WordPress Training Business Growth

WordPress User Training Vs. Outsourcing: Which Is Better For The WordPress Economy?

The WordPress industry exists to serve non-technical end-users. Should WordPress end-users be encouraged to outsource to external service providers, or learn how to use and manage their own websites? Which option is better and safer for ensuring the continued growth and sustainability of the WordPress economy?

If cars were built only to serve the needs of race car drivers and mechanics instead of the average person who wants a vehicle to help them get from A to B, there would be no automobile industry.

Similarly, if WordPress focuses only on serving the needs of its technical users (e.g. web developers) instead of the average website owner who wants a digital vehicle to help them grow their business, will we continue to see a growing, global WordPress industry in the future?

Most people who own or work in businesses with websites powered by WordPress are non-technical end-users. They have no interest in learning technical things like web development, editing code, or programming languages like PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, etc. and their businesses generally tend to be unrelated to areas like web development.

Non-techie WordPress end-users hire website developers because they don’t want to learn how to build, configure, customize, or optimize websites. Most don’t even care what their websites are built with. They simply want websites that will help them grow their businesses.

This user group, however, is vitally important. Without non-technical end-users, there is no WordPress economy.

So every WordPress service provider including WordPress itself has a responsibility to help end-users get better results from their WordPress websites.

There are two basic ways to help non-techie end-users grow their business using a WordPress website:

  1. Users can outsource their website needs to external service providers, or
  2. They can learn how to use their websites more effectively and create better results themselves.

If the WordPress economy ultimately depends on having a strong and loyal user base to ensure its growth and sustainability and this user base comprises mostly of non-technical end-users, this raises a number of important questions.

For example:

  1. Should the WordPress industry as a whole continue to encourage non-technical end-users to outsource almost every aspect of their web presence, or should we be properly training and empowering them to learn how to better manage some of those areas themselves?
  2. How do you effectively educate, train, and empower non-technical WordPress end-users, when WordPress itself is mostly geared toward serving the needs of its technical user base (e.g. web developers)?
  3. Will the WordPress economy remain sustainable if its user base ends up comprising mostly of disempowered end-users who don’t understand the benefits of using the WordPress platform, don’t know how to use the main features of their websites effectively, and, therefore, have no reason to remain loyal to using the platform?

In this article, we will not only try to address the above questions, but we will also try to show that…

Without EMPOWERED non-technical end-users, there is no WordPress economy.

Let’s begin by seeing just how important the WordPress economy really is, starting with the basics.

WordPress Is The World’s Leading CMS Platform

Consider this…

WordPress currently powers around 40% of the world’s Content Management System (CMS)-driven websites. No other platform comes even close to the market share of WordPress.

WordPress - CMS Usage Distribution Pie Chart - BuiltWith
WordPress is the world’s leading website CMS platform. (Source BuiltWith.com)

Millions of websites around the world are powered by WordPress.

WordPress Usage Statistics - BuiltWith.com
Millions of websites use WordPress. (Source BuiltWith.com)

So, WordPress is big and it supports a global industry of web service providers like web hosting companies, web developers, freelancers, digital agencies, etc. According to this study, the WordPress economy is currently valued at over $600 billion.

As stated earlier, most WordPress websites are built for businesses comprised of non-technical end-users.

For the WordPress economy to remain viable and sustainable, then, the entire WordPress industry must ensure that non-technical end-users have every reason to continue using the WordPress platform to power their websites and to keep choosing WordPress products and services to help them get better results in their business.

In order for this to happen, however, users must have at least an understanding of WordPress and what it can do for their business. This involves educating and teaching users about the benefits and advantages of using the WordPress platform, and training and empowering them to learn how to use their WordPress websites effectively to improve their results.

How can we train and empower users, though, if we keep encouraging them to “leave it all to the experts?”

WordPress Outsourcing vs WordPress User Training

Almost all aspects of running a WordPress website can be outsourced and many website developers and digital agencies encourage their clients to outsource their WordPress needs…from WordPress installation, setup, configuration, and customization, to website management and maintenance, content production, content management, online marketing, etc.

One could argue that outsourcing creates new opportunities for thousands of businesses worldwide to provide WordPress-related services in areas like web development, web design, content creation, digital marketing, managed web hosting, etc., and that encouraging end-users to outsource to external service providers allows them to focus more time and resources on growing their businesses.

While outsourcing is vital to the livelihoods of WordPress-related businesses and can free up end-users to focus more on their businesses, paradoxically, however, WordPress also gives end-users the choice of managing every aspect of their website themselves.

