This is an initial outline for what I plan to expand as soon as I can…

I’ve been working with WordPress since around 2000, and quite actively since 2008 or so. Over the last 5+ years I have not only built dozens of WP websites, but I have also trained dozens of clients on how to use WP to manage and maintain their own websites. I have also been a guest speaker in John Govsky’s Web Publishing 3 class at Cabrillo College many times, presenting on WordPress. Here are some of the things I’ve learned about training people on WP from these experiences:

  • Despite how easy WP is, compared to other CMS tools or hand-coding, it’s still complex enough to be a bit overwhelming for many people at first introduction to the dashboard.
  • It definitely takes a certain level of “tech savvyness” in order to handle a training session that goes into more than the bare basics of adding content in pages/posts.
  • I wish I knew a very quick way to asses someone’s “tech savvyness” at the beginning, so I could adjust my approach accordingly.
  • A person’s level of “tech savvyness” is not age-dependent! A couple of my most successful clients who learned to manage and maintain their own website without my ongoing support are folks in their 60s!
  • I keep trying to perfect the best sequence of what to start with and what to introduce in what order… Despite my best efforts, there are so many parts to WP and each session goes its own way, that I end up wandering off the planned path and going into other parts of WP, and this can end up overwhelming some people.
  • As I do more training sessions and lessons, I am slowly developing a sense for this sequence, and “levels” of WP, a logical sequence to introduce the different parts of WP. (I know thousands of people have been doing this for years more than I, so I should research what’s out there, how different folks do it —including books…
  • For most people, 2 hours is the maximum length I’d suggest for a training session. If it works for you and the client to schedule a series of 60- or 90-minute sessions in close succession (not more than a few days apart, I’d suggest), that might work better for many people. In training over a dozen different people or groups, I’ve had just one session that went on for 3 or more hours, and the client was totally engaged and not suffering from “my-brain-is-full” syndrome —and she was one of my senior citizen (60+) clients!