First, RTFM!

Read the MANual Recently I was fumbling around with working on some WordPress settings for a friend’s website. I have a basic understanding of how WordPress works and is configured, so I thought I would be able to play a little and get the desired result.

I had an elaborate plan to run some tests on a sandbox server. It involved backups of the database, extensive use of a text editor, messing with some settings in various .php files, and seeing what happened. When I broke it, I would just restore the backup and try again.

I was about to start, then I thought, “Maybe I should search Google to see if any one else has done this.” The first two hits linked back to the extensive and detailed WordPress documentation.

Guess what? After a few setting changes and some work with my FTP client, it worked! Mostly. No text editor, no shell scripts, no extensive *NIX-style hacking skills.

“Wait,” you say, “did you just write mostly?” Yes, I did.

I even fixed the “mostly” by–GASP–searching for my new problem. It turns out the original instructions overlooked another setting change.

The whole thing took less than 15 minutes. I learned several things about WordPress, but more importantly I learned this:

When productivity is on the line, set your pride aside and Read the Fine Manual*.

* I know, there is a more colorful interpretation for RTFM, but this is a family-friendly blog.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/publicenergy/ / CC BY-NC 2.0
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About TJ
The Geek Who Speaks People, TJ has a both passion and a penchant for clarifying complex subjects.

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