We believe that educating our customers and helping them learn WordPress is one of the most important things we do. It empowers our clients, makes them smarter, and ultimately makes it so that we can focus more time on building our business and providing more value through our products and services. That’s why I decided to compile this list of the best places to learn WordPress online.
We’ve slowly been building a library of articles and tutorials ourselves, but these people already have great libraries, interactive experiences, and extremely thorough step-by-step instructions ready for you to access, anytime day or night.
They vary in price (some are free) and experience level needed, but all of them will help you get a few steps closer to dominating WordPress and making it a tool in your arsenal, instead of a thorn in your side.
Beginner WordPress Training
We’ll call this the 101 level. You know how to get around WordPress a little bit, but installing or updating plugins petrifies you, and you have no clue what a permalink even is. If that sounds like you, here are some great resources to get you started.
I really hesitated including WP Sessions in the beginner category, but I also wanted it toward the top of this article since it’s an awesome resource for learning WordPress. The approach of WP Sessions is different than a lot of other sites that I’ve seen, as actual WordPress professionals give live presentations in a webinar style format, and then all of the sessions are recorded and added to their growing library.
There definitely are beginner topics at WP Sessions like Security for Site Owners and eCommerce for Site Owners, but there are highly advanced topics too like working with the WordPress REST API and WordPress and Backbone.js.
Cost: Individual Sessions starting at $9 or get access to all of the sessions for $299
Lynda.com is the most comprehensive WordPress tutorial site that I know of. With over 70 courses and 1600 videos all about WordPress, you’d be hard-pressed to not find what you’re looking for there. All of the Lynda courses are set up as multi-part video instruction, so you aren’t stuck in front of your computer for hours on end.
And speaking of being stuck in front of your computer, all of Lynda’s courses are 100% consumable on tablets and other mobile devices. For the sheer amount of content you get, Lynda is a pretty great value. Just be sure you know which courses you’re after before you signup so you don’t get totally overwhelmed.
Cost: $19.99 to $34.99 per month depending on plan level
First Site Guide
If you’re looking to get started with your first website, and want a beautiful learning experience, look no further than First Site Guide. They do a fantastic job of creating a visually stunning learning experience, and all of their resources are available on the web and also in pdf format if you want to take it with you to read on your Kindle or iPad.
If you like to follow along at your own speed, and still not having great visual aids, First Site Guide is a great option.
WP101 is a great set of professionally produced video tutorials to walk you through the true basics of using WordPress. Topics include everything from publishing your first post to installing plugins and themes. They also offer some slightly more advanced videos that walk you through things like permalinks, WordPress custom fields, and how to properly apply WordPress updates.
They even have a full set of tutorials that walk you through all of the intricacies of setting up your site for optimal WordPress SEO using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. These are the same videos that we offer to clients who sign up for any of our maintenance plans. They’re extremely well done, and the people who use them rave about them.
Cost: $19 for 30 day access. $39 per year. Or $79 for life!
Easy WP Guide
Easy WP Guide is your online user manual for WordPress. If you preferring reading or a quick reference to the video, it’s a great resource. The content is laid out in a very smart way that follows the navigation of WordPress. You can either download a .pdf copy to reference from your own desktop or can use their web format to look things up quickly online.
They also recently introduced versions that you can read on your tablet or other mobile devices like Amazon Kindle or an iPhone so you can study wherever you are, whenever you have a few free moments.
Cost: Free for online and .pdf. $4 AUD for mobile formats.
Intermediate WordPress Training
The following websites are for those of you who feel pretty comfortable using the admin panel and are ready to dive deeper. You’re ready to move past the WordPress editor and aren’t afraid of some HTML or CSS. In fact, you’d love to learn to code and customize things beyond what you can by pointing and clicking. You’re on the verge of becoming a true code monkey.
Carrie Dils is an independent Genesis Developer who not only build themes and design great sites, but she also has a tremendous stockpile of articles guiding you through everything from making customizations to Genesis child themes, to learning how to troubleshoot and debug issues on your own. Her site is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to develop their first Genesis child theme or step into the world of freelancing on their own. And if you’d like to hear Carrie talk about these same topics instead of reading, you can listen to her podcast on officehours.fm.
