A Different Take on WordPress Tutorials on Plugins

Sites for WordPress tutorials are nearly a dime a dozen. Some are fantastic, and others leave us wanting more. I know their ultimate goal is to help other people learn how to write plugins the right way, but it’s a mixed bag when it comes to the quality of the content.

  • Are you learning the best practices?
  • Are the concepts being presented done so in a way that’s accessible via beginners and intermediates alike?
  • Are they promoting practices as outlined in PHP best practices and WordPress best practices?

There’s nearly an endless permutation of how we can present information which is why I enjoy sharing my take on things here, reading the comments, sharing content on other sites.

But one aspect of WordPress tutorial sites that is underserved, in my opinion, is talking with people who build things for WordPress and the reasons for creating a solution and the rationale behind how they’ve built it. This is something that can be covered both about WordPress themes and WordPress plugins.

Because I spend the majority of my time working on WordPress plugins, I’m obviously going to be focused more on that aspect of the economy than the other. And recently, a friend of mine started up a new site specifically geared towards WordPress tutorials focused on plugins.

The site is neat, though: It’s not like a music review site that aims to provide a rating or end-user review of a plugin. It’s something different, and I’m a fan.

WordPress Tutorials on Plugins

Specifically, I’m talking about Matt Medeiros‘ latest effort: PluginTut.com. I’ve known Matt for a long time and have been a big fan of his work concerning interviewing people in the WordPress community.

WordPress Tutorials - PluginTut.com

Furthermore, I’m a fan of what he and his team have done in building products like Conductor, and now, most recently, bringing more information to the community-at-large specifically about plugins.

Here’s the thing: The site comes in two flavors:

  1. A review site
  2. An interview site

First, the reviews are straightforward enough. For many who read this site, it may not be of as much interest. Even still:

[Our] motivations are to provide a best in class WordPress plugin tutorial experience. We’ll be aiming to publish based along a particular theme (i.e. marketing, site management, security, etc.) and create a mixture of written and video content for each plugin.

So if you’re someone who’s new to WordPress or looking for how to use a particular plugin, it’s going to be a valuable resource.

For others, it’s likely going to be a more on the entry-level.

But there’s a second component to the site that I’m excited about. Specifically, it’s called PluggedIn Radio. And this is the part that I find most interesting.

Easier Excerpts Interview

In short, Matt sits down with people who have created plugins and shares both a video and podcast from the conversation. The topics of discussion are especially interesting for developers because it talks about the problems that are attempting to be solved and then explores the decisions about the architecture of plugin.

On top of that, it helps to share and evangelize something you may not have found. The first few episodes include the following:

  1. Easier Excerpts (by yours truly). I hate being self-promotional but I was proud to be a part of the pilot.
  2. FacetWP with Matt Gibbs.
  3. Event Calendar by JJJ.

There are more to come, and I’m excited to follow along especially with the interviews.

So if you’re someone who’s just started out with WordPress, or you’re an experienced developer looking to learn more from others in the field, I recommend the podcast.

5 Replies to “A Different Take on WordPress Tutorials on Plugins”

  1. Thanks for spreading the word, Tom.

    I could write a novel (read: rant) about dime-a-dozen content sites, and perhaps that what this effort is all about — doing it different. Challenging the status quo. Which might seem like a lost cause for more advanced users, but I see that as a particular challenge I want to tackle.

    I think that no matter how much experience you have, you will inevitably come across a plugin that you’ve never used before, wanting to know a bit more about. I’d even argue that those of us that have been around the block, DO want to know more about it’s back story and the developers supporting it.

    At the end of the day, I’m hoping this site provides value to it’s readers and for plugin developers that need a new-ish way to market themselves.

    :)

  2. Hi Tom and others…:)

    I worked for a while as a media teacher here in Oslo, Norway where I have been teaching Adobe Software and WordPres to 16-17 year olds.

    It became natural for me to create the web site http://easywebdesigntutorials.com/ in 2012-2013. As a way for me to share WordPress techniques that I found interesting to use. I have been thinking of it as my online diary of stuff I would like to know when I create a new web site.

    The thing is that I do not code as I am more of a visual person but I am good at finding online resources and studying the code and creating a tutorial from it. This also means that certain features can take a while for me to write about as I have not been able to locate the resources that I need to create a hands on, to the point, very few words, step by step tutorial.

    I do not really know if some of the code heavy tutorials (very few) that I have posted have good code or not but I do really hope so.

    Thanks for your post Tom!

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