WordPress crash course
Training & Learning

How to Create a WordPress Crash Course

Are you interested in creating a WordPress crash course for your employees? If so, you’re not alone. 

WordPress powers over 43% of all websites, and that number increases each year. Many business owners switch to WordPress.org from their old providers, while new eCommerce owners take their first leap with WordPress every day. So, it has become increasingly crucial for brand leaders and employees to understand the basics of using WordPress for business, which follows the trend of using 'headless architecture' to support online businesses. 

When teaching WordPress, learning management systems (LMS) are the way to go. It’s estimated that the global LMS market will be worth $14.43 billion by the end of 2022! One reason for the increasing popularity of LMS software is that anyone can create a flexible, interesting online course–even if they don’t know how to code. 

Today, we will explore the benefits and steps involved in creating a WordPress crash course for your marketing team.

Let’s dive in! 

Benefits of creating a WordPress crash course for your employees

First, let’s talk about a few key benefits of creating WordPress courses using your LMS for your team members.

You can address multiple skill levels

Courses give you a unique opportunity to create a level learning experience without putting in too much extra work. The truth is, you’ll likely hire employees with a wide range of skills. Some team members may need a full-on beginners guide to WordPress, while seasoned WordPress users may require a simple refresher or targeted course. 

A well-designed crash course will allow you to create interactive lessons for various skill levels without sacrificing quality. I suggest thinking about what kind of roles you want to fill at your business, where potential hires may be in the education process, and how you can bridge the gap between these two ideas with your WordPress crash courses. 

Easily train team members for specific roles

Another advantage of using WordPress crash courses for your team is you can train employees to master specific roles within your company. Most sites on the internet use WordPress to start a blog, so let’s say you want to teach a new hire how to write a high-quality blog post. You wouldn’t want to show these employees a bunch of other information irrelevant to this task. 

In response to this learning need, you can create an entire series that focuses solely on creating on-site content. You can make this module a part of a more comprehensive onboarding course or keep it aside as a standalone lesson. 

If you create a robust library of versatile online classes for your team, employees can easily brush up on their WordPress skills or take part in a full lesson if they need the complete experience. All of this can occur without you being there to guide each person through your lesson plan manually. This type of flexibility makes online lessons a must-have for remote businesses. 

This type of flexibility makes online lessons a must-have for remote businesses. 

Learn more about your employees’ strengths and weaknesses

One significant advantage of introducing online courses is the opportunity to learn your employees’ unique strengths and weaknesses. Depending on your LMS software, you can easily add a quiz to the end of each chapter or specific lesson.

Quiz example for WordPress crash course
An example of a quiz format in 360Learning.

You can use these quizzes to assess each employee and help them improve personally and professionally. You can use the information obtained from these reports to structure your one-on-one coaching meetings. 

Let’s say you noticed that one of your new employees did an excellent job with most of their tests but struggled with SEO-themed questions. This information tells us that SEO is a weakness for this employee, and we need to work alongside them to help master this skill.  

Save money on training costs

Digital WordPress crash courses are also a great way to save on training costs. In a typical situation, you would need to hire several people at once, pay a training manager to give the introduction lessons, then follow through with each hire until they complete their assigned courses. This situation will occur whenever you need to fill roles at your company. 

With the right LMS software, more of the steps listed above are automated. Once you hire an employee, they can enroll in your training program and work through lessons at their own pace, asynchronously.

You can quickly and efficiently track their progress from your dashboard and follow up if there are any questions or concerns that require your attention. 

If you’re curious about how much money you’ll save, consider this; according to BambooHR, it costs $4,125 to onboard a new employee. Wrapped up in those costs are two noteworthy figures. First, $1,296 of this price comes from the cost of training existing employees to train new hires. Secondly, training materials can cost anywhere from $922 to $1,106. Both of these costs can be reduced through online training plans. 

Improve engagement on other company communication channels

Finally, online courses can help improve engagement on other company communication channels. One of the main reasons employees don’t speak up on chat channels like Slack is they don’t feel they know enough to share their opinion. 

Online lessons help give each employee baseline knowledge about various marketing and growth practices your brand uses to thrive. As a result, these team members are more likely to get involved in conversations relevant to their training and skills. 

For example, you could ask your team to share one marketing lesson they learned during the week on your company chat channel. Team members who have a solid understanding of marketing, specifically how your brand markets products and services, are more likely to offer answers that provide value to everyone on your team. In this way, you contribute to turning your company into a true Learning Organization.

Creating your course

Now that you understand how creating a crash course can help grow your business, let’s look at the steps involved in this process.

Step 1 - determine the goals of your WordPress crash course

First, you’ll need to decide on the goals of your online course. If you start creating a lesson plan without knowing your destination, you’re not going to get the same value as you would if you had prepared in advance.

I suggest asking yourself, “What do I want to teach my team?” Better yet, you could ask, “What do I wish I knew when I was in their position?” 

The answers to these two questions can help you determine the goals of your WordPress crash course. For example, if you realize that most of your team members don’t know how to upload a post from start to finish, you could create an online course that teaches the most efficient way to work through the steps in this process. 

Step 2 - Create a list of potential topics

Now that you know what you hope to achieve with your lesson plan, it’s time to create a list of potential topics. We usually only add things to this list if we are sure it’s a topic we want to cover now or in the future. 

