No matter whether it is mastering WordPress, blog writing or cakes baking – becoming a pro is a noble, but laborious task. It always takes a lot of time, energy and determination to acquire a necessary level of expertise and be recognized by others.
Speaking about WordPress in particular – due to the fact that it is so straightforward on the surface, many beginners consider it simple to get comfortable with. However, the core of this platform is surprisingly complex and the possibilities are extremely broad. There are many angles in WordPress and it’s not necessary to delve into them all – but the more you know, the higher your chances of success. So, here are a couple of general advice on how to become a real WordPress pro.
Get the Lowdown on the Basics
To become an eminent WordPress expert, you don’t necessarily have to be proficient in PHP and MySQL. There are many other areas apart from development to explore. However, regardless of the chosen direction, you should definitely know how the platform works. This includes being able to:
- Install the CMS;
- Set up a basic site;
Work on SEO.
An excellent resource to start with is the WordPress Codex – there you can easily find most of the general questions on the abovementioned activities.
Become a Devoted WordPress User
The next step after learning the basics is putting your knowledge to practice. It may seem evident, but using WordPress for yourself is a great place to start. It is also a good advice to install WP locally. Having the platform on your computer means that the sky’s the limit and you can do whatever you want with it. Try building a site with WordPress, publish articles on it, experiment with the customization, simply get involved with it. It’s impossible to become a pro just by reading about the software. Practice is what really allows to explore the vast possibilities of the software. And the more you practice, the better. A respectable WordPress professional has the experience, which comes through hours and hours of work.
Specialize on Your Calling
Now is the time for reality check – no matter how hard you try, you can never become the best at everything. While mastering all trades at once will most likely bring more harm than good – concentrating the efforts on a single specialty will help you become proficient in it faster. That being said, becoming a WordPress expert usually means quite different things for different people. This CMS allows users to work on a variety of areas depending on their skills and desires. Some of the examples of how you can get involved with WordPress include: design, development, support, project management, blogging, teaching, etc. Just choose the path you’re passionate about and that passion will help you succeed.
Constantly Educate Yourself and Others
As the famous quote goes, if you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. It is crucial to constantly learn and discover new aspects of your profession. Moreover, you don’t even need to leave your house to educate yourself now. It is easy to find everything you want to know about WordPress online. A simple Google search is a great way to start, but here are a few other resources that might be of use:
As for educating others, it is a way to give back to the WordPress community and systematize your own knowledge as well. When you can explain a concept clearly to someone else, it’s an evident sign that you’ve got it. Answering support questions, writing about WordPress or translating it are some great tools for that.
Connect with WordPress Community
As a professional, you need to build network of other professionals to work on projects together, brainstorm ideas and generally provide professional and moral support. Communicating with WordPress community is a rewarding and pleasurable experience. You can do it online (using the power of social media) or meet your peers face-to-face (that is even better). The WordPress Foundation supports two types of WordPress events: WordCamps and Meetups. WordCamps are large annual conferences, usually two days long, at which WordPress experts and enthusiasts gather to share their experience about WordPress. Meetups are more regular informal gatherings.
Evidently, becoming a WordPress pro is not an easy matter – there is a lot to learn and many stumbling blocks to overcome. However, patience and eagerness to extend your skills step by step will bear fruit and the results will amaze you.
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