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WordPress: The Missing Manual [Paperback]

Matthew MacDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 1 2012 1449309844 978-1449309848 1

Whether you’re a budding blogger or web development professional, WordPress is a brilliant tool for creating websites—if you know how to tap its impressive features. This jargon-free Missing Manual shows you how to use WordPress and its themes, plug-ins, and widgets to build just about any website you can imagine, from a classy blog to a basic e-commerce site.

The important stuff you need to know:

  • Create a blog. Get a free WordPress.com account, choose the right theme, and start publishing content.
  • Build a website. Produce a professional-looking business site by customizing a WordPress theme.
  • Add features. Choose from thousands of WordPress widgets and plug-ins to extend your site’s features.
  • Mix in multimedia. Include slideshows, video clips, webcasts, podcasts, and music players.
  • Involve your readers. Let readers leave comments, contribute to your site, and carry on a dialog.
  • Build an audience. Learn search-engine optimization, measure your reader’s favorite pages, and publicize your site.
  • Create a community. Use social media tools such as “Like” and sharing buttons, and provide RSS feeds of your posts.

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WordPress: The Missing Manual + Wordpress to Go: How to Build a Wordpress Website on Your Own Domain, from Scratch, Even If You Are a Complete Beginner + WordPress All-in-One For Dummies
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Product Description

Book Description

The Complete Guide to Building Blogs and Corporate Websites

About the Author

Matthew MacDonald is a science and technology writer with well over a dozen books to his name. Web novices can tiptoe out onto the Internet with him in Creating a Website: The Missing Manual. HTML fans can learn about the cutting edge of web design in HTML5: The Missing Manual. And human beings of all description can discover just how strange they really are in the quirky handbooks Your Brain: The Missing Manual and Your Body: The Missing Manual.


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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Jack's WordPress Reference July 4 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easy to read, is an very good 'must have' reference.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  68 reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Missing Manual" is an apt description Nov. 20 2012
By Masa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Getting started with WordPress is a lot scarier than it has to be. I struggled at first, trying the online documentation, which is written more like an encyclopedia rather than an instruction guide. I made a lot of mistakes along the way.

To give you an example of something that confused me when I first got started, just the phrase "WordPress" can be confusing if you don't have someone explain it to you. The term "Wordpress" refer to the software (which you can run yourself or get an account on a hosted site), wordpress.org is where you get the software (and docs on how to install it), and wordpress.com is where you get an account on a hosted installation.

What I like the most about this book is that it applies a lot of structure to learning how to get results with WordPress. This Missing Manual puts these items into perspective, making it very clear how to get going with wordpress.org/wordpress.com (Note that the Amaazon reviewer who stated that this book is only for wordpress.com is incorrect. In fact, installation is covered starting in chapter 3).

Instead of trying to teach you how every knob works, it teaches how to get started, make your first post, then start customizing with the existing tools, then customizing with add ons and changes to themes.

My favorite part of the book is explanation of how the gallery system and adding audio/visual elements. Very nice to have it explained in a way that I can now see the big picture of what's going on, and how to add things like carousel.

I like the number of screenshots of the topic being explained and the results of what happens. That element is a welcome change to anyone who's spent a lot of time with just the online docs.

There are two things I would have liked to have seen different. One, I think the book could benefit from a chapter that explained how to get started and posting in X number of steps. As it stands, the book is thorough but it takes over a 100 pages until you know how to post content. Getting some results quickly right off the bat (or at least explain the steps of what needs to be done to get results) would help people start feeling successful right away.

The second thing I would have liked to have seen is some focus on building one site rather than jumping around several. There are many different web sites used as examples. It would have been nice to seen how one site gets built from the ground up rather than flipping around so many pre-built examples.

That said though, I think the missing manual is very valuable, and easily one of the best ways to get to know how to use it. Now I can finally enjoy using Wordpress without all of the frustration I had before.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WordPress for Unknowns & Know-It-Alls Nov. 5 2012
By connywithay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Title: WordPress: The Missing Manual
Author: Matthew MacDonald
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-449-30984-8

In the beginning of his book, "WordPress: The Missing Manual," Matthew MacDonald writes about the website, WordPress, "You probably realize that it's a brilliant tool for creating a huge variety of websites, from gossipy blogs to serious business sites. However, you might be a bit fuzzy on the rest of the equation - how WordPress actually works its magic, and how you can use WordPress to achieve your own website vision."

