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WordPress 24-Hour Trainer: Watch, Read, and Learn How to Create and Customize WordPress Sites [Paperback]

George Plumley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 23 2009
Don't let WordPress intimidate you. WordPress 24-Hour Trainer is a unique lesson-based book that walks you through the essential parts of WordPress. Each lesson is streamlined to teach a specific aspect of WordPress, helping you to focus on just what you need in order to get the task accomplished. If you learn better visually, this book provides you with a video to accompany each lesson.

This book is the perfect guide to

  • Planning and preparing your site for WordPress
  • Installing WordPress
  • Writing, tagging, and publishing a post
  • Working with the text editor
  • Styling paragraphs and creating lists
  • Working with media files
  • Linking, aligning, and sizing an image
  • Working with image galleries
  • Adding video and audio
  • Naming, scheduling, and managing posts
  • Making your site stand out
  • Helping others connect to your site
  • Becoming search engine friendly
  • Optimizing your site
  • Backing up your site
  • Installing and activating plugins

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Product Details


Product Description

From the Back Cover

A unique introduction to building web sites with WordPress

WordPress is today's most popular open source blog publishing application, but its powerful features, simple interface, and easy expansion make it a great content management system for all types of web sites. This unique book-and-video package provides you with beginner-friendly tutorials for building and maintaining a WordPress web site. You'll discover how to customize WordPress to meet your needs and you'll see how critical—and simple—it is to expand and update content in order to make your site as effective as possible.

  • Walks you through installing the software, provides an overview of the administration interface, and covers the basic settings you'll need to get started

  • Examines the ins and outs of uploading images, video, documents, etc., and using them on your site

  • Demonstrates how to customize the look of your site using cascading style sheets

  • Reviews helpful techniques for optimizing your site and making it search-engine friendly

  • Explains how to track your site's statistics, keep your plugins and themes up to date, and practice smart backup habits

  • Addresses installing, activating, and troubleshooting plugins

Wrox guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think. Written by programmers for programmers, they provide a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved.

On the DVD

Don't just learn—do!

The lessons within the book are each accompanied by an instructional demonstration on the DVD.

You'll learn to:

  • Plan your site for WordPress

  • Write and add a new post

  • Handle revisions

  • Add new pages & sub pages

  • Work with image galleries

  • Manage media files, posts, categories, and widgets

  • Link to other sites

  • Approve, edit, and delete comments

  • Customize the design and layout

  • Optimize your content

  • Extend WordPress

Please see the DVD appendix for details and complete system requirements.

About the Author

George Plumley is a web developer who now builds sites almost exclusively using WordPress. He runs the WordPress tutorial site www.seehowtwo.com.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 Hour Trainer. No kidding. April 8 2010
Format:Paperback
I found the author to be clear, concise and to the point. It was an easy read enabling me to launch a website, yes that's right, simply by learning the WordPress tool. The book was organized in a way where I could build my competencies for what I needed to do quickly,getting up and running, and then fine-tune my skills as needed. I really liked the videos, as they were another way (for me) to learn the material. Excellent Resource.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  56 reviews
79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Common sense teaching Jan. 13 2010
By B. Com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was somewhat hesitant to buy a tutorial book that had not been reviewed yet (this book is copyright 2010 and came out Dec. 09), but I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised. This book offers from-the-ground-up instruction with all the basics from how to install Wordpress to customizing a template.

The author, George Plumley, has a pleasant style that is neither condescending to the newbie or goofy like I have found some of the "yellow books" to be. I haven't found any fluff here, just solid step-by-step advice and lessons.

I really was just following along and not thinking about whether the book is "good" or "bad", just going through it. Then, in Lesson 7: Working with the Text Editor, I found myself recognizing one of the many gems in this book. As someone who has struggled with more than one text editor until I found out that if you copy/paste from someplace else you need to get rid of the formatting first, I know that this author had the non-geek in mind when he wrote this. His advice is to open a text program such as Notepad and paste the text in there, then copy/paste from Notepad into the editor in Wordpress and the excess coding will be stripped away. Now, this is basic information for a lot of people, but remember the first time you tried to figure out why that Word formatting kept showing up in your Wordpress text editor? Yes, this author had that person in mind and gently drops in a paragraph with a couple of sentences in it addressing the problem and suggesting a solution.

