Episode 80: Unlocking Your WordPress Potential with Learn WordPress Tools

WordPress Briefing Podcast with host Josepha Haden Chomphosy
WordPress Briefing – A WordPress Podcast
Episode 80: Unlocking Your WordPress Potential with Learn WordPress Tools

Download file | Play in new window | Duration: 11:59

Learn about where WordPress is going, how we’ll get there, and how you can get involved.

Welcome to another episode of the WordPress Briefing! In this episode, your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy, delves into the incredible resources available to help you broaden your WordPress expertise. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to deepen your skillset, these tools and tutorials offer something for everyone. Join us as we explore how Learn WordPress can be your guide on the journey to mastering WordPress, providing invaluable support and community connections along the way.


Host: Josepha Haden Chomphosy
Editor: Dustin Hartzler
Logo: Javier Arce
Production: Brett McSherry
Song: Fearless First by Kevin MacLeod

Show Notes


[00:00:10] Josepha: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the WordPress Briefing, the podcast where you can catch quick explanations of the ideas behind the WordPress open source project, some insight into the community that supports it, and get a small list of big things coming up in the next two weeks. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy.

Here we go!

[00:00:28] (Intro Music) 

[00:00:40] Josepha: My friends, I don’t know about where you live, but where I live, it’s graduation season. Students all across the region are either gearing down for a little bit of a brain break or gearing up for the next big adventure in their lives. And as I watch these students discover the next phases in their lives, whether it looks good or bad, whether it feels fearful or faithful, I can’t help but think back to my last big change.

[00:01:07] Josepha: The one that brought me here to WordPress. I was working in insurance at the time and investing in a side hustle. And as is often the case with side hustles, discovered that knowing something about marketing myself was going to be key. Now, this next bit, I know that a lot of you will understand immediately. After that realization, I entered a period in my life where I was learning how to invest in my hoped-for side hustle so that I could realize my hoped-for dreams while also having to succeed at the job that I was using to pay my bills.

By some singular coincidence, I wound up being introduced to the WordPress project, where I found not only the tools it turned out I needed but also people who were willing to help me learn them. For me, during that time, the cost to get access to both the tool and that support was basically zero. Like the whole cost to me was get those WordPress people together in a room to talk about WordPress for an hour.

[00:02:04] Josepha: And that’s something that I always want to do anyway. I always want to get people together. And if what we’re talking about is WordPress, and that is what I need to learn about, then so be it. I realize that there is a little bit of privilege in that story and a whole lot of persistence. It’s not like I discovered it, and overnight, everything worked out well, and perfectly, and correctly.

However, all of the struggles to get what I got accomplished done aside. One of the things that I love the most about how the WordPress project has evolved over time is that we took that already low-cost, low-barrier concept and did everything in our power to take that low-cost, low-barrier and make it available to as many people as possible in as many points in their journey as possible.

So, if you’re at the start of your career or thinking about a bit of a career change, I have some resources for you. Like, stick around. But before we get to the resources, I want to make sure that you hear this. Learning WordPress things, whether that’s the software itself, or how to run a business supported by WordPress, or how to support other businesses by building them WordPress stuff, learning these skills now is an investment in who you want to be.

[00:03:20] Josepha: It’s placing a bet that’s grounded in what you think you can bring to the world before anyone else might have figured out it’s what they need in their lives. And when you do that, in WordPress, you’re accessing and hopefully one day contributing to an equitable framework that doesn’t require you to understand it in order for you to benefit from it.

You can do hard things, and hopefully, these resources make those hard things a little easier. I’m going to take us through a whirlwind wayfinding list. I’ll generally be focused on time required and then kind of like necessary actions or context that would be useful for you to know. But remember that your mileage may vary.

[00:04:01] Josepha: If something sounds close but not perfect, I encourage you to give it a try anyway. The worst that happens is you try something different next time. Or, in the best-case scenario, you create something that other folks also have been missing. There was something that was close for them but not perfect either, and maybe you found the thing that’s perfect for them.

So, here is my whirlwind wayfinding list. Let’s go. Only have one hour a week and prefer a little company in your learning? Check out a meetup event near you. You can find those listed in your dashboard or on events.WordPress.org, but frequently, they happen during the week, after work hours, sometimes they happen on the weekend, they happen like in libraries or coffee shops.

So, there are a lot of different ways that these events come together, and surely, there will be something that is the sort of low-key event that you want. But if not, you can always reach out to your local chapter and see how you can get involved with that, how you can help them create a new meetup event.

[00:05:02] Josepha: The next option, if you only have an hour a week, but you actually don’t want company but still use some external support, I would check out one of our online workshops. There are cohorts for each workshop, and they’re run by facilitators so that you can learn and socialize from the comfort and safety of your own space, or if you really are super strapped for time, that can help with like not having to commute anywhere. Next up on our list, feel like you could average an hour a week, but honestly, would prefer it to be in one big chunk? Check out a WordCamp near you.

