How To Teach WordPress (With Two Hours)

My client, Cloud Clinic, reached out to me asking whether I could give their staff a crash course on WordPress.

Well, that’s done now, and I received positive feedback from staff and the founder.

Feedback was really good. They liked the topic very much. And you presented it very well. Love that house land domain hosting analogy

Bosty Chan, founder of Cloud Clinic

So, I thought I’d share the materials and how to set up the environment to teach WordPress if you only had two hours to present the information.

Table of Contents

How Much Time Needed To Teach WordPress?

I had two hours to deliver the material, so preparation is necessary.

Luckily for you, I am sharing all the content and steps that I followed here. Here’s the slides I created:

Preparation Needed Before Delivering Tutorial

Before anything, you need to prepare the strategy and material.

My strategy centred around avoiding “gotchas” by removing variables that we can control.

Example: standardizing the tutorial content and WordPress installation.

Tutorial Strategy

My goal was to help students understand what they needed to know in order to build a WordPress one-page portfolio.

Luckily for them, the move from the Classic editor to the Gutenberg editor has made that a lot simpler and user friendly.

There are many things I could cover:

  • Introduction to WordPress: Overview, history, and usage.
  • Setting Up WordPress: Local and live installation processes.
  • Dashboard Navigation: Exploring the WordPress admin dashboard.
  • Creating Content: Posts, pages, and media management.
  • Themes: Selection, installation, and customization.
  • Plugins: Finding, installing, and managing plugins.
  • Widgets and Menus: Managing sidebar widgets and navigation menus.
  • User Management: Creating and managing user roles and capabilities.
  • Basic SEO: Introduction to search engine optimization in WordPress.
  • Security Basics: Basic security practices for a WordPress site.

But yeah, problems.

Problems, already

  • Two-hour time limit
  • Staff are likely unfamiliar with WordPress

Teaching a WordPress course in two hours poses significant challenges in covering content, ensuring comprehension, and providing hands-on experience.

Limited time restricts deep-diving into essential topics, potentially leaving students with gaps in practical knowledge and application skills.

So it’s time to skim the fat off my tutorial. I figured that these are the essentials I can teach in two hours:

Teach Them What They Need To Build A Website

There are six steps.

Steps 4-6 are things that I went through on a hands-on basis. They are all done within WordPress, which is the focus of this tutorial.

Step 1-3 are basically done at the domain registrar and web host. I explained what they are, but I expected most of them to get no clue, since these terms are mere jargon… hence…

Teach Them Building A Website Is Like Building A House (Analogy)

If you tell a layperson what a domain is, they might not get it.

Tell them what a web host does, and you might stumble into the rabbit hole of “Huhs?” and blank looks.

And how does WordPress fit into all of these?!?

Well, tell them to think of it as building a house.

how to teach wordpress domain host wordpress installation

I told them…

A domain is like your home address. It’s a line of text. It does nothing beyond lead people to a specific place.

A web host is like leasing land. From thereon, you have space to do whatever you want.

WordPress is like the structure of the house.

Once you have installed WordPress, you have a house that’s an empty canvas. Then, it’s up to you to do the interior designing.

If you need more details, read the extended explanation I wrote.

Teach Them Why They Should Consider Building Their Website

I listened to a talk a while ago that said it’s important to promise people what they can get once they’ve invested time in listening to you.

So the pitch was,

“By the end of this course, you will be able to build your own one-page portfolio website”

The add-on was,

“Having a portfolio has helped me to get new clients and jobs”.

Cloud Clinic is a majority-remote workplace so their staff tend to use tech a lot.

Which is why I suggested to them that it’s important to buy a domain, perhaps [your-real-name].com and then put something there that you can refer to all the time.

Teach Them Why Use WordPress

benefits of wordpress

They might ask you why not use Squarespace or Wix. You tell them this:

I’m glad you asked. Here’s why:

Cost-Effectiveness: WordPress provides control over costs with a wide array of free and premium themes and plugins, offering solutions that can align with various budgets.

Ownership and Control: WordPress users enjoy full ownership and unrestricted control over their website and data, avoiding the limitations that can come with proprietary platforms like Wix or Squarespace.

Content Management: WordPress, originating as a blogging platform, boasts a robust content management system, enabling efficient management and publication of diverse content types.

Scalability: WordPress offers scalability to accommodate growth, supporting everything from small blogs to extensive e-commerce sites, and managing complex content structures with ease.

Community and Support: With a vast global community and a wealth of support options, including forums, tutorials, and third-party services, WordPress users rarely lack assistance or resources.

Customization and Flexibility: Offering unparalleled customization through numerous themes and plugins, and being open-source, WordPress allows extensive modifications and adaptations to meet specific needs and visions.

They might also ask you how long it’ll take to build a website. Here’s your answer.

Setting Up The Sandbox Servers

Before the tutorial even starts, you need to prepare the sandbox servers.

The servers should be installed with identical copies of WordPress. At this time, we had WordPress 6.3.1.

If you already have a server, then just create a few installations of WordPress on different subdomains.

Don’t forget to send these logins to your staff.

Or else, another way that I’m aware of, but never tested, is by using WordPress sandboxes. Search “WP Sandbox” and you will see a few options.

Whatever method you choose, you will need to be on the same installation to streamline the tutorial.

What do I mean?

A lot of web hosts do inject their own sprinkles onto the installations of WordPress. For example, SiteGround will put a installation wizard that will suggest plugins and themes. Dreamhost will also do that too.

No matter what, make sure that you standardize ALL installations, including yours.

My tutorial centred around the default Twenty Twenty Three theme. I think it’s best to use the default theme.

I chose to use the default theme because I didn’t want to let people test out different themes and throw the lesson out of standardization. Remember, two hours is little!

Focusing On Specific Gutenberg Blocks

I figured it’s important to choose which blocks to show people how to use.

Here’s what I wrote in my proposal to Cloud Clinic.

On the day of the tutorial, it served as a reference as to what I needed to mention.

Prepare A Content Package

I put a package of images together and sent them to all staff. This way, they would have images to play around with when using the Image and Gallery blocks.

Not all students used these images, but I think it’s a good idea to prep all of these in case one member of your tutorial doesn’t have any pictures to use.

Tutorial Order

The first 30 mins was dedicated to the slides.

The next 30 mins was me talking about the WordPress interface and creating a page.

Particularly, teaching the blocks hands-on required me to show them how things are done, and then have them mimic what I did.

For example, when it came to demo the paragraph block, I asked them to write an introduction and hyperlink a website and use a mailto: hyperlink to link to their email.

Essentially, they were tasked to produce this:

Once I went through the blocks, they were given some time to play around with WordPress on their own.

I went to each individual and asked “Is there anything you want to put in your portfolio that you don’t know how?”

By the time I went past eight people, two hours was over…

Here’s What They Made

how to teach wordpress

If you are giving a course soon and need some pointers, feel free to email me.

If you need a crash course for your company so that staff can handle simple web tasks, I am happy to create a custom course for you.

Have a project in mind?

Websites. Graphics. SEO-oriented content.

I can get your next project off the ground.

See how I have helped my clients.