The Into The West Blogger Network (ITWBN) have started running WordPress Blogger Workshops – also know as ‘Blog School’. As you may be aware the ITWBN was created by the amazing Saibh Egan and Sinead Carroll and is a place for like bloggers to meet each other, support each other and a place where you know there will be a friendly ear should you have issues with your blog.
The blog school (#itwbnBlogSchool ) took it one step further. It was ran by Micheál Reilly from Educated Machine and was held in the beautiful Connaught Hotel. The staff at the hotel were very welcoming upon arrival and I have to say that the treats at tea breaks and also the lunch were just yum! I will definitely be going back for dinner in the near future.
The day itself was organised well. I am already familiar with the basics of WordPress so the beginning of the day was slightly too basic for me but I did enjoy helping others around me. I find that within the network you automatically feel like you want to help the others around you to succeed which is something that I love about the network (I also mention this here).
After the first break we really got dug in, I love learning new things and I found that some points raised I had not thought of. Simple things like the importance of adding an ALT text as well as titles to your images and to link back in the caption as well. Michael went through the details with Widgets, Plugins and the basics of editing as well. He is great as a teacher as he is patient and you can ask any questions or queries as you think of them – I much prefer this as if you have to wait until the end I generally forget what I wanted to ask!!
Michael also went through the difference between buying your domain and the hosting of your site as well as the different layouts and themes that you can apply to your website. This is something that is important if you want your own domain so it is very vital that you understand how this works. I moved from Blogger as I have found that WordPress is much more flexible however that also means that you need to understand more and be prepared to watch some YouTube tutorial to get your site how you want it.
Two other points to note are (1) The class groups are small – you will get time to ask all the questions that you have (2) After you complete the workshop you gain access to a closed Facebook Group – here you can ask any further questions and have the support that you may need to get your site up and running.
Overall I was very happy with the outcome of the day, my MailChimp is finally all set up and I feel more confident with the Widgets on my site. If you are thinking of starting a blog (highly recommend that you do!) or just want to improve your site as it currently is or if you are debating the move from Blogger to WordPress I would advise that you contact the girls at the ITWBN and ask about their next workshop.
You can email Saibh and Sinead from ITWBN at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on upcoming workshops.