Learning WordPress

I decided to blog this year on the topic of using my Chromebook for writing, as a possible lead-in to writing a book. After a few attempts at an outline, I started to jot topics on 3 x 5 cards as I encountered or thought of them. The next step was to actually learn enough about WordPress to set up a website. A few writer-blogger friends of my explained how to begin, namely “sit down with someone who knows WordPress and they set it up for you.”

Lacking such a resource, I used my next Barnes & Nobles coupon to buy the only WordPress book on the computer shelf. (My learning style is a combination of jumping in over my head and locating a structured approach to a new topic.)The book gave me some basic concepts and terminology, and enough about choosing a site host to get me started. I chose WordPress.com as a well-documented and convenient shortcut to developing a web site with backup and spam filters. To prevent advertisements on my site, I spent about $36 on the personal plan.
At this point I got lost in the weeds of choosing a theme. I could not take advantage of the free training without a theme, but I did not know enough about the components to make an intelligent decision. I guessed–badly, as it turned out. Then I perused learn.wordpress.com, which sent me through a maze of hyperlinks without benefit of breadcrumbs. I emerged with an improved vocabulary but still could not get my penciled site sketch off the drawing board. I also signed up for a course presented as one email a day for 15 days, which might work for those with more control over their weekly schedule. I save them in an email folder and tried two or three at a time when opportunity arose.
Finally I found Udemy, (the Utube Academy) and the video course “WordPress for Beginners: Create a Website Step by Step” at a special rate of $10. Brad Schiff began by showing a site based on the “Twenty Sixteen” theme, then deconstructed it over 21 lessons. Although his presentation was based on wordpress.org, it was helpful. A month and five themes later, I have a structure that more or less works.

Now I have a paper jungle on my card table, which may be more useful for the process than the content. Maybe I’ll try another outline….