You don’t have to do anything fancy for this step. Simply create a list of potential topics for your lesson and sort them based on their viability. There is one thing worth mentioning, though. You should always find a way to tie the course back to something your company does every day. If your team doesn’t have the chance to practice their new skill set, they may quickly lose what they retained from your course. 

Once you reach the end, you’ll have an organized list of lessons you can start building for your employees. 

Step 3 - Do your homework

You can now take your list of topics and start researching your employees and prospective hires. Marketers create buyer personas when they want to learn more about the people browsing their websites. Similarly, training managers create employee personas if they want to define their teams’ goals, pain points, and needs. 

If you want your WordPress crash course to resonate with your employees, the content within the lesson needs to be relatable, actionable, and enjoyable. Failing to research your employees could result in losing this magic, which generally leads to decreased engagement and course value. 

I recommend sending feedback forms to your employees so you can discover their diverse needs and expectations. Choose unique questions for team members based on their strengths, weaknesses, and role within the company. You can find plenty of great course ideas if you’re willing to do your homework and listen to your team.

Send feedback forms to your employees so you can discover their diverse needs and expectations.

Step 4 - Plan your content

The next logical step in the process is to plan your content. You’ll have a hard time keeping your employees engaged if there’s nothing for them to read. 

This step is usually the longest part of course planning because it requires additional research, revisions, and testing. You should use this time to create comprehensive written content, engaging videos, and quizzes that provide value to your audience.

The most important takeaway from this tip is the importance of accessible and engaging content. Transferring your knowledge to someone else is the whole point of creating an online course. If you’re not sharing this information in multiple ways throughout your lesson, your team will miss out on key learning experiences. 

When developing exams and quizzes at the end of each lesson, use central themes and topics mentioned in your course to reinforce knowledge and teach new skills. 

You’ll also want to consider the education path for your employees. Do you want them to take a handful of courses instead of a full plan? If so, you need to chart a different path than a business owner who wants to teach their team more complex WordPress lessons over an extended time.

Step 5 - Choose the right tools

Imagine you’re tasked with starting a campfire. In one bag, you have a flint and some kindling; in another, you have a lighter, fluid, and a small stack of firewood. Obviously, the second bag is the easier of the two options.

The point is that having the right tools can make a massive difference in your progress. When creating a WordPress crash course for your business, choosing a high-quality LMS tool is just as important as planning your content. 

360Learning comes loaded with features that are perfect for business leaders across all industries. You can easily create one-off lessons or full-fledged courses with multiple parts. There are also plenty of options for gamifying your lesson for more engagement opportunities. 

What many L&D managers like about this tool is they can quickly and easily track course analytics. This data can help leaders determine where team members are getting stuck, resulting in a higher completion rate and greater educational value for every employee. 

Other notable features include:

  • Instant feedback (even mid-lesson!)
  • In-course chat via a discussion forum
  • Easy-to-use co-authoring tools
  • Multiple third-party integrations
  • Code-free course building 

Step 6 - Look for opportunities to implement collaborative learning

If you want to get even more value from your crash course, implementing collaborative learning can help. Simply put, collaborative learning is the process of employees training other employees through online lesson plans. 

collaborative learning for wordpress crash course
Collaborative learning is about bottom-up, peer driven learning.

This is possible through LMS software that empowers subject-matter experts to create courses themselves using simple, built-in authoring tools. So, once you’ve identified learning needs in your organization around using WordPress, you can work with those on your marketing team that may already know a thing or two about WordPress to create relevant, interactive courses. Co-authoring and feedback looks to ensure material is well-vetted before it goes live to all your learners. 

The biggest advantage of collaborative learning is that your team can share their experiences and teach one another about their strategies. You could miss a lot if you’re creating a course by yourself from memory. However, you’re far less likely to miss these points if you have skilled employees helping you design and improve your system pre and post-launch. 

co-authors and internal feedback for wordpress crash course
Co-authoring and internal feedback discussions can help you polish your courses before they go live. Here’s an example of what that looks like on 360Learning.

Step 7 - Gather feedback

Speaking of improving your courses, let’s talk about gathering feedback. You should always make feedback an essential part of the course-building process. You will have an easier time growing your business and developing your courses if you know what works. 

There are a few ways to gather feedback from your employees. For starters, I suggest sending out a simple survey to team members after completing a lesson. Use this time to ask participants to share their thoughts on the presentation and skill tests. If most of your team says the test was too easy, you may have to adjust the questions and format for future students.

With 360Learning, you can read comments posted in real-time, as well as see Reactions (emoji-style smiley faces) at the course level. Identify patterns and make changes that will benefit your employees. I suggest checking for new comments often so you can continuously improve after each person completes your course.  

reactions for wordpress crash course
Reactions in 360Learning help course creators understand what content is doing well, and what content might need a refresh.

I also suggest reviewing your course analytics. Research shows that only 20-30% of employees complete optional training. If you see these numbers on your analytics page, find out where people are leaving. Let’s say over 60% of your employees decided to leave a course on the same page. That could signify that you need to adjust that specific part of the lesson to be more user-friendly.

Final thoughts

Building WordPress-themed courses might take some investment, but one that is certainly worth your time. If you want to see increased productivity, lower employee training costs, and increased employee satisfaction, invest in meeting your employees’ learning needs—and learning how to become a WordPress master may very well be one of them!

Today, we outlined a few of the benefits and showed you the initial steps in the process. The only thing left to do now is to start building your crash course!