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Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (Smashing Magazine Book Series) [Paperback]

by Thord Daniel Hedengren
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 8, 2010 0470684151 978-0470684153 1st

Smashing WordPress shows you how to utilize the power of the WordPress platform, and provides a creative spark to help you build WordPress-powered sites that go beyond the obvious. You will learn the core concepts used to build just about anything in WordPress, resulting in fast deployments and greater design flexibility.

Inside, WordPress expert Thord Daniel Hedengren takes you beyond the blog and shows you how WordPress can serve as a CMS, a photo gallery, an e-commerce site, and more.



Editorial Reviews


‘…chock-full of useful advice.' (.net, August 2010). '…an indispensible partner.' (Linux User & Developer, July 2010).

From the Back Cover

Go Beyond the Blog

Smashing WordPress shows you how to utilize the power of the WordPress platform, and provides a creative spark to help you build WordPress-powered sites that go beyond the obvious. You will learn the core concepts used to build just about anything in WordPress, resulting in fast deployments and greater design flexibility.

Inside, WordPress expert Thord Daniel Hedengren takes you beyond the blog and shows you how WordPress can serve as a CMS, a photo gallery, an e-commerce site, and more.

You will learn:

  • The anatomy of a WP install and how WordPress actually works
  • How to build beautiful WordPress themes – including child themes
  • How to create custom login forms and admin themes
  • How to use the loop to control content, and even use alternatives to the loop
  • How to integrate theme options
  • How to build plugins – including widget functionality
  • How to build your WordPress projects for SEO
  • Integrate WordPress with the social web
  • How to create amazing navigation
  • How to use conditional control elements

Smashing Magazine ( is one of the world’s most popular web design sites. True to the Smashing mission, the Smashing Magazine book series delivers useful and innovating information to web designers and developers.

Product Details

  • Series: Smashing Magazine Book Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons; 1st edition (February 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470684151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470684153
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #864,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thord Daniel Hedengren, or TDH if you want to save in on letters, is addicted to words. He writes books, mostly technical stuff but also novels and short stories, and edits magazines - at least when he's not freelancing. You might have read his words in Web Designer magazine, in the Swedish edition of MacWorld, on various blogs on web design and development, or in any of the numerous other places he has appeared over the years. Thord is also a speaker, open source evangelist, and runs the web design agency ODD ALICE from Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.

That is, he should do just that. Usually you'll find him writing on some new crazy project, racing towards deadlines, and cranking out a new story or article. Thord Daniel Hedengren truly is addicted to words.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
By D. Day
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Let me preface this review by saying this is NOT a beginner Wordpress book. That said, the folks who leave a mediocre review for this book due to this being over their head are ridiculous. If your looking for a book that teaches you "how to get started" with wordpress this is not your book. You will NOT find sections on how to create a post, add tags, install plugins, etcetera. This book is to teach you how to do advanced secure installs, understand the wordpress framework, template tags (the code snippets that make things work), how to create themes and plugins, and start working with some examples.

This book was an amazing for me because of where I am at in my wordpress development. Before reading this book I knew how to install wordpress, set up permalinks, work with .htaccess files, create posts, add plugins, and even do some minor tweaking. I did not however understand the core code concepts of wordpress that make it work, thus I could not advance beyond an "advanced beginner." When I would go to read advanced wordpress books they were all written in techie speak and I always ended up feeling lost.

Enter Smashing Wordpress:

From the moment I started reading this book it was right at the level I needed. I had finished my knowledge of the beginner to mid level stages of wordpress and Smashing Wordpress took me to a solid level of advanced wordpress techniques and theme/plugin building. It is written in PLAIN ENGLISH and not techie speak like most advanced technology books (please remember you must have a solid beginner level understanding or this book will seem complicated).

If your looking to start understanding all that code that makes themes and plugins work and you have a solid understanding of the basics of wordpress this book is for you.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Content/Poor Book Design February 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am fairly new to web design and wordpress theme development and have been searching for ways to go beyond the typical wordpress theme. This book gives you exactly what it says it will. It really does go beyond the blog. This is by far the most thorough wordpress themeing book I have found. The content within this book is dense and every bit of it is useful.

