How I Explained WordPress to my Mother
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How I Explained WordPress to my Mother

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Since 2003, WordPress has become more and more popular as a blogging AND content management system. In 2006, when I landed the deal for my WordPress For Dummies book, I was so excited and called my ...

Since 2003, WordPress has become more and more popular as a blogging AND content management system. In 2006, when I landed the deal for my WordPress For Dummies book, I was so excited and called my Mom to tell her the awesome news! ”Hey MOM! Guess what? I just landed a gig as the author of WordPress For Dummies!”

I was met with ….. silence.

Then…. “Lisa, what is WordPress?”

WordPress may power 14% of the web, but I find people everywhere I go who have never heard of it. When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them about the book and I get all sorts of different questions:

“WordPress? Is that like Microsoft Word?”
“Is that like Facebook or MySpace?”
“Is it hard?”

Funny, outside my circle of friends, colleagues, clients and WordCampers, it is not unusual for me to hear something like “WordPress? Never heard of it.”

This session answers the question: “What is WordPress” on a very basic level.

Target audience: New users, Beginner users, Developers or designers who need to explain WordPress to their mother.

**Updated 3/2012 - presentation given to the OKC WordPress Meetup. updated slides.

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  • As promised - here is the video of the talk to go with the (short) slides:

    http://wordpress.tv/2011/11/23/lisa-sabin-wilson-how-i-explained-wordpress-to-my-mother/
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  • Note: this session used most of its time for extensive Q&A with new users at WordCamp Philly - so slides are short, intentionally. I think the video of the talk will be published at some point - will provide a reference when available.
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How I Explained WordPress to my Mother How I Explained WordPress to my Mother Presentation Transcript

