My WordPress workshops in 2018

A couple weeks ago I shared my personal goals for 2018.

My first big goal is to raise $10,000 for charity bike rides coming up in the spring, namely the Manulife Ride for Heart; the Ride to Conquer Cancer; and the PWA Friends For Life Bike Rally.

To hit that goal, I’m going to be hosting a series of beginner WordPress workshops across Ontario.

Why across Ontario? Because I think smaller communities outside of the GTA don’t get enough attention when it comes to topics like this.

We’re all caught up in the tech bubble here in Toronto. But what about everywhere else? It’d be great to share knowledge with those smaller communities, squeezing in some roadtrips, and raising money for a good cause along the way.

One problem: My original plan may have been a tad too grand.

My original workshop outline was based on the talk I gave at WordCamp Rochester last year. It covered everything from registering a domain name to connecting a site to Google Tag Manager.

It was big. It was ambitious. It was too much.

So I hit up some friends and acquaintances on Facebook for advice. Their recommendation? Focus on the most engaging part of the process.

Beginners want to feel like they’re making progress, and a three or four-hour workshop will disappear faster than I expect.

From there, I jumped into a few Facebook groups for WordPress beginners. I asked them all, “what would you want to see in an intro workshop?”

Responses were mixed, but there were recurring topics: Plugins, themes, content, and website maintenance.

So I scaled it back. Here’s where I’m at now:

A quick overview of my workshops for 2018

Basic Setup

  • Navigating the WordPress admin interface.
  • Explanation of WordPress settings and options.
  • User roles and capabilities, adding and managing users.

Themes

  • Introduction to themes; difference between free and premium themes.
  • Evaluating themes in the WordPress.org theme directory.
  • Installing plugins from the directory & through uploads.

Plugins

  • Introduction to plugins; difference between free and premium plugins.
  • Evaluating plugins in the WordPress.org plugin directory.
  • Installing plugins from the directory & through uploads.

Content

  • How content is handled in WordPress: posts, pages, and the media library.
  • Organizing posts with categories and tags; scheduling and publishing posts.
  • Planning pages; page templates; parent-child page relationships.
  • Adding media to posts, pages, and the media library.
  • Using plugins and shortcodes in the editor.

Customization

  • Using the Customizer.
  • Sidebars, widget areas, and widgets.
  • Menus and navigation.

Maintenance

  • Updates: Security releases, major releases, saving backups.
  • Security: Hardening WordPress, security monitoring. malware protection.
  • Analytics: Monitoring user activity on your site.

Since it’s only a three hour workshop I won’t be able to dive into all the details. To make up for it, I’m going to build up an online repository of content based on the workshop.

Workshop attendees will get access to that supplementary content, plus access to a private Facebook group for follow-up discussions and Q&A.

What do you think?

I’d like to start running the workshops in February or March.

I’m looking at charging $40 per person to keep the workshops affordable and accessible.

With a fundraising goal of $10,000, assuming I start running workshops in March, that’s ~$1000 a month from registration fees alone.

I’m also looking for sponsors who can help me cover logistics (venue costs, refreshments) and contribute to the fundraiser in general. I’ll have more to share regarding sponsorships next week. 🙂

You can drop your thoughts in the comments below, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter, or send me an email.

Until next time!

Featured image via Pixabay

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