DOTW: Learning WP! And staying up to date - share your fav resources (Participation = 3+ Points)

This week’s DOTW is about learning WP and staying up to date with the ecosystem, at least the important(to you) bits. There is an enormous amount of WordPress related content being published every day - let’s find out how everyone here is consuming it, if at all.

1. How did you get started with WP?
2. How do you stay up to date with the WP world?
3. What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now? (Bonus +3 Hero Points)

You can name as many as you like! I'll go ahead and start with our blog and The WhiP, not biased at all of course :p

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-At least one comment = 3 Hero Points
-Share at least one resource for #3 = +3 Hero Points
-Must participate within 7 days of original posting date to earn Hero Points
-DOTW = Discussion of the Week
-Last DOTW: WEB DESIGN! WHAT IS YOUR DESIGNING PROCESS?

  • Greg

    1. How did you get started with WP?
    I wanted to change job and lied on my CV in order to avoid going back to school. Once I got hired, I spent hours and hours looking online how to get things done.

    2. How do you stay up to date with the WP world?
    The Whip, obviously ! And other blogs and ressources I've subscribed to year after year.

    3. What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now? (Bonus +3 Hero Points)
    The Whip !
    Otherwise, I like Matthew Woodward, Impact BnD, Unbounce, CrazyEgg and Buffer, that covers pretty much anything you need to stay up to date or get started.

  • Simplebutcreative Media

    I can't remember how I got started or what attracted me to it. All I can remember was Thesis Framework was at the very beginning of this journey. I think my internet marketing mentor more than likely introduced me to the world of Wordpress.

    I definitely learned a lot from using the Thesis framework. I tried Genesis framework but I like Thesis way better. Then I caught onto ET in its early days.

    Nowadays, I use WPMUDEV since I'm all about multisites and ET Blog for resources. I also use wptavern, wp beginner and other DIVI related blogs. Youtube has been a big help especially for DIVI related things.

    As far as resources, I would recommend ME lol. The information is out there BUT what I've noticed is that people need that personal feel. Instead of vague instructions people want to see what someone did. The instructions can be written in a first person perspective of how they achieved to get a wordpress blog started for example.

  • Danny

    1. How did you get started with WP?

    Many moons ago I needed a platform to build niche sites full of spun content as quickly as possible, Wordpress was a no-brainer at the time and I've stood by it ever since; I love the direction it is going with Gutenberg

    2. How do you stay up to date with the WP world?

    Whip and your blog are my go-to, as well as a Feedly stream which includes Google alerts for "Wordpress" and the following blogs:
    Delicious brains
    iThemes (not a member FYI, WPMUDEV is better)
    Manage WP
    Post status
    Web Dev Studios
    WP Tavern
    WP Beginner

    3. What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now?

    WPMUDEV, Wordpress Codex & highest rated Udemy Wordpress courses

  • Roman Sajdik

    Hello everyone,
    with WP I started about 3 years ago, in 2015. Before that, I created web pages by writing code in HTML / CSS. But it was not enough and after a few attempts I started working with WP. Today I only work with WP.
    2) I've tried several ready-made templates, especially working with themes that have a well-crafted WPBakery Page Builder. WP Bakery is a great helper!
    3) My verified resources: Envato (themeforest.net), WPML (wpml.org), NextGEN Gallery (imagely.com), Gravity Forms (gravityforms.com)

  • ROIverhogen

    1. How did you get started with WP?
    I started working with WP in an internship. I started out with html/css and then Laravel. We've had WP lessons in school before but I didn't like it as all we did was just the basics of theme making. I didn't see the point of it until I started working with an actual great theme. The time it takes to create a website and no longer having to make your own CMS was bliss.

    2. How do you stay up to date with the WP world?
    To be honest... I don't. Unless it's some great impactful update I don't follow the WP development. I know I should but I don't have much time left for it.

