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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wordpress for the reasonably intelligent
Wordpress has become popular because that initial step into publishing is so low. It is straightforward, allowing a writer to focus on task.

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...
Published on December 9, 2010 by Harold G. Meeks Jr.

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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Had High Hopes for This Book, But It Was Disappointing
I was really looking forward to this book because I thought perhaps I could find something that could really help me learn how to use Wordpress. I see all over the internet of people who say how easy it is, but it's not that easy to me.

I was particularly interested in learning how to use Wordpress to create the "look" of a static site. Perhaps it is me but I...
Published on February 20, 2011 by Ellen Ward


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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wordpress for the reasonably intelligent, December 9, 2010
This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wordpress has become popular because that initial step into publishing is so low. It is straightforward, allowing a writer to focus on task.

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.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for those ready to start thier own blog site., November 6, 2010
By 
Grant Beaudette (Missoula, MT United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
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WordPress has established itself as the blogging software of choice for millions of people looking to put their thoughts online. Using WordPress is a solid intro to get you up and running with a blog of your own.

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.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction to Wordpress!, October 31, 2010
This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been using Wordpress since the b2 days, so I pretty much know what is going on in there. However, that is also my downfall - how do you help others use it once it is deployed? I was all ready to start writing some instructions and this book showed up. I got it. I am so glad I did!

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!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a book. Full of video tutorials., April 6, 2011
By 
Jeff Aski (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
I'm trying to learn Wordpress to make a website, not a blog, but a website. The problem with me is that I know nothing about html or flash and even iWeb is a little confusing for me. USING WORDPRESS spells everything out so clearly that I'm using this book as a step-by-step guide to get my site up and running.

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.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Had High Hopes for This Book, But It Was Disappointing, February 20, 2011
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This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
I was really looking forward to this book because I thought perhaps I could find something that could really help me learn how to use Wordpress. I see all over the internet of people who say how easy it is, but it's not that easy to me.

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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Websites Easier, July 25, 2011
By 
Opa Wayne "Opa" (Colorado Rocky Mountains) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This text is especially useful to me. I had a website using Wordpress and became dissatisfied due to my misunderstanding of the tools available. I finally gave up that website as a lost cause.

Using the knowledge gained form Using Wordpress, I am currently creating another, far more complex website. This book taught me much about Wordpress, but also about websites in general. Tris Hussey writes in uncomplicated language and clearly explains technical information so that the general public can understand.
Detailed below are some of the topics that I found especially useful.

Domains and Hosts, Tris gave me the confidence to try again and overcome problems I had with the hosts I used in the past.

Configuring Wordpress, Tris makes this so simple. Just follow the given step by step directions and enjoy your progress.

Using Plugins. Tris provides a great list of plugins with description of functions. Some are valuable, easy already coded applications like Metrics and Multimedia

Themes. Hussey previews many of the types of Themes on Wordpress. He explains how to find what you want among the over 1000 themes available. He also details using widgets and explains parent-child themes.

Organizing Content. Finally, with Hussey's help I understand posts, pages, child pages, categories, sub categories, and tags. More importantly I appreciate the necessity of these tools.

Using Wordpress is a valuable tool. I highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to manage a superior website.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book on WordPress and setting up a website in general, June 9, 2011
This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I wish more technical books were written this well.

This is definitely one of the better WordPress books I've read over the years. Not only is a great book to get if you are new to WordPress 3 and looking for an excellent soup-to-nuts guide on how to get started, it is also a great book for newbies that explains what you have to do to secure a domain, get a webhosting account and installing WordPress. Obviously some of this info will be "old news" to more experienced folks, but fear not, there is a huge amount of useful information in this book that will be worthwhile for those people who have way more experience. I would not recommend the book to someone who has already been doing a lot of work in WordPress as there are more advanced books appropriate for those with higher skill levels.

The author does a great job of concisely explaining the basics... What DNS is, how to buy a domain, tips on selecting a webhost, the differences between wordpress.com and wordpress.org, how to install WordPress both locally and on a remote host. It's all great information presented as clearly as it could be presented.

Once you get past the basics the book delves head-on into how to set things up, how to use the Dashboard, how to setup users and assign appropriate privileges. I like all the little tips that are dispensed along the way. For instance you can have multiple Users with the same name, but each user must have a unique email address and username.

Great plugin recommendations are made and there is good discussion on SEO strategy and themes. Excellent info on themes is presented, describing what files are essential to a theme and how to make a child-theme.

It's really an amazing book. I'd call it a complete user-guide for WordPress and it is all clearly explained with no fluff. Readable, useful, wonderful.

