WordPress.tv is Branching Out Into Beginner Tutorial Videos

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WordPress.tv is expanding its video catalog beyond WordCamp session recordings. As most of the video content on the site centers around topics for developers and established users, the WPTV team is now actively soliciting submissions for more beginner video tutorials.

Are you a proud member of the WordPress community, who creates (or would like to create) videos that are focused on helping others learn how to use WordPress? If you answered “yes” then we would love your help in submitting your videos to WordPress.tv, so we can share them with the world in our “how to” section.

The current “how-to” category on the site contains mostly outdated videos, featuring ancient versions of WordPress. The WPTV team is hoping to add more “getting started” content that covers basic WordPress site management, including the following:

  • How to configure widgets
  • Setting up a custom menu
  • Managing comments
  • How to insert an image gallery

The initiative to add more beginner content is not new but failed to gain traction in previous attempts.

“Uptake was slow, so we thought it would be a good idea to give it a go again, and put a bit more structure to it,” WPTV contributor Jerry Bates said.

One guideline in particular that was a sticking point the last time the group solicited tutorials was the requirement of no self-promotion or logos in the videos. Contributors have to submit their work for sheer love of the community, which makes it more difficult to gather submissions.

While we want you to be able to benefit from your work, WordPress.tv is a non-commercial community-run website; we can’t accept videos with watermarks, logos, or self-promotion of any kind. We do have a place for you to enter your WordPress.org profile name as a producer credit, so you will get noticed!

So far, the WPTV team has not received many submissions, but the demand for beginner content is there. According to Bates, some of the most viewed videos are consistently the beginner tutorials, despite the fact that they are outdated.

“This is a popular video type on YouTube and in for-pay training courses, but I think the greatest need is for foundation-level videos,” Bates said. “Anything that would help a new user on day one, week one, etc.”

“We need more short and to-the-point tutorials,” WPTV crew member Michael Wiginton said. “Most will not want to watch a 45 minute video when trying to find an answer.”

The team is also experimenting with a plugin that would bring these tutorial videos into the WordPress dashboard, but the first step is to build a library of suitable beginner content.

WordCamp recordings provide a never-ending funnel of content down to WordPress.tv, but only a small slice of these videos are useful for beginners. If WordPress is going to continue to grow its marketshare, the project cannot depend on only providing developer-oriented videos and education. A strong beginner tutorials section on WordPress.tv is a worthy project that will help support new users.

The WPTV crew is a small team, averaging just 5-6 active volunteers. Creating and moderating videos is one unique way to contribute to the WordPress project that doesn’t require writing code. If you’re interested to submit some beginner tutorials, check out the suggestions and guidelines on the WPTV blog.

24 Comments


  1. I think it will take quite a bit more than “a producer credit” to get people to submit high quality tutorials that are relevant and short and well done. Still, the site really does need these. Glad to see an effort taken in general for sure.

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    1. What does the “producer” really get from submitting videos when they could place them on YouTube like so many other users already do. Now, if they were to take the videos from YouTube (embed them) so that way the producer still gets revenue and potential subscribers it would be worth it.

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      1. the benefit of contributing to any open sources project is to the community. conceivably you might benefit from this if you spend a lot of time helping people along with learning wordpress rather than spending your time more productively. Also a producer credit can be valuable because it might lead to to sale if said producer sells a training service or product because the visitor ‘converts’ by looking them up seeking further education.

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      2. That’s not a fair statement. You get the same benefit with YouTube but you can easily place as many links as you want.

        Furthermore the content is just as available on YouTube as it is on WordPress TV. In fact it’s more readily available as people can subscribe to these channels and people are more active on YouTube.

        Not too mention the revenue.

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      3. Well i think you are paying more attention to the second part of my statement than the first. Does posting your own video to your own YT channel benefit you personally more in the short term than contributing to this open source effort? Maybe, (not certainly) but that does not mean contributing cannot benefit both you and the community. Also, there is more than 100 hours of content uploaded to YT every minute versus the amount of content published on WPTV, sure you might have a larger potential audience but your megaphone is much louder on WPTV relatively speaking. Revenue on YT is on the order $1 per thousand views if you are lucky most training product/sservices start in the double (if not triple) digits.

