After grappling with my own fears around exploring WordPress more deeply for several years, I finally decided to take a college course on using WordPress. Just gaining some basic understanding of the working’s of WordPress helped me move beyond those fears.
My fears around using WordPress sparked a curiosity in me. I wondered what held others back from using WordPress.
I began with former business owner and fellow student, Karen Desemple. I asked her about her past fear’s about using WordPress. I say “past fears” because she has taken Lorelle VanFossen’s WordPress class at Clark College. Here’s what she had to say when asked if she had used WordPress for her business, and if not why?
The potential of WordPress was overwhelming and I felt like I didn’t have time to figure it out. I ended up going with Blogger at the time because it felt more basic.
Now that I have worked with WordPress at Clark College, the thing that scared me about it before is the thing that would make me want to use it now – because it is easier to use, more flexible, and powerful. I let it intimidate me -no. That’s not right. I let my fears intimidate me. I wanted it to work right out of the box, and when it did, I was suprised.
Karen sees all of the potential in WordPress. That potential is the strong driving force that motivates her to use it now.
Wow, that is some powerful stuff. Sounds like people just need to learn a bit more about it to shake loose that fear!
I interviewed was a volunteer for community outreach programs and a current Washington State University at Vancouver college student, Shain Wright. He uses WordPress to manage a student-lead event for promoting education and awareness of issues of gender diversity at the university. Here is what he has to say about using WordPress
I didn’t want to use it because it seemed so daunting. I was overwhelmed by all the options and I didn’t know where to start. After working with someone once or twice I found it to be quite user-friendly, there were some occasions when I had to ask for some assistance, but now I find that I really enjoy using WordPress.
I interviewed several people who currently work with clients to design, maintain, and improve their websites.
Dotty Scott of Premium Web Designs has served the Vancouver area for 8 years working with people to help them have excellent business websites. Dotty teaches and speaks on topics such as Social Media and Blogging. She has also has been awarded the regional award for Web Design for non-profit websites, along with several other awards through the years, for her excellent work.
When Dotty was asked what her clients feared most about getting in and doing some of their own content, she explained:
People’s biggest concern is that they will do something that damages the website. They are afraid of breaking it.
Dotty also mentioned that while she trains her clients to use WordPress, they update their site so infrequently, they forget how. To resolve this gap, Dotty introduced video-based teaching as refresher courses for her clients. Here is a sample of one of her video based tips:
Matthew Kreiling of Tiny Now Web Design lives and works in the Olympia, Washington, area. He shared how clients were afraid of “losing data or breaking things.”
It takes a few simple best practices to make it a incredibly powerful tool.
Matthew shared these top 5 things to learn to keep your WordPress site updated and to become more confident in using WordPress.
- How to post media
- Where to adjust sidebar or footer WordPress Widgets
- How to backup your site and update WordPress Plugins
- How to modify the menus
- Know the styles of the WordPress Theme determines how your post will look. The WYSIWIG/Visual Editor is not really what-you-see-is-what-you-get.
I personally have found WordPress to be a great platform for creating a website and fairly easy to navigate and yet one of the most common fears according to every one I interviewed was that, “I might mess up or ruin my website.” While things can go wrong, in my experience the biggest issue is not that the web site gets ruined, it just doesn’t look or function the way you want it to which is generally fixable.
Education can help set us free, if we use what we learn and put it in practice. I know education has helped me release my fear about using WordPress.
What gets in your way with WordPress? What are you afraid of? What is stopping you from choosing WordPress?