Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free

Why spend hundreds of dollars on WordPress training courses? Learn how to train your staff to use WordPress with our FREE WordPress step-by-step tutorials …

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For FreeDoes your business website run on WordPress? Over a quarter of all websites worldwide are powered by WordPress, so yours is probably too!

If you employ staff and your digital presence matters to your business, then it’s important that everyone in your team be trained to use WordPress effectively.

As we explain in The WordPress Paradox, almost every aspect of WordPress can be managed by non-technical users.

This means that anyone in your team can contribute to the growth of your business and help save money on the cost of hiring experts to look after areas like digital management and digital marketing.

For example, if your staff knew how to use WordPress effectively, your business could easily get the following done without having to employ website developers, or hire web programmers, web coders, or web support services:

  • Publish content online to promote your business, drive more traffic, and generate more leads to your website.
  • Add new pages and posts, edit existing content (e.g. pages and product descriptions), upload PDF files, images, videos, etc.
  • Manage, maintain, and keep everything in your website up-to-date, fully backed-up and protected from hackers and malicious users without touching any code (most of this can even be automated). This includes the core software, files, database, plugins, themes, content, pages, uploads, users, etc.
  • Add new functionality to your website (e.g. add e-commerce, newsletter signup forms, advertising banners, a membership site or directory, contact forms, image or video galleries, etc.) with a few clicks of the mouse using free or inexpensive plugins.
  • Change your web design entirely with a few clicks of the mouse using free or inexpensive themes.
  • Rearrange, tweak or improve the layout of your website and reconfigure user navigation menus in your site’s header, footer, or sidebar areas to improve visitor and user experience with a few clicks of the mouse using drag and drop widgets.
  • Test, improve, and automate marketing processes (e.g. SEO, traffic generation, list-building, sales conversion, etc.) and generate useful business and website reports (e.g. analytics, social engagement, etc.) using plugins and services that integrate easily with WordPress.
  • Troubleshoot common website errors.
  • And a whole lot more!

Training your staff to use WordPress effectively also saves your business time and money in areas like outsourcing, web development, web design, and technical support and helps to improve business efficiency, get better results online, boost team productivity and increase your competitive advantage.

The benefits of training your staff to use WordPress effectively

(The benefits of training your staff to use WordPress effectively)

Teaching and training people to use WordPress effectively, however, can be very challenging. As we explain in The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching, And Training New WordPress Users, although website developers are responsible for providing clients with training on how to use their new websites, they are often not the best people to train new WordPress users. Training is not their core business and they have no incentive to fully train and empower clients to manage their own websites.

As a result, many new WordPress users do not receive the kind of training that would help them get the most benefit from using WordPress and their websites end up being significantly underutilized or costing more money to maintain than it should.

You can spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on WordPress courses and digital skills training for your staff … or use WPCompendium.org!

At WPCompendium.org, we have invested many years into building a comprehensive FREE WordPress training system focused on helping non-technical users and small businesses grow a successful digital presence using WordPress. We provide hundreds of detailed WordPress step-by-step tutorials that you can use to train your staff to build, grow, manage, and automate your digital presence with no technical skills required and we’ll show you how to do all this at minimal cost … for FREE!

In addition to our detailed guide on how to effectively train new WordPress users, we have also created the practical 7-step training program below that will teach you and your team how to use WordPress … completely FREE of charge!

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days … For Free!

Train your staff to use WordPress ... for FREE!

(Train your staff to use WordPress … for FREE!)

Business Owner/Manager – Please Read This First

This WordPress training course is entirely self-paced. It consists of 7 practical lessons that can be completed in the user’s own time and convenience. Just refer members of your staff to this page and ask them to complete the training program below.

After a staff member has completed the tutorials and the action steps in the training program, they will not only have the knowledge, skills, and competence to perform tasks in vital areas like digital content publishing, digital management, and digital marketing, they will also know where to come to find answers and to keep learning about more ways to help your business grow online.

Before you begin training your staff on how to use WordPress, please make sure to do the following:

  1. Confirm that your site is actually powered by WordPress. If you’re not sure, ask your web host, website developer, or see this tutorial: Does Your Website Run On WordPress? How To Tell
  2. Make sure that you have admin access to your WordPress site so your staff can perform all of the tasks included in the tutorials. For security purposes, we recommend creating new user accounts for training new members.
  3. Ideally, your WordPress site would have been expertly configured to automate processes like backups, search engine indexing, social media marketing, etc. Not all website developers will do (or can do) this when they set up your website. An expertly configured WordPress site will automatically get your pages indexed on search engines and instantly syndicate your content on social media and other authority sites as soon as new content is published, and automatically perform other management and marketing tasks, like backups, add new subscribers to your list, etc.
  4. Make a complete backup of your WordPress site before allowing anyone to access your site’s admin area. See this section if you need help automating WordPress backups, or install a plugin like Backup Creator to perform 1-click backups.
  5. Optional: The businesses that get the best results online are those that are in complete control of their digital presence. To learn why most businesses are not in control of their digital presence and how to avoid this, we recommend downloading an e-book we have written specifically to help small businesses called The Small Business Digital Manager.

New WordPress Users – Begin Here

Let's learn how to use WordPress!

(Let’s learn how to use WordPress!)

Hello and welcome to our 7-part course on using WordPress. By completing the training below, you will gain valuable new digital skills and be able to better contribute to the growth and success of your team.

This course is easy to follow. Everything is explained using plain and simple language. No technical knowledge or coding skills are required. If you have basic computer skills and can click a mouse button or tap on a screen, you can master using WordPress with our training and our tutorials. All you need to do is go through the course below and complete all of the step-by-step tutorials and action steps. All the help and information you need is right here on WPCompendium.org. We’ve got hundreds of detailed step-by-step tutorials that you can refer to anytime you need help or want to know what to do next.

Are you ready to begin?

Great! Then let’s get started …

Lesson 1 – WordPress Overview

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free - Lesson 1

Goal: Learn about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress to manage and grow a business online.

The more you learn about WordPress and what you can achieve with it, the faster you will be able to help your business solve problems online, overcome challenges, and get better results like driving more traffic and generating more leads, more sales, more subscribers, etc.

WordPress is more than just a website or a blogging platform. It’s a digital vehicle that can take your business anywhere it wants to go. WordPress lets you build just about anything you can imagine online with no technical skills required … all you need to do is learn how to drive it!

WordPress lets you drive your digital vehicle wherever you want to go!

(WordPress lets you drive your digital vehicle wherever you want to go!)

Just like learning how to drive a vehicle involves learning lots of little steps until everything becomes automatic, learning how to get from where you are to where you want to go online with WordPress also involves learning lots of little steps until it too becomes automatic.

The first step, then, is to learn more about WordPress and where all of the work gets done in your WordPress site.

Lesson 1 – Objectives

In this lesson, you will learn about the following:

  • How to use and navigate around WPCompendium.org.
  • Why businesses use WordPress.
  • The benefits of using the WordPress Content Management System (CMS).
  • How to log into WordPress.
  • The WordPress Dashboard.
Lesson 1 – Action Steps
  1. Complete all of the tutorials listed below.
  2. Log into WordPress and learn how to navigate and use the WordPress dashboard (ask your manager for your login details).
  3. Install WPCompendium.org’s Chrome browser add-on (if you use Google Chrome’s browser, this free extension will bookmark the tutorials on your browser for easy one-click access).
Tutorials
Learn How To Use WPCompendium.org
  • Visit our Quick Start section (use this section until you are familiar with how to navigate around this site).
  • Visit this section to learn how to navigate around WPCompendium.org and find the information you are looking for quickly.
Learn About WordPress
Learn How To Use The WordPress Dashboard

Practical Tip

The step-by-step tutorials on how to log in and out of WordPress and how to use the WordPress dashboard can also be found by going here:

Click on the link above to access the WordPress User Guide and complete all of the tutorials highlighted in the sections below …

How to log in and out of WordPress and use the WordPress dashboard

(How to log in and out of WordPress and use the WordPress dashboard)

Install The Free Chrome Browser Addon

Congratulations! After completing Lesson 1, you should:

  • Know how to use this site to find answers about WordPress.
  • Have a better understanding of the benefits and advantages of using WordPress.
  • Know how to log in and out of WordPress.
  • Know how to navigate inside your WordPress dashboard.
  • Have installed the Chrome browser extension (if you use Google Chrome) so you can come back to these tutorials anytime with one click of a button.

