Learn WordPress Using the Best Free Tools Available for Beginners

I’ve recommended WordPress several times to friends and family members. I decided to write this post to back up my recommendation with support options!

Introduction

In 2019 most of the popular website platforms offer free websites and a host of free tools for beginners learning to create new websites or blogs. No one in the industry would argue the claims that the WordPress platform is the largest (by a pretty significant margin too!)

Many people are surprised to learn how widespread the use of WordPress is!
I hadn’t realized just how huge WordPress is!

WordPress achieved such lofty goals by maintaining it’s platform as open source. This in turn led to the creation of legendary numbers of resources both for uniqueness in site ‘styling’ and for learning how to use those resources. The vast majority of the tools available for learning to use WordPress continue the ‘open source’ tradition and are free for any and all to use.

While the same can’t be said for site building resources, after all web coders need to eat too…the sheer volume of material developed so far surpasses anything that even remotely competes. Because the ‘open source’ mentality permeates this too…I think I can confidently state that no other web platform can approach the sheer volume of free design resources that are available at WordPress.

When I first began using WordPress I’d come from the much smaller platform of Weebly. At that time Weebly’s Beginner Tutorials were somewhat lacking…a situation which has been corrected in 2019. But for some reason they were much easier to find than WordPress’s too. Looking back this problem was simply because there were too many options available to me to look for answers.

One Downside of Being the Biggest

I discovered how much the WordPress platform is used web-wide and world-wide right around the time I began using it myself. One problem with such significant user numbers is that there’s so many online resources it’s nearly impossible at first to choose the right ones. Primarily because it’s hard at first to know which ones are the best ones (or at least are quality options) and which ones to stay away from.

After roughly 4 years of my using WordPress I recently realized that I’ve developed an impressive array of personal ‘go to‘ tools for when I need to learn how to accomplish something new. The same wasn’t true when I was a beginner at WordPress. I initially struggled a lot to find the right learning resources. But now I know immediately where to go for various kinds of information.

Assuming that the same holds true for newcomers today I thought it might be helpful to share my favorite ‘go to‘ resources with others who might be just starting out at WordPress.

My ‘Go To’ List of Free Tools for Learning the WordPress Platform

One reason there are so many great tools right now is because WordPress recently completely overhauled their web-building engine. As a consequence WordPress themselves created a complete new set of tools for even experienced users to learn this new platform.

WP’s Blogging University offers a ton of highly useful self-guided tutorials for both beginners and experienced site creators. You can see the types of courses offered in the screenshot below. To date I’ve only taken one of these courses. But I plan on taking more of these courses because they are constantly evolving and new ones are being added all the time. The one course I did take was so much better than I’d anticipated! It just requires time…a resource I have precious little of!

Even Though Blogging U,Offers Self-Guided Courses There's Still an Instructor and a Class Forum Available to All Attendees if Desired
Even though Blogging U offers self-guided courses they generally still offer an instructor and a class forum that’s available to all attendees if desired.

The significance of having a real live person that you can direct your questions too and a forum of students also taking any given course can’t be overstated. In both cases I found those aspects to be the ones I learned the most from.

Like the Blogging University’s tools, the support site’s articles are vast in number and well written. I did pretty much all of my learning using this one resource.

1 WordPress tool I loved!

A second option for using WordPress Support is their ‘Topic Index.’ This is generally my main resource now.

Each topic on the right expands to something resembling the more detailed tools on the left In this screenshot.
Each topic on the right expands to something resembling the more detailed tools on the left In this screenshot.

WP’s Happiness Engineers have adequately answered just about any question I’ve ever thrown at them through the years. Whether or not the answers I received were via email or instant online chats, the quality of their assistance has been undeniably very effective.

WP's Happiness Engineers
WP’s Happiness Engineers

For me, seeking answers from forums is usually a last resort. But every once in a while, when I encounter some randomly freak occurrence, inevitably someone else has also experienced the same thing. That’s the onetime that I turn to the forums for answers sooner rather than later.

Examples of the kinds of forum questions found at the WordPress Community Forums
Examples of the kinds of forum questions found at the WordPress Community Forums

WPBeginner’s YouTube Channel & Website

WPBeginner is an awesome resource for several reasons. First, the content they create is extremely well done and easy to follow. 2nd, the site was created by one person who was frustrated with the amount of learning literature that was available to him in 2009 when he was just starting out.

Syed Balkhi is pictured
Pictured Above: Syed Balkhi

Syed was a 28 year old entrepreneur, originally from Pakistan, who achieved fame with his websites and was recognized as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 by the United Nations. You can read about his whole journey here.

This is a very comprehensive comparison of website builders available today.

While I’d imagine WPBeginner’s website predates their YouTube channel, the 14+ million views of this channel’s ‘About’ page hints of the channel’s success! Maybe because it’s free?