Aspects of running a WordPress website.
WordPress lets you outsource or manage every aspect of your website yourself…the choice is completely up to the user.

The key here, then, is user choice.

A user should have the choice of deciding whether to outsource an aspect of their WordPress website to an external service provider or manage it themselves.

To make this choice, however, end-users first need to be educated about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress and understand the pros and cons of outsourcing or managing areas of their websites themselves.

WordPress Industry - Giving users the choice of outsourcing or DIY
Without WordPress training and education, end-users cannot make the choice of outsourcing or managing areas of their WordPress sites themselves.

This is where the problem lies, because…

The WordPress industry is not geared to educating, teaching, training, or empowering end-users to make this choice.

Most non-technical end-users discover WordPress via their service providers (e.g. website developers), who (understandably) have a vested financial interest to encourage their clients to outsource instead of educating, training, and empowering them to make their own choices.

Effectively, this means that most end-users end up having only one choice…outsourcing their needs to their service providers!

The WordPress Industry focuses on the needs of WordPress service providers not end-users.
The WordPress Industry focuses on WordPress service providers, not end-users.

There are far more complex issues here than the usual arguments in favor of outsourcing (i.e. saving time vs saving money), which can be summarized as follows:

  • The WordPress industry is not set up to educate, train, and empower end-users to make choices, so most end-users are steered toward outsourcing.
  • Encouraging end-users to outsource instead of educating, training, and empowering them to learn how to use their websites more effectively is unsustainable in the long term, as it makes them heavily dependent on external service providers and creates a massive imbalance in the distribution of “WordPress knowledge.” If knowledge is power, the more the WordPress industry encourages non-technical end-users to outsource all their WordPress needs, the more disempowered WordPress end-users will become.
  • While most aspects of a WordPress website can be outsourced, outsourcing is not always the preferred or even a viable option for many end-users.

If the future of the WordPress industry depends on more non-technical end-users choosing to use the WordPress platform, is relying on a growing global base of disempowered end-users who depend heavily on outsourcing really the safest, best, and most viable strategy for sustainable growth?

I’ve touched on the argument for outsourcing, now let’s turn to the argument for WordPress user training: educating end-users about the benefits and advantages of using WordPress and training and empowering them to learn how to use their WordPress websites more effectively so they can improve their own results.

Why Training Non-Technical WordPress End-Users Is Vital For The Growth Of WordPress

Most people who own cars learn how to drive and use their vehicles.

Many people that own or work with WordPress websites, however, don’t know how to use WordPress. Most just want (or hope) to get better results from their websites. Many don’t even care what platform their websites are built with.

If end-users don’t know how to use their websites and don’t care what technology platform their websites are built with, and their websites are not delivering them the results they expect, then many would have no reason to continue using WordPress and may look around for other solutions that promise them faster, easier, cheaper, and better results, without realizing that WordPress is the vehicle that can deliver them faster, easier, cheaper, and better results.

Suppose that millions of businesses, feeling disempowered by their lack of ability to run, manage, or control their own websites, suddenly decide to stop using WordPress and switch to using other platforms. This would seriously impact the WordPress industry and all businesses in it, including website, plugin, and theme developers, digital agencies, managed hosting providers, etc.

In short…

Without non-technical end-users, there is no WordPress industry.

So, now that we’ve established the obvious (no customers = no industry), do we want our non-technical WordPress end-users (i.e. customers) to feel empowered or disempowered?

Someone who doesn’t know how to use their WordPress website to improve their results, either because they’ve never been properly shown how to use their website or because they’ve chosen (or been encouraged) to outsource their needs to external service providers and isn’t getting the results they expect has no reason to remain loyal to WordPress or to using any WordPress-related products or services.

Building an industry on disempowered users, then, is like building the proverbial house on the sand as told in the biblical parable of the wise and the foolish builders.

Think about it…

“The more you empower non-technical WordPress users, the more WordPress products and services they will want to use.”

The more you empower WordPress users, the more they will want to use WordPress
The more you empower WordPress users, the more WordPress products and services they will want to use.

So, it’s vitally important that all WordPress businesses should make every effort to educate, train, teach and empower their non-technical clients to use their WordPress websites more effectively.

This, however, is hardly done, for a number of reasons.

The Challenges Of Training Non-Technical WordPress End-Users…

Let’s look at the main challenges of learning WordPress that contribute to the disempowerment of non-technical WordPress end-users.

#1 – WordPress End-User Training Is Hardly Talked About

Training and empowering non-technical end-users is almost never talked about in the WordPress community. It’s like the proverbial elephant in the room.

