Saturday January 20, 2018

Learning the building blocks of WordPress

I’m new to the WordPress world. I set up this website in one weekend by purchasing the Divi theme and a child theme called Ally. [update: I ditched Divi in May 2018 and replaced it with minimaldog’s Bone theme].
I have added a few plugins that other bloggers recommend: Smush, Yoast SEO, Askimet, Monarch, and Bloom.
I know how to create pages and posts, add images. All the basic stuff.
But my mental map of the platform is precarious and I would like to really understand what goes on and get good at it.
I could watch videos in Youtube, but I have chosen the old school way: books. Particularly these two:

Tuesday February 6, 2018

Finished reading both books

I’m glad I chose these books, they are a good combo. One is more fun than the other though, can you guess which one?

Book 1: Build Your Own Website…

I enjoyed following Kim and her little friend Tofu in their interstellar expedition of the worlds of HTML, CSS, and WordPress City.
For a total newbie, I think this is “the book” because it touches on the building blocks of websites. The story provides a basic and solid foundation from where to continue building knowledge.
And, most importantly: it is told as a story. Who doesn’t like stories?! Even better: who doesn’t love comics?!

Book 2: WordPress | the missing manual

This is a good “next book” after reading about Kim and Tofu. It’s more of a reference manual that describes many of the features that WordPress has to offer.
The one mini-nag I had while reading this one was that it assumes that the WordPress interface is non-intuitive, when in reality it very much is! So, several pages are dedicated to explain features and actions that look obvious, at least to me.
The real value for me came towards the end of the book, in the sections “Supercharging Your Blog” and “From Blog to Website”. These sections show what is possible in WordPress with a little (or a lot) of coding skills. Even if one is not interested (or is time-constrained) in learning programming skills, the sections are still useful.