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Head First WordPress: A Brain-Friendly Guide to Creating Your Own Custom WordPress Blog Paperback – August 2, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0596806286 ISBN-10: 0596806280 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

A Brain-Friendly Guide to Creating Your Own Custom WordPress Blog

About the Author

Jeff Siarto is a user experience and web designer currently calling Chicago home. He has two degrees from Michigan State University and was a student of the standards-based web design movement--aspiring to the likes of Cederholm, Zeldman and Meyer. Jeff is a die-hard coworker and helps organize Jelly Chicago, a coworking group that meets twice a week in Chicago's Lincoln Parkneighborhood. When Jeff isn't pushing pixels, he enjoys cooking andeating (ok, mostly eating) and spending time with his wife onChicago's west side and in Michigan with friends and family.

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Product Details

  • Series: Head First
  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596806280
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596806286
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I became sold on the Head First series after going through Head First HTML, but this book is not up to that standard.
Shane Burns
Jeff does a good job when it comes to providing users with basic knowledge related to installation, configuration and management of the WordPress blog.
mko
I got to the point that when something didn't work as described, I couldn't tell if I did something wrong, or if the text was just messed up again.
D. Jenkins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Visor Blue on October 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I can only assume that the two glowing reviews were written by people that skimmed the contents and didn't actually work through it. Why? Because you can't!

There's quite a few important errors and no errata online. The web links to get the work files (I miss CDs) are wrong and when you're redirected to the correct page the files may or may not be there. Example, page 71, "Download 'Acmestyle.css' from..." I downloaded the chapter two file, unZipped it and the two Zip files that were in the resulting folder. There is no "Acmestyle.css" or mention of it in the files nor on the book's web page. This book was published a few months ago, surely they've noticed the problems and fixed them. Nope.

Out of frustration, as I couldn't continue without the file, I did a web search for "Acmestyle.css" and that lead to a link to a O'Reilly forum message where others reported the problem almost two months ago(!) and one poster said that it appears to be the same as the "screen.css" file inside one of the folders downloaded. I looked and it is very close to what I saw on the screen, not exact but darn close and would get me unstuck. I looked at some other messages on this book and saw there's more unanswered problems with the book's contents I have to look forward to. Swell.

In places this book is pretty nice like some other Head First books (I have several) that I have learned from, but in others it's as clear as mud!

I don't mind some errors in books as they happen and that's what errata pages are for. Problem is that there aren't any. There's no help from the author or O'Reilly in the forum either.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. Jenkins on January 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have really enjoyed the Head First series, but this book does not live up to what I have come to expect. I have purchased and gone cover-to-cover through Head First HTML & CSS, Head First Javascript, Head Rush Ajax, Head First PHP & MySQL, and Head First Web Design. Loved them all. In comparison, Head First WordPress is a mess. The numerous typos are one thing. Making matters worse is the disjointed presentation of the material. The book jumps around between topics, and so far has never stopped to give you a check-point (something like, here is what your completed code/page should look like now.... snippets everywhere, but no completed picture) Also, the download files do not match up with the code snippets in the book. I quickly lost confidence that the text was correct. I got to the point that when something didn't work as described, I couldn't tell if I did something wrong, or if the text was just messed up again.

Some instructions as are missing and others are wrong. Particularly irritating was the section on permalinks ... it basically says, if this explanation doesn't work, here's a forum link, go figure it out for yourself.

The more I study, the less tolerance I have for books that waste my time. I set this book aside before finishing chapter 2.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely love the Head First Series of books and, while they are not the most in depth and complex books on a subject, I consider them the most user friendly way to quickly and easily learn a challenging and difficult topic. So when I learned they were coming out with a book on Wordpress I quickly preordered it and then waited, and waited, and waited until...now. At last the book arrived and I'm not disappointed. For the average user (and let's face it, even the above average user) this is everything you need to know about how to install and use Wordpress for all but the most advanced website tasks.

While most people will choose to install Wordpress using the "one click" installation service offered by their hosting provider, the Headfirst book starts with a detailed description of how to download and install it the old fashioned way...manually. Even if you were to choose not to use the "one click" method (which I would advise against), reviewing this section gives you a good idea of the nuts and bolts of your Wordpress installation.

Next they cover the basics of posting and using images in your posts, including basic problems, troubleshooting and even covering file permissions. When it comes to changing your blogs appearance they do a very good job of describing templates, including third party templates, and also provide a solid overviews of HTML, PHP and CSS and how you can use it to modify your sight. Widgets are covered in depth as well.

The aspect of Wordpress I was most interested in learning more about was how to use it as a Content Management System (CMS) and the book covers the subject well, including a very good discussion on how to structure your website, how to modify your permalinks, set up the navigation bar and to use the visual editor.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jaagster on September 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have some experience with CSS and content management - through Windows and Expression Web. Since WordPress is a "canned" program and best hosted on Linux I purchased Head First WordPress to get a fundamental understanding of the program and a structured step by step in "how to" but was greatly disappointed. This book was supposedly designed for beginners. As such, one would expect a cohesive series of lessons. Instead I found it to be a rambling work, not suitable to get a real understanding and feel for the WordPress parts and how they fit together. I would not recommend this book. While the price of the book was attractive I remember what someone told me a long time ago - "cheap is dear". As my next step I will move on to a more comprehensive tome.
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