I have hired a designer to do websites in Wordpress for a couple of clients and I wanted to learn to do it myself. I am confident that I'll be able to do it myself next time, thanks to the information provided in this book. The author spends some time going over some of the basics of site planning and organization, basic design, SEO, and backups. If you are a budding website builder, you'll get a lot of time-tested information here. Yes, many books go deeper into each of these subjects, but for the person wanting to put their first site together or get a refresher on the basics, why buy another book if you don't have to? There's plenty of meat to digest here.

The CD is a great bonus, too.

If you have dabbled with Wordpress but knew you were only scratching the surface, do yourself a favor and invest in this book. Certainly, there are those that will say that all of this information is available for free on the web. Yeah, but not in step-by-step form and not in a format you can carry along with you when you're waiting somewhere or need to find the information quickly.

I don't know this author, but I do know that if he writes any other books about a subject that I'm interested in, I'm quite likely to buy it based on my experience with this book/CD combo. I buy and read a lot of techy type books and if I ever owned a book that deserves "6 stars", this is it. This is the gold standard by which all tech-related books should be measured for common sense writing style.
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very painless beginner's guide to WordPress... Feb. 24 2012
By ewomack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
WordPress has become one of the premier do-it-yourself website programs available today. Pretty much anyone, regardless of technical background, can build a web presence with an easy install and a little knowledge of how WordPress works. Some people may have no problem just diving into the interface itself and figuring out what to do by trial and error. Others with less experience or less confidence may want more detailed and structured guidance. Others still may have even found themselves lost or confused after throwing themselves into the guts of WordPress and found it less intuitive than they imagined. The latter two groups would benefit greatly from reading "WordPress 24-Hour Trainer." Though, like all of the titles in this series, it takes much longer than 24 hours to complete, it presents information in handy and easily digestible snippets requiring very little effort to comprehend.

WordPress is easy to use overall, but some of its nuances remain unintuitive, such as the difference between a post and a page or how to change the header graphic or customizing a theme. Those with little technical background may find themselves stumbling around a bit. This book lays it all out. Pretty much everything anyone needs to know to install and setup a basic WordPress site sits between this book's covers. But don't expect anything too complicated. This book mainly aims at absolute beginners.

Regardless, it does cover a lot of ground and manages to introduce some advanced topics later on. But before dazzling the world with a site design worthy of Dali, WordPress needs to get installed and configured. After a short section on planning, Section II plummets right into installing the program. Of course many ISPs and services allow for highly automated installs at the push of a button, so these sections might be redundant for some. But for those more stalwart souls installing WordPress cold right into a web server file structure, this book covers what they need too.

After discussing setting up pages, posts, pictures, video files, audio files, the book jumps into managing widgets, post categories, comments, links and multiple users. Then the ever expanding and seemingly infinite topic of themes emerges. One of the most useful chapters involves installing a child theme, a process that might intimidate some at first glance. Thankfully, the book gives very clear instructions on how to accomplish this seemingly difficult task. Then the more advanced stuff begins. Site optimization, monitoring, backing up and managing plugins follows. A final chapter gives a taste of where to go next. It discusses topics such as building custom templates, but only in a cursory and introductory manner. The book leaves that very popular topic to other books. After all, that topic can take up an entire book in itself. There is also very little discussion on PHP, the dynamic webpage programming language used to build WordPress. In fact, it only appears in the glossary. Some very basic CSS show up, but not very much. The book largely focuses on using the WordPress interface.

Anyone wanting to get up and running from absolute beginner to website could benefit from this book's quick learning method. The end of each chapter also includes a "Try It" step-by-step exercise on that chapter's topic. Finally, it includes a DVD that literally walks through the lessons multimedia style. Anyone who reads this book and doesn't learn how to use WordPress wasn't paying attention. Absolute beginners will benefit the most. Lastly, this book covers WordPress 3.1. As of this writing, the latest version is 3.3.1. The curse of all technical books is quick obsolescence. Thankfully, things haven't changed too much between these versions to make much difference for this book yet. That will of course change in the not too distant future. But for now it provides a quick and easy way to get a WordPress site up and running.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Source for using Wordpress Jan. 4 2010
By D. Rosenberg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I am just amazed at how thorough this book is, yet how easy it is to use and understand. Everything is in layman's terms and shown, as well as having written explanations.

