I’ve seen this question on places like Reddit and Quora before, and I find it funny. After all, you wouldn’t ask how long it takes to learn baseball, would you?
WordPress, just like baseball, has different levels. You can technically learn the WordPress basics in a few hours or days, but becoming an entry level professional requires more like a year involved with classes, books, podcasts, blogs and lots of practice.
After that, you still have time to master your craft and develop skills to become a fully professional WordPress developer. Most people would argue that it helps to get a degree, but the average person would have to spend at least two years training, going to classes or even teaching herself.
Whether you’re a self-trainer or you’d like to consider going the more traditional schooling route, WordPress has a world of opportunity for developers who learn the right skills.
Some of the highest paid people in the world right now work with WordPress on a daily basis, and new companies are spawning all the time, making plugins, themes, blogs and courses.
So, since the world is moving towards a trend of free, or cheap, learning, it’s suitable to see that so many options are available in terms of WordPress development courses, podcasts, blogs and books.
Keep reading to learn more, and make sure you bookmark this page to return when you need more learning material.
WordPress Development Courses, both Online and Offline
The WP 101 website offers some of our favorite courses, particularly for beginners. Although most of the courses require you to pay a fee, they are reasonably affordable and easy to access. All of the videos are professionally shot and meticulously scripted, whereas many YouTube videos and Udemy courses can be a little sloppy. Closed-captioned videos are offered for the hearing impaired, and a forum and blog are there for creating more of a community around you and the other people who are learning about WordPress.
What’s interesting is that they do a wonderful job of keeping the videos up to date, so you won’t be seeing an old WordPress version in the videos. Different memberships are sold for $39 and $79, giving you access to the entire library for an extended period of time.
You can find the following levels of WordPress learning through the WP 101 website:
- Intro to WordPress
- WordPress 101
- WordPress 202
- Yoast SEO Plugin
As you can see, the majority of courses on the site are for beginners, but they do have a Coming Soon page with more videos.
WP Apprentice offers what it calls “A Better Way to Learn WordPress.” The idea behind the online course is to get you started without having to pay any money. The WordPress essentials are offered in a comprehensive video course, and then they provide a blueprint for building a feature-rich website without any help.
The WP Apprentice website has a solid blog with updates and interesting tutorials. However, the majority of the content lies in the videos, and they are primarily for beginners and possibly a few intermediates.
These are some of the current classes:
- WP Quickstart Course
- WordPress Essentials
- Website Blueprint
- Sell Anything With WooCommerce
Lynda has consistently been one of the best companies making high quality tutorial videos. People are known to learn about everything from Photoshop to WordPress, and LinkedIn recently bought the company for a hefty sum.
That said, we’re only looking at WordPress videos today, so it’s worth mentioning that Lynda has one of the largest inventories of WordPress videos you can find. Not to mention, courses for every experience level are available. Lynda sells monthly plans after a 10-day trial, and these plans start at $19.99. Basically, you gain access to every video in the Lynda library.
The Team Treehouse company has courses for building websites, learning to code, building businesses and learning WordPress. The main reason we like Team Treehouse is because it provides an incentive system for people to keep going along with a course. Dozens of WordPress courses are packaged into the site, and you receive files, videos, rubrics and more.
Each class is labeled beginner, intermediate or advanced, making it much easier to understand which ones work for you.
Udemy is a mixed bag, but we recommend seeing if any of the courses work for you. It’s like the Etsy for video courses. So, anyone can make these classes, but you do have the chance to look at reviews and ratings before paying. The professionalism may not be there for all videos, but you’ll locate courses for all levels, with interesting files to download as well.
Try WPSessions if you’re looking for one of the more unique collections of WordPress courses. Hundreds of options are provided, from modular design guides to classes just about Gravity Forms. It’s cool because the classes are actually pretty cheap individually, but you also have the option to pay for all of them for $299.
BlogAid is run by a woman named MaAnna who is an experienced developer who wanted to make a comfortable place for people to learn about the wonders of WordPress. The cool thing is that you do get direct access to MaAnna if you opt for one of the classes. Video tutorials, site audits and live classes are all sold, but a free blog is provided as well.