Those are a little bit like the meetups but quite a bit bigger and a lot more content, a lot more learning available, and gets you into a different kind of group of people in your local area. Those happen about once a year per city or region, but if there’s not one within a comfortable traveling distance for you, it might be a good chance for you to do a mini business trip, or if you’re doing it as current career development, see if your boss, or your boss self, if you are your own boss, has a continuing education budget available for you.

[00:06:08] Josepha: Have 30 minutes or so a week and don’t need any external motivation? On the one hand, I am a little jealous. I sometimes need my own external motivation. But, if that’s not you, if you can just self-drive forever, then courses over on learn.WordPress.org are just about your speed. We even have a series of learning pathways in development that curate all the courses you need to achieve particular milestones.

You can also help to create those. If you have been all the way through your learning journey and you’re, like, the most WordPressy WordPresser we’ve ever seen, and you just want to make sure that other people have the same opportunities you’ve had, that’s an excellent opportunity to show up and make sure that the knowledge is still available, still free, still can be accessed.

And finally, if you have unpredictable time and also still comfortable being completely self-driven, We have in the WordPress ecosystem countless videos, blogs, tutorials, and a ton of content creators that are behind them that specialize in teaching WordPress basics but also leveling up existing knowledge. And if your type of existing knowledge is in the, like, gathering the network to succeed, sort of area. We even have podcasts and blogs that are dedicated to the more businessy side of WordPress, how to make this function in the WordPress ecosystem.

[00:07:32] Josepha: As always, I’ll have links for everything in the show notes—just myriad links because this isn’t even all that we need to share with you today. And I’m going to say this last thing one more time because I really, really mean it like a whole, whole lot. I know it’s hard, bordering on impossible sometimes, to carve out time to learn new things. But when you’re ready to invest in yourself, I’m pretty sure that these resources will be here to support your hoped-for dreams.

[00:07:58] (Music interlude) 

[00:08:05] Josepha: And that brings us now to our small list of big things. First up is speaking of learning, speaking of investing in your future. WordCamp Europe has a youth and teen workshop going on. The registration for that is still open. It is open for students aged 10 to 16. It’s gonna be a hands-on workshop. They’ll get to build their own website with WordPress and then explore some cutting-edge technology from VR to AI and learn essential internet safety skills. We’re going to be running that on June 13th. It will be in both English and Italian. I will leave a link to the registration in the show notes.

And the next thing on our list is pretty much related. It’s kind of related. At WordCamp US this year, we have a Showcase Day. Now, this is new to WordCamp US, and it’s all about pushing the boundaries of what WordPress can do. It will feature presentations, demos, and technical workshops for all kinds of projects, from high-profile, large-scale builds with innovative integrations to more niche creative implementations that still have a big impact. Submissions are now open for it. If you are working on something that is really cool and uses WordPress and want to show it off to the WordPress community, wander over there, submit your project; let’s take a look at it and see if we can get it into that showcase lineup, but if you are looking for inspiration about what WordPress can do, if you’re still figuring out how this can work the best for you, that’s going to be a great opportunity to look at some unusual implementations so that you can get an idea for how big this thing can get.

[00:09:43] Josepha: And just some tactical things. The next two things on my small of big things are two tactical items. One is that WordPress 6.6 is on the move; as always, we have Beta 1 scheduled pretty soon here. So, dig into our priority features. I will leave a link to the roadmap for WordPress 6.6. We’re targeting, if I recall correctly, middle of July for that release. And so it’s coming up faster than you think. And we would absolutely love for you to come in, test the Beta, tell us what’s broken so that we can fix it before it gets out. We can’t fix the things if you don’t tell us they’re broken. 

[00:10:17] Josepha: And then the final thing on our small list of big things is that speaking of not being able to fix things that we don’t know are broken. So, we use meetup.com to manage all of our meetup series. Well, most of our meetup series anyway, but they are planning to invest in some product improvements, and they have asked for feedback from the WordPress community. Historically, we are one of the largest, most active communities on their platform. And so, if you could fill out the feedback form, if you’ve been to a meetup, or if you tried to find a meetup using meetup.com and did not succeed, that’s probably also relevant information. I’ll have a link to that here as well. It will go directly to their product team. And hopefully we’ll see some product improvements for the WordPress community in the future.

[00:11:01] Josepha: And that, my friends, is your small list of big things. Don’t forget to follow us, follow me on your favorite podcast app, or subscribe directly on WordPress.org/news. You’ll get a friendly reminder whenever there’s a new episode, and if you liked what you heard today, share it with a fellow WordPresser. Or, if you had questions about what you heard, you can share those with me at WPBriefing@WordPress.org. I’m your host, Josepha Haden Chomphosy. Thanks again, and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks. 

[00:11:29] (Music outro) 

Get the Latest Updates

WP Briefing — The WordPress Podcast

Join Josepha Haden and Matt Mullenweg to learn about where WordPress is going and how you can get involved.