  • How I Explained WordPress to myMother@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012March 26, 2012
  • About Your Presenter:Lisa Sabin-Wilson✤ Wisconsin (Go Pack!) Lisa Sabin-Wilson Author of books.✤ WordPress user since 2003 Designer of sites. Lover of WordPress.✤ Author since 2006 http://lisasabin-wilson.com @LisaSabinWilson✤ Twitter: @LisaSabinWilson Thanks for coming!
  • WordPressBooks✤ WordPress For Dummies✤ BuddyPress For Dummies✤ WordPress All In One✤ WordPress Web Design For Dummies@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress The Internet@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress versus the Internet WordPress 15% The Internet 85% WordPress The Internet@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPressBooks✤ WordPress For Dummies In 2006, I was given the task of writing a book called “WordPress For Dummies” - - I had to take all of the knowledge I had about WordPress and write a technical guide that was easy enough for my mother to understand it. That’s not as easy as it sounds!@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress Jargon can get confusing for new users.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress Jargon can get confusing for new users.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress Jargon can get confusing for new users.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • That’s a LOT of people who do NOT use, or know, about WordPress. Our mission is clear! Spread the WordPress love! WordPress The Internet@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress versus the Internet WordPress 15% The Internet 85% That’s a LOT of people who do NOT use, or know, about WordPress. Our mission is clear! Spread the WordPress love! WordPress The Internet@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • At a WordCamp, or MeetUp: we’ve all sipped the WordPress Kool-Aid. It’samazing how many people I run into outside of WordCamps and theCommunity who have NEVER heard of WordPress!
  • What IsWordPress??
  • Easiest Common TieWhat are they most likely to relate to?For people who have never heard of WordPress - or internet publishing, in general -it’s best to keep it simple and relate it to things they can already wrap their brainaround - then go from there!✤ Microsoft Word - if they can use MSWord, they can use WordPress with the Visual Editor and point and click ease of publishing.✤ Facebook - if they understand Facebook, relate it with the sharing of information and creating dialogue with WordPress posts and comments.✤ E-mail - as a communication tool, WordPress is a great one!✤ Diary - everyone knows what a diary is! Relate blogging on WordPress to keeping a regular journal of thoughts and ideas that roll around in their noggin.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Don’t: Assume.Ditch the WordPress terminology for now✤ You are more likely to scare off new users by using words and terms like: ✤ Custom Post Types ✤ Hooks and Filters ✤ PHP, HTML, CSS ✤ Don’t assume that THEY know what YOU are talking about.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Don’t: Assume.Ditch the WordPress terminology for now✤ Categories - relate this to a filing cabinet of folders with different topics.✤ Tags - descriptive terms✤ Posts versus Pages - keep it simple and don’t dwell on ‘static’ versus ‘dynamic’ - it gets confusing!✤ Themes - themes can be a bugger! Keep it simple and refer to themes as the dressing for their site - they can dig into them later when they’ve gotten to know WP better.✤ Plugins - same as themes - keep this simple!@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Keeping it Simplesome examples I use✤ What is WordPress? It is a piece of software that gets installed on your web hosting account and allows you to publish content on the internet. Much like how Microsoft Word gets installed on your computer and allows you to publish and save content.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Keeping it Simplesome examples I use✤ What is a WordPress Theme? A theme is a collection of files that get installed in your WordPress software and, once activated, drives the visual look and layout of your entire site. Think of different web sites you visit - they have different styles, looks, layouts, etc - - that is what a theme does for your WordPress site - creates a visual experience for your visitors.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Keeping it Simplesome examples I use✤ What is a WordPress Plugins? A plugin is like an add-on for your WordPress site - it adds extra features and functions that don’t exist, by default. Things like email subscription features or social media sharing. It’s like your vacuum cleaner at home. It does a great job by itself, but you can add attachments (like the upholstery attachment) that helps it do certain things that it doesn’t do by itself without the attachment. Plugins are like attachments@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Keeping it Simplesome examples I use✤ What is the difference between a Post and a Page? WordPress became so popular and was best-known as a blogging platform. A blog is a collection of written articles (knowns as ‘posts’) that are generally displayed on a web site in chronological (by date) fashion. The ‘blog‘ portion of a WordPress site changes frequently because as you add new posts, the older posts get pushed down an into the site archives. Because it changes so much, posts are considered to be ‘dynamic’. Pages can also be created, however, because they typically do not change that often, they are considered ‘static’ content. Examples of pages would be an About Me page or a Contact page.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Keeping it Simplesome examples I use✤ What is a Category? WordPress gives you the ability to write content and allows you to organize that content into topics called ‘categories’. You can ‘file‘ your posts into categories in order to create topical archives - or a collection of posts on your site that are related to one another by topic. Think of this like a file cabinet in your office with folders that have labels like “Taxes”, “Bills”, “Insurance”, etc. Within those folders contain documents that are related to the labels on the folders. File Cabinet = your blog File Folder = Blog archives File Folder Label = Category Folder Document = Your blog post@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Keeping it Simplesome examples I use✤ What are Comments? WordPress allows you to give readers of your blog posts the ability to leave comments on your post in order to create a discussion and interaction with visitors to your site. Think of this like a guest book, of sorts. People visit your site, read your post and can leave their name in the comments section, along with some of their own thoughts about the topic you wrote about.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress is EASYand becomes easier each time you use it!✤ What is easy for me may not be easy for my mother People approach life (and WordPress!) from different perspectives, experiences and level of knowledge. WordPress IS easy enough for anyone to use - however, depending on their level of awareness of things like the internet, technology and concepts of internet publishing - what may come easy to one person might be more difficult for another person to grasp. When introducing new users to WordPress it is important to understand what their level of experience and comfort is with such things so that you can adjust your teaching method and approach.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress is EASYand becomes easier each time you use it!✤ What is easy for me may not be easy for my mother If you start by saying something like : WordPress is so easy! But then follow it up by using terms like “taxonomoy”, “PHP”, “Hooks”, “Filters”, “Custom Post Types”, etc - - it is not going to SOUND easy to someone who is unfamiliar with those concepts. Keep it simple to start - and the new user can discover some of the more complicated aspects of Wordpress down the road, if they want to.@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • WordPress is EASYand becomes easier each time you use it!✤ REMEMBER: knowledge of PHP, HTML, CSS and some advanced topics surrounding WordPress is NOT required in order to use WordPress@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012
  • Q&A Q&A for OKC WordPress Meetup Thanks for coming! Lisa Sabin-Wilson Author of books. Designer of sites. Lover of WordPress. http://lisasabin-wilson.com @LisaSabinWilson@LisaSabinWilson | OKC WordPress MeetUp March 2012