Tips for Advanced WordPress Users

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When did you become an advanced WordPress user? Maybe it was the time you rebuilt your database after a plug-in “accidentally” destroyed it. Or perhaps it was the first time you made so many modifications to someone else’s theme that you were practically designing your own. Or it might have been that night you installed and uninstalled five different plug-ins in search of the one that had the functionality you needed.

Regardless of when you became an advanced WordPress user, the fact remains that you are one now. You don’t need hand-holding when you install a new plug-in, change themes, or update to the latest version. But you still don’t read code with confidence, and you’re not ready to start building your own plug-ins. If you want to be an expert user, here’s what you need to do to become a WordPress warrior.

Read the Codex

The WordPress Codex is both an “online manual” and a “living repository” for all things WordPress. Like most manuals, the Codex starts off with simple, even overly simplistic instructions on how to install and use WordPress. But, within a few clicks, you’re already to documentation for the Plug-in API, which will give you the information you need to start writing your own tools for WordPress.

Unlike a typical manual, the Codex includes links to more detailed instructions, so you’re not cut off from the best advice out there. In addition, the Codex is set up as a wiki, so anyone can contribute new knowledge, or make a sentence that much clearer and concise. If you want to become an expert user, there’s no better resource for learning how WordPress works.

Buy a book

Online resources are great for learning how to solve particular problems, but sometimes it’s useful to have a book to lay out everything you need to know. Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr’s Digging Into WordPress is a comprehensive guide to WordPress that is updated with each release. While the print edition is a bit pricey, included in the price is a free PDF copy and, more importantly, a free copy of all future editions, so your purchase will be rewarded many times over.

Find your Specialty

While a few of us really are experts in everything, most likely you’re going to be really good, or at least really interested in, one or two things about WordPress. As you become an advanced user, start spending your time focusing on developing your skills by visiting sites like WP Snippets, which offers bits of codes you can use for your site, or WP Theming, which offers tips on developing WordPress Themes. While the path to becoming a WordPress pro isn’t an easy one, sites like these will help you find the way.

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Photo by Mykl Roventine