Lesson 2 -Preparing Web Content For Publishing

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free - Lesson 2

Goal: To assemble the information you will need to publish content on your website.

In the Digital Information Age, content is not only ‘king,’ it’s also the global currency we use to communicate and transact online.

Businesses needs lots of digital content. Your business needs content for its website pages, blog, newsletters, product descriptions, post headlines, sales copy, social media, ads, articles, promotional pieces, news releases, customer training, FAQs, forum discussions, SEO meta descriptions, etc.

Great content helps your business:

  • Drive traffic to your website and social media pages
  • Keep your website relevant in the search engines
  • Educate prospects about your products and services
  • Convert visitors into new customers, sales, and subscribers
  • Keep readers, subscribers, clients, and users engaged
  • Train new clients, staff members, customers, subscribers, users, resellers, affiliates, etc.
  • Build trust, authority, and credibility online
  • Stay ahead of the competition
  • And a whole lot more!

Knowing how to create and produce good quality content, therefore, is one of the most valuable skills you can develop to grow your business online.

Lesson 2 – Objectives

In this lesson, you will learn how to prepare content to create a quality article or blog post to publish online with WordPress.

In this lesson’s tutorials, you will learn the following:

  • Why content marketing is important.
  • Tools that can help you organize your content ideas.
  • Tools that can help you write content more effectively.
  • How to never run out of content ideas for a website, blog, or social media.
Lesson 2 – Action Steps
  1. Complete all of the tutorials listed below.
  2. Research new content ideas.
  3. Come up with an effective title (headline) for your article.
  4. Create a 500 – 1,200 word article and save it as a text file.
  5. Source media (e.g. images, videos, etc.) for your article.
  6. Subscribe to our FREE Content Creation Email Course.
Tutorials

Before continuing to Lesson 3, make sure that you have completed the following:

  • You understand how to navigate and find information on WPCompendium.org (see Lesson 1 tutorials).
  • You understand the difference between WordPress Posts vs WordPress Pages.
  • You have created an article for publishing online. It doesn’t need to be formatted (i.e. plain text copy will do). If you have written your article using a word processor application (e.g. MS Word) that’s OK.
  • You have a title or headline for your new post or article (see Lesson 2 tutorials).
  • You have sourced images, videos, etc. for your article. If you don’t have any original images or videos, don’t worry. See the tutorial for sourcing free images and just find a video related to your topic on YouTube.
  • You have subscribed to our FREE Content Creation Course (you can also download the entire 120-lesson course as an e-book here).

Congratulations! After completing Lesson 2, you should have everything you need to publish content on your WordPress site in our next lesson.

Lesson 3 – Publishing Content On WordPress

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free - Lesson 3

Goal: To learn how to publish content on your WordPress site.

Businesses that understand the value of using content to get results online, take content marketing seriously, and get results online publish new content regularly.

Lesson 2 was all about learning about the process of creating, producing and publishing content and implementing systems to turn new content ideas into published content.

In Lessons 3 and 4, you will learn how to publish a web article or blog post on your WordPress site.

Lesson 3 – Objectives

In this lesson, you will learn about the following:

  • How to create a new Post in WordPress.
  • How to add a post title and content.
  • How to format your post content using the WordPress visual editor.
  • How to add a post excerpt.
  • How to optimize your content for SEO using WordPress features like post categories, post tags, and an SEO plugin
  • How to use WordPress publish settings and publish your post or article
  • How to edit and update your content and republish your article or blog post.
Lesson 3 – Action Steps
  1. Complete all of the tutorials listed below.
  2. Create a new WordPress post.
  3. Add and format your content.
  4. Optimize your content for search engines.
  5. Publish your content.
Tutorials
Creating A New WordPress Post

All of the step-by-step tutorials you need to learn how to create and publish a new WordPress post are already listed in their correct sequence here:

Click on the link above to access the WordPress User Guide and complete all of the tutorials highlighted in the sections below …

Learn how to create and publish posts and pages in WordPress

(Learn how to create and publish posts and pages in WordPress)

The tutorials in the above sections will take you step-by-step through the entire post creation and publishing process.

For this lesson, just focus on adding a text-based article or blog post to WordPress and learning how to publish it. In Lesson 4, we’ll go through the tutorials on editing your content and adding images and videos.

Info

As stated in the introduction section, this training assumes that your business already has a WordPress site set up and professionally configured (you can learn how to do this yourself using our Free WordPress installation and WordPress configuration tutorials, but this is your website developer’s job).

If so, your site should already have the following SEO features installed and configured:

  • Permalinks – This creates SEO-friendly URLs for your posts and pages. If configured correctly, there’s nothing you need to do here. Your post will automatically publish with an SEO-friendly URL.
  • Post Categories – If post categories have been set up correctly for your site, all you need to do is select the category that best fits your post before publishing. If no category is available, see our tutorials to learn how to add a new post category to WordPress.
  • Post Tags – This a built-in feature of WordPress. All you need to do is add relevant tags to your post before publishing.
  • SEO Plugin – With an SEO plugin installed (e.g. Yoast SEO), you can ‘instruct’ sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. how to display your content in their search results, post feeds, RSS feeds, etc.
  • Content Syndication – If your WordPress site has been expertly configured, your posts should automatically appear on your social pages (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) Note: not all website developers will set this up (you can learn how to do it yourself with these tutorials).

Congratulations! After completing Lesson 3, you should now know how to publish a new article or blog post on your WordPress site and how to optimize your post or page for search engines.

Lesson 4 – Using Media With WordPress

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free - Lesson 4

Goal: To learn how to edit content and add media to your posts and pages.

WordPress makes it easy to edit published content and add media elements like images, videos, audios, etc.

Lesson 4 – Objectives

In this lesson, you will learn about the following:

  • How to edit WordPress posts and pages.
  • How to add an image, video, or audio file to your content.
Lesson 4 – Action Steps
  • Complete all of the tutorials listed below.
  • Edit the WordPress post you’ve created in lesson 3.
  • Add an image, video, or audio file to your content, etc.
  • Save and republish your content.
Tutorials
Editing Content In WordPress

Revisit the tutorials on using WordPress posts covered during lesson 3 to learn how to edit your posts. These include the following:

Adding Media To WordPress

All of the step-by-step tutorials on how to use media with WordPress are included here:

Click on the link above to access the WordPress User Guide and complete all of the tutorials highlighted in the sections below …

Learn how to use media with WordPress

(Learn how to use media with WordPress)

Info

These tutorials explain how to upload media to WordPress using the WordPress media library. You can also store media on external or cloud storage solutions (e.g. Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) and add these to your WordPress posts.

For more information on using media stored on external storage solutions with WordPress, see the tutorials below:

Additional WordPress Publishing Options

Congratulations! After completing Lesson 4, you should now know how to edit content on your WordPress site and add media elements like images, videos, audio files, etc. to your posts and pages.

Lesson 5 – WordPress Plugins

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free - Lesson 5

Goal: To learn how to expand your WordPress site’s functionality and capabilities. 

WordPress plugins let you easily enhance, extend, or expand the capabilities of your site in almost limitless ways.

Whatever you can imagine doing online, there’s probably a WordPress plugin available that will let you do it.

Lesson 5 – Objectives

Today, you will learn about the following:

  • What a WordPress plugin is
  • Where to find WordPress plugins
  • What to do before installing a WordPress plugin on your site
  • How to install a WordPress plugin on your website
  • How to update WordPress plugins
  • How to delete WordPress plugins
Lesson 5 – Action Steps
  • Complete all of the tutorials listed below.
  • Make a full backup of your WordPress site.
  • Install WP TrainMe User Tutorials Plugin (FREE).
  • Install a WordPress plugin for adding table to your content (FREE).
  • Review additional useful plugins for your website.
Tutorials
Overview Of WordPress Plugins
Backing Up Your WordPress Site

Before installing any plugins on your WordPress site always make a complete backup of your WordPress software, files, and database. This way, if anything should go wrong, you can easily restore your website.