You can find plenty of references to WordPress developer training in the official WordPress channels (e.g. State of The Word, WordCamps, etc.), but not much is said about training non-technical users how to use WordPress.

If you search on WordPress-related forums, social media, etc. for topics like “how to train WordPress clients” you will find a number of posts, discussions, comments, and tips from web developers on the methods they use to train their clients.

These all seem reasonable until you understand the challenges described below.

#2 – WordPress Is Not Easy To Use

In the words of William Blake…

“What seems to be, is, to those to whom it seems to be…”

If a user perceives or expects WordPress to be complicated, hard to learn, and difficult to use, then for that user, WordPress will indeed seem to be complicated, hard to learn, and difficult to use.

Many years ago, I taught school leavers and people looking for new opportunities to get reskilled, retrained, or employed how to use business software programs (e.g. word processing, spreadsheets, etc.). I found that the people who came into the course expecting it to be hard had the most difficulty learning even basic office software and computer skills.

WordPress is easy for people who have spent years learning how to use it. For many non-technical end-users and beginners, however, WordPress is not easy to use.

When a new user logs into their site’s admin area, they are faced with screens filled with features, options, and settings that link to more features, options, and settings.

While these elements are part of what makes WordPress a powerful and flexible platform, it can be overwhelming and confusing for new users.

Even if the website developer hides elements from their clients’ Dashboard menu so as to not overwhelm or confuse them, these features are still necessary to use a WordPress website effectively. The developer has not eliminated the need to know how to use these features, they have simply made a decision on behalf of their clients about who should know and/or have access to these features.

If we ignore all the features, settings, plugins, themes, menus, widgets, etc. that website developers typically configure and set up for their client’s websites, and make only content publishing areas accessible to end-users, this still leaves a ton of WordPress features and content publishing processes that users need to learn before, during, and after each step in order to use their websites effectively and improve their results.

Training and empowering non-technical users to use even the most basic features of their WordPress websites, however, is not just about helping users overcome their perception that WordPress is complicated, hard to learn, and difficult to use.

One of the biggest challenges of learning, training, or teaching non-techies to use WordPress is that…

#3 – Keeping WordPress Training Documentation Up To Date Is Difficult

Keeping any kind of documentation up to date is a difficult task. The fact that WordPress is continually changing and evolving makes this task even more difficult, as the information in training resources like WordPress PDF manuals, video tutorials, online tutorials, etc. can become quickly outdated, irrelevant, or obsolete.

Suppose you run a WordPress services business (e.g. website development) and produce an entire video training series, an illustrated PDF guide, and online tutorials on how to use WordPress for your clients. A few months later, a new version of WordPress comes out (as it regularly does) with significant changes made to some of the key features covered in your training documentation.

Does your business have the systems, processes, resources, and the time to review and update your client training documentation, videos, screenshots, and tutorials every few months so you’re not providing your clients with outdated or obsolete information?

This almost requires having a publishing department, which many freelance website developers and agencies don’t have.

Consequently, many website developers and agencies provide their clients with training resources that contain outdated information.

Another challenge of providing training documentation to non-technical end-users is that…

#4 – Non-Techies Need Detailed Step-By-Step Instructions

Many “how-to-use WordPress for beginners” training resources that claim to be step-by-step are simply not detailed enough for non-techies to find the information practical, useful, or easy to follow.

Anyone who has ever had the frustrating experience of trying to explain to a technology-averse parent or grandparent how to do something on a computer that is supposedly very simple to do will appreciate how meticulously detailed a ‘step-by-step’ process needs to be for technology-averse users. Every step of every process has to be patiently explained in a logical and sequential order so as to not overwhelm or shut the user down.

When you combine ‘flimsy’ WordPress user training resources that lack the level of step-by-step detail non-techies require with outdated or obsolete information and then start injecting technical concepts into the content, it only confuses and overwhelms users.

And this happens a lot, because…

#5 – Most WordPress Training Content Is Written By Techies For Other Techies

Most of the WordPress training information available online has been written by technical-minded users (e.g. web developers) for other technical-minded users.

Even the WordPress training content from WordPress itself is aimed at a technical audience. It doesn’t empower non-techies to become competent WordPress end-users.

Techies and non-techies think differently. Even tutorials written by techies aimed at absolute beginners often assume that non-techies understand things that many don’t. This “blind spot” creates even more confusion in the minds of non-techies.

