For newbies, who are just starting out on WordPress, don’t worry, you will always be a newbie as far as web platforms are concerned, as there will always be some learning to do. If you figure you don’t have to or want to learn any more, you have had it. Expertise in any platform including WordPress comes through a thorough knowledge of the workings of the platform and the hands-on experience you gain while putting your learning into practice.
As a newbie there are plenty of things you can do and must not do while beginning your WordPress journey.
Let’s take a look at the don’ts:
Don’t Exist in a Vacuum
WordPress is a popularly used open source platform and there is a big, tightly knit and ever increasing, community of developers that sustains itself through the active contributions made by developers. As a newbie, you need to get all the help you can, and you can start off by becoming a part of this community. You will be surprised at how quickly this vibrant community is willing to accept a new WordPress developer into its fold.
You have plenty of options if you want to talk to the WordPress community; you can begin by registering on the WordPress site and check out the forums and codex to learn about WordPress. There are plenty of other forums that you can join and just following the various threads and conversations happening on them, will give you new insights into this web software and how you can optimize its use.
Don’t just observe the community, become a part of it by making your own contributions. If you have some new insights, share them; if you come across somebody facing a problem and you have a solution, give it to him. A community is all about give and take, which allows it to grow and thrive.
Don’t Be Scared
Nobody is going to crucify you if you make mistakes; after all you are just beginning to use WordPress. If you want to become an expert in WordPress, then the road towards success is peppered with mistakes. So don’t get overwhelmed by the software, just go ahead and build your website. Building your first website and then developing in WordPress can all sound very intimidating at first, but don’t worry.
Slowly, but surely you will get the hang of it. All you need to do is start with small websites and then move on to the big guns. Begin by understanding what you want, understand the CMS, fix on the information you want on the site and then begin designing your first site.
First become an expert in setting up the basic WordPress Settings, customizing the WordPress theme and only then start thinking about bigger fishes to fry.
Don’t be Afraid to Try Different Things
If you don’t experiment, how will you learn? Why not get a test site up and running and tinker with all those themes and plugins that are available for WordPress. You must be curious to know the inner workings of this software and the best way to go about doing this is by setting up a local development environment. This way you can test all the features, functionalities of WordPress and keep learning new aspects that will help you when you build your actual site.
A word of warning – Don’t fool around your live website. If you want to experiment it’s better that you do it with a playground website.
Don’t worry about getting it Right
Of course you need to get it right, but you will only get it right if your start. While building a website, only think about developing a website that is in line with your objectives. Even the best of experts faltered when they were just starting out; they became experts because they didn’t worry about getting things perfect right from the beginning itself. Also every time you develop, you document. This documentation will help you know where and when you made a mistake and what you need to do about it.
Plan your development carefully right from start to finish. This will help you make fewer mistakes.
Don’t be afraid to take help
You wouldn’t believe it, but there are beginners who don’t take help from the experienced developers that they may know through the course of their work. Some are confident that they can sort out a problem for themselves, and there are others who are embarrassed about asking for help for fear of exposing their lack of skills. Well, all I can say is that if there is help around, ask for it. Never be afraid to take help of WordPress experts that have many years of experience behind them. After all, you can only learn from them.
These are just the basic don’ts that you must keep in mind while you start using WordPress. Don’t be scared of using this platform; it isn’t a platform that has devils inside it. For sure, you will make mistakes, but you will also learn along the way. And that is what counts.