Backing up your entire WordPress site only takes a few seconds. Whether you decide to install new plugins or not, you should have a website backup system and your website developer should already have set this up for you.

If not, you can learn more about setting up an automated WordPress backup system using the tutorials below:

Installing WordPress Plugins:

In this lesson, we’ll install two FREE WordPress plugins …

  • TablePress – Click on the tutorial to learn how to install a plugin that lets you add tables to your WordPress posts and pages.
  • WPTrainMe WordPress User Tutorials Plugin – With the WPTrainMe plugin installed, you can access all of the tutorials on WPCompendium.org plus WordPress video tutorials from inside your WordPress dashboard.

WPTrainMe - WordPress User Tutorials Plugin Free Edition

(WPTrainMe – WordPress User Tutorials Plugin Free Edition)

Let’s install the FREE version of the WPTrainMe plugin, which gives you access to all of the tutorials in our How To Use WordPress training module, plus related video tutorials. You can upgrade later to the PRO version and get access to hundreds of video tutorials.

Install WPTrainMe Plugin

(WPTrainMe – WordPress User Tutorials Plugin)

To Install The WPTrainMe Plugin (Free Edition) From Your WordPress Dashboard:

  1. In your dashboard, go to Plugins > Add New.
  2. Enter wptrainme in the search box.
  3. Click ‘Install’ then ‘Activate’.
  4. You will need to authenticate the plugin in order to access and view the tutorials in the ‘Tutorials’ tab. Create a FREE WPTrainMe membership here to obtain your authentication (login) details: WPTrainMe Plugin Registration
  5. Enter your membership login details in the ‘Settings’ tab of the plugin to authenticate and begin using the plugin.

For more information, visit the WPTrainMe Plugin Documentation

Updating WordPress Plugins
Exploring WordPress Plugins

There are tens of thousands of WordPress plugins available. Go through the tutorials listed in the section below to explore just some of these:

Congratulations! After completing Lesson 5, you should now know how to enhance, expand, and extend the functionality of your WordPress site using plugins.

Lesson 6 – WordPress Widgets, Shortcodes & Menus

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free - Lesson 6

Goal: To learn how to rearrange the layout of your WordPress site using widgets, shortcodes, and menus

Widgets, shortcodes, and custom menus give you control of your WordPress site’s layout and functionality without requiring any technical knowledge or coding skills.

Widgets let you redesign areas of your site’s templates like the header, footer, or sidebars using drag and drop. Shortcodes let you easily insert complex elements like scripts into your content by simply typing in special words into your content inside square brackets (eg. [shortcode]). Custom menus let you improve your site navigation by adding (or excluding) selected pages, posts, URLs, etc.

Lesson 6 – Objectives

In this lesson, you will learn about the following:

  • What a WordPress widget is and what it does.
  • How to use and configure WordPress widgets.
  • How to rearrange the layout of your WordPress sidebar, header, footer, etc. using widgets.
  • What shortcodes are and how they work.
  • How to use shortcodes to add functionality and other elements to your WordPress posts and pages.
  • How to use and edit WordPress menus.
Lesson 6 – Action Steps
  • Complete all of the tutorials listed below.
  • Add some useful sections to your website using widgets.
  • Add a table to your article or blog post using shortcodes.
  • Add a new item to a header, footer, or sidebar menu
Tutorials
Using WordPress Widgets
Using WordPress Shortcodes
Using WordPress Menus

Congratulations! After completing Lesson 6, you should now know:

  • How to use and configure widgets in your WordPress site’s sidebars, header, and footer areas.
  • How to add shortcodes to content in your WordPress posts and pages.
  • How to customize, add, and edit links in your WordPress menus.

Lesson 7 – WordPress Maintenance

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free - Lesson 7

Goal: To learn how to perform basic WordPress site maintenance on a regular basis.

All websites require maintenance for security and improved performance. WordPress is no different.

Learning how to keep your WordPress site maintained, fully backed up and updated on a regular basis will not only save your business money on support costs, it is also essential for the peace of mind and security of any business with an active web presence.

Lesson 7 – Objectives

Today, you will learn about the following:

  • The importance of keeping your WordPress site maintained, fully backed up, updated and secure.
  • How to perform a simple WordPress maintenance routine in 5-10 minutes.
  • The importance of keeping your WordPress site optimized.
  • Issues that affect WordPress security.
  • How to troubleshoot common WordPress errors.
Lesson 7 – Action Steps
  • Complete all of the tutorials listed below.
  • Learn how to perform a complete WordPress maintenance routine.
  • Learn how to test your WordPress site’s mobile friendliness.
  • Learn how to perform a basic WordPress security audit.
Tutorials
WordPress Maintenance
WordPress Mobile Performance
WordPress Optimization
WordPress Security
WordPress Troubleshooting

Congratulations! After completing Lesson 7, you should know:

  • How to perform a complete WordPress site maintenance routine
  • How to keep your WordPress site secure, backed up, and up-to-date
  • How to troubleshoot common WordPress issues and errors
  • Where to get additional WordPress help and support if needed.

WordPress Training – Next Steps

Congratulations on completing our WordPress training program! We hope that you have learned a lot. Hopefully, now you have a better idea of just how powerful WordPress really is and how much you can do without having any technical knowledge or coding/web programming skills.

Once you master the basics of using WordPress, there is no limit to what you can do! We provide hundreds of FREE WordPress step-by-step tutorials for non-techies, including tutorials on how to drive more traffic, generate more leads, get more subscribers, monetize your site, and grow your sales online in our WordPress Business Strategies training module, which is also 100% FREE!

We encourage you to keep learning all you can about using WordPress to help your business grow online and come back to WPCompendium.org whenever you have any questions or want to learn more about WordPress.

Train Your Staff How To Use WordPress In 7 Days For Free

(Image: Pixabay)

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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Disclaimer: This site has no direct association with WordPress, Automattic, or any WordPress products reviewed on this site. We may receive financial benefits from the sale of third-party products or services advertised, endorsed or linked from this site. All images remain the copyright of their respective owners, comply with all license terms and agreements of use to the best of our knowledge and are used solely for illustrative or training purposes.

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The WordPress Paradox: If WordPress Is The Answer, What Is The Question?

WordPress Paradox: More technical service providers are offering WordPress services as WordPress evolves to make non-technical users less dependent on technical service providers. This is the paradox of WordPress …

Get Thrive Leads for WordPress

WordPress Paradox: More web service businesses are selling WordPress services to clients who could easily perform these services themselves!Consider this …

The typical smartphone user is not a mobile application developer and doesn’t need technical knowledge or expertise of how mobile phone technology works in order to get results with their mobile device.

The typical smartphone user can easily learn how:

  • Send and receive calls, video chats, and text messages,
  • Configure their phone’s settings,
  • Customize their phone with skins, screensavers, wallpapers, and other accessories,
  • Change the layout of their user interface by rearranging icons and folders on their screen top,
  • Enhance the functionality of their device by downloading and installing apps,
  • Update their software and apps automatically,
  • Backup all of their phone’s data and preferences,
  • Run a business from their phone,
  • And more … all without technical expertise or outsourcing the above tasks to mobile phone experts!

Smartphone users don't need technical expertise to use their phones.

(Smartphone users don’t need technical expertise to use their phones. Source: Pixabay)

We could argue, then, that smartphone users can have complete control of their mobile presence without requiring technical skills or hiring technical experts because smartphone manufacturers and mobile software and app developers have created a user-friendly framework that supports and empowers non-technical users.

In a similar kind of way, WordPress has also created a user-friendly framework that empowers and supports non-technical users.

