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WordPress

Zac Gordon
STAFF
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

What do you think of shorter WordPress projects so we can cover more topics

Hi folks!

I'm beginning to work on the How to Build a WordPress Project and am thinking about making it much shorter than the other WordPress projects. There would still be about 5 stages, but each stage would only have 3-4 videos in it.

Here are the pros I see for this:

  • I can release projects faster
  • We can cover a wider range of WordPress content
  • I can go back and redo outdated courses more often
  • It's a little more fun for me ;p

Here are the downsides:

  • We would not go into nearly as much depth
  • There would be less comprehensive courses

I'm curious in folks thoughts on this. Please share!

15 Answers

I think a mixture of both would be best. Since we have deep dives, why not snorkeling trips as well? A few deep dives and many shallower dives I think would really round it all out. I think your pros and cons list is very accurate.

This is a brilliant suggestion.

Guido Grulke
Guido Grulke
20,948 Points

Like this suggestion very much - best of both worlds.

Love the idea of 'snorkelling trips' ;)

Sounds good to me! A wider range of content would be helpful with creating templates. I hope the final stages of the "How to Build a WordPress Theme" project are released soon! :-)

Agreed, shorter videos that cover a specific task.

This not only makes it easier to learn, but also easier to go back to and use as reference when implementing the tasks in real-world situations.

Thank you Zac!

Yeah I think this would be great, once someone understands the basics of creating a wordpress site theres no need to go over material that they've already covered. It would be a lot more beneficial to cover all the different aspects they don't know about.

On a side note, this may not be your expertise but maybe you can defer this to Guil Hernandez. Regarding the css tutorials. They're great in the sense that they teach you how different css rules and values work, but I think there needs to be more videos demonstrating how to collectively use all of that css knowledge to create a nice looking site. Because right now, so far I've only been taught how to create different aspects of it. Im not sure how to effectively mix all of that css together to create one clean looking website.

Stone Preston
Stone Preston
42,016 Points

completely agree about the css projects. Yes the videos cover a huge part of CSS, however the course itself is made of bits and peices that never really get connected together. I really think the staff should do a full site walkthrough that starts at designing content/layouts in illustrator/photoshop and moves through to implementing the site in html/css/javascript. All in order and all in the same course track. The smells like bakin content right now just isnt quite there.

Wilt Chaimberlain
STAFF
Wilt Chaimberlain
Treehouse Guest Teacher

Awesome feedback all around, thank you! I'm taking the WordPress courses as well, and while the projects are great, of course, I'd love some more focused lessons on various WP topics. If they don't necessarily fit directly into a standard project lesson structure, that's cool with me.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

+1

I think the project format can be very limiting. I think a Wordpress deep dive, even if it's not as long as the other deep dives on the site would be a great idea.

Zac Gordon
STAFF
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

Hi Folks!

I want to thank you all for your awesome feedback.

Here is what I'm planning based on what I'm hearing from you:

  • The upcoming How to Build a WordPress Plugin project will be shorter than the theme project
  • Instead of around 35 videos (theme project) the plugin project will be around 20 (with 5 stages)
  • I will make sure to explain why we're doing things and still keep some depth and quality to the videos

To do this, I am going to assume everyone has already built their own PHP projects and WordPress themes. This will help me focus on the stuff specific to WordPress and not have to cover basic or intermediate level WordPress and PHP concepts.

I also want to clarify a few points about these shorter videos:

  • We will not start covering one off little projects, like working with menus. A topic like this would more likely get released as a workshop or tutorial
  • The videos will still go into enough depth for you to be able to go on to build your own plugin (or theme, etc.)

Thanks again to everyone for your feedback. I'll post up in a bit with a little sneak preview of what the plugin project will cover.

Matthew Dilello
Matthew Dilello
6,203 Points

Zac Gordon ,

I like the idea, and specifically these pros... faster release and wider range.

Would be nice to have some targeted advanced template and plugin training in deep-dives segments. Maybe some WooCommerce integration and multisite configurations.

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,135 Points

I'm all for it! The Codex is already so well documented, the hardest part right now is still finding the function I need to do what I want. If we did more of a fly-by on these functions so I know they exists and their name, I could go back to the WP Codex to learn the arguments, options, and syntax of the function easily myself.

Yes yes please! I've been following it, and I'd love for it to cover more content because I'd love to start creating templates to sell.

Brendan O'Brien
Brendan O'Brien
9,066 Points

I think this is a good idea over all. The ability to keep older lessons up-to-date would be a big help. I think these shorter projects should be intermixed with the odd longer, more indepth project.

Anthony Hind
Anthony Hind
5,715 Points

Sounds good to me just about to dive into the wordpress content :)

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

Just focusing on an aspect like how to do a drop down menu or how to make a slider etc would definitely be cool. I need to watch your header video but I don't think drop down menus are included in it but they're a nightmare to work out how to do.

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

This is off-topic but, I would think you could adapt a pure CSS drop down menu to work with Wordpress.

Kevin Korte
Kevin Korte
28,135 Points

I think things like this should be left to the HTML and CSS (and possibly JS) lessons. Instead, the WP lessons should teach you which WP function to call to list out your pages between <li> tags and make them links that are clickable. Things unique to wordpress.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

That's my point. In WordPress you need to use functions etc to get menus to work, then getting them to work with complex CSS or jQuery becomes very tricky.

I currently like the way the videos are, I think once the core concepts are explained then shorter videos covering more topics would be awesome.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

I still think teaching the principals of the language is a better way to go. If we've got a good understanding of how WordPress works and the principals of the language, then we can work out how to do things for ourselves.

Take Randy's PHP. He taught me the principals of PHP and how if statements work, this allowed me to make a little thing to show if a place is open or closed depending on day and time.

I did get a bit stuck late Friday having been working it out for quite a few hours and surrendered...asking for help. However, when Randy explained it, it made perfect sense and I could see how close I had been to succeeding and know what I need to do in future.

I'd hate to see videos like other tut vids out there which just show someone making something because it doesn't really teach anything. Understanding how the WordPress framework interacts with the languages would be better.

Zac Gordon
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

Hi Matthew,

Don't worry, we will still cover the principals! It's just a matter of how much depth we go into on the topics.

Randy's projects are awesome and super in depth. His first project was more than 40 videos.

This is a good example of what I'm trying to feel out here. If after completing his first project, if you feel it could have been shorter and still given you the knowledge and practice you needed.

Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell
9,767 Points

I just wrote a massive reply and mistakenly hit cancel...a warning is required!

Basically, I think your courses are great Zac Gordon and don't think they need changing.

Some of the stuff Randy taught I don't know if I'll ever use now I've realised the power of WordPress. Things like the basic CMS that he starts with adding content to the database and logging in etc.

I prefer quality over quantity, this effects me personally as wordpress is the area i am most interested in. If you was to cut short on your vidoes not fully explaining will cause more forum questions overall which take time to answer.