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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just about all that most people need to know
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...
Published on May 13, 2011 by Robert Morris

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
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...
Published on December 8, 2011 by greytourist


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just about all that most people need to know, May 13, 2011
This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (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. This is especially true of explanations of plugins and cross-connections such as are now being developed at my website ([...]) that involve book reviews, interviews, and commentaries.

I highly recommend other PACKt texts such as WordPress Theme Design, WordPress 3 Site Blueprints, and WordPress 3.0 jQuery. By no means have I gained a complete understanding of all that these books cover. Fortunately, I can rely on others for the expertise that I lack. However, to repeat, a careful reading of books such as these provide the information and guidance non-technicians such as I need to understand (a) options to consider and what they offer, (b) trade-offs and the probably implications of each, and (c) the most appropriate issues to keep in mind when working with professionals.

Those who purchase this book are provided with a wealth of value-added benefits and supplementary resources that are identified on Page 4 and then at various points throughout the narrative.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic resource for people looking to start getting their hands dirty, June 7, 2011
This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (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.

The next chapter covers getting up and running with a WordPress website, whether it be on wordpress.com or a self-hosted solution. The author does a good job describing the differences between the two options, and carefully guides first timers through installing a self-hosted version of WordPress on their own server.

The third chapter is all about content generation. We're walked through creating posts, working with advanced post options, comments, categories and more. The chapter (and book as a whole) is full of up-to-date screenshots which are always helpful to beginners when walking through something technical.

Chapter 4 continues passed Posts and covers Pages, Plugins, image management, and Menus. Each of these features deserve the attention they've been given by the author, as WordPress has refined the process has some of the best systems in place to managing content or plugins. The author does take this opportunity to plug WPtouch to make your site `mobile friendly' which follows a trend of recommending specific plugins throughout the book. More often than not they're quite popular and trusted plugins, which can help beginners put the new knowledge of installing Plugins to the test.

Chapter 5 continues where chapter 4 left off and discusses the location, installation, and activation of additional WordPress themes. The WordPress Theme Directory is referenced, and you're walked through the retrieval and implementation of a theme.

In Chapter 6, the book shifts into a new gear and we're finally able to get our hands dirty with actual PHP. I like how the author approached relating an existing design and making it "WordPress friendly." It's sometimes tough to explain to someone very new to the field how to design "for" WordPress. In this case, the author took a very blog-centric approach to explaining how you should design a WordPress friendly site, and I think that's the best way to go about it. I like that you're walked through the creation of the site in static form first, and it is in turn broken out into the pieces that make a WordPress theme. That's how I build themes, and I think it's a great way to go about it.

Feeds and podcasting are examined at good length in Chapter 7. Truth be told I'm in a way surprised to see an entire chapter dedicated to feeds, but after reading it I think it was a smart decision to help those beginners looking to start a site for their podcast. All of the proper details are covered, including mention of a few popular podcasting plugins to check out.

Chapter 8 is full of material covering how to develop your own plugins and Widgets. This is arguably the most technical chapter of the book, and the author walks through the development of a plugin from the ground up to show how it's done. The plugin isn't too elaborate, which is great for beginners, but it does utilize some regular expressions which those new to PHP may find a bit confusing. It's really no big deal, but something I felt worth mentioning none-the-less.

User management is discussed thoroughly in Chapter 9, focusing on the aspect of community blogging. While community blogging seems to have gone away in the majority, in favor of single-author blogs, WordPress really does user management well, so it's great to have this covered too.

Much of the WordPress 3+ goodness is covered in Chapter 10, which details how to use WordPress for a `non-blog' website. Custom Post Types make their appearance here, and even more plugins are introduced by name (e.g. Contact Form 7) for the purpose of building a more standard website powered by WordPress.

The final chapter is titled Administrator's Reference and it covers things like backing up your WordPress site, upgrading, migrating, and other things WordPress site administrators should be aware of. It sounds like the author may have used personal experience here in covering questions that were likely repeatedly asked over time. Such details as file permissions are covered, as well as some common PHP errors that beginners are likely to bump into.

