WordPress 24-Hour Trainer: Watch, Read, and Learn How to Create and Customize WordPress Sites Paperback – Nov 23 2009
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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
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
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.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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?
For one, EVERYthing is covered in this book, even things you wouldn't think of. The troubleshooting in this book is intuitive, and doesn't necessarily reflect trying to fix technical problems. The author imagines a problem arising, and he addresses it.
Additionally, it's not a complete bore to read as most of these technical books can be. It's easy on the eyes, and you'll want to try things out, even if you had no plans to do so.
It also comes with a DVD where you literally sit down and watch how these techniques are applied. It couldn't be any more thorough.