For example, almost all WordPress tutorials written by techies tend to assume that at some point on the user’s journey to learning WordPress, users will want or need to edit code. Something as simple to a technical user as instructing someone to change a word inside a PHP template file can seem overwhelmingly difficult to a non-technical user because many non-technical users have no interest in learning web development stuff like coding or editing PHP, don’t know how to open, edit, or transfer files to servers, and freeze as soon as they see lines of code inserted into a tutorial.

Most of the available information about using WordPress is written by techies to help other techies and this is unlikely to change any time soon, because…

#6 – Empowering Non-Technical End-Users Creates A Conflict Of Interest

Because WordPress relies mostly on its community of web developers for everything, many new WordPress users have to either figure out how to use WordPress on their own or rely on their website developers for WordPress training.

Apart from the fact that providing client training is not the main focus of most website developers’ businesses (which in itself affects the quality of the training), this creates an obvious conflict of interest…why would WordPress service providers want to empower clients to manage and run their own websites if their businesses rely on keeping clients dependent on using their WordPress services?

Many WordPress end-users don’t understand this, because…

#7 – WordPress Users Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

We now come full circle to the challenge of training non-technical end-users.

Most users simply don’t know what they don’t know and they are not aware of the challenges involved in acquiring this knowledge.

Let me give you an example:

Most people confuse outsourcing with abdicating responsibilities.

Outsourcing requires an understanding of the processes involved in improving results and managing the work being delegated to others effectively.

Abdicating, on the other hand, is simply handing control of the processes, the work, and the responsibilities for managing the processes to others and trusting blindly that you will get the results being promised.

To put this in context, if we take a less technical aspect of managing a website like content publishing, then outsourcing content creation effectively requires having the following processes before any actual outsourcing can even take place:

  • A clear understanding of the vision, mission, and values of the business, as all content published on the website must reflect these
  • A business marketing strategy (i.e. budget, media and promotional channels, KPIs, etc.)
  • A clear content marketing strategy and content plan (with SEO research, content topics, keyword research, competition analysis, resources to create the media formats that will be used to produce content, etc.)
  • Editorial guidelines and policies for content editors and content producers
  • Analytics tools and the skills to understand and improve the results of the content marketing strategy
  • The skills, ability, and resources to manage the outsourcing process and resources before, during, and after content production (i.e. hiring writers or video producers, creating workflows and managing schedules, writing briefs, assigning the work, ensuring that deadlines and standards are met, reviewing and editing drafts, promoting the content, measuring performance and effectiveness of published content, etc.).

Without having all of the above in place, a business isn’t outsourcing, they are abdicating.

Many end-users not only perceive WordPress to be complicated, hard to learn, and difficult to use, but they also abdicate their responsibilities for controlling and managing their own websites to external service providers believing that they are outsourcing.

The lack of WordPress end-user education and training, then, will only further disempower its global customer base and could have serious long-term consequences for the growth and sustainability of the WordPress industry as a whole.

Addressing The Challenges Of Training Non-Technical WordPress Users

As a non-technical WordPress end-user, I have been looking for solutions to address the challenges discussed so far almost since the beginning of WordPress itself.

After 10+ years of running WordPress education seminars and workshops for businesses and writing several WordPress how-to guides and hundreds of online tutorials for non-techies, I developed The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual – a comprehensive, detailed, regularly updated, and complete ‘step-by-step’ WordPress training product that teaches everything non-technical end-users need to know to use their WordPress websites more effectively and improve their business results, with no coding skills or knowledge required.

In addition to a 2,100+ page fully illustrated downloadable WordPress user manual pdf and 125+ detailed step-by-step accompanying online tutorials,  The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual includes access to a growing video library containing 2,000+ video lessons, comprehensive email courses on content creation and advanced WordPress user tips, downloadable guides on WordPress-related topics, and many additional useful resources (e.g. checklists, templates, etc.) providing users with the most complete and up-to-date WordPress training available.

WordPress User Training - WPTrainingManual.com
The Complete Step-by-Step WordPress User Manual provides everything users need to know to use their WordPress websites effectively and improve their results.

Here is how my WordPress user and client training product addresses the challenges and difficulties of training to non-technical WordPress end-users:

#1 – Our Only Focus Is Training Non-Technical WordPress End-Users

All WPTrainingManual.com focuses on is how to better educate, train, and empower WordPress users to use their websites more effectively and improve their results. We don’t provide website development, digital marketing, or any other kind of web services, so WordPress user training is not an afterthought…it’s all we think about!

We have been thinking about the challenges that non-technical end-users face when using WordPress almost since the beginning of WordPress itself. This is what drives our business and our training products.