This Youtube channel may not be 'officially' operated by WordPress...but that doesn’t impact the quality of their videos!
It goes without saying that the quality of their videos is great!
go gutenberg is the Official WordPress Site for learning how to use the new WordPress editor (which is named 'Gutenberg!')
Since everyone using WordPress currently is making the transition to Gutenberg there’s a lot of great Gutenberg learning resources available right now too!

go gutenberg is the Official WordPress Site for learning how to use the new WordPress editor (which is named ‘Gutenberg!’)

If you’re the kind of person who learns best in person, you’ll most likely find one or more Meetup groups in your location that are dedicated specifically to WordPress. Just use my Meetup link above to search for your country, then city, the type of WordPress group that interests you.

After finding your city, search for WordPress groups that meet in your area.
After finding your city, search for WordPress groups that meet in your area.

WordPress TV isn’t the easiest site to navigate nor is it all that helpful for learning for those completely new to WordPress. I’m including it here not because it’s great for learning but because it’s a great place to discover what’s coming soon with the platform as well as historically how it’s evolved. It’s also a great place to watch Matt Mullenweg who’s perhaps the most well-known of the WordPress founders.

WordPress TV's History of WordPress
WordPress TV’s ‘History of WordPress’

Conclusion

There are many, many, more resources that I could share with new users, but that would only confuse most people I think. The ones I’ve included are by far the best and truly all that’s needed for learning everything you need to get started building an amazing website of your own!

Posted in Apple, learn to blog, learning Wordpress, WordPress | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Use a Great New Folders Feature in ios to Manage Large Photo Collections

If you find yourself constantly struggling to deal with very large collections of photos on iPhones and iPads…back in September 2018 Apple introduced a great new tool to help you (in ios 12)…Photo Folders.

The one little problem is that they didn’t bother to tell anyone about it! I just happened to accidentally discover it one day recently. To say that I was thrilled and amazed would be a very big understatement!

Example of photo Folders and photo albums.

New Folders Features in the Photos App!

How Can ios Photo Folders Help You?

Probably the best thing about folders is that you can use them to group several similar photo albums together. By doing this you significantly reduce the amount of time spent scrolling through photo albums searching for the correct one.

My Latest YouTube Video Demonstrates Some Ways to Utilize Photo Folders

My video is pretty rambling as I was just figuring out how they worked while I recorded it and there are several iterations of ways to implement them. If you want to skip over some of this and get into the heart of it…drag the video’s scrub bar to around the 6 minute mark.

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Investor’s Business Daily Just Began a New Video Podcast Series to Learn About Investing

Photographing Money is Fun

Introduction

The other day I asked my husband what the current investment market was like, since I don’t usually follow investment news. He told me stock prices were really low right now. To me that appeared to mean this might be a good time to pick up some investing skillls because I know enough to know that buying low and selling high is the obvious main goal. So if stock prices are low I thought, then the timing for me to begin building a portfolio might be good.

I asked him if we were in a bear market and he said that wasn’t exactly clear. So I Googled it and sure enough no one seems to agree on that! The article I chose to listen to (because it made the most sense to me) is this one from MarketWatch.  They said that if we aren’t in a bear market already we’re headed there.

I also discovered  something else the other day that contributes to my wanting to learn more about  investing right now.  It’s that currently the dollar is very strong against the British pound and the Euro. I was blown away by just how strong the dollar is right now. I don’t think that it’s ever been stronger in my lifetime! I’m constantly running across fascinating companies that I think have great products worth considering investing in. Frequently they seem to be European…more often than not, Berlin. That’s just one more reason why I think now is a great time  for me to learn some investment strategies and start working on a portfolio.

But where to begin? That is one thing that’s usually scared me away. In the past, after I conducted a little research I usually came away feeling very overwhelmed by too much data that oftentimes was conflicting. So I decided to try a different approach. I  decided that I should find one good source of information and just stick with that in my initial phase. Then maybe I won’t become so overwhelmed.

While I was searching for that one resource that I would use, I ran across a brand new podcast series that’s by Investor’s Business Daily.

On March 14th Investor’s Business Daily began a new podcast series that’s aimed at teaching relative beginners a set of strategies for investing.

Why I’m Excited by This New Video Podcast

My husband really likes IBD for investing information. As long as I’ve known him he’s been interested in learning as much as he can about investing and investment strategies.

He’s tried a lot of the big investment news sources that are out there. He told me that the CANSlim system they discuss and are teaching through this podcast series gets a lot of respect within the community.

He personally likes the CANSlim system too. His biggest complaint is remembering all the aspects of it! It’s complex, but apparently not as complex as many others from many of IBD’s competitors. He singled out Barron’s which I know he subscribes to as seemingly being at a higher level than most beginners would benefit from. He also gets the Wall Street Journal and said that the field of similar information they provide is vast and they vary in complexity a lot.

