Day 21: Self Education: WordPress Tutorials and Where to Get Good Help

“Take time to improve your knowledge and skills so that you can put a premium on yourself. You don’t have to be content in being simply a good doer if you can also become a great teacher.”
― Jan Mckingley Hilado, Rich Real Radical: 40 Lessons from a Magna Cum Laude and a College Drop Out

We’ve come to the last day! Congrats!

You will always have questions that you need answered about your website and WordPress. I want to make sure you have a handful or resources to continue your education.


Knowing the places to get good, solid information will save you time hunting around for answers that might not be what you want to find. These have been some of the most helpful resources for me in my development on WordPress.


Check out this video walk through of three very helpful websites:


Here are the links to the websites mentioned, plus a few others:


What’s Your Feedback?

Please let me know what you thought of this plan. Did it help move you forward to WordPress proficiency? What questions do you still have? What is missing? What was really helpful? Let me know in the discussion or contact me directly at

Thank you and enjoy the journey!


Day 20: Self Education: The Staging Site (try it on your computer first!)

As you get more familiar with WordPress, you will want to try and push the limits and see what you can do, both in terms of design and development. It’s easy to want to try new things on your site or even a client’s site, live and online.


However, you NEVER want to experiment on a live site! If it breaks and you can’t repair your site right away, you will lose valuable time, traffic, and even money while your website is down.


Watch today’s video to find out how you can set up a development site on your computer:


Desktop Server is the program I used in this video, and they have several tutorials and “how tos” available on their website. The version I was running is the free version, however if you want more functionality, including interaction with a live website, you can get the premium version here.

Do you have any fears about working with live sites?

Day 19: Self Education: The WordPress Community, Who to Watch, Know and Follow

It should be pretty apparent by now: WordPress has an amazing community of people, developers and businesses all contributing to make the community and core of WordPress better and better.


There will be several people that you will want to follow and head the advice of. You might even want to hire them!


Check out this video of five of my favorite people to follow in the WordPress community (as of Dec. 12th, 2013… I’m always meeting and learning about new folks!):


Besides all the people mentioned in the video, WordCamps are a fantastic way to get to know people in the community. Find out if there’s a WordCamp near you using this link.

Who are you following already? What people have been helpful for you thus far in your WordPress journey?

Day 18: Self Education: An Introduction to WordPress Frameworks

When starting on a new project, whether it is sewing a new dress together, building a cabinet, or baking cookies, there is always a preset pattern or even design that you use. You might change the fabic of the dress, or add dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips. However, the basic structure of the project remains the same: systematic and repeatable.


WordPress has available several “frameworks” to help speed up the development process of websites, make those websites familiar and secure, and provide more all around stability than designing a website from the ground up.


Watch this quick introduction to a few well-known frameworks:


Here are the links for the frameworks discussed:

Even if you’re not using a framework, many of these sites have tutorials and code-snippets which are very helpful in customizing and continuing your own WordPress education. Here’s another great resource on the difference between templates and frameworks.

Do you see a need or use for frameworks? Have you heard of these? What others have you heard of?

Day 17: Self Education: The WordPress Codex

“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.”
― Isaac Asimov

It is hard to imagine sitting down and reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, much less the whole of Wikipedia. However, we make reference to these resources and others when we have questions about historical happenings, are curious about the way things work, or get curious about a random subject.


The WordPress Codex is the collected body of work of the WordPress community. The Codex is constantly being reviewed and revised. It is a great place to start when you have questions about using WordPress.


Watch this video on using the Codex:

What are some questions that you have about your website that you would like to have answered by the Codex? Search for the answer in the Codex.


Here is a link to the Codex. Browse around the different topics and see what you can find out more about.

What questions do you have of the Codex and WordPress Community thus far?

Day 16: Functionality: Security Configuration

Backing up your website is a great, proactive way to make sure that your website and content will always be available in the case of some kind of hacker or malicious attack. However, it is also just as important to prevent those attacks from happening in the first place.


There are several default settings in your WordPress site install that, if not taken care of, can cause serious breaches to your website’s security. A plugin like BetterWPSecurity will help mitigate many of those risks.


Watch this video on security:

Configure your website using the simple checklist provided by BetterWPSecurity.


Here’s the link for Better WP Security in the WordPress Repository.

In the middle part of 2013, there was a brute force attack on WordPress websites because of people’s tendency to leave default settings intact. These default settings include “admin” as the primary username, not deleting the Sample Page or “Hello World” post, and not updating plugins or old themes. One of the best things you can do to educate yourself about security risks is to read up on what has happened in the past, and how to avoid that in the future. This article does a great job explaining what happened in the most recent brute force attack on WordPress sites.

Here’s another helpful article from WordPress on Brute Force attacks.

Does this kind of thing scare you? Are you worried about your website? I think with this tutorial and installed backup, you are probably in some of the best shape possible for defending against attacks.