7 Steps To WordPress Success
What are 7 things that can help a WordPress user become more proficient in the use of the CMS? We have an idea as to what they may be – read on…
1. Ask the Right Questions: When faced with making a decision, we often overlook one key factor… asking the right question(s). Why this is is often attributed to the fact that we are either scared or overly eager to get to the next steps. So, what are some questions to ask about WordPress?
a- Does the platform plusses outweigh the minuses [for my usage]?
b- Do I have the right tech partner to support me in the tight spots?
c- Does my long term plan include maintenance and ongoing version upgrades?
2. Face the [good & bad] Facts: It does not matter how optimistic you are, there will be days and times when you may feel like WordPress is NOT the right CMS for you. But, you could be right. So don’t just shrug off that odd feeling. Try to revisit step 1 above and revise that + / – list. There is nothing wrong with justifying your position, but this is typically possible only if you have taken the time to document those great AND bad experiences.
a- Keep a running list of good and bad things you like/hate about the CMS.
b- Don’t brush off bad experiences, but don’t dwell on them too long either.
c- Look out for user errors – often it’s not the system or process, rather it’s the user [aka you].
3. Get some WordPress Wisdom: They say we learn by making mistakes, and don’t you be afraid to make them either. Early on in my web dev career a lead developer placed a “Destroy” button on a new application we were developing. I clicked it and the entire DB associated with it was gone just like that. Perhaps he thought it was a funny way of naming a delete button, BUT I wanted to see 1- what it was for, and 2- if it worked. I did, and so a few hours later he was ready for me to test some more only this time he renamed the Destroy button appropriately Delete. Lesson we learned? Don’t use none conventional nomenclature as it may NOT yield the desired results. So you can learn from your mistakes just don’t be afraid to make them.
a- Learn what the CMS does well.
b- Remember to always backup your work just in case.
c- Review new version release notes for there are reasons for upgrades.
4. Take A Bunch Of Baby Steps: Do you remember the first time you sat in front of a PC/Computer/Mac? I was in college and was tasked with creating a document, naming it, and saving it to a floppy disk. Disk in drive, document created and named, but where and how on earth was I to literally save it to where the floppy disk would store it? 15 minutes later, I still could not figure it out. Today, I pretty much do the same thing at least 2 times a day and just thought about it as I write this. I usually never do. I just create, name, save. Once I learned it – I almost never think about it. I just do it. Learning and using WordPress is no different [except for custom and advanced functions of course.] For the most part once learned we pretty much master it but only little by little. So learning the CMS is easy in retrospect much like everting else.
a- Ask yourself how much you have learned from day one.
b- Gain the confidence to continue to learn and improve.
c- When you notice something you don’t know about in WordPress CMS, take a moment to learn about it.
5. Make Leaning WordPress a Game: Do you remember how you learned your A,B,C’s? Singing a song dancing to the words, and making it a game. This is a simple yet effective approach to human cognizant learning. We learn by mistakes but we also learn when we are NOT aware that we are being taught or are partaking in the learning process. So, how does one make learning WordPress into some kind of game? Gaining knowledge is almost like a scavenger hunt to me. I try to figure out UI’s and where things are and how they work all day long. Funny how GoDaddy would have you manage DNS on a domain management access process, while say Media Temple allows you to go straight to the DNS zones editor and then select a associated domain to edit. Same thing but 2 distinctively different approaches. Learning is and must be fun. If not, then it is mechanical and tedious.
a- Remember how you use to learn and tap into that.
b- Become the expert by finding out how it works then sharing your knowledge.
c- Create a way for others to learn too by sharing your process online.
6. Give It [Your Knowledge] Away Now: Can you imagine how hard it would be to HAVE to learn everything we do in life from scratch? Let’s see – I had coffee this AM. So, I need to know how to plant, cultivate, select, roast, grind before I can brew a cup. No thanks! I like coffee but have no interest in learning all the steps to get it to market. No sir. So, if you have something to share – then please do. It does not matter if it is a wiki or intranet or FB… sharing what you know [at some basic level] is both rewarding and enriching life. When it comes to WordPress, try sharing both your frustrating as well as your successful moments. I do and it makes me such a better person – I know because you are reading this. For free!
a- I learned from free resources and thus I owe just a little.
b- Feel better about yourself and allow others to gain from your learned WordPress tips.
c- As they say – it takes a village.
7. Be Confident As You Master This: We all must start somewhere. If you are beyond the basics, Good for you – share. If you are just starting out – ask. And if you are reading the end of this post, you are one step closer to succeeding in what you started to do today.
Ask, face facts, learn, use baby steps, make it fun, give some away, and be confident! WordPress is challenging – all the more reason to make it work for you. As they say, nothing worthwhile comes easy right? Success to you can mean something totally different than the next guy. So, make your WordPress website a place where your audience can 1- find out what you are all about, 2- how they can reach out to you, 3- and most importantly make it uniquely your own.
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