This talk that I delivered at WordCamp Chicago introduces WordPress to people that have never touched the platform. People want to know what their getting into! What kind of commitment does this mean? What things can it do for me on social media? A quick look at the dashboard and take questions that people have. Why would people use WordPress?
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• Instructor, Sheridan College
• Joint program with University of Toronto
at Mississauga: Institute of Culture,
Communication, Information and
• Web Design and Capstone Project
• Independent IT and Social Media
• Clients include NPOs, Real Estate,
Software Development, Financial and
• Bachelor of Commerce in Info Tech Mgmt.,
What Is WordPress? Why Should I Use It?
WordPress used be known as a blogging tool. Now, it is a platform for creating websites.
Currently powers 22% of the world’s websites, including The Huffington Post. This has been
increasing at a rate of approximately 2-3% per year over the last 3-4 years. It’s not going
away any time soon.
Easy to use, can have multiple contributors at different levels of access and much of the
time, doesn’t need code.
.COM vs .ORG
Hosted by WordPress/Automattic
Typically has a set domain made up of
your username and “.wordpress.com”.
Can have your own domain or modify
themes, but costs extra
Also referred to as “Self-Hosted”.
Hosted by a third-party (such as Bluehost)
FREE for the software. You will pay for
Can have whatever domain you want.
Can modify themes, add plugins and
The “Look and Feel” of your website
Might include some functionality,
The “Front End” or what people see
From Graph Paper Press
Plugins extend the usefulness of your
Some examples are Backup Buddy and
The “Back End” or what people don’t see
Which One Should I Use? It Depends…
If you just want to use it for a personal
website and more of a blog, use the
If you are going to run your business off of
this site, use .ORG
Pages vs Posts
Static information for the most part
“About Us” is a great example
Does not use Categories
Can have sub-pages
Uses Categories & Tags
“Upcoming Events” or “Events Attended”
are good examples
Categories vs. Tags
Major classifications for information
“Events” is a great example
Can have sub-categories (much like
Describes the content using keywords
WordPress recommends 5-7 per post
Coding Tips & Tricks
No matter what your discipline, learn a bit of HTML and CSS. This will help you modify your
Use Firebug to target what you need to find in your webpages.
Never go live (Thank you Al Davis). Always back up your work, and I don’t recommend
making changes to the code through the WordPress Dashboard. This is the ONLY think I
don’t recommend doing through the Dashboard.
You can probably learn more about this topic at numerous talks throughout the weekend.
And maybe some common answers
1. Do I have to
to my computer?
Short Answer: NO
WordPress.org is hosted on a
hosting server running a number
of different services, including
MySQL Server. You could run it
on your computer, but it’s
Unless you have to do a lot of
testing, such as a developer or
designer, don’t bother running it
2. Where can I get
themes and plugins?
Short Answer: Many places
Do NOT use either themes or
plugins from an unreliable
Start with themes and plugins
from WordPress itself. These can
be downloaded directly
through your Dashboard or from
3. Okay, you’ve
convinced me. How
do I move from .COM
Short Answer: It can be done, but it isn’t easy.
WordPress offers a premium
service for about $150 that will
migrate your site over to your
new hosting company. This
includes redirects and SEO.
Let the pros handle it.
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