The WordPress.tv channel is run by the folks at Automattic, and it’s completely free. The videos aren’t the best of quality, but they generally capture a WordPress course going on in a classroom. From How To videos to options for people to get their development businesses started. This online TV channel is decent to have around.
WP Academy features live WordPress training, all through the magic of the internet. You receive training, software and support, so if something goes wrong with your tools, you have someone to talk to. Essentials courses are provided, and you gain access to a WordPress encyclopedia. The best part is that all experience levels are covered, so you can technically start as a beginner and end up as an expert, all with one platform.
WordPress Development Podcasts for the Listening Learner
Your Website Engineer is a podcast with incredible past episodes and even better promise for the future. The podcast is hosted by a guy name Dustin, and some of the more recent podcasts covered areas like translating WordPress, restoring a WordPress backup and securing your WordPress site. What’s interesting is that the Website Engineer website also provides webinars for a more visual look into the learning process.
Here’s a podcast that comes from a guy named John Overall. His website has some tips about WordPress, but the true magic comes through his A to Z podcast. Some of the more recent podcast episodes include topics like color swatches, tracking site revisions, WordPress client portals and enhanced post editing.
The WordPress weekly podcast is a nice taste of learning without being inundated with constant episodes everyday. Jeff Chandler’s the host, and you’ll hear news and discussion regarding the entire platform. Much of it is learning about how to develop sites, but recent events is one of the main topics as well.
Try out the WPWaterCooler podcast if you enjoy more of a network of podcast shows. This one is recorded live every Monday, and some of the other podcasts in the network are recommended for you to check out. Recommendations are made about plugins, themes, services, web hosts and software. It’s a simple format, but everyone likes recommendations.
We like this WordPress podcast because it has more advanced topics. The hosts don’t shy away from some of the discussions simply because they think some viewers might not understand it. For example, one of the recent episodes was about solving the problem of database merging. Another was called WordPress 4.5 and Imposter Syndrome. The Submit a Topic button on the website is proof that the podcast hosts actually care about their listeners.
Made by a chick, this podcast can be listened to by anyone. Kim Doyal is her name, and some of the recent podcast titles include the following:
- WordPress Security: What You’re Doing Wrong with Paul Irvine
- Lee Jackson, WP Innovation and WAY Too Much Fun
- Pat Flynn and Testing Your Ideas – Will it Fly?
As you can see, most of the episodes consist of interviews, so if you like big names and awesome ideas, this is a show for you.
Click here for the iTunes page.
The Please Advise podcast has a sporadic schedule, but going back into the archives is fun for WordPress developers. The hosts include Mike McAlister, Jake Caputo and Chris Molitor. We recommend you just take a listen, because the topics are all over the place, but it’s a fun show for developers.
Small business and WordPress go hand in hand, and Matt Report does a wonderful job of merging the two worlds with his personal podcast. Some of the episodes bring in big-wigs like Matt Mullenweg, while others are more modest and straightforward (Like talking about the importance of blogging). For example, one of the more recent shows was called 3 Critical Phases of the Discovery Process.
WordPress Development Blogs with Killer Content
Surprise! Did you think we wouldn’t include our own blog? While it may not have the most articles about WordPress on the internet, the blog posts are in-depth and highly researched. We try to focus on tutorials and case studies for developers. For example, some of the recent titles include:
- Hidden WordPress: What Might be Confusing You About the WordPress Admin
- How Important is Blogging to a Company’s Success?
- The Ultimate Guide to Migrating from Other Platforms to WordPress
WPBeginner is the crown jewel in terms of blogs that pump out articles with high quality content. Basically, you get a few articles published each day, and some of the categories include themes, plugins, tutorials, events news and deals. You may notice that many of the WPBeginner articles are high up on Google when you search keywords. There’s a reason for that.
WPKube is another favorite WordPress blog of ours, because not only can you find some of the more comprehensive WordPress articles out there, but the admins work pretty hard to partner with companies in the WordPress community. Therefore, you can go to the deals page to locate coupons and discounts from theme, plugin and hosting companies.
Elegant Themes has invested quite a bit of time into its themes, and they seem to take the same amount of care with the blog posts. Not all theme developers do this, so it’s nice to see that another company shares our love for quality content.
