Eight years ago, I was teaching my clients WordPress basics one-on-one at their offices. I had completed dozens of these “mini-workshops” and my clients loved the personalized training. But they had one common concern… “What happens a few weeks from now, after I’ve forgotten everything you taught me?”
We needed a series of WordPress video tutorials that my clients could return to at any time for a quick refresher.
So I went hunting for a set of WordPress tutorial videos that were really well produced (not full of “uhs” and “ums”) and easy for beginners to understand. Sadly, in 2008, there was only one website dedicated to WordPress tutorial videos, and they were badly out of date.
I decided to leverage my prior experience with audio engineering and video production to create a series of top-notch “WordPress 101” tutorial videos for beginners. And I knew right away that one of the biggest challenges would be keeping the videos up to date with every major upgrade to WordPress.
WordPress was at version 2.6 at the time. Since that first series of videos, we’ve updated WordPress 101 with each and every major WordPress release — a whopping 16 times so far!
We’ve come a long way since 2008. I never would have imagined that our WordPress tutorial videos would help more than a million beginners learn how to use WordPress to build and manage their own websites. Every day I feel humbled and honored by the opportunity to answer your WordPress questions and help you accomplish your online goals.
But WP101 likely wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for the help of some great friends along the way. So, in the spirit of celebrating our 8th anniversary, here’s a list of 8 important friends who have helped make WP101 what it is today…
A Huge “Thank You” to 8 Very Important Friends of WP101
1. Bill Erickson is an outstanding WordPress developer, and one of the very first people to say, “Hey, I need WordPress 101 for my clients as well! Build a membership site and I’ll send my clients to you for training.” A few years later, Bill also suggested making the WordPress 101 videos available via a plugin. So, if you use the WP101 Plugin to provide our WordPress training videos to your clients, you have Bill to thank! Thank you for your continued friendship, Bill.
2. We can’t talk about the WP101 Plugin without thanking Mark Jaquith, who created it for us. Because the WP101 Plugin serves WordPress freelancers, agencies, and hosting companies, it’s installed on hundreds of thousands of websites. That’s a lot of responsibility. Mark was my first choice, because he’s one of the Lead Developers of WordPress and has more than ten years of intensive experience with WordPress. That translates to peace of mind whenever we push out updates to the WP101 Plugin. Thanks again, Mark!
3. In July of 2012, we experienced a massive security breach due to a vulnerability caused by our hosting company at the time. The amazing team at WP Engine reached out and offered to help. They migrated WP101 to their servers and cleaned up the malware caused by the security breach. In the years since, they’ve been a reliable partner and their team — though considerably larger these days — continue to provide stellar service that enables us to serve our members better.
4. Almost exactly two years ago, Jeff King, Senior Vice President of Hosting at GoDaddy, called to discuss how we might put the WordPress 101 videos to work for their customers. We’re honored to be a part of their excellent managed WordPress hosting plans, and thrilled that our videos are helping hundreds of thousands of their customers to get up to speed with WordPress as quickly as possible. We love the culture they’re creating, and we share their passion for helping small business owners kick ass.
5. In addition to GoDaddy, the WP101 Plugin also serves hundreds of WordPress freelancers and agencies, freeing their time and enabling them to focus on what they do best, by providing our WordPress 101 tutorial videos directly in their client’s dashboard. We’re planning some major enhancements to the WP101 Plugin to better serve you and your clients, providing an even better on boarding experience for new WordPress users. So stay tuned!
6. You may not know this, but we also serve about 250 License Partners — companies who use our WordPress 101 videos on their own websites to provide basic WordPress training to their customers, reducing their support load. This program serves companies of all sizes — from large, well-known companies like WooThemes to individual freelancers and small teams. We’re proud to partner with them to provide the best WordPress training for their customers!
7. One of the most important contributors to WP101’s success in recent years is our good friend, Chris Lema. He has not only provided invaluable advice on pricing and product strategies, but also much-needed encouragement when we needed it most. Over the course of an entire year, Chris helped us evaluate membership plugins and arrive at the decision to migrate to LifterLMS earlier this year. Above all, Chris has helped us stay focused and determine the best ways to grow to better serve you!
8. Which brings us to… YOU! Today, this site serves 26,765 members. Every day, we get to answer your WordPress questions in the Q&A Forum and help you learn the best way to accomplish your online goals. We’re partnering with WordPress experts right now to create new courses for you, based on your feedback and questions. And of course, we’ll continue to update the WordPress 101 videos with each new version of WordPress, ensuring you’re always up to to date. It’s a privilege and we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with you!
There are many others who have contributed to WP101’s success over the years, to say nothing of the countless friendships Kay and I have made over the years, thanks to the WordPress community. We are who we are today because of YOU.
We’re humbled and grateful, and look forward to celebrating many, many years to come!
Hey, to say thanks to all of you, we’ve created a special 8th anniversary gift for you and your friends…
$8 OFF Any Individual Course or Membership Plan
To celebrate our 8th anniversary, we’ve created a special coupon code that will knock $8 OFF any individual course or membership plan, valid during the next 8 days only: CELEBR8
Coupon Code: CELEBR8
Enter this coupon code during the checkout process to save $8 off the purchase of any individual course or membership plan. Valid through October 7, 2016.
Your turn! When did you first learn about WP101? How has WP101 helped you? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below…