With five hundred and forty-five pages, this softbound, thick book is one of "the missing manual" series that states, "the book that should have been in the box." Geared to anyone who wants to know more about practically any topic, these books cater to the minutiae missing when one wants to learn, use and expand knowledge regarding a subject. This issue is about the famous online blogging website, WordPress, and how to maneuver within it.

The book is arranged into five sections regarding the nuances of WordPress: starting, building, supercharging, customizing and appendixes. Designed as a textbook, one can easily search a topic via the fourteen page index or flip through the pages, as each top corner has a shaded square stating its contents. In addition to step by step instructions in each chapter, there are bolded, highlighted and boxed tip and note sections along with photographed computer screens depicting directions, samples and pointed areas discussed.
There are two distinct ways to approach WordPress - setting up the simple free hosting service or installing their software on another web host (self-hosting) for a monthly fee. Both types of sites are thoroughly discussed and explained early in the book and then shown their differences and applications throughout the chapters.

In the first chapter, one learns how to sign up and set up a blog or install the more complicated self-host option. The second chapter explains how to create a post, choose a theme, energize written posts, add pages and alter visitors' content. The third chapter discusses the more complicated plug-ins, adding media, maintaining users and attracting a crowd. The final chapter concentrates on the more complicated and in-depth self-hosting avenue. The appendixes offer both migration and useful websites for more assistance.

This knowledgeable manual is the perfect tool to keep nearby if one has a WordPress blog and either does not know where to start or has to correct, change or trouble-shoot his or her own self-hosted blog site. Kudos to MacDonald for writing and explaining such a complicated topic in layman's "computerese."
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great "starter" for WordPress March 18 2013
By Al Mankowski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
WordPress: The Missing Manual is an excellent tutorial for someone who has general web site building knowledge but wants to learn how to build a site using WordPress. The book introduces the various components of WordPress in a logical and orderly manner so that a "newbie" can learn how the trees make up the forest. The books strikes a good balance in providing sufficient detail to be useful without overwhelming. Prior to reading this book, I had purchased another WordPress manual and also had done a fair amount of material related to WordPress on the web. However, it wasn't until I read this book that I felt comfortable about tackling a project in WordPress. Also, the other reference materials that I had read approached WordPress from a blog perspective and then kind of threw in "oh, by the way, you can also do more conventional websites", whereas this book balanced the two uses for WordPress. Before purchasing this book, I was concerned by review comments which indicated that the book was biased towards using WordPress.com versus using WordPress on a site hosted elsewhere. I did not find this to be the case; in fact, I thought that the author was very conscientious about explaining the differences between the two situations.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete information at Last! Nov. 23 2012
By T. Karwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first book I read for guidance on using this web-design software is "Wordpress: 24-hour Trainer." It has some strong points, but it left me with loose ends and questions. This book, "Wordpress: The Missing Manual," provides full information and includes answers to all my questions. Admittedly, I'm only about 3/4s through the book at this point, but I have been fully satisfied with each section so far. It provides clear priorities and clear instructions about pursuing those priorities, and inspires me to proceed to implementing new ideas. I prefer to focus on the content of my website, rather than to tinker with the technology, so this book provides just the level of technical information that I need to pursue my objectives.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers Self Hosting (.org) and Wordpress.com Hosted Blogs Dec 8 2012
By J. W. Rine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
WordPress: The Missing Manual is a comprehensive guide to using the popular blogging/CMS software. Many comparisons are made between the blog hosting service at WordPress.com and installing the WordPress software downloaded from WordPress.org in what would be described as a self hosting environment. Reviews stating that the book only addresses blogs hosted at at WordPress.com are inaccurate and misleading. This book covers self hosting WordPress as well as WordPress.com hosted blogs.

I found this book to be informative and well written. It contains numerous screen shots of actual WordPress configurations screens and detailed step by step instructions for doing various tasks. The book is organized to get the reader's blog up and running quickly and then advances to more challenging tasks.

Links to the WordPress Codex and other resources are abundant and useful for additional information. For example, using shortcodes to embed video is discussed in the media chapter and a link to the Codex provides additional information regarding parameters available for use.

The book has two Appendixes that may be very useful depending on your situation. The first details how to migrate an existing blog from WordPress.com hosting to a self hosted environment. The other Appendix lists useful links by chapter.

I would recommend this book. There is a wealth of information available that ties in nicely with the Codex, which at times can be a bit obtuse. At 558 pages this book is not a lightweight. I would rate this book as best for novice to intermediate users.

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy for review purposes.
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