The WordPress Paradox

The increasing popularity of WordPress as a web platform and its dominant position as as global market leader for CMS-driven websites means that more and more web service business will be offering WordPress services in the future.

Because WordPress offers powerful features, is free, and easy to install and set up, we can expect, therefore, to see more web service businesses joining the ‘WordPress Economy’ with the aim of providing non-technical users expert technical assistance and services like WordPress website installation, WordPress maintenance, etc.

WordPress, however, is also evolving as a technology and becoming easier for non-techies to use without requiring knowledge of coding or web development or using technical service providers. More WordPress functions and features now use wizards, visual interfaces, plug-and-play, drag-and-drop, copy and paste, shortcodes, ‘one-click’ processes, etc.

With WordPress, anyone can start, manage, and grow a digital presence on their own without technical skills and they can do it all at minimal cost. In fact, as our WordPress tutorials for non-technical users show, you don’t even need to hire a web developer or learn how to code to do the following:

WordPress, then, is continually evolving to make it easier for non-technical users to build, maintain, and expand their digital presence without employing the services of technical experts. Just like smartphone users, more non-technical WordPress users will be able to control all aspects of their digital presence without technical knowledge or skills and without hiring people with technical expertise to do things for them.

The paradox of WordPress, then, is that as more web service providers turn to WordPress and offer WordPress services to non-technical users, WordPress is also becoming easier for non-techies to use without employing technical web service providers.

The inevitable outcome of this paradox seems to be that more web service businesses will offer clients’ services they can easily perform themselves.

If WordPress Is The Answer, What Is The Question?

In “The Time Machine,” H. G. Wells’ classic sci-fi novel about time travel, humans have evolved into two separate species: the Eloi and the Morlocks.

The Eloi live on the surface and enjoy a leisurely life playing and basking in the sun. They have no understanding of technology, as everything they need is provided for them by the Morlocks.

Morlocks live underground. They build, operate, and maintain all of the machinery and technologies that keep the Eloi alive. Morlocks also depend on the Eloi to stay alive, but for a much darker reason …

The Future Of WordPress?

(Is this the future of WordPress? Image: Britannica.com)

Is this the future of WordPress? A world where only those who understand technology can operate the machinery and those who don’t will become entirely dependent on those who do?

The evidence seems to point to the contrary.

While many web applications and web technologies require technically-savvy users to install, manage, and run, this is not the case with WordPress. In fact, one can even argue that this goes against the greater implications of WordPress’ own mission to democratize publishing.

If publishing is to be truly democratized, then all who participate in the process must be able to understand it. Technological progress is often made when the end users themselves are allowed to participate in its improvement by contributing suggestions, feedback, and observations from their own user experience.

The problem, as you will soon see, is that WordPress is designed to benefit users who ultimately don’t really care about how the technology works and those who normally train users about WordPress don’t want them to learn how to use the technology to control their own web presence.

It’s like asking Morlocks to help the Eloi become self-empowered so they can look after their own needs when all the Eloi want to do is play in the sun and all the Morlocks want is for the Eloi to remain ignorant and dependent on the Morlocks.

As we explain in The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching, And Training New WordPress Users, even if website developers wanted to help their clients become self-empowered WordPress users, most lack an effective WordPress education and training system to do this.

The WordPress Paradox, however, poses a number of challenges for the ‘WordPress Economy,’ as it affects the WordPress services industry, WordPress users, and the future of WordPress itself.

To better understand this paradox and how to resolve it, let’s begin by asking questions:

Growth & Dominance Of The WordPress Platform

Q: Can WordPress continue supporting a growing services industry? 

WordPress is the world's most popular web building platform

(WordPress is the world’s most popular web building platform. Source: W3Techs.com)

WordPress is currently used by over a quarter of all websites around the world. It is also the world’s leading CMS platform. WordPress’ ease of use has contributed to a growing web services industry where tens of thousands of website, plugin, and theme developers continually help WordPress evolve and expand to make WordPress even easier to use.

Many industry experts and WordPress pundits predict that WordPress will continue to grow its current market share and eventually will power the majority of the web. This is not surprising, as many web developers and web designers love working with WordPress. They love the almost unlimited power and flexibility of its open source platform, its support community, its scalability, extensive plugin and theme libraries, and support for integrations with other technology platforms.

The significant increase in new website development businesses and agencies offering WordPress services is also fuelled by the fact that WordPress allows service providers to build professional and expensive looking sites with very low costs of production, high profit margins, and fast turnaround times.

WordPress, then, is a fantastic platform for web developers and web service providers.

What about for WordPress users?

Most WordPress Users Are Non-Techies

Q: Why aren’t more WordPress users starting, managing, and growing their own digital presence themselves? Why pay for services that you can easily do yourself?

In order for the WordPress services industry to remain viable and continue growing it needs end users who are willing to pay for web services. The obvious group of end users that comes to mind are the businesses who need a web presence.

In The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching, And Training New WordPress Users, we describe users like web developers as being technically inclined, and users who need help with technical areas like building and maintaining websites as being technically declined 

Are You Technically Inclined Or Technically Declined?

(A simplified categorization of WordPress users)

The WordPress Economy is made up of both technically ‘inclined’ and technically ‘declined’ users.

Ultimately, however, non-techies make up the larger group of WordPress users. They are also the reason for keeping the WordPress Economy alive and growing.

Non-techies comprise of users like businesses that need a web presence and who are averse to learning ‘technical’ stuff like coding and web programming languages. They are end users who keep web developers in business by paying for WordPress services like website installation, WordPress setup, and WordPress maintenance.

Technically inclined users need technically declined users to sell services to!

(Technically inclined users need technically declined users to sell services to!)

Technical people like web developers need non-technical prospects and clients to sell their services to. They need users who depend on using their web services to stay in business.

Non-techies, however, expect their web developers to train them how to use their websites to get better results online and show them how to be in complete control of their own web presence.

As we also explain in the challenges of educating, teaching, and training new WordPress users, however, providing new WordPress users with effective training is not easy for a number of reasons, including the inherent conflict of interest that exists between WordPress service providers and their clients.

WordPress Service Providers Vs WordPress Users: A Conflict Of Interest

For most non-technical users, their main source of accessing information, help, and advice regarding their websites is their website developer.

If a website developer builds a website for a client, they are also responsible for training their client how to use it. When clients pay for a website, most expect to be shown how to manage and control their own web presence.

If, like mobile phone users, WordPress users can learn how to easily build, manage, and do just about anything they need on their own websites with no technical skills required or outsourcing to experts, there is no reason why non-technical WordPress users can’t learn how to do it all themselves.

Empowering prospects and clients to run their own web presence, however, presents a conflict of interest for anyone trying to build a business based on providing basic WordPress services like WordPress installation, website building, web maintenance, etc. These businesses need clients to remain dependent on using their services.

This conflict of interest over providing WordPress education and training to non-technical users also leads to a paradox.

Website developers need dependent clients, while clients expect control and self-empowerment

(Website developers need dependent clients, while clients expect control and self-empowerment)

WordPress Service Providers Need Dependent Clients

Q: How do people who aren’t interested in ‘technical stuff’ like coding and building web sites become self-empowered WordPress users? 

Technical-minded users don’t need to pay for basic WordPress services. They can easily learn how to install, configure, manage, maintain, optimize, and protect their own WordPress sites by visiting the official WordPress Codex or using the many free WordPress resources and tutorials that are available online.

Most techie WordPress users are, in fact, self-taught DIYselfers. Many who learn WordPress also start businesses selling services to non-technical users …

Many technically inclined DIY WordPress users sell WordPress services

(Many technically inclined DIY WordPress users sell WordPress services)

Non-technical people, on the other hand, typically hire website developers because they are averse to learning technical stuff and believe that building and managing websites requires technical skills.

Hence, we can safely assume that most non-technical WordPress users will get their WordPress education and training from their website developers …

Most technically declined users learn about WordPress from website developers

(Most non-techies learn about WordPress from their website developers)

If …

  • Website developers are the gatekeepers through which information about WordPress gets passed on to non-technical users, and
  • People like website developers depend on non-technical users to keep their businesses going,

Then …

  • Why would service providers who depend on their clients for financial security and who control their clients’ access to information want their clients to control and manage their own web presence?

