Chances are, if you use the Internet, you probably know about WordPress. In the past couple of years it has become the #1 platform for designing websites.
And for good reason: WordPress is easy to use, offers a wide variety of options, and is 100% free. No matter what kind of website you have – whether it’s a business site where customers can buy things, a hobby blog, or a news feed – WordPress offers an unparalleled platform to build exciting, innovative, and easily navigable websites.
And, as you’ll see in just a moment, it represents a lucrative business opportunity as well.
There are currently over 57 million websites that use WordPress. And that number is growing exponentially. With a steady stream of upgrades and new options, WordPress stands to become the dominant platform for the web. And any time that many people use one platform, there is some serious money to be made. Here are some of the companies that publish their websites on WordPress: CNN, CBS, People magazine, The New York Times, NBC, and The League of Power.
Why Should I Learn WordPress?
Put simply, WordPress is like the Google of website building applications. When people want to start a website, they use WordPress more than any other application. So by becoming proficient in WordPress, you’re positioning yourself as an expert website builder.
And there’s no need to worry if you don’t have a degree in Computer Science…because when you use WordPress, you’ll be writing little to no computer code. Your concern will be designing dynamic pages with a good aesthetic that fits your clients’ needs and desires. If you’ve always had a creative side but haven’t found a well-paid outlet for it, this could be a goldmine for you.
Step 1: Download WordPress
The best way to become acquainted with WordPress is to jump in and download it. Before you do that, however, you first need a hosting account. You can sign up for a host at a number of different sites, including www.godaddy.com or www.siteground.com. The great thing about these sites is that they are very inexpensive and they offer convenient downloads of WordPress. Simply sign up, find the auto-installer, and select WordPress.
Now that you have access to the application, you can scroll through the different options it offers: to get started, I suggest choosing one of the included themes and customizing it. To install a WordPress theme, go to your WordPress administration area > Appearance > Themes.
Find one you like, install it, and then select it.
Now you’re ready to explore! Try out different widgets, plug-ins, and tools. The goal for the WordPress novice here is just to become familiar with the look and feel of it. I would suggest creating a test website, one where you tailor the look and options of it to certain specifications. You can try adding a shopping cart, uploading a customized picture, or something simple, like changing the title font.
Step 2: Becoming Proficient
Before you start selling your WordPress skills, try designing one or two websites free of charge. Not only will you get great exposure, you’ll also learn a tremendous amount. The people who are going to pay you to design their websites might have a general idea of what they want, but they won’t have a clue about the technical side.
By creating a couple of websites from scratch, you’ll discover what is and is not possible, what the quickest and easiest possible way to accomplish something is, and the basic needs of a website.
Most websites, believe it or not, are much more similar than you might think. They all include a title up top, links below, and pictures. Master these simple, ubiquitous features, and you’re well on your way to becoming proficient in WordPress.
And once you start learning some of the more advanced WordPress features – such as including a search bar, social media plug-ins, advertisements, etc. – you will be a true guru. (There are a number of great books written on WordPress that I suggest: WordPress For Dummies, WordPress To Go, WordPress Domination, and Teach Yourself VISUALLY WordPress.)
Step 3: Making Money like a Guru
Now that you have a handle on how to use WordPress, it’s time to start making some money from your skills. Like I said earlier, WordPress is the #1 website publishing platform – that means there are plenty of folks willing to pay you to design their websites. You’ll probably have a few clients who don’t even know what WordPress is, they just know what they want their website to look like. And since WordPress is so incredibly versatile, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to deliver literally any style of website they can imagine.
Here are a few great websites you can join for FREE to score web design jobs:
You’ll learn and become more proficient with each job you complete. And whether you want to just design websites in your spare time or if you’re interested in becoming a full-time freelancer, you’ll be able to find plenty of work.
You should also go after small local businesses, say plumbers or restaurants or even attorneys or accountants. Many of these small-scale operations have a very basic website or no Internet presence at all. But these days it’s absolutely vital because customers find companies and people they’ll do business with almost exclusively online.
Approach these small businesses and offer your services to build a simple yet effective website. It’s a great way to practice your skills and make money at the same time.
WordPress is positioned to become the dominant website platform for years to come – now is the time to get in on this exciting and lucrative business.
Best of luck!
P.S. I just gave you all the tips and tools you need to become a successful WordPress designer. But here are a few more resources to help you reach the top.
Learning the Skills