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Why Google Isn’t Always the Best Tool for Learning WordPress Basics


For many years I spent a good amount of my time training people in WordPress, both online and in-person, I have heard my share of frustrations. Especially from those just starting with WordPress. The fact that  everyone’s learning style was different didn’t make it any easier.

Many people using WordPress for the first time will use Google to try to find answers to their questions.  But over the years this learning method has become more and more of a challenge. And when you think you have finally found that perfect set of video tutorials, well, the end results are not always what you expected.

Google can be great for that single question but to learn all the basics? Not so much.

Three Reasons Why Google Isn’t Always the Answer

1. Lack of Ordered Content

As with any technology, for lots of beginners, it works best to learn things sequentially. If you dive into one part without knowing what the other part does, it only adds to the confusion. Sure, there are those individuals who can easily pick up random pieces and figure out where they fit in the big picture. But most of us learn better when we master one step before moving on to the next. Random searches and tutorials won’t help you there.

2. Outdated Content

This is probably the number one thing you need to be aware of when it comes to tutorials around technology. Things change all the time. I cannot tell you how many times someone has visited one of my posts or even a video on YouTube and complained that they no longer see this one specific setting I showed them. Well,  the post date of April 22, 2011 might explain things. Remember, a lot of us who do massive amounts of content on our blogs don’t always update our posts. I do some of mine, but not all of them. So people need to pay attention to that date.

3. You Have Another Question—or Six

Let’s face it. We all love Google. And we love being able to find answers (myself included). But when you are just starting to learn something, learning one part can raise six more questions. And then you need to Google for six more answers.  See where I’m going here? They don’t call it the Google Rabbit Hole for nothing.

Should You Use Google?

This post isn’t about discouraging you from using Google to find useful content. In fact, chances are you might have ended up on this post by doing just that. Google is a must-have in our world of ever changing information and the explosion of do-it-yourselfers. But for many, WordPress can be frustrating to learn, and spending days Googling your brains out isn’t always the best use of your time.

Your Answer – WP101

As an online educator in the WordPress space, I have my favorite resources. And WP101 is at the top of the list. It’s been around a long time and was one of the first WordPress tutorial sites out there. I know the people behind the product personally and have built a friendship and partnership with them over the years.

The easiest way is to take those three reasons above and tell you why I recommend WP101.

1. Great Learning in a Sequence that Makes Sense for You

WP101’s  tutorial videos are concise, professional and ordered perfectly. You don’t have to listen to them in the suggested sequence, but I would. Each one plays on the other and will help you pull together your understanding of the WordPress basics.

2. Relentlessly Updated

Shawn, the voice behind the videos, updates them with each major release of WordPress. And if you know how often WordPress updates to a new and shinier version, well, these videos are a labor of love. And all videos are updated by the time the new version is officially released. On the dot.

3. Got Questions? Ask Away

With your membership you also get access to Shawn’s support forum. And this isn’t some ignored forum like others you may have encountered. It’s active. It has a ton of answered questions. In fact, I know that many individuals keep up their membership year after year solely for the forum access. That says a lot.

But Really, To Be Fair, It’s More Than the Basics

Besides tutorials to help you start on the basics, you will also find help on starting with WooCommerce, Jetpack and Yoast SEO, with more stuff in the pipeline that you will find listed on their site.

So you might be asking why am I writing a post dedicated to WP101? Because as an educator I know the importance of finding that sweet spot in your own learning. And I truly believe WP101 fits this spot for many who need to learn the WordPress basics without the hassle and, of course, I firmly believe in the product and the people.

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