Why, then, would businesses that depend on selling WordPress services want their prospects or clients to know that WordPress:

  • Is 100% FREE,
  • Can be used to build and run professional websites for no more than the cost of a domain name and web hosting (i.e. less than $10 per month)
  • Can be installed in minutes,
  • Works pretty much right out of the box,
  • Can make any site look professional and amazing using FREE or inexpensive themes that are easy to install and configure,
  • Can be expanded to provide virtually unlimited functionality using FREE or inexpensive plugins that are easy to install and configure,
  • Can add any type of media, including scripts into their content using a WYSIWYG editor, shortcodes, copy and paste, etc.
  • Can be easily customized using one-click tools, wizards, widgets, drag and drop, etc.
  • Can be kept up-to-date and easily maintained using inexpensive automation tools,
  • Can easily automate their web marketing, SEO, and traffic generation using inexpensive plugins, free services, and SaaS tools,
  • And that all of the above can be done easily in minutes … with just a few clicks and some basic computer skills?

As we explain in our WordPress Digital Business Blueprint, most small businesses can build a very successful online presence using WordPress without spending much money to start with and only bring in technical experts if their business has reached a point where they need customized solutions or outsourcing. Isn’t it in their best interest to know this?

Why would web service providers, however, inform their prospects and clients that they don’t actually need their services to start, manage, or grow their own websites? That they can easily do it all themselves?

Many service providers feel (understandably) threatened by the idea of empowering their prospects and clients, as they feel (understandably) this could put them out of business.

Technically declined users, however, don’t know this because they “don’t know what they don’t know” about WordPress. Most non-technical users believe that technical skills are required to build and run a website and website developers have no reason to change their belief.

If web service providers believe they have nothing to gain and everything to lose by empowering their clients to have complete control of their own sites, they will (understandably) only teach their clients what they think their clients should know, which is really not in the client’s best interest.

The Paradoxical ‘Blind Spot’ Of WordPress

Q: Many website developers promise clients websites that they will be able to “manage themselves,” but do they actually show clients how to fully manage their own websites?

As we explain in The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching, And Training New WordPress Users, many web service providers believe that non-technical users should best leave things related to their websites to technical experts. Some even argue that users will most likely “stuff things up” if given a chance to manage their own sites …

Many web developers believe clients will "stuff things up" if they were to manage their own sites!

(Many web developers believe clients will “stuff things up” if they manage their own sites!)

Because no one really takes the time to educate non-technical users otherwise, most non-techies also believe that anything to do with building and managing websites is best left to technical experts. This creates a paradoxical “blind spot” that prevents most non-technical users from learning how to control and manage their own web presence and keeps them dependent on using their service providers.

WordPress Paradox – The Proof

Q: How can we prove that non-technical WordPress users can be in complete control of their own web presence without requiring technical skills or the services of technical experts?

Just as we now know that dark matter exists despite the lack of visible evidence because of the effect it has on visible objects, we can also “see” the paradoxical ‘blind spot’ of WordPress by looking for sites that have been entirely built and configured, and are being maintained, managed, and marketed successfully by WordPress users who have no technical skills and don’t require technical experts to manage their own websites.

Sounds impossible?

No … you’re looking at one of these sites right now!

WPCompendium.org is entirely built, configured, maintained, managed, and marketed successfully by a non-techie WordPress user who has no coding skills and no need to pay for basic WordPress maintenance and management services like updating software and making site backups.

This site attracts thousands of users from all around the world using a default WordPress theme and mostly free or very inexpensive plugins.

Every part of this website has been built by asking questions like:

  • “Can a non-technical user do this?”
  • “Can a non-techie duplicate this process and achieve similar results if they follow these steps?”
  • “How far can we grow this site without requiring technical skills or expensive solutions?”

The entire process used to build this site has been fully documented over many years and turned into hundreds of detailed step-by-step tutorials specifically aimed at helping non-technical WordPress users take control of their own digital presence and get better results online without learning how to code or depending on technical experts for help with things that they can easily learn to do themselves.

For example, our step-by-step WordPress tutorials can show anyone how to do the following:

  • Install a professional website for business or personal use on their own domain that is completely customizable, flexible, scalable and fully configurable using one-click WordPress installation software and a web hosting server with cPanel management software installed.
  • Add any type of content they want to their web pages (text, images, videos, audio podcasts, webinars, etc.) using a familiar and intuitive WYSIWYG editor, built-in publishing tools, and powerful features like shortcodes,
  • Easily manage all of their content using a powerful content management system (CMS) that works right out of the box,
  • Instantly add any type of functionality they need or can imagine to their site using WordPress plugins,
  • Instantly change the entire look and feel of their site’s web design using WordPress themes, or change the layout of their site using widgets,
  • Automatically deliver web content optimized for mobile device users (using mobile-responsive WordPress themes)
  • Add various ways to interact, engage and communicate online directly with site visitors (using plugins),
  • Instantly improve their site’s SEO,
  • Test, split-test, compare and tweak different website elements and measure results of these changes to improve site conversions (using plugins and advanced features built into many WordPress themes),
  • Automate sales and marketing strategies, e.g. add lead generation, e-commerce sales and payment processing, membership site registration, newsletter subscriptions, etc. (using various plugins),
  • Automate management and maintenance of their site’s files and data, including updating all software components, scheduling backups, etc. (using backup plugins),
  • Immediately get newly-published content picked up by search engines and shared across all major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, etc.) and dozens of authoritative online directories and web information outlets,
  • Integrate their site with third-party business software applications (e.g. to allow visitors to calculate quotes, make bookings or reservations, register and pay for courses or events, or invoice clients, generate reports, etc.) using plugins and solutions designed to interface seamlessly with WordPress,
  • Manage and maintain all aspects of their website,
  • Optimize their site’s speed and improve site performance,
  • Secure and protect their site’s data and files,
  • Easily restore site files and data if required,
  • Troubleshoot common WordPress errors and problems,
  • Run various online marketing strategies to increase traffic and get more sales, leads, and subscribers,
  • And so much more!

How To Resolve The WordPress Paradox

Q: If users can easily install, configure, and maintain their own websites without requiring technical skills or expertise just by clicking a couple of buttons, why do they need to hire people for services like website building and maintenance?

There are really no simple answers, but part of the reason is that non-technical users don’t know that they can do it all themselves and their website developers don’t want them to.

Most WordPress users want ‘self-empowerment.’ They don’t want to be “held hostage” by their web service providers. Service providers, however, need clients who depend on their services. Many service providers believe that dependency is good for their business and that empowerment is not.

Empowerment Through Better WordPress Education And Training Is The Key

The key to resolving the WordPress Paradox is to empower users through better WordPress education and training.

We do a huge disservice to everyone who participates in the WordPress Economy if we fail to educate users about all of the benefits and advantages WordPress has to offer and hold back from teaching them all the ways they can use WordPress to work more efficiently and improve their results and/or their bottom line.

A Disservice To WordPress Users

Keeping WordPress users ‘hostage’ and ignorant of all the ways they can benefit with WordPress can cost them thousands of dollars. If we help users truly understand how to use WordPress and all the ways WordPress can help their business grow, users can then choose to do things themselves and save money, or outsource the work to others and save time.

A Disservice To WordPress Service Providers

WordPress service providers that do not help their clients become self-empowered will eventually lose clients to those who do. Promoting abundance, growth, and expansion leads to success for businesses and their clients, while acting on scarcity and fear of loss ultimately leads to failure.

A Disservice To WordPress Itself

The WordPress community is continually developing new features, plugins, themes, and solutions designed to make things easier and more intuitive for technically declined users. The more we help people learn about WordPress and all it can do, the more WordPress products and services they will want to use.

The more you empower people to use WordPress, the more WordPress products & services they will want to use!

(The more you empower people to use WordPress, the more WordPress products & services they will want to use!)

