Back in April I ran a crowdfunding campaign to teach a WordPress workshop to the 2014 portfolio class at my alma mater. The students are all really talented designers, but a lot of them had no web experience. Past portfolio graduates put their work online with tools like Behance, Wix or Issu. I wanted to introduce them to the wonders of WordPress.
I had one day to help them understand the basics of creating a website, from installing a theme to sending it live. Building and hosting their own WordPress site was already pretty scary—having to paste something into functions.php would probably scare the crap out of them.
I decided to use the Divi theme and Flywheel hosting to cut a lot of the technical roadblocks a traditional designer faces when building their first site. There’s no way I would have been able to pull this off it weren’t for how intuitive and easy to use both products are.
(That link above is an affiliate link, which means I make a small commission on every sale. But I’d tell you how rad Divi is even if I didn’t belong to their affiliate program.)
The AIGA portfolio review was on May 26, so a week before I went back in for about four hours. Out of the 17 kids who showed up to the first workshop, 4 or 5 made it to the followup. It was really cool to see them understanding making CSS edits to make their sites do what they wanted them to. The best feedback was the student who sent me an email that said “I had avoided any notion of doing (a website) for myself in the past because it seemed so daunting, but I’m actually excited to work on it now!”
In all, four kids were able to complete an entire portfolio website. I’ve talked Divi up a lot lately. The reason is that it lets me focus on design. I can do what I want to do naturally, instead of having to track down a tutorial to find out where to unhook one function and re-hook it in another. The best proof, though, is in the final sites, designed and launched in an already busy month.
Want to see what someone with great design skills and a little training can do in such a short amount of time?