Welcome to the Behind-the-Scenes Series

Welcome to the Behind-the-Scenes training series!

I cannot express how excited I am for you to be on this journey with me.

Throughout this series I am, ostensibly, rebuilding the WPSessions website itself. As we progress, you'll see those transformations and enhancements launch in real time. The entire purpose of this effort is to develop a platform that directly benefits you and your career.

My goal for WPSessions all along has been to facilitate growth and development, in myself and others, to help each of us be empowered by WordPress. I believe the current website falls short of that objective and I'm thrilled to launch many positive changes, like personalized learning paths.

But I doubt you signed up to watch me build this site specifically.

I expect you're here for the broader purpose of this course: to help you learn to love the block editor. A large part of this site's rebuild is modernizing the entire editorial experience, and that means adopting blocks and a brand new block theme.

Throughout this series, I'll show you how to make the most of the block and site editors in WordPress. And I'm going to attempt to do this in a way that isn't immediately obsolete with each new release of WordPress. By the time we're finished, you'll know how to create custom blocks, customize core blocks, create a block theme, and deliver the most beautiful and usable websites of your career.

The final major aspect to this training series is that I'm going to teach you a better way of approaching and thinking about web development as a whole. I'm going to unpack the lessons I've learned from 25 years of building websites, 17 of which are with WordPress, and 14 of which include working with high-profile, enterprise-scale projects.

You are also invited to join me, and everyone else participating in this series, in a private Slack channel where you can ask questions, share progress, and request feedback. This sounds like a small thing but, for all I know, it could be the most valuable part of the whole experience for you.

Join the BTS Slack Channel

Maybe now is a great time to unpack the curriculum for this series?

It won't exactly follow this order as we progress through it live, but this is how I've come to understand the final shape of it:

  1. Intro and Welcome (you are here!)
  2. Project Planning
    • Structuring Data in WordPress
    • Scoping Your Work
    • Estimating Your Work
    • Crafting a winning proposal
    • Selling paid discovery projects
  3. Common-sense approaches to site development
    • Adopting better development practices
    • Prioritizing user experience (UX) in each decision
    • Delivering accessible solutions
    • Creating single-purpose functions and plugins for better maintainability
    • Documenting as we go
    • Testing as we go
  4. Learning to love the block editor
    • Intro to the block and site editors (aka Gutenberg)
    • Curating the editor experience
    • Extending and customizing core blocks
    • Working with block patterns
    • Intro to custom block development
    • Advanced block development techniques
    • Create your first Block Theme
    • Advanced Block Theme techniques
    • Alternative Approaches to Creating Blocks
  5. Customizing WooCommerce
    • Customize the checkout page
    • Eliminate unneeded checkout fields
    • Auto-advance order statuses
    • Improve the order confirmation page
    • Customize the customer dashboard
    • Build direct-to-checkout links
    • Create custom coupon links
    • Identify active customers vs expired or inactive ones
    • Fetch and display a product’s price anywhere
    • Manipulate price on-the-fly for dynamic, one-off purchase prices
  6. Creating restricted pages and blocks
  7. Building integrated submission forms
  8. Developing Custom Plugins
    • Content Collections
    • Expiring Preview URLs
    • Play Queues (custom video playlists that auto-advance)
    • Interactive Transcripts
    • Watch History
    • “Watch Later” lists
    • User Favorites
    • Popular Content
    • Recommended Content
    • Query Filters
    • Site-wide Banners
  9. Real-world Practice and Common Tactics
    • Creating new editor sections
    • Adding features or controls to existing blocks
    • Modifying other plugins via action and filter hooks
    • Fetching and storing data from external APIs
    • Creating and accessing custom database tables
    • Garbage collection for expired data
    • Modifying WP_Query and query blocks
    • Utilizing browser history state
    • Working with transient data

It's a tall order, but I believe we can get through it.

Make sure you join the Slack and keep an eye on your email for each new training opportunity. And don't worry about overcommitting yourself. You should be able to keep up and build new skills in as little as 20-30 minutes per week. I know it will be worth it for the both of us!