His feeling is that CANSlim offers a lot of advantages. It’s a uniform and proven approach that virtually anyone can learn if they’re interested. I’ll just add that upon first viewing you might be intimidated by both the speed of the information presented or that there’s too much of a learning curve. But trust me…it’s really not. All these investment guys have their own vocabulary which makes things seem harder than they are. While they do try hard to define these kind of words…they don’t catch them all and I did a fair amount of looking up. But I know that will get better for many reasons…I’ll catch up vocab-wise and they’ll get feedback slowing them down and all will be good in the end.

Therefore, any financial 1st episode may be somewhat foreign to you. Subsequent ones will get easier and easier to understand. They’re not selling anything other than that they’d like you to use their firm for its knowledgeable expertise and have nothing to gain from impressing you with big, unusual words that ultimately scare you away. So give it a chance if you’re on the fence and see if I’m right. After all, you’re never to old to learn something new!

Photo by Rick Tap on Unsplash
Photo by Rick Tap on Unsplash

Here’s a link to IBD’s site that has the first episode that I watched.

I’m Sharing a PDF of the Notes I Took of Their 1st Episode

I forget a lot if I don’t take notes so I’ve evolved into being someone who always takes copious notes when I’m learning something new. I took my time, looked up some of their terminology and wrote down some definitions as I watched the podcast. I tried to keep my notes pretty simple to follow. While I was doing this for me, I realized that my notes might be useful for others too. Especially as it pertains to whether or not they would find the podcast useful personally. I have one caveat though.

Please remember that my PDF is just my own personal notes. They aren’t intended to be a polished presentation that’s shared with others. In fact, I did try to clean them up some as I tried to convince myself that other people might benefit from these. I definitely have some trepidation about sharing my personal notes. But then I remembered my audience. The other amazing WordPress writers who follow me along with my own family and friends, and I convinced myself that no one would care about the fact that these are just Notes, and they’d see the value in them beyond that.

Here’s a link to the PDF I made of my notes. While I’m certainly not advocating IBD over anyone else…clearly I don’t know enough about the topic to even venture a guess…I can share what I’ve learned and you can make your own decision.

How to Find This Podcast

The one thing I couldn’t easily find was information about when and where the podcast would take place. I figured if it’s a weekly podcast, which I think it is, and March 14th was truly the day it was begun, then there will probably be a new one on Thursdays (today!) They didn’t share a link or mention some defined location for it, so I’m going to go back to the webpage I found episode 1 at, and hope that they add new episodes there. I had to search that one page for where I thought it might be and because even that was a little tricky, I made the following video showing where I believe new episodes will appear when available. Sadly, I don’t have any way to add arrows and icons to videos.

Before you watch my video, here’s a link to the webpage it discusses. The other location I don’t have a link to, but I briefly describe how to find it using an Apple or Android mobile device in my video. I’ll add here that Google Podcasts is the new stock podcast app as of June 2018…which you’ll find in the Google Play Store.

How to Find IBD’S New Podcast?

Link List

Link to IBD’S new Podcast

Link to my notes.

Posted in Google Apps | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to Delete a Facebook Page Using Facebook’s Mobile Apps

Introduction

I keep reading about the fact that I should have a Facebook Page. I’ve even dabbled around with creating one…

Now I want to delete it!

Frankly, I don’t really get the point of having one because they are confusing to maintain and guess what? So is deleting one! Facebook pages seem to me to be extremely convoluted. Its constructs don’t seem to follow any kind of logic. I do give credit to Facebook’s developers however, who appear to be trying to make this system better.

After searching for a long time for instructions to delete a sort of half baked page I made (after trying to do it on my own,) I finally found a whole Facebook group dedicated to deleting Facebook pages.

Facebook group about deleting a Facebook Page

They offer some instructions which are shown in the screenshot below. But I quickly found out that those instructions don’t work while using Facebook’s mobile apps. So I made my own set of instructions once I finally figured it out.

Naturally, once I was successful figuring out how to do this, which, btw TOOK UP WAY TOO MUCH TIME, I decided to share the steps with my readers.

Follow the Diagrams Below for the Steps to Delete a Facebook Page (Using a Mobile Device)

Find the Page You Intend Upon Deleting
Find the Page You Intend Upon Deleting
Navigate to the Page You Want to Delete
Navigate to the Page You Want to Delete
Tap on the 3 Dots in the Top Right Corner
Tap on the 3 Dots in the Top Right Corner
Using 'Edit Settings' is faster.
Using ‘Edit Settings’ is faster.
Tap on General
Tap on ‘General’
Scroll Down to Find Delete
Scroll Down to Find Delete
Finally…the Delete Box!
This is the Warning Message You'll Receive
This is the Warning Message You’ll Receive
When You See this You'll Know You Were Successful
When You See this You’ll Know You Were Successful
You'll Still See the Page for a Little While
You’ll Still See the Page for a Little While
This Error Message Means Success!
This Error Message Means Success!
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