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WordPress 3 Complete Paperback – January 21, 2011

3.5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

April Hodge Silver

April has been designing and developing new web sites from scratch since 1999, just before her graduation from Columbia University. Early in her career, she worked for several web companies and startups, including DoubleClick and About.com. Since 2004, she has been self-employed through her company Springthistle Design and has worked with a staggering variety of companies, non-profits, and individuals to realize their web site dreams. In her professional work, April's focus is always on usability, efficiency, flexibility, clean design, and client happiness. WordPress is the best solution for many of Springthistle's Clients, though April also develops custom web applications using PHP and MySQL. More about April's professional work at http://springthistle.com In her free time, April enjoys developing recipes in the kitchen, bicycling, and relaxing with her daughter, dog, and darlin wife.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing; 49303rd edition (January 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781849514101
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849514101
  • ASIN: 1849514100
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #698,929 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
The reference to the word "complete" in this book's title correctly suggests that almost anyone can read (preferably re-read) and then apply what is learned when creating a website or blog "from scratch." In my case, I had retained professionals to do much of the work for me but reading this book as well as others published by Packt enabled me to become a much better-informed and more effective contributor to our collaboration. After identifying the "what" of that process, she devotes the bulk of her attention to the "how" and occasionally the "why."

Chapter 1: A "super easy-to-use" briefing on what WordPress offers
2: How to complete WP installations and connections
3: How to add and then manage content
4: A briefing/walk-through on non-blogging content and applications
5: How to manage the website's basic look
6: How to make your own theme (i.e. design and layout)
7: A briefing/walk-through on RSS feeds and podcasting
8: A briefing/walk-through on developing plugins and widgets
9: How to manage members of a community of users
10: How to create a non-blog website
11: Coverage of most important administrator tasks for WP-driven website

Note: I invoke the term "walk-through" for Chapters 4, 7 and 8 because Silver literally guides her reader through a step-by-step sequence to complete hundreds of incremental tasks that first involve installations and then modifications and refinements.

I also appreciate so much the fact that, whenever appropriate, Silver and her associates create a context, a frame-of-reference, when explaining how and why one (apparently small) component functions in relationship (i.e. coordination) with others.
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Format: Paperback
Who WordPress 3 Complete is for

Narrowing down an audience for this book was pretty straightforward. I would suggest this book to a developer who caught wind of WordPress at some point and was interested in finding out more about it. I'd even suggest this book to a seasoned developer looking to give WordPress a trial run to see how it compares to their system of choice.

The biggest barrier to entry here would be that you'd need to have existing experience with HTML/CSS, and written at least some PHP before reading. It would also help if you've had some first hand experience using WordPress. Not necessarily developing a theme or plugin, but interacting with a WordPress install prior to reading the book will be that much more helpful.

Subject matter

WordPress 3 Complete is divided into 11 chapters, but could also be divided into two parts. The first `part' consists of chapters 1-5 and lays the foundation of WordPress, what it's all about, and how to use it out of the box. Chapters 6-11 get you writing code and discusses theme building, plugin development, and other more intermediate subjects. What I like about that format is that WordPress' core nature is put flat out on the table for exploration from the start. The author discusses where WordPress came from and shows what WordPress does best.

Chapter 1 guides you through the background of WordPress, and since the book is titled WordPress 3 Complete, the author takes the time to point out what it is about WordPress 3 that sets it apart from previous versions. Not completely necessary, but since WordPress 3 was truly a ground-breaking release, I'm glad the subject was given the attention it was.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The glowing reviews that induced me to purchase this book have been followed by reviews that more closely mirror my own disappointment. Indeed, the book is concise, easy to read, and covers a lot of stuff appropriate to wordpress.org users, but is far too vague in guiding the user through the details of wordpress website implementation. Chapter 10, pertaining to setting up a non-blog or mixed website using wordpress as a CMS, one of the claimed strengths of the book, is particularly irritating. It basically throws out working with potentially capable available themes and dives straight into hard-core html and css coding. Many users of Wordpress, particularly the beginners that this book claims to be written for, would appreciate and might be better served by a less draconian approach that capitalizes on the excellent theme programming that is already out there.
I would characterize the book less as a detailed tutorial and guide to Wordpress and more as a general overview better used by the "IT-confident user" mentioned in passing in the introduction to leverage his/her html and css coding skills "to produce an impressive website". Indeed, much of the details seem to have been left to a companion guide often referenced in the text.
In truth, I have found no Wordpress guidebooks that have been both truly tutorial and truly comprehensive in their approach such that the Wordpress codex, that confusing cornucopia of infomration, either need not be referenced or can be utilized more effectively. It appears that the world of html/css and Wordpress programming is changing so rapidly that it is extremely difficult for any printed guidebook to be adequate to the task of training beginners wanting to do anything but simple blogging. It seems that the only practical way to get something special done in Wordpress, like in Joomla or Drupal, is to pay an expert to help you, and to preface that with a good hands-on course on basic html/css coding. Book-learning? Phfah.
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