The Best Ways to Learn WordPress for Free
WordPress is one of the most powerful and widely-used website builders. It’s used by over 64 million websites and continues to grow every year. If you’re looking to create a new website, WordPress is unquestionably one of the best tools to use.
Unfortunately, knowing where to begin with your WordPress training can be overwhelming. What should you learn? Where should you start? How long will it take? These and other questions can make the entire process confusing and difficult to start.
What Is WordPress?
WordPress is probably most commonly known for blogging. At least, in its earliest form that’s how it started out. But it has since grown well beyond blogging, and can now power a huge variety of websites. This is because, at its core, WordPress is a powerful CMS. CMS platforms allow work groups or individuals of any skill level to publish content, formatted consistently, to their website quickly and easily. No coding or technical skills are needed at all.
But where WordPress’s real horsepower comes in is its customizability and flexibility. In its early days, WordPress caught on not only because of its ease of use but because it’s also open source. This means that more technically skilled users can dig into WordPress’s background code and customize it in all sorts of different ways. What’s more, a large community of developers has grown around WordPress, building and releasing all kinds of add-ons and extensions, enhancing the power of WordPress.
Why Learn WordPress?
WordPress is the world’s most popular open-source content management system. That’s a fancy way of saying that it allows you to create any type of website.
WordPress powers more than 43% of all websites on the internet. It generates thousands of job opportunities around the world, and there are millions of websites making money using WordPress.
Apart from economic opportunities, WordPress enables people to share their stories, and ideas, build communities, and do awesome things.
It is ideal for small businesses to make their online presence, at the same time it is economical enough for bloggers to launch their first blog.
WordPress also powers the most popular eCommerce platform called WooCommerce. It is used by millions of small and big online stores. You can use WordPress to start an online store.
Is Learning WordPress Free?
Learning about WordPress doesn’t need to cost you a dime. There are hundreds of free WordPress tutorials, websites, videos, and other resources that cover everything you’ll need to know. So, if you’re on a budget, don’t worry as you won’t need to spend any money.
If you don’t mind paying a small amount of money, there are some paid resources that might be useful.
These include monthly subscription services like Team Treehouse or Lynda/ LinkedIn Learning and tend to be $10-$20 per month.
But again, they are in no way required for learning how to use WordPress. They simply provide some more focused or detailed looks at different topics.
How Does WordPress Work?
Because of its versatility, there are different ways that you can go about using WordPress. Primarily, you’ll either use WordPress.com (called a hosted option) or WordPress.org (a self-hosted approach). And, you can even install and run WordPress directly on your computer. But this third option gets more advanced, and I don’t want to cause confusion here because WordPress doesn’t function like traditional web design software, say Dreamweaver.
Traditional web design software functions more like a word processor, where you simply open, edit, and save files. And with those sorts of tools, you’d build a website on your computer and then upload it to your live web server once it’s complete.
But WordPress works very differently. Unlike a piece of software that runs on your computer, WordPress runs directly on your live web server. So with WordPress, you’d log into your website and then work there, live on the web.
With a traditional tool like Dreamweaver, you create the files that become your website. But with WordPress, it is your website.
How Long Does It Take To Learn WordPress?
Are you wondering just how long it might take to learn WordPress? The good news is, you can nail down the fundamentals of WordPress in no longer than a single weekend — let’s say about eight to ten hours. It doesn’t take long at all to get started with WordPress.
And if you kept working with it, after about a week you’d be feeling pretty comfortable with it. Again, because WordPress is a CMS designed with non-technical users in mind, it’s easy to learn.
Beyond the basics, it really depends on how far you want to go with WordPress. Remember, WordPress can be as big or small as you want it to be. If you just want to know the fundamentals, this is all it would take. But if you wanted to go further into WordPress, you certainly could.
The Best Ways to Learn WordPress for Free
It’s time to learn about WordPress! Let’s cover some of the absolute best resources for learning WordPress for free.
1. WordPress.org Codex
WordPress Codex is the official WordPress online manual book hosted by WordPress.org, meaning it’s among the most trustworthy resources to learn WordPress for free.
Compiled by WordPress developers, the pages offer extensive documentation on this CMS’ functions and issues. Therefore, it is suitable for any web, plugin, or theme developer wanting to learn more about all the technicalities behind WordPress.
The best part about WordPress Codex is that it is also a wiki. This means you can edit, translate, contribute, and discuss every piece of information in its repository.
2. SkillJet Academy
Partnered with Astra, SkillJet Academy is a library of courses that teach you things about business, sales, programming, SEO, WordPress, and other technical skills. It has both free and paid courses available.
All courses are taught by industry experts and leading authorities on their respective topics.
Two of the free courses cover the basics of WordPress and are aimed at beginners: WooCommerce Beginner Guide and WordPress Beginner Guide.
3. Hostinger.com WordPress Tutorials
Hostinger offers an extensive WordPress knowledge base. Its list of tutorials is a great resource to help you get started with all web-related things.
All of the tutorials are completely free, and the site is easy to navigate. It has an extended section on WordPress, which is perfect for beginners wanting to learn about this CMS from scratch.
Despite its name, Hostinger Tutorials cover other topics besides “how-to” content. WordPress basics, plugin reviews, and WordPress theme recommendations are only a few examples among many topics the platform explores.
4. Just Google It: Finding Free Tutorials Online
As a side note, one underrated skill is the ability to Google. If you want to learn a particular thing, just try Googling it. Chances are, someone else has already asked your question and received helpful answers for it.
One helpful tip that’s useful when searching on Google. Put your exact terms within quotation marks, “like this.” This will ensure that the search results all include the term you’re looking for. If you don’t include the words, some results may be unrelated.
5. Smashing Magazine
Smashing Magazine is an online publication that mainly focuses on the world of web design. The topics range from web design, graphic design, and coding to mobile development. Despite this, it has an extended category that exclusively contains all things related to WordPress.
The articles are set up in a blog structure to make them easily digestible for readers. Each blog post embeds an estimated time to read as well as a comment section. However, you may find some of the articles too complicated if you’re a complete beginner.
While all blog posts are completely free, other learning materials, like workshops and eBooks, aren’t. Consider getting a membership to get special discounts on those premium products.
The printed course material and webinars offer excellent value for money, particularly if you are a developer interested in web design. eBook prices range between $4.90-$99, while a workshop may cost you around $300-$600/per ticket.
6. LinkedIn Learning
LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda, is an online learning library dedicated to different technologies. As it was acquired by LinkedIn, it also has a number of business and networking courses.
However, you’ll most likely want to use their WordPress courses. There are many different courses available, including WordPress for Education and Building a Small Business Website with WordPress.
This service lets you pay monthly or annually. The monthly cost is $29.99, while the annual package is $240 or $19.99 per month. LinkedIn Learning also comes with a one-month free trial, which is very generous and may be long enough to complete any courses that you want to do.