Cost: Free, until you hire Carrie to build your next WordPress project
Treehouse has been one of my favorite places to learn new things online. The majority of their courses would be considered beginner to intermediate, but they have a few relatively low-level courses as well. They have courses that teach the core skills and concepts for everything from installing WordPress for the first time, to writing your first WordPress plugin. Their course material is all presented in an extremely fun and interactive way too. You not only watch video walkthroughs of the different lessons, but you put your learning to the test with interactive exercises as well as quizzes and tests. You can preview all of the tracks you get with a Treehouse subscription here.
Cost: Plans range from $25-49 per month
WP Tuts is part of the Envato family of sites, known for properties like Themeforest and CodeCanyon. Now quick, before you close your browser window in disgust, know that all of the majority of the tutorials that I’ve found and followed there has been extremely high quality, and completely sound practice. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t any exceptions, but for the most part, I’ve been impressed with the content there. These tutorials are generally more focused than general WordPress training, with articles like The Beginners Guide to WooCommerce and Using Gulp for Automating Your WordPress Development.
Cost: Free. There’s also a premium tier that offers more in-depth content for $15 per month.
Advanced WordPress Training
It’s getting to the point where you don’t remember the last time you looked at the WordPress UI. Half of your work on WordPress happens without an internet connection at all, and you’re ready to build your next theme or plugin and have every intention of selling it.
Pippin Williamson may be the most well-known plugin developer on the planet. Easy digital downloads are his most popular project, but he has a massive library of paid and free plugins as well. The reason I bring all that up is that he has a ton of experience building useful plugins, and has courses designed to walk you step by step through the plugin development process, and breaking down plugins that have already been built so that you can reverse engineer, and ultimately understand how they work. He’s also on the WordPress.org plugin review team so he sees a lot of WordPress plugins, and knows the ins and outs of WordPress development best practices.
Cost: $6 per month of $60 per year
If front end and theme development are more your style, you’ll be hard pressed to find a blog better than WP Theming for theming best practices. Devin Price is a WordPress theme business owner who does a really good job of documenting and publishing solutions to problems that he encounters while he’s building themes and plugins.
If you’re a comfortable WordPress developer who wants to stretch their front end development skills, WP Theming is a great place to start.
Tom McFarlin probably has one of the longest-standing WordPress development blogs around. He’s always sharing great insights. The code examples he shares are nice and well thought out, and one of my favorite parts about Tom’s blog is how he talks about the reasoning behind a lot of decisions he makes when building things with WordPress. You can find all of his WordPress development articles here.
Another great thing about Tom’s writing is that he’s a seasoned vet when it comes to publishing on the regular. He used to be the editor for the Tuts+ site we mentioned earlier and was a frequent contributor to the now-defunct WP Daily. He’s consistently publishing so you can always count on Tom for new and fresh content.
The WordPress codex is the user manual for WordPress. Now I’ll admit, that it’s not always 100% complete or up to date, but if someone asked you to RTFM, you’d start with the codex. It explains a good deal of the inner workings of WordPress core and is being continually updated and improved by an awesome team of volunteers. This resource is overlooked quite a bit unfortunately when it should be a pretty crucial piece of our learning library if we plan on doing things “by the book.”
WordPress.tv is a hidden gem of sorts. Even though quite a few people know about it, it seems like there are a whole lot more who don’t. WordPress.tv isn’t exclusively advanced development and engineering, but some of the greatest minds around the world who contribute to WordPress can be found there. Try and think of it as Ted Talks for WordPress products. As video becomes easier to capture, more and more talks are being contributed to WordPress TV. Generally they’re talks and presentations from WordPress events like Meetups and WordCamps, and there’s even a video up there from LoopConf too.
More Places to Learn WordPress Online
Aside from everything listed above, Post Status has published an excellent article on all of the places you can learn WordPress Development and improve your skills. This list is aimed more toward developers than end-users, but there are still some fantastic resources mentioned there.
With so many resources, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. If you want a little guidance, leave a comment below with what types of things you like to learn, and which format you prefer for your online learning and we’ll be happy to help out. We’re lucky to have so many awesome resources. We just have to take advantage of them. Here’s to being smarter tomorrow than we were yesterday!