I have been teaching WordPress for around 15 years and recently asked a group of my students:
“What do you think is missing from most WordPress courses, that YOU feel all WordPress users need to know.”
This course is the result of that questionnaire.
If you have a working knowledge of WordPress, but want to learn more and become a better website developer, then this course can help.
This course does not teach you how to use WordPress. That much is assumed.
This course includes more information on :
WordPress files on your server and how to access them with FTP or through cPanel.
Child themes and how to create them.
WordPress pages including parent-child relationships, page templates, template hierarchy, conditional statements, custom page templates and custom post templates.
Why redirects are important and how to use them successfully.
HTTP to HTTPS conversion on web hosts that support Let’s Encrypt.
Improving page load times by optimizing your site, and checking your site is mobile-friendly.
Design stuff like Themes, Dynamic Widgets, Custom Sidebars, Jump Links, Page Builders & Favicons.
The Media Library and image galleries.
WordPress Users and roles. Your’ll also learn how to create your own roles.
GDPR and how to ensure you are compliant.
Autoresponders – how they work and why you should use them.
Site Structure – how to create different types of site with WordPress using the tools available within the Dashboard.
CTR & Time on Site, and how to improve these by monitoring and tweaking.
WordPress Problems and how to solve the majority of them quickly and easily.
Staging Sites and how to create them so you can work on a copy of your site and only push updates to the live site when you are ready.
Developer Tools built into Google Chrome (& Firefox) to help examine the code behind your site, and tweak it.
By the end of this course you will have a more complete tool set to create engaging, successful websites using WordPress.
This lecture introduces your instructor, and what you will learn in the course.
Wordpress is made up of a bunch of files, connected and talking to a database. This lecture shows you the main files and folders that are downloadable from the Wordpress website.
This lecture shows how to setup FTP software to access your web server and the files and folders that power WordPress.
cPanel has a useful File Manager which can be used to manipulate files and folders on the server. This lecture gives you a brief overview of using this tool.
This lecture looks at the files and folders that WordPress installs on your server. I'll give you an overview of what these files and folders are for, and tell you why you should care.
If you get serious about customizing your WordPress site, chances are you will come across the functions.php file. This lecture looks at what it is.
Child themes are a great idea if you plan on editing your theme files. That way, when you update the parent theme, your customizations wont be over-written.
In the last lecture we used a plugin to manually create a child theme. However, you can manually create one if you prefer. Let's see how that is done.
WordPress posts are often misunderstood and misused. This lecture summarizes the features of Pages and when you should use them.
Although pages cannot be assigned to categories or be tagged, they can be organized into a hierarchy. This lecture shows you how.
Creating full width pages can be as easy as selecting an option in your themes settings, or it can be more complicated than that.
This lecture introduces the idea of page templates, what they are for and how we can create custom page templates.
Before we can create a custom template, we need to know what to call it so that Wordpress will use the template instead of the default. We also need to know which of the default templates we should use as the starting point of our new template. This lecture covers all this.
Conditional statements allow us to make quick edits to templates without having to create entirely new templates. This lecture looks at these statements, and how boolean operators can modify them.
This lecture looks at how you can create custom page templates. Using the example of removing a sidebar from a specific page, you'll create the desired effect in three different ways.
In this lecture we'll see how easy it i to create templates that can be used, and re-used, across multiple posts (and pages) in the dashboard.
This lecture looks at why redirects are so important to webmasters.
301 redirects are really useful, and easy to implement. This lecture takes you through the process of adding a redirect to your htaccess file.
There is a very good free WordPress plugin that you might want to use to manage your 301 redirects. This lecture shows you the basics of the Redirection plugin.
Short Links Plugin was previously known as Pretty Links, and is a great little plugin for creating redirects.
This lecture introduces SSL and the HTTPS secure connection.
Let's Encrypt is a free SSL certificate that many web hosts are compatible with. This lecture shows you how to set this up.
Once you have set up your SSL certificate, you need to check that you are getting the green padlock in a web browser. This lecture looks at what can go wrong and how to fix it.
Mobile-friendly websites have the advantage in Google. This lecture explains why, and how to check that your site is mobile-friendly.
The length of time it takes to load a web page is very important if you want to retain visitors on your site. No one likes sitting around waiting for a web page to load. This lecture introduces the issue which we will explore in this section of the course.
GTMetrix is a great tool to tell us why we may have slow loading pages. This lecture shows you how to use this tool.
Image optimization is a badly understood part of making your site faster. This lecture looks at what you should be doing before you even upload your images to your wordpress website.
This lecture introduces the idea of caching.
If you are hosting your site on a Litespeed server, use the Litespeed caching plugin. This lecture shows how to set that up.
If you are not hosting your site on a Litespeed server, use the W3 Total Cache plugin. This lecture shows how to set that up.
This lecture looks at a plugin that will allow you to selectively switch off JS and CSS on some or all pages. This can speed up the loading of your pages even more.