It’s All About Giving Users A Choice

Ultimately, it’s all about giving all WordPress users a choice!

If users are given the choice between learning how to build, configure, maintain, and market their own websites and then shown that they can actually do all of this themselves without technical skills and at minimal cost, most users would still probably choose to outsource the work to others.

The difference is that by empowering users with knowledge, training, and education, the user would know that they have a choice.

Currently, most non-technical users are not given this choice. Decisions are made for them by businesses acting out of self-interest. This means that important decisions and choices affecting the businesses of many WordPress users are being made on their behalf by people who are not part of their business and who ultimately have no vested interest in their success.

These decisions, choices, and assumptions are not the website developer’s to make. They are the user’s. After all, who are they building a website for?

Paradoxically, by empowering WordPress users and giving them the choice of doing things themselves or outsourcing the work, many WordPress service providers will actually create more trust and loyalty with clients and sell more services.

As we explain in our guide on how to effectively train new WordPress users, you can empower users by educating and training them how to use WordPress, then giving them the choice of saving money by doing things themselves or saving time by outsourcing the work to you if they are too busy to do it or don’t want to do things themselves.

Empowering new WordPress users, however, is also very challenging. We address many of these challenges here: The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching, And Training New WordPress Users

In Summary …

The popularity, power, flexibility, and open source nature of WordPress means that more users can start and grow businesses selling WordPress services.

As WordPress continues to evolve, it is also becoming easier for non-technical users to build, manage, and grow a digital presence themselves without having to hire technical experts to do it for them.

This leads to the WordPress Paradox, where more web service businesses will try to sell WordPress services to clients who could easily perform these services themselves. It also creates a conflict of interest between web service providers and their clients, where users expect to be empowered to manage and grow their own web presence, but service providers want clients to remain dependent on using their services.

The only way to resolve the WordPress Paradox and create ‘win-win’ outcomes for everyone involved in the WordPress Economy, then, is for WordPress service providers to find better ways to educate and train their prospects and clients to become empowered WordPress users.

The empowerment of non-technical WordPress users, then, could be the key to helping millions of new WordPress users build more successful business online, which would ensure the success of WordPress service providers, the WordPress developer community, and ultimately the success of WordPress itself.

WordPress Paradox: More web service businesses are selling WordPress services to clients who could easily perform these services themselves!

Get Thrive Leads for WordPress

***

"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

Disclaimer: We are not directly associated with WordPress, Automattic, or any of the WordPress-related products mentioned on this website. We may receive financial benefits from the purchase of any products advertised on our website. All images and details sourced from product websites remain the copyright of their respective owners, comply with all license terms and agreements of use to the best of our knowledge and are being used solely for training or illustrative purposes.

***

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The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching & Training New WordPress Users

Empowering new WordPress users to get results from their WordPress websites is challenging and requires an effective WordPress training and education system!

Do You Sell WordPress Services?Do you build WordPress sites for clients or provide services that require you to educate and train people to use WordPress?

If so, no doubt you’ve probably experienced some of the challenges of educating, teaching, and training new WordPress users.

Search online or visit forums and discussion groups frequented by WordPress service providers, web developers, web designers, etc. and you will see that the question of “how to train WordPress clients” frequently comes up …

How Do You Train Your WordPress Clients?

(“How Do You Train Your WordPress Clients?” Source: WordPress Experts – LinkedIn Groups)

Having spent well over a decade as a WordPress educator and trainer working with businesses of all sizes, I am well aware of the challenges of educating and training new WordPress users.

In fact, I have spent years systematically trying to address these challenges in order to develop an effective system for training and empowering WordPress users.

This article explores the challenges of not only educating, teaching, and training new WordPress users, but also how to do this in a way that will empower users to get better results online using WordPress.

Info

In addition to this article, see The WordPress Paradox and our guide on how to effectively train and empower new WordPress users.

The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching & Training New WordPress Users

WordPress is easy to use when you know how but hard to explain to someone who has never heard of WordPress before.

Learning how to use most technologies often requires undergoing a steep learning curve and WordPress is not different.

The real challenge with teaching someone how to use WordPress, however, is not showing them how to post content on their website, but teaching them how to become a self-empowered WordPress user who has control of their digital presence and who can achieve better results online by learning how to configure, combine, and use all of the different aspects and elements of their WordPress site.

Most WordPress training methods, courses, and resources don’t do this. At least not in a systematic way where the end result is to help new users become completely self-empowered.

As explained in The WordPress Paradox, anyone can be in complete control of their own web presence and create the results they want with WordPress without requiring technical skills like coding or programming.

A self-empowered WordPress user, then is someone who is in complete control of their web presence and does not depend on people with technical skills to help them get basic things done on their site, like:

  • Adding new pages and posts.
  • Publishing and editing content.
  • Uploading files and adding images, videos, etc. to their site.
  • Managing and maintaining their site and keeping their content, software, files, and database updated.
  • Performing file and data backups.
  • Installing, configuring, and updating plugins and themes.
  • Configuring and tweaking their site’s settings.
  • Using widgets, shortcodes, RSS feeds, etc.
  • Automating various management and marketing processes.
  • Troubleshoot common WordPress errors.
  • And a whole lot more.

Helping new WordPress users become self-empowered so they can learn how to do all of the above themselves, however is quite challenging and requires an effective training system that will:

  • Fully educate users about WordPress and the practical benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform,
  • Show users how the unique and powerful features of WordPress can help them achieve the results they want, and
  • Empower users to have complete control of their web presence.

Put into simpler words, an effective WordPress training system has to help users answer the following questions:

  1. Why Do I Need WordPress?
  2. How Do I Get Results Using WordPress? 

There’s a lot of content written about WordPress, but as we’ll soon see, most of it is not directed at the audience that needs it the most. This is the real challenge of educating, teaching, and training, new WordPress users. To better understand and address this challenge, let’s break things down into the following sections:

  1. Challenges of identifying WordPress end users and their needs.
  2. Challenges of providing WordPress education and training services.
  3. Challenges of creating effective WordPress training resources.
  4. Challenges of implementing effective WordPress training methods.

Let’s go through each of these sections …

The Challenge Of Identifying WordPress End Users & Their Needs

The first step to addressing the challenges of educating, teaching, and training people about WordPress is to work out who needs to learn what about WordPress.

Who Needs WordPress Education & Training?

For the sake of keeping things simple, let’s divide our audience of WordPress users into two main groups:

  1. People who are technically-minded (we’ll call these WordPress users technically inclined)
  2. People who are not technically-minded (we’ll call these non-techie WordPress users technically declined)

WordPress users tend to be either technically inclined or technically declined

(WordPress users tend to be either technically inclined or technically declined)

The WordPress Economy is made up of both technically ‘inclined’ and technically ‘declined’ users.

Technically inclined people typically don’t mind spending time learning how things work. They are often autodidactic (self-teaching) and can easily learn WordPress using free resources like the WordPress Codex, searching online for answers, going through tutorials posted by other WordPress users, and by participating in forums, user groups, online discussions, WordPress meets, etc.

Technically declined people, on the other hand, want websites they can manage themselves but they are averse to learning ‘technical’ stuff. They don’t want to learn how to edit code, install scripts, learn web programming languages, etc. They just want results from their websites.

As we explain in our guide on how to effectively train and empower new WordPress users, technically declined users don’t want to learn how a fishing rod works, they just want to “catch fish.”

As a general statement, then, technically inclined people (e.g. website developers) provide web services to technically declined people (e.g. small businesses). This creates an interdependency between these two groups.

Technically inclined and technically declined users

(Technically inclined and technically declined users … one of those “circle of life” things!)

As we’ll see in a moment, this interdependency adds to the challenges of educating, training, and teaching new WordPress users.

Sticking with our classification system for now, let’s further divide technically ‘declined’ users into two subcategories:

  • Technically declined people who do not use WordPress (yet), and
  • Technically declined people who will need to use WordPress

Technically declined users are your prospects and clients

(Technically declined users are your prospects and clients)

Technically declined people who are not using WordPress yet are your prospects. This group of people need to be educated about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress, as some of them may not even have heard about WordPress and include business owners, people planning to start or take a business online, would-be bloggers, etc.

