Every now and then I receive an email asking me for advice on resources where one would start learning about WordPress. Specifically, such enquiries tend to focus on going beyond the basics. I get questions like:
I know how to use WordPress but I want to develop my first plugin/theme. Where do I start?
I’d like to specialise in speed optimization and security for WordPress, where can I learn more about these topics?
Ecommerce is such a tricky topic, I’m a developer and am getting several requests for e-commerce site development, but I don’t feel confident enough. Any tips on how to build a solid e-commerce website?
These are just a few examples. Clearly, there is a big thirst for WordPress knowledge beyond the basics. Clients are requesting this sort of expertise, but there is a shortage of knowledgeable people to help them out. This needs to be addressed through education. It’s obviously hard to find quality information on these topics because the people who know most about them are highly in-demand developers and WordPress consultants who have no time to write a book about these topics.
What’s the solution then? Let me share with you two favorite resources of mine, which I’ve suggested time again to people who send in such emails and to my own team of developers at WP Mayor.
WordPress.tv is the place where you can find a ton of presentation recordings from past WordCamps. The presenters are usually well known experts and you can learn a lot from watching these presentations. Obviously, it’s even better if you can attend a major WordCamp like WC Europe or WC San Francisco. You’ll even get some golden nuggets at the smaller WordCamps too of course.
So that’s one great source for learning about more advanced WordPress topics. WordCamp topics tend to be developer focused though, and there isn’t much for those who want to learn about building a WordPress business. There is no business track so to speak.
That’s where WP Sessions comes in. The brainchild of Brian Richards, this site offers a number of sessions, each dealing with a very specific and in-demand topic. You will find business topics as well as developer topics, the mix is just right. Even if it’s a developer oriented session, you’re still most likely to see one of the presenters share some business experience which you can learn from.
The current format of WP Sessions features 2/3 new sessions every month. To watch and participate in the live sessions you can buy an entry ticket for $30 (early bird discounts available). Older sessions are being made available for free, which makes this resource very accessible. Having participated in the latest episode about membership plugins, I can vouch for the value that these sessions provide, the cost of attending is actually very low when you take into consideration the high calibre of the speakers as well as the immense amount of information shared during each speaker’s presentation and the ensuing discussion and Q&A time.
From a brief chat with Brian I know that he has big plans for WP Sessions over the coming months, so I really suggest you stay tuned and do yourself a favor, sign up for the next session, you can thank me later.
What I’d love to have is the opportunity to download the audio recording of each session, as it would make it really to listen to the sessions along with my podcasts on commutes. Apart from that, it’s all golden!
So those are my two top resources for learning more about WordPress. What other resources do you love and recommend?