I was initially bummed at the price of the book but now that I'm using it I realize what an absolute STEAL it is at this price. I am SO thankful I found this guide.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You might need more than 24 hours, but.... March 21 2012
By M. Moreaux - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I don't often comment on a book, but felt compelled to do so for this one. In these days of quick copy, you typically get books/content that's riddled with typos, errors, and inaccurate information. Not so with this text. It's very well organized, logical, and easy - very easy - to follow the step-by-step instructions. And fancy this, it all works as written!

The author covers each topic, spending little time on theory, and moving right into "hands-on" explanations. In the case of installing WordPress, he covers the basics of setting up your database, file uploading, and then running the automated process of creating a config file. For those of us who for some reason cannot run this automatically on our equipment, the attached CD explains the manual process in the accompanying video. The CD provides supporting information for most all of the chapters in the book.

The remainder of the book is broken into 11 sections that progress in sophistication from simple content management (Page and Post creation), through installing and troubleshooting plugins, then into running multi-sites and WP customization. There's even a section on Troubleshooting common issues.

I'm an experienced programmer, but new to Wordpress and found this text to be an extremely helpful and effective way to quickly ramp my knowledge on Wordpress. I would have given it a 5-star rating, but who really reads the 5's or 1's?
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pedagogical Introduction to WordPress Nov. 17 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms in use today. It is, however, much more than just a blogging package: it is a comprehensive online publishing tool that can be used for all sorts of content providing websites. Many of the third-party online blogging solutions are based on WordPress. One of the virtues of WordPress is its ease of use and installation. If you are running your own blog on your own server then you will certainly appreciate being able to set up and run your blog within a very short time.

For my first personal blog I had relied on Movable Type, but have for various reasons decided to give WordPress a try. So far I have been very satisfied with the results: my new blogging website was extremely easy to setup. I was able to set it up without any use of detailed instruction manuals, and was able to figure out many of its features and settings easily on my own. However, I have had a fair amount of online development experience, so setting up a new site is not a major hurdle for me. For people who are not that familiar with the ins and outs of site management and content publication software, a book like "WordPress 24-Hour Trainer" would be a very valuable resource.

Like many books out there with similar titles that imply relative quickness and ease of learning, this one exaggerates these points. The 24 Hour from the title refers to the fact that most of the chapters in this book can be mastered in an hour or less. You could certainly go through the entire book over a weekend if you spend most of your free time on reading it and going through the examples, but that would probably be overkill. You will be better off by going through the book at a somewhat leisurely pace, in which case you could get through most of the material in a two to three weeks.

The book is organized around various tasks and features of WordPress. The material progresses from the installation of WordPress on your website, to some of the more mundane maintenance tasks. The chapters include "Basic Admin Settings", "Working with the Text Editor", "Laying Out Text", "Adding a New Page", "Helping Others Connect to Your Site", "Customizing Design and Layout", "Optimizing Your Site as a Whole", and many others. The chapters are very instructive and easy to navigate. They feature multiple examples, step-by-step instructions and screenshots. They are primarily aimed at those who are new to WordPress, but even experienced uses will find many new pieces of information.

The book comes with a DVD featuring videos that cover the material in most of the chapters. The video tutorials are a useful supplement to the text, but they are not meant to be a comprehensive substitute for the book. Learning by watching examples always works the best for me (and most other people), so this feature of the book is very helpful. Two problems that I have with the videos are: 1) they are made in Flash and cannot be easily transferred to your computer, and 2) They are made with a fairly low resolution. This is particularly bothersome when the screen is covered in small font text, and the low resolution makes this almost illegible.

This book was written with respect to the latest version of WordPress (3.2). It is a very pedagogical book with plenty of useful information. Recommend it to all bloggers who are considering using WordPress for their own hosted blog.
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