This lecture introduces the idea of Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and the benefits they provide for your website.
I recommend you consider Cloudflare as the CDN for your own site. This lecture looks in a little more detail what Cloudflare can do for you.
There are different ways you can enable Cloudflare on your own site. This lecture shows my recommended way of adding a domain to Cloudflare.
This lecture gives you a quick tour of the Cloudflare interface. I'll point out the main areas you need to be aware of.
This video introduces the Design Stuff section of the course, and tells you what we'll be covering.
This lecture looks at what you need to look for when choosing a theme, and gives a little advice on finding a theme that is right for your site.
In this lecture I want to talk about dynamic widgets, which give you the power to add widgets to specific parts of your site, instead of globally.
Custom sidebars is another great plugin for customizing the sidebars used throughout your site, allowing you to create unique sidebars to be used in specific areas of your website.
Jump links are great tools for moving visitors around your pages quickly. They are really easy to implement in WordPress.
Google reCaptcha is a free tool that you can use to cut down on spam submissions on your website. This video shows how to setup Google's reCaptcha, ready for integration with plugins.
What are page builders and how do they differ from what we had before? This lecture looks at Page Builders.
Gutenberg is the block editor built into WordPress. This video gives you a quick demonstration of how it works to build a simple page.
This video will show you how to build a simple page using Elementor. This is my page builder of choice, and the free version is really powerful.
Elementor Pro is a paid upgrade, but it does add in features to allow you to create your own Wordpress themes. This video shows a basic overview of that.
Google maps can help your visitors locate (and navigate to) a location that is important to your web page. This lecture shows how you can add Google maps without needing to use a plugin.
It can be really useful sometimes to re-order the posts. This can be done in a couple of ways. This lecture shows when it is a good idea, and how to do it.
All websites need this page. This lecture explains why, and how you should go about crafting one that speaks to your visitors.
Favicons are easy to add to your site, but make sure they are the correct dimension of they will look distorted.
There are a lot of free favicon generators out there. Let me show you my favourite, and how to use it.
Finally, let's install the Favicon on our site and check it out.
This lecture looks at a few little tricks to using the media library to its full potential.
This lecture looks at image galleries. How to create them and how to edit them.
Users that have access to the dashboard have a role assigned to them. These roles define their privileges inside the dashboard. This video introduces this idea.
This lecture goes through the WordPress default roles to highlight their capabilities.
WordPress plugins give us the power to create and edit our own roles. This lecture shows you one such plugin.
Most webmasters have heard (and worried about) GDPR. This section of the course looks at GDPR and how to implement it on your site. We'll start off with an overview of GDPR.
There are six main principles of GDPR. This lecture goes through them to help you better understand what GDPR is all about.
GDPR is all about protecting an individual's rights. This lecture goes through the 8 main rights that GDPR is designed to protect.
The question I get asked most about GDPR, "Does it affect me?". This lecture explores that question.
WordPress plugins are there to extend the basic features of this great content management system, but in terms of GDPR, they can cause you problems. This lecture covers what you need to know.
There are some plugins out there that claim to make your site compliant with GDPR. This lecture looks at the most popular one.
This lecture gives you a short GDPR checklist to ensure you are compliant.
In this section of the course I want to look at autoresponders and how you can use them on your website.
In this lecture I'll show you how to set up the simple autoresponder on your web host to reply to emails when you are out-of-office.
This video looks at the options you have for autoresponders.
This video is an introduction to the site structure section of the course.
This lecture looks at the tools you have when setting up a site structure.
Tags are often abused. This lecture explains what they are and how you should be using them.
This lecture builds on the last one which explored the tools available to structure a site, to create a typical WordPress website structure.
This video shows how to setup WordPress as a typical blog website.
In this video, we'll set WordPress up as a typical business website.
This lecture discusses what a sitemap is, who it is for, and why it is important.
Yoast SEO is a plugin that has many uses. Creating and managing a sitemap is one of them. This video shows how you can customize what is included on your sitemap.
Click-Through Rates (CTR) are incredibly important if you want to maximize your traffic coming from the search engines. This video shows you how you can check CTR for any page on your site, and how to go about trying to improve that CTR.
Time on site can be a good indicator of problems with a page. This tutorial shows you where you can find the relevant data inside Google Analytics to help identify these pages.
Plugins are usually the cause of a problem suddenly appearing. Let's look in a little more detail.
WordPress does put your site into maintenance mode whenever it updates itself, plugins, or themes. Occasionally your site can be stuck in this mode. This lecture shows how to fix this, and how to put your site into maintenance mode yourself.
Website staging is where you have a copy of your site that you can work on, without affecting your live site. When you have made changes that you want to make live, you can push those changes to the live site.
Many web hosts offer staging as an option in cPanel (and Softaculous). This lecture shows how you can implement this.
Is your web host does not offer staging, you can use a plugin instead.
Chrome developer tools can help us look at the code behind our website, and allows us to tweak design. This lecture introduces the tools.