Using WordPress, with DVD Paperback – Jul 19 2011
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From the Back Cover
Get comfortable with WordPress fast, with this media-rich, customized, hands-on learning experience!
WordPress has grown into the #1 blogging tool in its category: several million bloggers have downloaded this powerful open source software, and millions more are using WordPress.com's hosted services. Thirty-two of Technorati's Top 100 blogs now use WordPress.Using WordPressis a customized, media-rich learning experience designed to help new users master WordPress quickly, and get the most out of it, fast! It starts with a concise, friendly, straight-to-the-point guide to WordPress. This exceptional book is fully integrated with an unprecedented collection of online learning resources: online video, screencasts, podcasts, and additional web content, all designed to reinforce key concepts and help users achieve real mastery. The book and online content work together to teach everything mainstream WordPress users need to know. This practical, approachable coverage guides readers through getting started fast; and will cover the upcoming release of WordPress 3.0. This major upgrade will include built-in image editor and the ability to host multiple blogs from one WordPress install.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Tris Hussey is a speaker, former training manager, charter member of the Professional Bloggers Association, and Special Projects Manager for Media 2.0. He has been a blogger since 2004, and was one of Canada's first professional bloggers. The author of thousands of posts and articles on social media and blogging, he was named one of Vancouver's top 20 social media people. He is also a professional photographer.
Top Customer Reviews
I am unqualified to claim that Tris Hussey's book is the best choice for persons such as I. However, I do think it offers more than sufficient information, insights, advice, and instruction on website "basics." The material seems to be of high quality and is well presented, in large measure because of Hussey's skillful use of several reader-friendly devices. For example, throughout the narrative, he inserts "Show Me" video walk-throughs (accessible online) that explain how to complete essential tasks such as "Setting Up and Using WordPress Menus" on Page 166; also, "Tell Me More" audio segments that provide practical insights from various subject matter experts such as "How to Find the Right Plugin for the Job" (Page 128); and "Let Me Try It" exercises that demonstrate tasks presented in a step-by-step sequence that enable the reader to follow along such as "Moving a `Static' Website to WordPress" (Page 239). These three devices - in effective coordination with direct address -- help Hussey to establish and then sustain a tutorial relationship with his reader.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But - at some point - there is the desire to do more. Beyond the basic customization of what appears on the page, comes the wish to have a unique, custom template, extending features - in general, making Wordpress more unique to the user's needs.
For those with moderate web experience, who want to do more than the basics with Wordpress - get this book! The chapter "Editing a Theme to Make it Your Own" de-mystifies some of dirty work necessary to tweak a theme via it's CSS. The basic stuff does not even require an understanding of CSS itself - he provides clear instructions that allow a someone to do basic tweaks to their theme so that it will be unique.
The chapter "WordPress as a Website" is excellent, as it describes how Wordpress can be used to maintain something that doesn't look like a blog at all - instead - an easy to administer web site for commercial or private use.
The book itself is well organized, building on the basic-basics with an assumption that the user may not have spent much time at all with Wordpress, beyond some minor fiddling. It does assume that you are comfortable with server administration if you are planning on hosting Wordpress yourself. He recommends, and I definitely agree - it is much easier to just use a hosted service solution. Four that are recommended by Wordpress.org are listed in the book. Installation and configuration becomes much easier and straightforward for a novice Wordpress Administrator.
I like this book because it is an end-to-end learning experience that avoids arcane knowledge and instead focuses on the big stuff a Wordpress administrator with little experience would like to know.
The book walks you through all the big and not-so-big steps of make a WordPress blog; from install and updates, to using themes, plug-ins and widgets, to handling audio and video files, to keeping your blog secure.
Almost all of the content in this book is geared toward the install on your own site "wordpress.org" version of WordPress, but it does try to cater to the "wordpress.com" the stripped-down version hosted by WordPress itself. If you have a wordpress.com blog and are looking to upgrade to your own site down the line, this book'll show you how.
The big selling point of this book is the online content. With a quick signup and a simple authentication to prove you actually own the book, you're rewarded with a complete online version of the book (with color photos) as well as video walkthroughs of the various steps you'll be taking in the blog miking process. The only topic that's missing the multimedia treatment is converting a static HTML site over to WordPress, which would've been good to see.
There are also audio sidebars with additional thoughts on each chapter's topic. They may useful if you're curious for more info, but the fact that there's no visuals makes it a bit hard to follow what they're saying. Some topics like using the WordPress image editor are done in an audio sidebar with no visuals to guide you.
My other complaint about the companion site is that there's no easy way to access just the multimedia stuff. You basically have to scan through to the page you want. A list broken up by chapter would've really been nice.
As a whole, Using WordPress is a great beginner/intermediate book to get you on your way to running a fully functioning blog.
This thing is really written for the absolute beginning blogger. No fancy jargon, and the jargon that is in there (and it has to be) is fully explained. This is not for developers by any means, unless you are like me and have a whole bunch of users that you have to help. Just hand them this book and let them go to town.
The book starts out with the idea that the user does not even have a website, then progresses into how to get a domain name, all the way through setting up Wordpress and using it. Totally brilliant!
Now the book itself is pretty bare. There are other Wordpress books out there that have more diagrams, charts, and pictures in color, but USING WORDPRESS really shines with it's companion website that hosts tutorial videos, mp3s, and real demos of Wordpress. This alone puts the book miles ahead of any other Wordpress book out there right now.
I was particularly interested in learning how to use Wordpress to create the "look" of a static site. Perhaps it is me but I just could not follow along with this book/videos very well. I kept having to back it up and watch certain parts over and over again.
Some people are very good at what they do, but they aren't very effective at "teaching" it to others. That takes special skill.
I have watched several video tutorials trying to learn the ins and outs of Wordpress, but with all of them, it seems the person doing the tutorial is showing you how "they" do it, and showing you what they think is important to know, etc.
Even after purchasing this book, I still find myself searching the internet to figure out how to do a simple task. For example, I wanted to know how to get rid of the "leave a reply" box.
I'm still determined to learn how to Use Wordpress, but this book just didn't do it for me.
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