Technically declined people who already have a WordPress site or blog are your clients. This group of people not only need to be educated about the benefits and advantage of using WordPress but also be taught how to use the many different features and functions of WordPress to achieve better results online using their websites or blogs.

So … prospects need WordPress education and clients need both WordPress education and WordPress training.

Technically declined users need WordPress education & training

(Technically declined users need WordPress education & training)

So far, we have identified two different groups of ‘technically declined’ users who have different WordPress education and training needs.

Let’s go back to our technically inclined users for a moment.

Technically inclined users can also be divided into two subcategories:

  • DYIselfers who want to learn WordPress in order to build, manage, and grow their own web presence, and
  • Website developers, web designers, etc. who want to learn WordPress to help other people build, manage, and grow their web presence.

Technically inclined WordPress DIY users and service sellers

(Technically inclined WordPress DIY users and service sellers)

We don’t need to be concerned about DIY WordPress users here, as they have the drive and motivation to seek answers for themselves and can easily teach themselves everything they need to know about WordPress from the myriad of WordPress resources that are currently available.

The important relationship I want to focus on is the interdependency between technically inclined WordPress service sellers who need technically declined prospects and clients to sell their services to.

Technically-minded people who can teach themselves WordPress don’t need general WordPress services like website development, WordPress maintenance, etc. as they can easily learn this themselves.

People who provide general WordPress services, then, need technically declined prospects and clients who will pay for their services.

If, for example, one website developer needs 10 clients to stay in business, then, logically, the “WordPress Economy” must consist of a much larger number of technically declined end users …

Non Techie WordPress users make up the bulk of the WordPress Economy

(Non techie WordPress users make up the bulk of the ‘WordPress Economy’)

Clearly, then, non techie WordPress users make up the bulk of the WordPress Economy. They are the largest end user group of WordPress products and services and are ultimately the ones responsible for keeping the WordPress industry alive and growing.

Even most WordPress developers, plugin developers, theme developers, etc. ultimately have to service non techie WordPress users to stay in business.

The main challenge with educating, teaching, and training new WordPress users we need to be concerned about, then, is found in the interdependency between technically inclined service sellers and their technically declined prospects and clients …

Technically inclined users sell WordPress services to technically declined users!

(Technically inclined users sell WordPress services to technically declined users!)

Technically Declined WordPress Users Want Self-Empowerment, Not Dependency

The challenge of educating technically declined users about WordPress is that most don’t care about the technology that powers their website. Non techies don’t want to become web developers and they are not interested in messing with code and scripts and learning web languages. That’s why they pay people like website developers to do technical stuff for them.

Most website owners don't want to learn technical stuff, they just want results!

(Most website owners don’t want to learn technical stuff, they just want results!)

Most non techie WordPress end users, however, care about getting results. They don’t care if their websites are built with techno poop as long as it brings them more customers, more leads, more sales, more subscribers, etc.

Technically declined users not only want better results, they also want to feel that they are in complete control of their web presence. WordPress education and training that will empower users to be in complete control of their web presence begins by teaching prospects and clients about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress.

We have created an entire Introduction To WordPress training module devoted to explaining the benefits of using WordPress to non-technical users. We also emphasize opening with the benefits when training new clients as described in our guide on how to effectively train and empower new WordPress users.

Some of the benefits and advantages of using WordPress that prospects and clients should know about are covered in the tutorials we’ve created below:

If you sell WordPress services to non-techies, ask yourself:

  • What kind of systems, tools, resources, and content do I need to create or have access to in order to truly educate and train non-technical WordPress users and fully empower them to get better results online?
  • Are the current methods I am using to educate and train my prospects and users enough to help them become self-empowered WordPress users, or are there things I am not teaching them about because this would adversely affect my business? 

This brings up the next challenge …

Challenges Of Providing WordPress Education & Training Services

Technically declined users “don’t know what they don’t know” about WordPress and websites in general. They mostly depend and rely on the advice of experts.

For most non-techies, the first point of contact and main source of information about things related to websites is their website developer.

Clients expect to be trained on how to use their new websites. Making website developers responsible for educating and training clients, however, can be challenging because:

  • Training clients is not the core focus of a website developer’s business, and
  • Many website developers believe that fully empowering users to manage their own sites is “bad” for business.

The Core Business Of Website Developers Is Not WordPress Training

The core business of website developers is selling web services and doing technical work for clients, not creating client training systems and providing WordPress training and education services.

Providing web services is full-time work ... so is creating training systems!

(Providing web services is full-time work … so is creating training systems!)

Building a web services business is full-time work. So is creating and maintaining effective client training systems.

As the main focus of most website developers’ businesses is selling web services, many will not invest the time, effort, or the resources required to plan, document, implement, and maintain effective client training systems.

Many website developers regard WordPress training and education as an afterthought of the sales process, i.e. a convenient way to hand over a completed website project to the client, instead of the beginning of the client’s journey towards digital self-empowerment and self-reliance.

Because of this, many website developers provide clients with only basic training on how to use their new WordPress sites.

This creates another challenge for both users and service providers …

More Cost For Users & Less Time For Servicing New Clients

If all the client receives from their website developer is very basic training, what happens when clients need to get things done outside of the training they’ve been given?

Are website developers going to be available 24/7 to service their client’s every need, answer every question they have, and solve every problem they experience? If so, will they continually charge their clients for this?

Clearly, most service providers can’t afford to provide 24/7 training and support for free. While charging clients for time spent training, answering questions, and helping them solve problems makes business sense, this also has a profound financial impact on both the service provider’s and the client’s business.

For example:

  • Answering ‘quick’ questions from clients for free will eat into the service provider’s daily workload, increase their costs, and lead to opportunity losses, but charging clients for ongoing training and assistance will increase ongoing client costs which can lead to higher client attrition rates.
  • Adding client support and training services requires the implementation and maintenance of additional systems and processes which can increase the strain on existing resources and reduce the time service providers have to find and service new and existing clients.

Training clients to use WordPress, then, can be a double-edged sword that will cut into both the client’s and the service provider’s business.

There is, however, another challenging aspect to website developers providing clients with WordPress training …

Is Self-Empowering WordPress Users “Bad” For Business?

Suppose your business is building WordPress websites and you have just finished building a new website for a client. Now you have to train them to use WordPress.

What is the main objective of training your clients to use WordPress?

Is it to help them become self-empowered so they can learn how to be in complete control of their own web presence, or is it to keep them dependent on using your web services so you can stay in business?

Businesses that sell web services depend on clients to stay in business.

As we explain in The WordPress Paradox, however, WordPress is becoming progressively easier for non-techies to build, manage, and grow their own web presence without requiring knowledge of coding or web development or even the assistance of outsourced service providers.

There is no reason, therefore, why non-techies couldn’t do everything themselves if they really wanted to. The main problem for non-techies, then, is that their most trusted source of WordPress help and advice (i.e. their website developer) has no financial incentive or motivation to educate their clients not to need their services.

The reasoning behind this is obvious. Service providers who rely on clients depending on their services feel that they would be out of business if they were to truly empower their clients to use WordPress in its fullest capacity …

Businesses that sell web services need dependent clients to stay in business

(Businesses that sell web services need dependent clients to stay in business)

As we also explain in The WordPress Paradox, this creates a conflict of interest. Clients have an implicit expectation that their website developers will help to empower them by showing them how to use WordPress to manage and grow their sites, but the core business of a website developer in not to train clients but to find and keep clients who will depend on their services to stay in business.

This conflict of interest often results in many service providers ‘holding back’ on the information they present to clients and only showing them how to do very basic stuff, like how to create a post or add and publish content on their site.

The thing about WordPress, is that even seemingly ‘basic’ tasks like showing someone how to create a WordPress post are, in fact, quite complex when you break down all of the processes involved …

Even tasks that seem basic in WordPress can be quite complex to teach!

