Fantastic First class at LA WordPress Workshop

This past weekend I worked in conjunction with the team of the Southern California WordPress Meetup group and Kleverdog Academy to put on the first course in a new series of hands-on WordPress Workshops in Los Angeles. With over 20 people in attendance the pressure was on to deliver value to the group, and have them come out with the knowledge of how to customize and setup their own WordPress website with minimal to no coding.

This course was not designed for developers, rather it focused on the often overlooked users that are between novice and developer, what I call the “Power User”. These are entreprenuers and business professionals that have amazing ideas, but just need a little help turning their ideas into fruition.

Rightfully so, the title of the Workshop was called “The Power Guide to WordPress” and was one of the few (if any) hands-on courses covering WordPress as well as other major topics involved with running a successful website.

Topics covered included: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Analytics, Website Security, Advanced WordPress Content Management System (CMS) features and eCommerce.

Read on to find out how it went.

Course Goals and Challenges

The main course goals of the workshop were the following:

  1. Familiarize students how to setup and work with WordPress.
  2. Show them, in a hands-on approach, how to: Create/Modify content, Alter the Appearance, and Add on Features on their own.
  3. Explore the Advanced CMS uses of WordPress, with a focus on eCommerce.
  4. Provide a list of Powerful & Useful WordPress plugins.

The challenge of this workshop was to provide value to individuals that came with very diverse WordPress experience and skill sets, from complete novices to avid WordPress users. Not a simple goal to shoot for because normally these groups are separated in different classes, and usually in shorter sessions.

Still, demand was high for the class and as you can see from the pictures below we had a room that was filled to capacity:

  

Course Feedback and Results

The students in attendance were a very friendly and eager group, and were engaged in the class from the start. I knew that I had put allot of time and thought into preparing the material in a way that was clear and digestible with plenty of examples. From my experience as a College and High School math & science tutor I knew how important tying in relavent examples and analogies are to the learning process. I had also been refining my presentation for days, so I felt pretty confident coming into the class.

One setback that I came up was that I ended up coming down with the flu and had a very soar throat the night before and day of the class. Even with these challenges, I’m thankful I was able to get through the core material and present my ideas clearly to the class. I received great feedback and even applause after each section, which was energizing and kept me going! I want to thank all the students that attended, especially all those who took the time to write a gracious review of the course on the event page on Meetup.com.

If you were in the class and are reading this post I would love to get your feedback and reviews on my blog as well. Just leave a comment below about your experience. Again, Thank you for your support. You were an awesome class!

Conclusion & Next Steps

I am very excited about how well this course was received, and happy to report that there is demand for future classes on the same topics, as well as other topics focused on advanced uses of WordPress.

This is where I would love to hear the thoughts from the blog readers and WordPress user community. What topics would you like to see covered if you were attending a similar paid workshop?  Would you want to go in-depth on use cases such as eCommerce, or Membership websites? Would you like to see a Developers course? There are soo many great uses of WordPress and topics to cover that I would be foolish to think I knew what everyone wanted.

So here is your chance to share your thoughts. Leave a comment below on what topics you would like to see presented and also written about and I will work to provide you with the content you want. Sound good?

All the best,
-Belsien

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