Tales from a Word Press Newbie



In my quest for knowledge, I joined a local group, Northwest Valley Word Press group, in order to learn how to use this app with maximum success. I have never reached out to others in order to begin using an app before. Usually, I just jumped right into using apps. Quite frankly, I jumped right into using the Internet in the late 90s. I decided to learn about this particular app in the presence of those who are already proficient in Word Press. Plus, I am a person who loves to create connections. I tend to mix and mingle after an initial time of mostly listening. What makes this type of learning fun is it is informal and non-traditional, in that there are no tests. Your only homework assignment is the one you create yourself in order to develop as a user.



I joined this group through another app, Meet Up. I have joined other local groups through that app, just to meet others interested in some of my hobbies. This is my first time joining a knowledge group via the app. Prior to joining the Meet Up group for this app I had no idea what Word Press even was. Since I am an artist and writer I felt it was important to learn about Word Press. After a little detective work, I decided that this is an app I need to use. It is always a great idea to expand your skill set whether for work or for your own knowledge.



Just one presentation catapulted me into the functionality of this app, for novices and experts alike. For the first time ever, I understand the importance of using plug-ins and multiple apps for creating web content and marketing that content. In just one night, I have learned more about plug-ins than I could have ever imagined. I have learned what Buddy Press is (creating a proprietary social network). I have learned about Word Fence vs I-Themes.



Knowledge definitely makes you powerful. Tonight I learned about the Slack app, and I immediately downloaded it. I learned how to customize a theme on Word Press. The group organizer told us that customizer works well with the themes, so the option to customize a theme is within Word Press itself. I learned a customizer allows you to make your other sites look the same way. You can change things from a preview that does not change your live site until you click save and publish. Believe me, I have used that preview feature several times just with publishing this post. I love it.



Another thing I learned in this meeting is you can learn Simple Custom CSS to drop in code (per a child’s presentation on a “We Day” television program I have decided to learn how to code too, but I am not there yet). We were told by someone who uses code snippets (in functions.php) that plugins will not work with all companies.
However, those in the group with expertise state that you have to decide where you want to be on the scale of security versus convenience. A case in point: the group’s experts said that editing in style.css can make your site vulnerable to hacking (if it is not locally) I have learned that using a programming editor helps with css.



Without giving everything away that we learned about (the information is vast), I will write this: I think the best way to put this information into practice is in the company of others who have a variety of skill levels with this app and others. Actually, I think this is the best way for me to learn about maximizing Word Press and future apps I use: live and in person so that I can interactively visualize all of this and do some of it (hint: bringing your device to a meeting is critical).



Although I am a techie-in-training, my heart is in the Arts so most of my posts will be regarding my endeavors in them. Still, it is important to become knowledgeable about things outside of your core interests. I think it is useful to know some of this, even if it is not crucial to your day job.




Another great thing about learning this way is all of the extra information in a meeting like this. We had a presentation about Content Marketing. These tips are invaluable to us all. The sign in the photo I included is actually for monetary tips at our group’s meeting place (aptly named: Elevate); however, it is appropriate regarding the sharing of knowledge. Not only do I want to put everything I am learning right now into practice, but I want to share tips with those who want to become knowledgeable too. Tips about knowledge in any subject matter truly make the world go round.



Meetings like this are great for connecting while learning. Build a rapport with others by arriving early and staying after the meeting for a bit. I am not talking about doing a business card blast, a.k.a. how some people network. I am talking about actually socializing, as in getting to know people and allowing people to get to know you. If you socialize while learning information, then you will start experiencing a more enriched life. If nothing else, your confidence will soar. People will always pick up on that.