(Even tasks that seem basic in WordPress can be quite complex to teach)

How you teach someone to create a post in WordPress depends on whether your goal is to keep clients dependent on using your services or help them become self-empowered WordPress users.

This difference is explained in the next section.

Useful Tip

We believe that empowering new WordPress users is actually “good” for business, because the more you educate and empower WordPress users and teach them all they can do with WordPress to grow a successful business online, the more WordPress services and products they will want to use …

Why empowering WordPress users is good for business

(Why empowering WordPress users is good for business)

Challenges Of Creating Effective WordPress Training Resources

The previous diagram shows how something as seemingly basic as creating a new WordPress post requires knowing how to use many different interlinked processes, sections, features, functions, settings, options, buttons, etc. It also involves teaching users what to do before, during, and after completing each step of the process.

An effective WordPress education and training resource for non-technical users, then, needs to organize the information in a logical step-by-step sequence and deliver it in the right context using non-technical terminology. It can’t assume that users know things they may not know and it can’t have ‘missing’ steps.

Creating this kind of resource for non-technical users requires meticulous planning and incredible attention to detail. Most WordPress training resources are not created by people whose goal is to help new WordPress users become self-empowered.

This includes:

  • Info products and guides that have been quickly cobbled together by internet marketers looking for quick ‘niche’ profits,
  • ‘Quick-Start’ PDF guides or training videos that contain incomplete and/or outdated information.
  • 1-2 hr training sessions that overwhelm users and leave them with more questions than answers at the end of the session.
  • Other WordPress training methods built by ‘compiling’ any or all of the above.

As I stated earlier, most service providers need clients to remain dependent on using their services. If this is their aim, then why would they go through all of the time-consuming and frustrating effort of putting together training resources where the end goal is to help clients no longer need their services?

Even if you start out with the goal of helping non-technical clients become self-empowered WordPress users, there are still many challenges involved in putting together an effective WordPress training resource.

Let’s quickly go through some of these …

WordPress Training Resources Created By Techies For Techies

Most WordPress tutorials and resources found online (including the official WordPress Codex) are created by technically-minded users to help other technically-minded users learn how to do techie stuff like tweak code, customize templates, etc.

These tutorials are useful for web developers and other WordPress service providers. They are not aimed at helping code averse non-techies.

WordPress Training Resources That Assume To Know What Clients Need

Many website developers believe that building, configuring, and maintaining websites is best left to technical experts. Some will even argue that users would “stuff things up” if they were allowed to manage their own sites …

Many website developers believe clients will "stuff things up" if they manage their own sites!

(Many website developers believe clients will “stuff things up” if they manage their own sites)

Although many website developers will cite years of experience to back up their belief, ultimately these are ‘assumptions.’

Empowering users means giving them a choice by educating clients about their options and then letting them make an informed decision about how they would like to proceed.

For example, performing WordPress maintenance is not a hard or time-consuming task once you know what to do. Most aspects of the process can even be automated.

If your approach is to empower users, you would let them know this and then let them choose whether they would like to invest the time to learn how to perform maintenance on their own sites or pay you to perform the service for them.

WordPress Training Resources That Are Hard To Keep Updated

WordPress and many of its features, plugins, and themes are continually being improved and constantly updated. This makes it hard to keep training documentation and information up-to-date.

Many online tutorials contain outdated or obsolete information about WordPress because the authors of these resources have no document management systems or processes for keeping their information updated. Without an effective document management system, it’s almost impossible to keep track of what changes have made in your documentation, where updates need to be made, who has which version of what training resource, etc.

Many WordPress training resources are produced, delivered, and distributed in formats that are inherently difficult to keep the information up-to-date. These include eBooks, PDF guides, videos, etc.

WordPress ‘Step-By-Step’ Training Resources That Are Not Really ‘Step-By-Step’

The World Wide Web has been described as being like an endlessly vast and chaotic library where the books are randomly scattered everywhere. All the information you want is out there but finding what you need when you need it the most is incredibly difficult and very time-consuming.

Most new WordPress users don’t know what they are looking for until they run into a problem or get stuck and need help.

This creates a number of challenges. For example:

  • If the user needs to have taken prior steps before moving forward, they can’t move forward, until they find out what all those prior steps are.
  • If you are describing what users need to do to achieve a specific outcome or result, then you will need to have already created all of the supporting documentation and tutorials the user will need to refer to. Otherwise, you are just telling people “what” to do but not actually teaching them “how” to do it and users will be left hanging in mid-process with nowhere to go.

Many training resources that claim to be ‘step-by-step’ are, in fact, more like overviews of processes and contain lots of missing steps. This can create confusion and lead to users ending up with more unanswered questions than results.

Challenges Of Implementing Effective WordPress Training Methods

The last challenge of educating, teaching, and training new WordPress users is how to implement WordPress training methods that are truly effective.

Again, this comes back to whether the end goal of your training is to keep users dependent on your services, or truly empower them to be in control of their WordPress sites.

Many service providers want clients to remain dependent on using their services and use ineffective methods to train their clients.

If your goal is to truly and effectively empower users to learn WordPress, then you will need more than just methods. What’s required, is an effective WordPress education and training system.

If you go back to the opening screenshot at the top of this page where WordPress service providers are asked “how to train WordPress clients,” we can see that their responses are all based on using methods, e.g.:

  • ‘Quick Start’ PDF guides or ebooks
  • Video tutorials and screen capture videos
  • ‘1-on-1’ sessions or group meetings, workshops, phone calls, etc.
  • No training – Give users link to support forums and let people figure things out on their own.

Most of the training given to new users, then, is basically just a loose collection of methods, put together for the convenience and ease of the service provider, delivered in a format where the information is difficult to keep up-to-date, and where the end goal is really just to make the client feel good enough about the service provider to keep using their services.

To have a truly effective WordPress education and training system that empowers new WordPress users to be in complete control of their web presence, the focus has to be on the user, not the service provider.

This is difficult enough to do without the conflict of interest that exists between most service providers and their clients. Not only would you have to make sure that the training information you are providing is comprehensive, ‘step-by-step,’ and up-to-date, but to be truly effective, your WordPress training system would also have to allow users to keep finding the answers for themselves when they have questions or get stuck and need help.

The Missing Element Of An Effective WordPress Training System That Can Empower Users

To have a truly effective system that can educate, teach, and train new WordPress users to become self-empowered requires an immense library of information about WordPress. Not only that, but this information has to be very well organized, easy to use, easy to navigate, and easy to keep up-to-date.

All you would have to do, then, to effectively train new WordPress users is:

  1. Show users how to access and use this vast library of WordPress training content, and
  2. Direct users back to this resource any time they need help with WordPress or using their sites.

Given the fluid and evolving nature of WordPress, creating a comprehensive repository of WordPress tutorials that can empower non-technical WordPress users to learn how to create better results online by themselves is a massive challenge.

Even the section in the official WordPress Site dedicated to helping new WordPress users tends to gravitate in some areas towards technical-minded users and feels more like a place for learning definitions than a WordPress training site.

Here at WPCompendium.org, our focus is 100% on helping non-technical WordPress users be in complete control of their digital presence and create the results they want online using WordPress.

We have spent years building a comprehensive WordPress training content library that includes hundreds of detailed step-by-step tutorials organized in logical sequence and fully interlinked. Our written tutorials show users how to build, manage, and grow a successful presence online using WordPress with no coding skills required and at minimal cost.

We have also developed a WordPress user tutorials plugin that allows users to instantly access all tutorials on this site plus hundreds of WordPress video tutorials from their own WordPress dashboard.

While this site is still a work in progress and far from complete, we believe that there’s probably no better site for training non-technical WordPress users than WPCompendium.org. All of the tutorials on this site are FREE and anyone is welcome to use it to train their clients, staff, etc.

We hope that you have found this article useful.

Practical Tip

For more help training non-techie clients, staff, and self-learners, refer to our FREE WordPress online training guides below:

The Challenges Of Educating, Teaching & Training New WordPress Users

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