Want To Get Better At WordPress? Start With Being Nice To Yourself.


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Want to make websites with WordPress? Awesome. You can do it, but the one thing you can’t do is not make any mistakes along the way. No matter what role(s) you perform — implementer, developer, designer, content creator, etc — you’re going to make mistakes.

What we do is not easy, there are tons of moving parts, and we are only human. The thing we can control is how we react to our mistakes. When you make mistakes, do you laugh them off and forgive yourself or beat yourself up about it? I make tons of mistakes everyday, and my success it determined by whether I laugh at them or beat myself over them.

There are always going to be people who are better at what you do then you are. People, who make it look easy. It’s easy to be fooled into thinking they don’t make the same mistakes you do. Being good at this isn’t about not making mistakes, it’s about protecting yourself from your mistakes, and not beating yourself up over them.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. – Steve Furtick

The Suspension of Disbelief

There was a time in my life where what I really wanted to do was be a science fiction writer. When you’re writing any type of story,  you need to get your readers to buy into the  “suspension of disbelief.” This is a semi-conscious decision to shut down their disbelief in the story’s premise and accept the premise as being real for the duration of the story. For science fiction, this is especially true.

Whether or not, I could have ever made it as a fiction writer, is unclear, but the reason it never happened was I never got past my own insecurities. A few years ago, I knew basically nothing about web development, just the basic HTML tags, no CSS and I had no idea what JavaScript or PHP were.

Today, I get paid to do web development in JavaScript and PHP, and even write about it — see I became a writer after all. How did this happen? Well, it took a lot of work, but the most important step was making the conscious decision to suspend disbelief — in myself. I decided I could do this, and so I worked really hard at it and eventually I could.

Fail Well

The next break through was when I stopped calling myself an “idiot” or a “moron” every time I screwed up. It didn’t stop me from screwing up — I still do that all the time. But I started laughing about it or brushing it off entirely.

The other thing I did was lower the stakes for failure. I started developing locally, so I wasn’t breaking live sites, and was more free to experiment. I also started using version control, so I had the safety of the ultimate undo button.

I look up to a lot of people, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s important to be inspired by others, but when you look at their results only, you’re missing their planing, proof of concept testing, collaboration with others, frustrating moments where they couldn’t make things work as well as the testing and peer review.

Successful people have teams,  testing and planning workflows that make them look good. Don’t forget that, and don’t forget that emulating that — the planning, testing and reviewing — is an essential part of learning how to achieve similar success for yourself.


Here at CalderaWP, we make tools to make your life easier when you’re making WordPress sites. We save you time, and money by making a lot of complex parts of creating a website easier.

WordPress itself, as well as all of the plugins, themes and other services and resources available to you make creating a great website possible. That doesn’t mean that it is simple or that a website isn’t a complex entity. Never loose site of that, and never forget to practice patience with yourself. That more than any tool, is what will make you successful at this.

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