Typos are always inevitable it seems, and this book has some. But that does not detract from the clear, concise and well-written material presented in this book. Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content, marred by flawed online implementation, December 5, 2010
This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm really aggravated by this book. Don't get me wrong, the printed content is really excellent. Even longtime Wordpress users will learn both techniques and strategy from the author Tris Hussey. His coverage of plugins and widgets is particularly strong, ensuring that the reader will be able to take full advantage of all the capabilities out there for stopping spam, managing comments, adding audio and video, tracking users and a lot more. He does focus somewhat more on the self-hosted version of Wordpress (using software downloaded from wordpress.org) vs the hosted version (available at wordpress.com), but about 70% of the content is equally applicable to both.

The aggravating part is what the publisher has done with this high quality content. First, the back cover claims that the book is for beginners. That was a mistake. Any book that describes usage of FTP, SQL, linux file permissions and web hosting cannot legitimately claim to be aimed at "beginners." Perhaps "Wordpress beginners who understand FTP," but that's another story.

But there's a bigger problem. According to the cover, this is "more than just a book." The publisher promises video tutorials, web and audio sidebars. Quoting from inside the front cover, "Don't just read about it: see it, hear it, with step-by-step video tutorials and valuable audio sidebars delivered through the Free Web Edition (emphasis by the publisher) that comes with every USING book."

I tried to access these resources. After a brief registration, I was able to view an electronic version of the text online. This is useful, in that you don't need to carry the book around to use it. The online version was clear, easily readable, and well indexed with links.

But the promised video and audio are not available. Another reviewer mentioned watching the videos, but they are not available to me, and not for lack of trying. Every video and audio link returns the message "This video not available." I attempted to troubleshoot this problem, going so far as to have a live chat with the support person for Safari Books Online, to no avail.

Here's an excerpt from the support chat session:

****************
rep: If you wish to have all features including video access, please try converting your trial account into paid account.

dave: The book says that the videos are included in the price of the book.

rep: Since you have purchased the title from our participating publisher, Safari has provided you the online access for the title as complimentary and you can access them without nay problem.

dave: How do I view the videos?

rep: However I'm not sure about providing you the feature of video access for the same title.

dave: OK, thanks anyway. Have a good day!

rep: I think converting your trial account to paid one is the way to have all features including videos. Also, I'll check with appropriate department regarding this and I'll reach you via email soon.
*****************

Here's an update: It turns out you have to register the book at quepublishing site, then use the user ID and password you create there to log into safaribooksonline site. This gives access to the videos without having to purchase a paid safari account. But that's really not the point. The multiple logins are silly. I shouldn't have to contact tech support for a book in the first place.

Summary: Five stars for a very good book for self-hosted users who want to get the most out of Wordpress. Minus one star for online content that is not ready for prime time. I didn't have the heart to deduct two stars, because the author's written product is very good.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Filled with good information, July 25, 2011
By 
Peter Holden "Pete H" (Aurora, CO United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
There is a wealth of information in this book. However, I don't think I can say you'll not need any other information. One attractive feature of the book is that it says you can go to a website to get more that integrates with the book. Nope. The links no longer work. So, on balance, you'll use this as a useful reference. But, you'll need more, especially if you have virtually no background in website design.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A friendly, useful book, December 30, 2010
By 
Rebecca Haden (Fayetteville, AR) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Using WordPress (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a WordPress fan and my company is building more and more WP sites for clients, but there is a myth about WordPress: that it's so easy that anyone can use it with no special knowledge or training. In fact, anyone can use WordPress, but you can't actually make it do what you want without some specialized knowledge.

Hussey's book provides that specialized knowledge, or at least enough of it to get you happily using and tweaking a WP site that an expert has built for you. In a friendly, clear style with lots of screenshots, this book goes through everything from getting some space on the internet (domains and hosting) to installing WP on your server, creating a website with a theme, adding multimedia to your site, and troubleshooting problems. There's a clear explanation of the difference between Wordpress.org and Wordpress.com, discussions of widgets and plug ins, and tips for making your site search friendly. In the online extra chapters, there are more advanced discussions of using CSS and FTP to customize your theme, as well as tips on handling multiple blogs and ways to get more involved in the WP community.

Each of these topics is explained in depth with numbered lists of steps for accomplishing the tasks, screens that show just how your computer will look as you go through the steps, and invitations to try it out online. The information is current, accurate, and sensible. While some of it assumes that you have some skill with your computer, the step by step actions generally are on the level of "click this, drag that" rather than "install and modify as desired."

This is a book for users of WordPress, not developers or designers, and it's the best one I've seen.
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Using WordPress, with DVD
Using WordPress, with DVD by Tris Hussey (Paperback - July 29, 2011)
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