WPExplorer reminds us of WPBeginner in that it caters to the same audience, while almost focusing even more on the truly beginner crowds. Since WPBeginner has embraced articles that are more for intermediates, the true beginners should check out this website.
The extremely popular Smashing Magazine covers categories like coding, mobile, design, graphics and WordPress. The WordPress section is broken up into four sections: Essentials, Techniques, Plugins and Themes.
Although the quantity of articles is not consistent in the WordPress area, you can find quite a few cool articles from a completely new perspective.
Although WordPress automatically generates metadata for search engines, it’s a good idea to consistently learn about search engine trends and tactics. The main way people learn about your business is through Google, so the Search Engine Journal covers everything you need to know.
Chris Lema has books and speaking gigs, but his blog offers a more personal look into the mind of a WordPress expert. Whereas so many WordPress blogs pump out tutorials, Lema talks about topics he cares about. Sure, some of them could be tutorials, but you may read something about storytelling or load testing WooCommerce sites.
WPLift is one of the less known blogs about WordPress, but it has an insane amount of information about free themes, support, hosting and coupons. Interview, guides and tips round out the categories, and the blog has a nice theme and plugin directory for you to browse through.
This blog provides something for beginners, intermediates and advanced users. The WordPress blog categories include bbPress, blogging, BuddyPress, events, news, plugins, polls and themes. This blog is actually affiliated with the WordPress weekly podcast, so if you like that, you may enjoy the articles on WPTavern.
WPMU Dev is a company that makes plugins and themes. The blog is pretty impressive for a development resource, and you can find some interesting categories like BuddyPress, WordPress, multisite and tutorials.
WP Mayor has a similar vibe to WPKube, and they cover many of the same topics. One unique part of the WP Mayor website is the job listings. The webmasters also sell some solid books for WordPress. However, the blog articles are meant for beginners to advanced users, it just depends on the article you read.
WordPress Development Books to Get Your Read On
The “WordPress in a Week…Or Less” book offers a reasonable promise. As we talked about in the intro of the blog post, learning the basics is absolutely possible within a few days, or a week. The goal of the book is to teach people how to build a fully functional website without writing a line of code. The most advanced topic you’ll find is how to attract search engine traffic. (So this should give you an idea of whether or not it’s right for you.)
A beginner’s guide is generally going to cover all the basic topics, but this book has a unique part of each chapter, where the chapter end includes a “Tasks to Complete” section, putting your knowledge to work and encouraging you to do some homework along the way. From finding the right theme to establishing hosting, the book has it all.
Arguably the most popular book on this list, the “WordPress to Go” option is the last beginner’s guide we’ll cover. From registering your domain to using graphics and images, the chapters are well organized, and the writing is clear and concise. The great part is that this guide keeps getting updated for when WordPress makes its updates.
Moving onto books for more intermediate and advanced users, the “Professional WordPress” book puts a focus on design and development, with chapters that explore cutting edge uses of WordPress and how to migrate websites to WordPress. Screenshots complement the step by step guides, and the idea is to pull from real world examples so you can go into a job interview with the knowledge of what they are looking for.
“Professional WordPress: Plugin Development”
I like this book for business people working with WordPress, because you’ll have a chance to understand user experience and what people are actually looking for when they come to your site. For example, you can learn how to create custom login forms and conditional control elements.
There’s not much to tell about this WordPress book. We see lots of blog posts online about the best “fill in the blank” plugins, but this book categorizes all of the plugins and puts them into an organized fashion. You basically get a chance to have a ton of plugin blog posts right in your hand.
Thinking about building your own eCommerce site through WordPress? This is one of the handiest guides we’ve found on the subject. The basics are simple, and they do indeed cover the WooCommerce plugin. Overall, I think it’s important for beginners to realize that a small eCommerce shop truly is possible for under $20.
Did We Miss Any WordPress Resources You Enjoy Using?
Whew! That’s quite the list of resources. We hope you enjoyed the ultimate guide of WordPress development courses, podcasts, blogs and books. Although many training items were covered, we recommend that you suggest any other online resources that are great for WordPress learners. Just drop us a line in the comments below.
Also, feel free to bookmark the page for when you need a quick refresher on a topic or a new course to advance your WordPress knowledge.