WP101 Founded by Shawn Hesketh Turns 7 Years Old

Earlier this week, WordPress video training site WP101, founded by Shawn Hesketh, turned seven years old. Since launching in 2008, Hesketh’s videos have been viewed more than a million times by over 500k people. He’s also re-recorded the videos that make up the WP101 series 17 times. With seven years of experience under his belt, I asked Hesketh what he would have done differently in the beginning.

“From a technical standpoint, I wish I’d picked a solid membership plugin that would have enabled us to grow. We’re planning a costly migration in the coming months, and a better membership plugin might have saved us the considerable hassle and cost,” Hesketh told the Tavern.

Technical issues aside, Hesketh believes his business’ success is largely due to his focus on serving people, “It’s one thing to create an online course and hope people discover it. But it takes much more dedication to actually engage people on a daily basis, take the time to understand their goals, and then help them get clear on how to accomplish those goals,” he said.

Hesketh doesn’t have any regrets but wishes he launched the question and answer forum on the first day, “Its given me the opportunity to answer questions that may not be covered in our videos. That’s the real value that WP101 brings to the table, real people helping others,” he said.

WP101 launched around the same time as a lot of commercial theme shops such as iThemes, StudioPress, and WooThemes. Although WP101 doesn’t sell commercial themes or plugins, Hesketh has carved out a space in the WordPress ecosystem that enables him to make a living. If you use WP101 or have in the past, I’d love to hear what you think of his videos in the comments.

8 Comments


  1. Jeff, Benny Brown

    Still trying to find my way around to build my blog. Being up in age it’s kind of tough . What do you suggest. . Meaning is there a site that I can easily learn from.

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    1. Well, the subject of the post your commenting on is a great place to learn WordPress aka WP101. There’s also plenty of WordPress tutorials just a Google search away. There’s the WordPress for Dummies series which is great if you learn by reading books. If you don’t want to pay for WP101 just yet, I suggest searching for videos of things you want to learn about on WordCamp.tv http://wordpress.tv/category/wordcamptv/

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    2. Benny, I can vouch for WP101. The lessons are very clear and concise and they offer very personal support. WP also has some much better tutorials now than they did several years ago. I’ve moved on to the point where i’m learning how to write code also. The sites I use for that…and WPtraining, are Lynda.com, Trainsimple.com and Totaltraining.com. I’m 63 years old and having a great time. It’s never too late to learn and have fun.

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      1. Thanks for your feedback, Terry. Thrilled to see you’ve long since “graduated” to writing code now. Totally agree with your last sentence. #NeverStopLearning

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  2. I am a huge fan of Shawn’s videos. I include access to them as part of a monthly maintenance plan. Many of my clients are new to WordPress and the videos are very helpful to them. They are short and easy to understand, and cover just about everything a person just starting to use WordPress would want to know. The best part is that they are updated regularly.

    Over the years, these videos have saved me more hours than I can count due to no longer having to send links, write emails, take phone calls, and give on-site training for basic day to day WordPress usage.

    Thanks Shawn!

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    1. Wow, thank you for sharing this, Lori. Appreciate you being a Licensing Partner for the past 4 years, and I’m stoked to hear that the WP101 videos continue to prove themselves useful to you and your clients!

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  3. Thanks so much for helping us celebrate our milestone, Jeff, and for your support over the years.

    Incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve the WordPress community and so many beginners over the past seven years, and I hope we’re able to continue for years to come!

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  4. Congratulations Shawn. Well deserved. Any chance you might share what membership plugin WP101 is moving to and why?

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