A WordPress Primer - full day of basic WordPress instruction

** Please note: I am having some kind of payment notification problem between Meetup and PayPal. I do receive notification of payment, but it's not feeding that info back to Meetup. You will not show up in registrations right away, as I'll have to manually add you. Don't be alarmed if you're not showing as confirmed immediately after payment.

This special meeting of the Calgary WordPress Meetup Group is a one-day primer about the world's best online publishing platform, WordPress.

This day-long meetup is intended for users with limited experience with the technical aspects of WordPress. You may have only heard of WordPress, or you may have used it for publishing your blog for years, but you have very limited exposure to actually customizing your WordPress installation. Intermediate users will find this to be too basic for your interests.


A fee of $20 applies to this day-long meetup. Proceeds will be donated to Brown Bagging Calgary Kid Society. Tax receipts will not be provided.

What to bring

  • Most of the day will be a lecture format, but bring your laptop long with you as there will be a workshop portion during the lunch break.
  • We are not anticipating being able to accommodate special dietary needs. should you have such needs, please come prepared with your own lunch.
  • While we're not going to need your credit card again, if you are registering a domain name or setting up web hosting during the lunchtime workshop, having a way to pay for those things online will be vital.


About the Presenter

Marshall Stevenson is a Calgary based internet marketer and digital content creator using web design, development and podcasting. He's been designing websites since 1995 and working in a WordPress world since version 1.2.1 -- or about October 2004. His passions are impacting others in a positive way to affect change in the world -- in other words, let's get your message out!


9:00 am to 9:50 am - .org versus .com

You can use WordPress on their own site (yourwebsite.wordpress.com), or by self-hosting under your own domain name (www.yourwebsite.com). You'll learn the pros and cons of each. The remainder of the day will be on the presumption that you will be self-hosting your website, though many of the topics will be applicable to both kinds of WordPress usage.

10:00 am to 10:50 am - Themes and essential plugins

Learn more about what themes are and how you will use them. Discover how to find themes that will work for your site, and how to install them onto your server. Learn the essential plugins that you want on your website to extend the functionality of WordPress.

11:00 am to 11:50 am - Theme customization

If you use the same theme that thousands of other people use, your website will look like thousands of other websites. In this module, you will learn more about changes that you can make to the default theme, as well as learn the basics about custom theme building.

12:00 pm to 1:15 pm - Lunchtime workshop (lunch provided by ING DIRECT)

This working lunch will provide you the chance to mingle with other attendees, as well as get customized help with things like registering a domain name, setting up web hostings, installing WordPress on your host, troubleshooting problems with your existing website, etc. Definitely bring your laptop with you for maximum benefit during the workshop.

1:30 pm to 2:20 pm - SEO and media library best practices

This hour is dedicated to teaching you the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) and how to use your WordPress media library. SEO is the phrase ascribed to a wide-range of practices that will help Google and other search engines to best understand what kind of content that you offer and present it to people searching for those topics. Proper use of your media library will not only help to make your site run better, but can even help with your Google ranking.

2:30 pm to 3:20 pm - Site structure

Learn more about how to properly set up your site to begin with. Learn the difference between categories and tags, and why you wish to use each. Make changes to the way that WordPress displays the addresses that lead to different parts of your website.

3:30 pm to 4:20 pm - Social media integration, marketing, and promotion

A website is no longer just an island of information. With millions (billions?) of websites on the Internet, you can't just expect to "build it and they will come". Learn the art of promoting your website so that you can achieve your likely goal, getting interested people to visit and read what it is that you offer.

4:30 pm to 5:00 pm - Wrap-up, questions, and a few additional tips

In the last portion of the day, we'll deal with any questions that didn't previously get answered, offer some additional tips on where to learn more about WordPress, and wrap up the day's learning.



Refunds will not be offered. However, you can transfer the registration right up until the event date. Simply let us know that someone else will be attending in your place, and we'll gladly transfer the registration.

Join or login to comment.

  • Kathryn W.

    Very sorry that I missed this! I'm looking forward to the next one!

    March 12, 2013

  • Moca J.

    Thankyou John for organizing this outstanding workshop !
    Thankyou Marshall for presenting a well organized and focused WorkPress workshop that benefited everyone that attended. Well Done !

    February 24, 2013

  • Marshall S.

    I'd like to thank you all for attending the WordPress primer today and being patient with me. I hope you learned something and I assure you that I did. I mentioned a few services today and some of you asked for links. These are affiliate links where I get a commission if you purchase through them, however understand they cost you no more money than if you did it directly. Backup Buddy - http://www.sprydesign.com/backupbuddy
    BlueHost web hosting - http://www.sprydesign.com/wphosting
    MailChimp email marketing - http://www.sprydesign.com/mailchimp

    If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to connect with me. The best way is emailing me using [masked] for the best reply. Thank you all again and I look forward to our paths crossing again in the near future. Marshall

    February 24, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was a primer but so much more. My head is now full of things I need to do! I only wish this event happened a couple of months ago.

    February 23, 2013

  • Shannon M

    I'm so sorry to have to "no show"! I've been looking forward to this event but have been quite ill the past week. Was hoping to recover enough to attend but I'm still feeling particularly awful. Sorry to have taken a spot I can't use...

    February 23, 2013

    • John S.

      So unfortunate that you could not make it. Hope you feel better soon! (Also, we managed to shoehorn in another person, so you place WAS kinda taken.

      February 23, 2013

  • Shannon M

    Sadly I won't be able to make it until a bit later in the morning, but I will be there.

    February 23, 2013

    • John S.

      We'll look forward to seeing you there, Shannon.

      February 23, 2013

  • Bernice H.

    Just signed up to the group. I hope you have more of these types of meetups. There seems to be quite a demand.

    February 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm new also but would also like to attend if any spaces open up.

    February 21, 2013

  • Lynne Z.

    I am new to the group but would love to attend this event. Please let me know if any spaces open up.

    February 21, 2013

  • Chelsea

    Hey guys! It looks like I won't be able to make it. Not sure how the payment system works or if I can just transfer my rsvp...let me know who wants it and how we can get it transfered! I will definitely be at the next one though...

    February 19, 2013

    • John S.

      Sorry you won't be able to join us. Please send me an e-mail at [masked] and I will try to put you in touch with Lisa, below, who wants to go.

      February 19, 2013

  • Chris

    If any spaces open up, I'd like to attend.

    February 19, 2013

  • Lisa C.

    If any spaces open up, please let me know :)

    February 12, 2013

  • Marshall S.

    I just wanted to thank each of you for signing up so quickly. We had no idea it would fill up so quickly. I look forward to interacting with each and every one of you at the event. Feel free to post any questions you might have and I'll do my best to get them covered at the event, or in advance if time permits.

    February 12, 2013

  • Catherine S.

    I've just signed up and paid. Just so you know, I can only attend the first half of the day.

    February 12, 2013

    • John S.

      We'll look forward to seeing you, Catherine. Hopefully we can overwhelm you with awesome info in just half a day.

      February 12, 2013

    • Catherine S.


      February 12, 2013

  • Melissa M

    I just wanted to let you know that I think this event looks fantastic. Unfortunately I will be out of town for work this weekend but would be very interested in this "workshop" type events if they are ever available in the future.

    February 12, 2013

    • John S.

      If nothing else, there's always our usual (and reasonably regular) monthly meetups.

      February 12, 2013

  • Deborah

    I am going to wait for level II. Hopefully you will have one. :)

    February 10, 2013

    • John S.

      Probably not. That's what WordCamp will be for.

      February 11, 2013

22 went

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