    3. What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now?
    Find a few big themes with big communities behind it and just start fiddlin' around on localhost. This way you can work with different builders. See which you like the most. Now you've worked with multiple builders so you can find the basics, you can start maining a builder to become faster and better. The communities are what keeps you updated and where you can ask questions or find troubleshooters

  • mbitcon

    1. How did you get started with WP?
    After trying out Contao and later on Typo3 one day I learned about a new system called WordPress, installed it and fell in love with it :wink:
    2. How do you stay up to date with the WP world?
    I am subscribed to a Wordpress newsletter in German language as well as the Whip of course...
    3. What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now?
    That depends very much on what you want to do with wordpress. If you "only" use it to create websites, I would very much recommend the blog over at elegant themes and the WPMUDEV Forum.
    If you are more into programming your own Plugins, start with the Wordpress Codex and searching for "Wordpress plugin function x tutorial" where function x should be what you want to achieve...

  • Colleen

    I got started with WordPress in 2004 when I wanted to learn how to litigate as a pro se litigant. I needed a way to communicate with the public with the hopes that lawyers out there would take pity on me after reading my posts, and tell me the correct way to litigate. I was up against 14 lawyers.

    They were really really really mad at me. LOL

    I did a search on journal type sites and up came WordPress, which was easy to learn. Only two lawyers found my blog amusing enough to make some corrections in the way I was learning to litigate, however, my blog was read by the DOJ (one of which lawyers told I should become a lawyer) and several government people downloaded my site.

    I spent seven years in five courts against 14 lawyers, but when the cases ended, I had developed a very good knowledge of WordPress and have not looked back since.

    My best resource is to jot down what I want my site to do, then research how other people are making it happen for their sites. This can be a bad thing too, because if you get too many plugins, it's not good for your server limits.

    I have eliminated a lot of plugins just by being a member of MPMU DEV and it's nice to have a hub. I'm working on setting up my first membership site and just learning as I go. Trial and error and hope I don't crash. That's how I roll.

  • lance aligiannis

    too much... way too much... i just wait for things to jump out at me or unless someone suggest somethin.. or im searching for a particular function.. i think only God knows everything that wordpress is up too!

    i started using wp once i became aware of it... so i didnt have to hand code sites from scratch all the time.... first i just created cool static themes... still i just focus on making things look ace! n function great too...

    someone starting.... pay someone else.... depends on their level n wat they want to do. point them to utube n builder vids...

  • Clay Hess

    I am a full stack developer/designer (FSDsquared)...so I have to stay up to date on a lot of tech beyond just WP.

    How did you get started with WP?

    I have been doing web dev for a while and when CMS' first came out, I saw a huge benefit in them. They have come a long way. I did not start out using WP because when it was a 'baby', it pretty much was just for blogging and I needed more. I used several (Mura, Joomla, etc.). I moved to WP a few years back as a result of an annual business practice audit I performed. WP had advanced well beyond the simple blog stage and I felt it was robust enough to meet business needs.

    Full disclosure, I was still somewhat reluctant due to my not looking to favorably on PHP itself. As I reflected on it though, my distaste for PHP was not due to the language itself, but because of all the "garbage" PHP I had stumbled across. I am fairly anal about my code (organization, standards and documentation) and there are a lot of folks out there that get involved in PHP and have never been taught proper standards. I realized that I shouldn't blame the language for the actions of some of the users of that language.

    I have been very happy with the switch. I like that I do not have to spend as much time developing my sites and can build the businesses instead. Plus it frees me up to work on some of my pet projects.

    How do you stay up to date with the WP world?

    Whip
    Twitter
    Various blogs

    Beyond just WP, I spend at least an hour a day on average learning something new. I have a bunch of people I follow. I also use PluralSight, Lynda, General Assembly, etc. In fact, too many to boringly list here.

    What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now?

    If someone is just getting started in the web world, I would not recommend beginning with WP. I recommend starting with HTML, CSS and JS. You can build a ton of stuff with just those technologies. Also, the knowledge is ubiquitous (StackOverflow). So just consume info and build...go hands on. Once the individual feels comfortable with those technologies, then move on to server-side languages (PHP, C#, Node - not really a language...lol) and then begin working with WP. Having an understanding of the underlying structure of the PHP language will help immensely...not with the "normal" WP stuff, but when you begin to get detailed or debugging.

    For example, I had a site recently that was pitifully slow and I could not understand why. I installed Query Monitor and it pointed me in the right direction in the db (a good knowledge of MySQL and MSSQL is a bonus as well). If I did not have the knowledge to understand what was occurring under the "hood", I would not have been able to solve it.