#2 – Our WordPress Training Covers Everything End-Users Need To Know

Years have gone into creating our meticulously detailed WordPress user tutorials to make sure that users have access to practical step-by-step training content delivered using non-technical language with simple and clear instructions to make it easier to follow, apply, and get results using the information.

The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual covers everything that non-technical end-users absolutely need to know how to use their WordPress websites more effectively and improve their results. No fluff, no guff…only good stuff!

#3 – We Keep All Written Documentation Up-To-Date

To give you an idea of how complex keeping WordPress training information up-to-date is, consider this…many WordPress service providers find it difficult to keep the flimsy “quick-start” guides they use to train their clients updated. Our WordPress user manual PDF and detailed online tutorials contain over 300,000 words and thousands of illustrations (3,500+).

We have not only invested years into writing our WordPress training content, we have also invested a great deal of time and effort into planning and building the systems and processes to make sure that our training documentation delivers users relevant and up-to-date information.

Our online tutorials are continually being updated and an updated version of the downloadable PDF manual is released every 6 months.

#4 – WordPress Training For Non-Techies, Written By A Non-Techie

All the content in the downloadable WordPress user manual PDF and online tutorials has been expertly written by a non-technical WordPress end-user.

As mentioned earlier, I have been using WordPress almost since the beginning of WordPress itself and have built many WordPress sites for businesses of all types during this time with no coding or technical skills.

#5 – No Conflict Of Interest With Outsourced WordPress Service Providers

One of the unique benefits of using either The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual or the rebrandable WordPress user manual version to train clients to use WordPress is that our training does not conflict with but complements the user’s choice to outsource to external service providers.

We developed our WordPress user training based on the following approach:

  1. Most non-technical end-users will most likely choose to hire a WordPress website developer to build, set up, and maintain their WordPress sites.
  2. End-users want to feel empowered and in control of their websites but may not necessarily want to do all the work themselves.
  3. If end-users at least understand what needs to be done and have access to “how-to” information, then they can make informed choices to either outsource the work or do it themselves.

Our training content, therefore, focuses mostly on these areas:

  • Teaching users how to use the main features of their WordPress website to publish and manage their content, and
  • Educating users about ways to improve their results when marketing their content and their websites.

The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual and the rebrandable WordPress user manual version do not conflict with WordPress-related businesses that provide website development. web design, website maintenance, digital marketing, etc.

Diagram showing the areas that WPTrainingManual.com's WordPress user training focuses on.
Our WordPress training is ideally structured to empower end-users to be in control of their WordPress websites while outsourcing technical and marketing areas to external service providers.

WPTrainingManual.com Is A Win-Win Solution For The WordPress Industry

WordPress states that its mission is to democratize publishing. The question is…how will it get there?

Will WordPress democratize publishing by encouraging its end-user customer base to become disempowered or empowered platform users and content publishers?

If you agree that empowered non-technical end-users are vital for the sustainability and growth of the WordPress industry, then there is no escaping the fact that non-technical end-users need to be trained on how to use their WordPress websites effectively.

The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual is designed specifically to train and empower non-technical WordPress end-users to use their WordPress websites while giving them complete freedom of choice to outsource any or all aspects of their website to WordPress service providers, so it’s a win-win.

The key is user empowerment.

By giving users access to comprehensive and detailed information on how to use their websites effectively, they can choose to invest their time into learning the information for themselves and save money or, upon seeing how much information there is, they can choose to save time and outsource their needs to experts, knowing that the information is there if they want or need to use it.

And, as mentioned before, our training content doesn’t compete with WordPress service providers in the areas that make their businesses money, like…installation, configuration, customization, management, maintenance, support, etc.

We also offer a rebrandable WordPress Client Training Manual for website developers and WordPress service providers that want to gain a unique competitive advantage while providing their clients with “hands-free” WordPress training branded with their own business name.

The video below provides a walkthrough of the manual…

You can also check out the WordPress user manual’s Table of Contents to see everything it covers.

The content of the WordPress PDF user manual is updated on a regular basis. Also, every tutorial in the downloadable WordPress User manuals links to an accompanying online WordPress tutorial that is also kept regularly updated.

Additionally,  The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual includes access to a growing video library containing 2,000+ video lessons, comprehensive email courses on content creation and advanced WordPress user tips, downloadable guides on WordPress-related topics, and many additional useful resources (e.g. checklists, templates, etc.) providing you and your team with the most complete and up-to-date WordPress training available.

Everything users need to know how to use their WordPress website more effectively and get better results in their business is available in The Complete Step-By-Step WordPress User Manual and can be accessed immediately after purchase from the member’s area.

To learn more about everything included in our WordPress training products, go here:

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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