This is a presentation that I gave to Haltech Regional Innovation Centre on January 15, 2015 to introduce WordPress to their membership. Many of the crowd were looking to get their businesses online and in many cases didn't have a technical background. The intent was to answer some of the high level questions that people have about WordPress and allow them to ask more targeted questions. An amazing event hosted by the Burlington Hive. Looking forward to the video.
.COM: Cannot sell stuff (as far as I know). Apparently there have been some changes to this recently, but must be non-commercial
Other popular ones might be WordFence or Google Analytics
While we were redesigning our site, we did use it as the primary, but once the website was up, I taught the organization how to use it We are going to go through a redesign Unlike what was said in an earlier session, use the publicize feature to post to those sites. It won’t be as ideal as posting natively, but it will save time and will be less confusing. Don’t just post and forget about it. Don’t just get someone’s niece to do it, invest the money.
Many people will simply download the database and upload it into the new space. There are difficulties with this: Media is not moved with it Theme stays behind No Redirects (505’s, etc.)
WordPress 101 Presentation to Haltech
Shanta R. Nathwani
FAQ’s & Tips
Q & A’s
My Web Site:
• Instructor, Sheridan College
• Joint program with University of
Toronto at Mississauga: Institute of
Information and Technology
• Web Design and Capstone Project
• Independent IT and Social Media
• Clients include NPOs, Real Estate,
Software Development, Financial
and Political Sectors
• Bachelor of Commerce in Info Tech
Mgmt., Ryerson University
• Please excuse all the text. I’m used to
using this for my students, but they make
• I’m going to upload these after the session
to my website. So you don’t have to write
this all down.
• Please ask questions! I’ll try and add them
to the slides after the fact.
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 23% 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.
Easy to integrate with numerous other platforms, especially Social Media.
.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
Some consider this choice limiting, others
find it comforting.
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
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 thing I
don’t recommend doing through the Dashboard.
You can probably learn more about these topics at numerous talks online and at
WordCamps (Hamilton and Toronto are the closest)
Don’t use your social media as your primary channel (such as Facebook)
I recommend using at least Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (depending on the focus of the org)
Keep it current
Automate to Social Media and Email Lists (Mailchimp, for example)
Monitor all the channels that you are on
Pay the money when you need to
And maybe some common answers
1. Do I have to
to my computer?
Short Answer: NO
WordPress.org is hosted on a
server running a number of
different services, including
MySQL Server. You could run it
on your computer, but it’s
complicated for many
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.
Codecademy.com: Lessons on learning how to code
Lynda.com: Videos as well as starter files included (paid service, but sometimes free
through in your education institution)
W3Schools: Great lookup resource for code. We don’t memorize every piece of code, we
look it up
WordPress: This is where you can learn almost everything I’ve just talked about! There is
also one for .ORG, but this will get you about 90% of the way there. Skip the “Getting
Started” part if you are using the .ORG
Lucas Cherkewski: Great advice on hiring a developer!
Join a local WordPress Meetup (Hamilton has a great one!) Tell Brian I said “Hi!”
Do your research, as with anything, especially hosting
Have an idea of what you want going into a relationship with a designer or developer,
both look and functionality
Want something more hands on?
Sign up for one of my classes on HackerNest!
Next one being offered is on March 29th, 2015
My Web Site: