WordPress started in 2003 and has since become a key tool in the online presence of millions of companies. Originally viewed as a way to easily manage a blog, more and more organizations are utilizing the WordPress framework as the backbone of their company websites.
Delving into the world of websites can be a daunting task without technical knowledge of programming and development. That’s why I wanted to share my experience from a recent workshop series that I attended with Boston WordPress.
While I have a basic understanding of WordPress itself, this hands on workshop was the perfect way to test my understanding and get guidance in developing my own WordPress skills.
Running the length of a day, the workshop focused on demonstrating how anyone can create a web presence with WordPress. Co-taught by Kurt Eng and Reiko Beach (with Tom Beach as moderator), the morning started with attention on WordPress for beginners. In exploring the basics behind WordPress, three things stood out that every first time user should be aware of.
First, that there is an enormous and active WordPress community, which means an abundance of support and advancement always available. Second, that WordPress really is for more than just blogging, with functionality being built out to support even the most complex needs. And third, that a free WordPress site is a great way to launch anything you’re working on, no matter how big or small.
The afternoon worked through more advanced skill sets, covering topics like why blog posts build out well for content and SEO (hint: it’s the permalinks), the value of the sitemap, and the importance of keeping a narrow focus and specific call to action on each page. We even covered best practices for maintaining security in an evolving platform like WordPress, such as vetting plugin creators and always downloading code directly from WordPress.org.
Attendees really got their money’s worth with a no-nonsense, hit the ground running approach. Even without much experience, it was possible to launch a basic website in one day. Even better, there was enough guidance and clues to allow attendees to polish a site up in the future, easily adding degrees of professionalism to any showcase on the web.
The workshop itself was held at the Quincy Center for Innovation. The facility has been open for less than a year and represents a wonderful re-imagining of a city and community once primarily known for its granite quarries, long dead presidents and the first commercial railway in America. Fun fact: the railway was actually built to move granite from Quincy to the worksite of what became the Bunker Hill Monument.
The Quincy Center for Innovation was created in 2013 as a collaborative partnership by the Quincy Chamber of Commerce, Quincy 2000 Collaborative, Eastern Nazarene College, South Shore Innovation, and the City of Quincy. Collectively, the organizations put together private, government, education and community support and launched the Center in an underutilized building on the Eastern Nazarene College campus. Less than a year post-launch, the Center houses 27 companies and is looking at building out additional space for up to 30 new startups in the upcoming year.
Keith, for the team at Kendall Press