what I was talking about. In those cases, it can be difficult to teach someone how to update their own site.

Basic Training

But this process is made easier with several tools. One of those tools is WP101.

From their site, you can, “Learn WordPress basics in less than an hour with our free WordPress tutorials! Then, continue learning with more advanced courses. Plus, get expert answers in our Q&A forum!”

I also install their plugin on all my clients’ sites, giving them access to all the videos from their dashboard. It even includes the ability upload and include your own videos, so I can add them for any custom features on their site.

Easy WordPress tutorial videos for beginners.
(Affiliate link)

Advanced Training

For those needing more customized training, I offer one-on-one WordPress coaching/tutoring services to answer specific questions and problems. This is great if you are building your own site and need someone to help with of the more technical aspects that you don’t have time to learn.

If you’re interested in working with me or have any questions about it, send me a message.


My favorite WordPress books

A quick review of some of my favorite WordPress books!

I already mentioned most of these in my recent post about learning WordPress, but here’s what I learned and other information about why they were helpful.

I typically enjoy reading books that are in a reference style, so it’s not only easier to skip around the first time, but I can come back later and find what I need easily.

Digging Into WordPress

Author: Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

This was my first book purchase specifically written about WordPress. It features over 400 pages of practical information about WordPress, from securing and maintaining your site, to customizing your theme, and more.

One of the coolest parts about this book is its binding, which allows you to lay it completely flat so it will stay open without holding it (which helps while coding).

Professional WordPress: Design and Development

Authors: Brad Williams, Hal Stern, David Damstra

I consider this book my “WordPress bible” because it is a complete explanation, guide, and reference for web design and development using WordPress. Just a few reasons to read it are (via

  • Offers an overview of the WordPress system and describes what happens when a WordPress-generated web page is displayed
  • Demonstrates extending WordPress through plugins and customizing it via themes
  • Combines a developer view of user experience and optimization with the deployment requirements for performance, security, and measurement
  • Includes code downloads and code samples from the book’s website

A Book Apart (Series)

This series of “brief books for people who make websites” is an excellent resource to start learning about current web design trends and technologies. So far I’ve read Responsive Web Design (Ethan Marcotte), Design Is A Job (Mike Monteiro), and Design For Real Life (Eric Meyer & Sara Wachter-Boettcher).

They are continually adding new books to the series, and they also make great gifts! 😉

Others Worth Mentioning

  • Designing with Web Standards (Jeffrey Zeldman)
  • Don’t Make Me Think (Steve Krug)
  • CSS Mastery: Advanced Web Standards Solutions (Simon Collison)

Got any other suggestions to add to my list?


Where I get answers to my WordPress questions

When I first started learning WordPress about 10 years ago, I frequently broke my personal website and quickly had to figure out the problem to get it back online. Luckily I also learned very quickly not to make changes to my code directly on my live site, instead working on a local installation of WordPess then pushing those changes once I knew everything would still work.


My Resources for Learning WordPress

Over the years I’ve found several useful resources for learning WordPress, whether as a designer/developer building themes or a user learning how to get the most of using it for your website. This is by no means an exhaustive list but the ones I’ve found the most useful.


How I Learned WordPress

I first discovered WordPress over ten years ago, when I was looking for a blogging tool that could also be used to make websites. I had been using Xanga before that, and MySpace even before that. Anyway, it came down to Blogger or WordPress, and I picked WordPress because it looked easier to customize.

I think I made the right choice.


Using WordPress for your Business

There’s plenty of competition out there for software to run your business website. Many proprietary companies make similar claims about how easy it is to use their service to build your own website. They claim you don’t need to be a web designer or know how to write code to create a beautiful and functional website.


WordCamp Lehigh Valley

I’m excited to be speaking at WordCamp Lehigh Valley this year! If you’ve never been to a WordCamp, here’s some information from their site:

What is WordCamp?

WordCamp is a conference that focuses on everything WordPress.

WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

We will have WordPress-focused talks, sponsors, networking events, swag, and an after party! It’s going to be a great day!

The event will be held at the Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, PA on July 16th. My talk will be at 2:20 in the Blast Furnace Room and I’ll be speaking about “The True Value Of Your WordPress Knowledge.”

The schedule has just been posted, so you can check out what sessions you plan to attend. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

Development WordPress

When to use a Child Theme

Question: When should you use a child theme with WordPress?

Answer: All the time.

Child themes are great because instead of modifying theme files, you can create your own page templates and custom CSS in a separate place. The reason for doing this is so you can update your theme in the future and not lose your changes.

How to create a Child Theme

This was a great talk by Lauren Pittenger I heard at WordCamp Scranton last year.



WordPress Podcasts

Since I have been working on my time management, I started using my work drive time (which is about half an hour each way) to listen to podcasts instead of music or talk radio. Needless to say this time has been much more productive and keeps me engaged while actively listening.