I would not recommend this book to the absolute beginner unless you really like jumping headfirst into the very deep end. You really need to have at least a moderate understanding of html css and php to get through this book. The author is able able to cover as much as he does in large part by assuming you can keep up.

The biggest problem with this book and the only reason I am not giving it 5 stars is the layout. I have heard this complaint regarding other books from smashing magazine and unfortunately it is very true. The guys at smashing mag are brilliant web designers but would do well to hire some equally brilliant print designers to layout their books. The biggest problem is the inner margins of the book. They have been designed as though this book were to be read on a vertical blog with identical margins on both pages instead of reflected margins resulting in having to force the book open to read the left page. Sorry to go on about this but it really is a big problem and I hope they will fix this in future versions (or at least in future publications).

1. Spectacular content not found in any other single book
2. Covers up and coming wordpress features such as child themes
3. Tutorials for designing functioning job boards, faq knowledge bases, e-commerce sites, portfolio sites and more
4. 2 chapters on functions.php and plugin development
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A spectacularly bad book May 10, 2011
OK. I'm not a wordpress beginner; I'm not a computer newbie. I have installed, configured and developed with wordpress as a CMS professionally and installed it to run blogs. I have a higher degree in computer science. I say this because I want to be absolutely clear that this book is bad for anyone at any level.

The book is badly written. It makes no attempt at all to introduce things in an orderly way. I had a more confident grasp of themes *before* I read the chapters on themes than after! Terminology is not regularly explained and where it is the explanations are sometimes of a vague, kind of, sort of like this variety and then the author moves swiftly on.

Instructions are often incomplete. This is a problem because the *context* is not made clear. You can tell me to finish off some settings without being very explicit *if* you've made it clear *where* those are to be found. If you don't then it's just frustrating.

There is no progressive nature either overall or in individual topics. You jump in and jump around and if you persevere you may just make it back to sure.

This book has no use to a beginner and no use to anyone more advanced. This isn't because it tackles intermediate or advanced topics but because it's written by someone who has little idea of instructional writing and no talent for clarity of exposition. If you are a beginner I'd go with Wordpress Complete or Headfirst Wordpress and if you're after something more advanced then the Wrox design and develop book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information that really gets you started
This is a great introduction to WordPress and customizing it. It may be a little dated now, but it explains very clearly how things work and what you can change. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jeremy Morgan
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable overview
Useful if you are a beginner who wants to know what kinds of content that WordPress can handle but this book offers little to intermediate and advanced users.
Published 18 months ago by Andy
3.0 out of 5 stars WordPress Codex is more helpful
DO NOT read this book if any of the following is true:
(a) you don't know anything about PHP.
(b) you don't know anything about CSS. Read more
Published 18 months ago by D. Ciccone
5.0 out of 5 stars Off the Grid Guy
This is a really good book. I think the fact that I know css, php, javascript, mysql and much more, but I think this book will be helpful even to people who don't know that kind of... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Off the Grid Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Written
I found this book to be very well written, leaving almost nothing ambiguous. I had a half decent knowledge of HTML/JavaScript going into it, and now feel prepared to embark on an... Read more
Published on March 6, 2012 by Norman Cousineau
4.0 out of 5 stars Great content, lousy editing
There's nothing I hate worse than books in this genre that merely repeat what any intelligent person could learn by looking at the product and/or using it for an hour or two. Read more
Published on February 18, 2012 by Greg Raven
5.0 out of 5 stars great instructional tool
Books came in a quick and timely manner. I found this book to be a great instructional tool and layed out in a format that was easy to read.
Published on February 16, 2012 by averagejoestocktrader
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent Intro / Overview
Despite how the book bills itself, this is not an advanced wordpress title.

This book is best fit for a PHP developer just starting out with Wordpress. Read more
Published on October 9, 2011 by webdev
2.0 out of 5 stars The author needs a good editor.
At first I was going to give this book a very good recommendation -- up until around chapter 6 where his code examples were either riff with mistakes or simply didn't work. Read more
Published on September 25, 2011 by laptophobo
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of superior content
This is a terrific book, filled with really useful information on the inner workings and secrets of Wordpress that other books have failed to communicate or fallen short of... Read more
Published on August 14, 2011 by George Pytlik
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