Better Blogs, Websites, and Marketing

Can you Teach me WordPress? Oh. Hell. No.

by Sue Leipzig on February 8, 2014

I get that question a lot. It’s usually phrased “how much would you charge to teach me WordPress”. The answer is $1,000,000. Up front. Kidding, of course, but that’s more on track than one guy who offered me 20 bucks an hour and would ‘go all the way up to two-and-a-half hours’. Anyway, when I started learning WordPress many years ago, I took the time to wade in slowly, learning the install process, uploading different themes, tweaking, breaking things, learning how to fix them, creating child themes and eventually morphing off-the-rack themes into pretty nice looking websites. And I had already a knowledge of web design, file transfer, html and css. Then I started making a living setting up and designing sites for other people. Then came Thesis and that rocked my world. Let’s just say the last several years of my business life have revolved around WordPress. So, of course I believe every business should have a WordPress website, but I don’t believe everyone can or should ‘learn WordPress’.

Why, oh why, do you want me to teach you WordPress?

When someone tells me they want to learn WP, I always ask why. Some want to learn because it’s fun. Agreed – and that’s really the only acceptable answer because if it’s a business move, as in you don’t want to pay someone to take care of your website and you think it’s so easy you should be able to DIY, you need a major dose of reality before you start down that road. (See Chris Lema’s take on the best way to learn WordPress and ask yourself, ‘what aspect of my business can I afford to ignore while I’m learning?’). There is a lot to WordPress, are you sure you want to learn every nuance, every trick, some PHP, a whole lot of CSS, and every other aspect of this amazing content management system? Why? As a business consultant, I would emphatically steer you away from this endeavor because there are at least ten other things you should be doing. Working on a website, other than writing a blog post or updating content, is a colossal waste of your time.

Case in point:

I spoke to one potential client who was obviously agitated as he explained how he had spent an entire day trying to set up his own WP site, but couldn’t get it to work. So I quoted him what I thought was a reasonable price to just set up the WP files and database. His response was “what is so hard about it that makes it so expensive? It’s not that hard, I read the tutorial!” He was absolutely right, and I told him so. (See how nice I was, not pointing out the glaringly obvious fact that he couldn’t do it which is why HE CALLED ME??) Then he went on to add “can’t you just tell me how to do it?” Ha, Nope. While he was right, it’s not hard, it is very easy to do it wrong and if you do it wrong, you’re wasting time, and if you’re wasting time, how is that helping your business?

Well then, Miss Sunshine, what CAN you do for me?

Here’s what we can accomplish together. I can teach you to create posts and pages, edit them, and add photos. That’s it. That’s all you need. And even that will take a while to master. Remember, you don’t get paid to spend time on your website, you get paid when you focus on your business. So you don’t need to know how it all works. You need to be busy writing your blog posts and keeping your FAQ’s, event info, menu, etc. current, not learning how to add a widget and style it. Seriously.

Just trust me when I tell you, diving deep into WordPress is going to cost you way more in terms of time (money) and sanity than its going to save. Take a moment to think about it (and hopefully look past my incessant need to be sarcastic) and contact me ASAP. Let’s get that website and your other image killers polished up and shining.

There, I feel better, and you will too.

Susan Leipzig is a joy junkie, Class A introvert, WordPress fanatic, and Administrative Consultant ready to help you remember what you love about your business. Call today to schedule your consultation. 503-805-7309

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