Logging into the WordPress dashboard for the first time, and seeing all of the options at my disposal, was overwhelming. To be honest, I probably still don’t know what half of them are for. In my first full-fledged experience with WordPress, I was paid to create a completely new website. My client had already chosen a theme when the project was finally in my hands. Being the WordPress newb that I am, I didn’t review the theme before I purchased it. I was also not involved in her decision-making but I do know that there are less than stellar themes out there. The theme, I would come to find, was actually a good one. Whew!
I had never worked with a premium theme before. I had always only tinkered with free themes. Once I activated my client’s chosen theme, I was even more overwhelmed! So many options!!! It had a custom post type, multiple recommended plugins, and a “Customize” menu that was the most complex that I had ever seen. On top of all of that, of course, my default home page looked nothing like the demo! “What did I buy?!” was my first panicked thought. I searched frantically through the unzipped folder and found the documentation folder. Relief! I read a little bit of the documentation and found that I had to “Import” the demo file. “Ok!” I thought. I was in
And all I had was a short code where my slider should have been, and a nav bar. Being the problem solver that I am, I search through the slider options and finally found that I needed set the slider for the home page. That part was done but aside from the slider, I had a blank page. I looked all over the dashboard for an option to add the columns like the demo, but I had no such luck. I thought to myself, “I thought WordPress was supposed to be easy??” My final solution was to go into the home page and use html to code in the columns myself. I actually did a pretty good job. It looked just like the demo, but what about the other content on the page? Below the three columns, on the demo site, there was a “Featured” section, a “Call to Action” banner, and the “Recent Products” section. “Did I have to code that all myself, too? There must be something that I’m missing!!”
Did you catch it yet? Do you know what I didn’t do?
I DID NOT READ THE DOCUMENTATION!!!
Oh, I’m sure you can imagine my frustration when I finally combed through the neatly and thoroughly presented documentation. There were videos too!! Those columns? Child pages. Those sections that I was about to code? Widgets…Ahh! So quick! So easy! So stress-free!
Read the docs. Read the docs. Read the docs. Did I mention that you should read the docs??