WordPress started out as a blogging tool but has grown to such an extent that it is now a full-blown content management system (CMS) which drives over 30% of all the websites on the internet.
It’s very good at what it does and much of what you want it do you can obtain for free. Users of WordPress are invited to cover their use of the software by contributing to the overall project by way of volunteering their services in different ways. Given that there is now a successful company at the top of the tree, there is plenty of debate about this process but that is not for discussion here. You can see some of the options open to contributors here but for the moment I want to describe the minor contribution I make to WordPress.
Local WordPress User Groups are coordinated via MeetUp.com and I now find myself ‘leading’ the WP Glasgow MeetUp in Glasgow, Scotland. I guess it helps to have the confidence to stand up in front of a group and talk. The revelation for me was when, having attended a few MeetUps as a visitor, I realised that I knew as much — if not more — than other people who were attending. That was unexpected.
My WordPress training took the form of installing the software and pressing all the buttons until I could work out what they did. I had two distinct advantages in doing this:
- Time: I was fulfilling no one’s brief but my own at the time;
- Background: I had worked in corporate IT for many years in both programming and management. At least, therefore, I had the basic IT understanding even if my technical skills were (more than) a little rusty!