Resources

One of the best parts of using WordPress is that so many other people use it! This means there are tons of other resources for every learning style available to help you extend your skills and troubleshoot problems.

Search Engines

Because so many different sites offer WordPress resources, a search engine is often a the best place to start. Search for “WordPress how to __{your search term}__” or “WordPress __{your search term}__ tutorial“. For example, you might search “WordPress how to delete widget” or “WordPress menu management tutorial.”

Videos

If you like to watch someone else do a task from start-to-finish, videos are for you!

Start with WP101.com which offers an excellent set of free videos and a paid subscription plan for more if you like those. The similar “WordPress 101” free videos from iThemes.com are also excellent. The “How to” videos on WordPress.tv show an older interface, but most of the information there is still correct.

For learning more about WordPress in general, not just how-tos, the hundreds of presentations on WordPress.tv are valuable for people of all skill levels.

WordPress for Nonprofits Podcast

There are plenty of podcasts about WordPress, but there’s a relatively new one that’s specifically for nonprofits using WordPress: the WordPress for Nonprofits Podcast. Host Andy Stitt chats with nonprofit staff using WordPress and WordPress consultants who specialize in working with nonprofits (including yours truly!).

Screenshots

I’m a big fan of annotated screenshots for learning. With this style, you find the screen you’re on and then see exactly what each button, link, and field on the screen does. For this type of instruction, I turn to Easy WP Guide. As an example, here are their instructions for adding a user or inserting images into a page.

Written Instructions

People often reference the WordPress “Codex,” a wiki of WordPress documentation as a good source of information. However, this is often overly-technical for beginners and is becoming increasingly out-of-date. While there is still good information on it, it’s not the one go-to source many promote it as.

Instead, when looking for tutorials or how-to guides, I turn to search engines (see above!) to try to find the best possible tutorial that’s located on some blog or site I’ve never heard of!

Books

When I was getting into WordPress, I got a copy of Digging Into WordPress and loved it! It’s available in both PDF and print and they’ve generally kept it updated for as long as I’ve had my copy. When you buy a print copy, you get access to updated PDFs forever, so you don’t need to worry about falling too far behind.

Unsurprisingly, there are hundreds of other books about WordPress, including many in popular book series like WordPress for Dummies (by a well-known WordPresser) and WordPress: The Missing Manual.

Meetups & WordCamps

There are thousands of WordPress events every year across the world. Meeting people in person is hard to beat, and most WordPress users are excited to share their knowledge with less-experienced users. See if there’s a local Meetup near you or if there’s a WordCamp conference in a city near you (normally only $20 for an entire day of WordPress!).

Online Communities

If you work for a nonprofit or work with lots of nonprofits, consider joining the Nonprofit Technology Network’s (NTEN) WordPress “Community of Practice” (CoP). It’s free to join even if you’re not an NTEN member!

There are also lots of social network communities like WordPress for Nonprofits or All About WordPress on Facebook where you can ask questions and get help from other users.

Q&A Support

There are lots of forums where you can ask questions about WordPress to hopefully get help. The primary one is the WordPress.org How-to and Troubleshooting forum. If you have more technical questions about code in WordPress, I highly recommend the WordPress StackExchange forum.

If your questions are about specific themes or plugins, make sure that you request support in that theme or plugin’s specific forum on WordPress.org or elsewhere.

When asking a question or for help, do the following:

  • Search first. Make sure your question hasn’t already been answered. A quick search can sometimes get you an answer faster than a new post.
  • Read the instructions! If forums have specific instructions for posting, read them and follow them exactly. Look for “pinned” topics at the top of a forum, often the location of instructions and notices.
  • Be appreciative and gracious! Nice questions get better answers.
  • Be specific. Provide links to pages, copied-and-pasted error messages, screenshots of problems, and anything else you can do to explain your problem/question and how to recreate it again.

If you want to read even more about good bug reports, check out “How to Report a Bug.”