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      4. The whole personal thing is an ehh statement. Most people don’t care about contributing to that effort they are out for business and money. Why would I make a professional grade video to place on a site where all I get is a simple link?

        When I can post it on YouTube help more people make money and get more links. The whole personal satisfaction is not major concern in fact you could say because YouTube has a much larger reach that they would have an even greater personal satisfaction from posting it there.

        Again I say if they want more contributors they embed the videos from YouTube. That is the real way everyone wins.

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      5. If you follow that logic to its ultimate conclusion there would be no WordPress to begin with. I don’t think there’s any way embedding YT videos would ever happen in this plugin if for no better reason than that we do not have complete control over the source videos for all we know a video could be deleted and we’d have no way of knowing. Aside from the perhaps more important fact that that monetization you refer to would essentially be putting ads in the backend of wordpress which would never ever fly IMO. I could give more reasons on top of that but just those 2 right there are both complete deal killers.

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      6. I disagree WordPress was created for a purpose that was most likely commercial. From the about page.

        WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPLv2 (or later).

        WordPress has commercial roots but has expanded past that allowing it to be open source. Which has thus involved into what we have today. Which is great and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        I can see advertising be annoying for the end user so I will agree with that point. I can also see how the management would be difficult. However the main thing remains that WordPress TV is demanding high quality content (which it should) and a lot of it covering a wide variety of topics.

        But it won’t do so because there is very little incentive for people to create these videos. People are driven by commercial incentive they want to be rewarded for their time creating these videos and WordPress TV just doesn’t award them enough as a platform such as YouTube. Which is why this will have a hard time catching on.

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      7. I guess so it was a nice conversation as we are discussing the real issues at hand have a nice week

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  2. Great idea BUT – There is already an extremely good plugin that does this – Video User Manuals. http://www.videousermanuals.com/

    The tutorials are excellent, always up to date, are in a variety of languages plus in addition to the learning WordPress basics it include tutorial videos for the WooCommerce and Yoast SEO plugins.

    It is a monthly subscription of US$24 / month. We are subscribers and have been for at least 2 years. As developers launch every new client site with the plugin installed. We find that our website clients love the easy access (from there dashboard), the short and concise videos. I cannot begin to calculate over the last couple of years how many hours of one on one tutoring that this plugin has saved us.

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    1. that’s an interesting point but it does not mean we can’t do even better. :)

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  3. Thanks for covering this topic! We are really excited to get more people involved in helping new WordPress users. I hear people say all the time “I’d like to contribute something to the community but I don’t know code” or something to that affect. This is a golden opportunity for people to give back in a way that will make a huge impact.

    And regarding the credit to the video producer, focusing on that is certainly missing the point. Thousands of individuals donate countless hours of time to make the entire WordPress project a success every day. From contributing code to core, making free themes and plugins, and helping in support forums to organizing meetups, WordCamps and writing documentation, selfless volunteers are choosing to give back in some way to help others succeed. This WPTV initiative is no different. Submitting a tutorial video would be an opportunity for one to make a difference for others and contribute to an open source project they themselves have surely benefited from. This is what makes the world of WordPress so awesome.

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  4. I don’t think this is so much branching out as it is going back to it’s roots. Wasn’t WordPress.tv originally mostly a tutorials site?

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  5. This is timely. I’ve just started making video tutorials for my dev website, and I’m sharing them on YouTube. I’m going to make them all available for free on my website, so I’ll just cut out the beginning and end where I introduce myself and my business, so they’ll comply with these guidelines. I’m happy to give back to WordPress!

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  6. Thanks for the kind words Steve. I’d be happy to talk to the WPTV team about how we might be able to work together to bring high quality video tutorials to the greater community.

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    1. @Troy that sounds awesome! :) i’ll let the team know feel free to stop by our office hours anytime (1700 GMT thursdays on the WPTV wordpress.slack channel)

      @Casey also glad to have your help too!

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    2. We’d definitely love to chat with you about that Troy! We’re all big fans of VUM and would welcome your experience and expertise.

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  7. I volunteered to do how-to screencasts, but said I had to get time allotted, which was for the next 3 weeks, in fact. So, I guess I better hop onto Slack and let them know.

    The issue is that the scripts they have need to be re-done. They’ve got some “scripts” written out, but it’s just not very natural.

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