Overall reaction

One of the things I liked most about this book was the fact that it covered just about every angle WordPress had to offer without going too far over the line and becoming overbearing. The target audience (beginners) was kept in mind throughout and the author did a great job of going just far enough in her explanations of features or procedures. More often than not someone will pick up this book with the intention of utilizing WordPress as a blog platform, and the book caters to that. I spend most of my time defending the fact that WordPress moved beyond being a simple little blogging platform years ago but that's just a bias I've got personally. I'm glad WordPress 3 Complete took this approach because the fact remains that most people are introduced to WordPress as their blogging platform, and there's nothing wrong with that.

I would definitely recommend this book to newcomers to WordPress development, specifically those who have decent experience in front end development and some experience in PHP. I like that the book is structured well, easy to read, and can act as a nice reference from time to time. The instruction offered is solid and I think it makes a great addition to the WordPress educational resources available to date.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, December 8, 2011
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This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (Paperback)
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful guide and resource, March 13, 2011
By 
Kludged (Palo Alto, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (Paperback)
"WordPress 3 Complete" by April Hodge Silver is absolutely the best guide for developing and maintaining sites in WordPress. With the help of this book, I've been able to build several blogs and websites for my own use and for non-profit organizations I assist. Her explanation of shortcodes and their creative uses, for example, enabled me to produce a more functional website than I could have on my own. After my sites are up and running, I still use the book for reference. To find out more about this excellent book, see [...]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If WordPress then April., April 5, 2011
This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (Paperback)
This book covers everything from a basic introduction to blogging with WordPress to installing and managing a WordPress site to developing your own custom themes and widgets. Each subject is covered in-depth in a compartmentalized style makes it easy to focus on the topic of interest. There is also a reference section that provides quick lookup for handling day-to-day WordPress tasks. Basically, this is what you need if you are planning on setting up a WordPress site, or if you want to do more with the one you already have.

Minor problem: There are a few copyediting glitches scattered about. Not enough to detract from the content, just enough to catch the reader off guard. This is probably due to the publisher wanting to get the book into readers' hands as quickly as possible. WordPress is a moving target, constantly under development, and the sooner you get your copy the more useful it will be.

Summary: This is a highly recommended guide to the art of WordPress 3 administration written by an expert practitioner.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource!, May 18, 2011
By 
fafield (Northern California) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (Paperback)
Are you interested in building your own website / blog based on WordPress 3? I highly recommend this book as a complete introduction to WordPress for those wishing to roll their own sites. This clearly can be a very broad topic and the author gets the balance right between breadth and depth. While this sometimes leads to terse discussions of topics, it does make the book far more readable and, with care, one discovers that even the terse discussions provide enough insight to provide access to the capability in WordPress. While I do have considerable experience in computing, I had zero prior experience with WordPress, no experience in php and only limited experience in html. With the aid of this book I was able to build my own site after a fast cover-to-cover reading with additional in-depth re-reading of specific topics in the book and through links to the wordpress.org codex.

How could the book be improved? I would like to see more examples of tailoring / modifying themes to meet specific needs. Perhaps that can be the topic of a next book from this capable author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who needs WordPress for Dummies?!!, July 12, 2011
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This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (Paperback)
Don't even bother with WordPress for Dummies when WordPress 3 Complete is an awesome tool with visuals and complete guide to designing and developing websites! My co-workers have the WordPress for Dummies and guess who's book they want to borrow now? Yeah, get your own buddy! I love it!
- sjwils
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book, April 1, 2011
This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (Paperback)
Each chapter is explained with screenshot, examples, code snippet and reference if you want to learn a particular topic in detail. I would recommend this book to everyone who are new to wordpress and wants to customize your blog with custom themes and plugin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and up-to-date, July 31, 2011
This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (Paperback)
I purchased (at discount) both pdf and hardcopy directly from Packt. Chapters are well organized with just enough detail for both beginner and pro - although you should have some PHP knowledge. Coverage of Wordpress 3.0 templating methods is good but you'll need to research/experiment to do more advanced and 'selectable' templates. No matter the case, highly recommended. Thank you for an excellent reference.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not much to learn from it, November 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: WordPress 3 Complete (Paperback)
I bought this book because I thought it's about latest version of the WordPress. After read it, I found that you wouldn't learn much more from this book than from wordpress codex which is free from codex.wordpress.org/
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WordPress 3 Complete
WordPress 3 Complete by April Hodge Silver (Paperback - January 21, 2011)
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