  • Matthew

    1. How did you get started with WP?

    - Started working on my own website when I managed by bookkeeping business and found it more interesting than running that business. The rest is history.

    2. How do you stay up to date with the WP world?

    - The Whip!
    - Researching and trying new theme

    3. What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now? (Bonus +3 Hero Points)

    - Get stuck into it by editing CSS/PHP files
    - Make sure you have automatic backup in place to commence
    - Udemy
    - WPMU Academy - still have to finish the courses!

  • Jaxom

    Brilliant topic Tyler Postle

    1. How did you get started with WP?
    Back in the days of Version Duke I discovered WordPress and built my 1st website using exclusively WordPress with Version Ella. I have never looked back from there and it was my hobby until my accident in 2008. Since 2011 I have built a small WP Support company and built the company to work around my disabilities so I am not defined by them, we have a nice small client base and now even offer hosting on our custom built servers.

    2. How do you stay up to date with the WP world?
    The Whip
    The Codex
    WP Beginner - Just because you think you know everything you can always learn something new
    Research - which is one of those never ending things :yum:
    Trying New Themes and plugins on our test bed site

    3. What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now?
    The Whip
    WPMU Academy - Also Still Have to finish when I can find the time :thinking:
    The Codex
    WP Beginner

  • Manuel

    1. How did you get started with WP?

    I joined WP through WPMU DEV basically. In a nutshell ‘Not knowing about the difference between the back end from the front end ”

    2. How do you stay up to date with the WP world?

    I read everything and anything as everyone else interested in learning about websites and word Press.
    Too much out there, and as I said in another DOTW ‘no human being will ever be able to learn everything about WP that exist at the present time, let alone addon's in the future. An enormous quantity of learning, about themes and plugins as well hosting/FTP applications and other Data aplication(s).

    3. What resources would you recommend to someone just getting started now?

    Also I would say, 'the our blog and The WhiP' and many more threads posted by the various wp internet providers. Clark from InVision, wp Engine, Elegant Themes and similar ones.
    Another good source of learning is to follow the wp forums.
    In the case of wpmu dev, subscribing to all or most of all their threads, Q/A in Support, and see how these problems are resolved, half resolved or not resolved at all. (The thread(s) is/are cut too short sometimes!)
    P. N. I wouldn’t advise these wpmu dev members, these just getting started and without wp basic knowledge, to adopt wpmu dev Academy teachings.
    These can be/look too advanced and confusing for newbies. :confused: These courses fail to go over the ‘basics’ most fundamental requirements to start learning about wordPress functions and applications.
    Yes, there is a lot of basic information on the internet, and these links are provided, but if like me, and without being rude, ‘Not knowing about the difference between their back-end from their front-end’, their 'trial' leads to no go.:busstop:

  • splaquet

    I actually started using WordPress on accident, which led to necessity.

    My website building started when I accidentally found a few advanced features in early Photoshop. I was able to animate, slice, and export HTML pages.

    I actually just found a few old pages, from waaaaay back when
    (my current site is still about 10 years old :cry:)
    http://splaquetdesigns.com/pi.html

    I had heard about WordPress from friends and colleagues, along with a few other CRMs. Seemed like the way to go, to avoid manually coding scripts. Embedding an event calendar into a static HTML site was my first experience. I had no idea of the real power until after that job. ...been using it ever since!

    Staying up to date with everything seems to almost comes with the territory at this point. Having the proper "go-tos" on hand, like WPMU and other community driven resources, helps with the learning. It feels as though community interaction allows for learning to come a little more natural. Helping others with problems that you've overcome and reading about others' experiences to help tackle your own issues will keep you on your toes.

    It might be coincidental, but it now feels as though moving from free to paid resources was a defining moment in my education. It's amazing how much time you save in the end, and time is money!

    At the moment, and if they had the budget, I'd recommend a subscription to Elements.Envato.com & WPMU. That'd probably cover all of the initial resources that anyone should need for a while.

    I sure wish that someone was around to help show me the ropes back when. I often feel as though being self taught (and self employed) was/is probably my largest hurdle.

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