How long does it take to learn WordPress?

I admit it. When I want to learn something new, I get impatient pretty quickly and want to shovel the new knowledge on as quickly as possible. I usually even try to figure out in advance what the learning curve looks like. So for me, it’s not unusual that one of the most common questions in my courses is how long does it take to learn WordPress?

For the very impatient, here’s a quick summary:

Beginners can learn how to use WordPress within 14 days. To complete advanced tasks you need a learning time of 6 months. You will need 2 years to learn WordPress to professionally work for clients.

For those who like it a bit more detailed, below are tips and requirements for the different levels of learning WordPress.

This is how long it takes to learn how to create posts and pages

To find a relevant measure for you, I simply used my mother as a guinea pig. She is just over 60 years old, and of course she uses the Internet completely independently, sends e-mails, and has a Facebook profile.

So she’s not a complete internet newbie.

On a quiet day, I sat down with her and spent about 1 hour explaining the basics of posts and pages. After that hour and another hour of trial and error, she was able to create her own posts. Including text formatting, inserting images, and editing titles and description tags that are important for passable SEO.

So, theoretically, after about 2 hours, I would now be able to run my own blog and populate it with relevant content.

However, operating WordPress means much more than simply creating posts and pages and filling them with content. The system has a whole range of settings that you should know at least in their principles.

To clarify the learning time according to your possible goals, I divide the WordPress skills in three levels. You can easily choose yourself on which level you want to learn and use WordPress.

These 3 WordPress user levels are:

  1. Normal, average user who uses WordPress more or less as a leisure activity.
  2. Semi-professional user who wants to use WordPress heavily for professional purposes as well.
  3. Professional WordPress Developer.

This is how long it takes to learn WordPress for normal use

The group of “normal” users includes all people who want to use WordPress for private purposes. Either as their own small hobby website, or as a private blog.

As a normal user, there are a few requirements that my mother in the example above did not have to meet, of course.

These include:

  • Update the system, plugins and eventually themes.
  • Use categories and tags correctly.
  • Edit, share or delete comments.

WordPress makes it very easy for you to implement all these things. The menu in the administration area is relatively straightforward and many functions are almost self-explanatory.

With good tutorials, you can usually learn all of this knowledge in just 8 to 10 hours.

This is how long it takes to become a semi-professional WordPress user

The semi-professional user, would like to use WordPress more for professional purposes. This is not only about time, but also about earning money with the website, or using it to attract new customers.

Accordingly, the requirements for understanding the system are also high. As a semi-professional user, you not only need to know how to create posts or insert new pages.

You should also know how to

  • Change and set up permalinks.
  • Establish and follow through with basic OnPage SEO on your website.
  • install and configure plugins.
  • Create backups of your website.

For semi-professional users, I assume that they will implement most of the requirements without actually interfering with the code of their themes. Basic knowledge of HTML is nice. But CSS, PHP and JavaScript are not a basic requirement for this user group.

Most website requirements are solved by the semi-professional user via plugins or smaller code snippets from tutorials.

By the way, I would always recommend you to at least roughly understand what code snippets do that you insert into your WordPress website.

When I started implementing websites with WordPress, PHP was an absolute foreign language to me. But little by little I was able to acquire a lot of valuable knowledge in this area, because I kept trying to understand what exactly a line of code does.

To learn the knowledge of a semi-professional WordPress user, you will need about 4 to 7 months of time.

This is how much time you need to become a professional WordPress developer

The professional WordPress developer is absolutely the highest level in my 3 levels.

This is someone who has already dealt extensively with various programming languages such as PHP and JavaScript in the past. Someone for whom CSS and HTML are of course also no secret.

As a professional developer, in addition to the normal administration, you also deal with

  • the creation of custom themes and child themes for WordPress.
  • can use frameworks like Bootstrap or Genesis for your purposes.
  • program your own small plugins to achieve your goals.
  • can control or add relevant functions to your WordPress installation via functions.php.
  • knows how to create e-commerce applications via store plugins like WooCommerce.

Professional WordPress developers work either full-time in agencies, or (as in very many cases) as freelancers who are booked by companies or agencies for projects.

They usually earn their living entirely from WordPress development.

To reach this level, you should gain a lot of experience. Until the construction of themes, includes, plugins and other subtleties is secure, you can expect about 2 years of learning.

My conclusion on the WordPress learning curve

I’ve tried quite a few content management systems over the years. Also, WordPress is not the system I started with to create dynamic websites.

Of all the content management systems, WordPress is by far the fastest to learn. No matter whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced internet user.

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