[wp-docs] WordPress Quick Start Guide page

Tom Johnson tomjohnson1492 at gmail.com
Thu May 1 16:26:12 GMT 2008

The Codex is an interesting project. On the one hand, it seems like the
perfect way to create and share documentation. But from a user's point of
view, it's too massive and daunting to be very useful for beginners, in my
opinion. When users go to the Codex, they see 50+ links that point to
different pages and feel overwhelmed.

One thing I can't understand about Automattic is their lack of attention
about documentation. Sure, it's an open source project. But there are nearly
30 full-time employees, and the company has millions in funding. Isn't
Automattic is making a mistake by not adding a technical writer to their
team to create more useful help materials for the mountain of information
that is out there both on the forums, codex, and bloggers' sites? Shouldn't
there be a help button in the application itself (apart from the Codex

Don't take this as an insult to the wonderful content you've created on the
Codex. I'm just saying the Codex is a full-time job to maintain, and all the
useful info on the forums, the hacks and the unknown tips, should be
captured and somehow put into the Codex. There should be a printable manual,
or a more organized online help. The wiki is nice for collaboration, but
it's not so hot for including images, notes and advanced formatting that is
more common with help authoring tools and professional guides. Much is
outdated, or needs editing. Are there really enough documentation volunteers
to keep it up?


On Thu, May 1, 2008 at 10:09 AM, Lorelle VanFossen <lorellevan at gmail.com>

> Just for posterity on this thread. most people get the basics of WordPress
> from articles they read and direct experience through WordPress.com, just
> plunging in clueless. Then they want information. They find the Codex. I'd
> love to have them start with the Codex, which is why we put so much energy
> into WordPress Lessons and the basic introductory articles like:
> http://codex.wordpress.org/Getting_Started_with_WordPress
> http://codex.wordpress.org/New_To_WordPress_-_Where_to_Start
> http://codex.wordpress.org/Introduction_to_Blogging
> http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Semantics
> http://codex.wordpress.org/Stepping_Into_Templates
> http://codex.wordpress.org/Stepping_Into_Template_Tags
> We found that people were arriving with some of the basics known and
> plunging into the deeper more complex issues. They'd end up on the forum or
> our blogs and we'd point them to the basics and they'd go back and see these
> articles. Circuitous route, but by the time they arrived at the basics, they
> know much of this stuff. We served it up anyway and are now putting a lot
> more energy into more juicy content instructions. Pointing them to these
> basics, as Jennifer said, is critical to encourage them to put on the
> parachute before they jump, but they jump first, think later. ;-)
> The redesign I'm hoping to finalize in the new few weeks of the table of
> contents should make these introductory articles more prevalent and  help
> guide people to the right information more efficiently, while hopefully not
> encouraging them to bypass the basics...ha! But I can hope.
> The Quick Start is great, it just needs to integrate into the whole and
> you're on the right track. Thank you so much!
> Lorelle
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