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This is Lisa Sabin-Wilson's 3rd Edition of her bedrock "WordPress For Dummies". I own all three editions and each is thicker and filled with more knowledge than the prior edition. If anyone asks me how to learn, manage and use WordPress, this is what I recommend.

It is truly A through Z coverage. Sabin-Wilson is, in my opinion, one of the best technical writers around. Her language is clear, uncluttered and free of artifice.

Logically enough, she begins at the very beginning explaining what WordPress can do for you. To her credit, she doesn't hold it out as a panacea for all that ails you. She doesn't promise you that you'll earn millions or will win public office. Sabin-Wilson simply tells you how to set up your blog and then moves progressively into the minutiae of creating and managing a WordPress blog. (And yes, operating a blog is like most other things in the world - a series of small details that you must repeatedly (i.e., daily or thereabouts) attend to. In fact, one of the chapters is appropriately entitled "Establishing Your Blog Routine".

"Wordpress For Dummies" is thorough. The WordPress Dashboard is explained as is the use and, perhaps more importantly, the customization of themes. (With WordPress, your blog or website can look however you like it, but getting it right is not necessarily simple.)

Another important Sabin-Wilson covers in some detail is using WordPress as a Content Management System. Although she treats it in some detail, I personally wish that she would write a book on this subject alone.

In all, none of the other WordPress books I've read - and there are quite a few of them - measure up to the standard that Linda Sabin-Wilson has set in all three editions of "WordPress For Dummies". Each edition has been extensively revised to stay as current as possible with WordPress releases.

A total delight to read and use, it is, in my opinion, the gold standard for learning, managing and using WordPress.

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on November 20, 2010
If you want to learn WordPress there are much better written and more complete books out there. This book is severely disappointing in a way that Dummies books rarely are. The author touts herself as an expert and there's no doubt she knows some things about WordPress. However, her writing is not that great and you'll find that you're left with more questions about certain things about WordPress than you were before you read the book.

If you want to hear about how great Lisa is, buy the book. She uses every opportunity to showcase her site and things she's done, tooting her horn as only people who are self-described "experts" tend to do. Again, I am not used to this type of flagrant self-promotion in a Dummies book. It's annoying.

The author has capitalized on the fact that she "wrote the book" on WordPress, but it isn't written well or that great of a book.

Check out "Digging Into WordPress" or "WordPress Bible" for truly great resources.

Beginners would be wise to take advantage of the free WordPress codex: it's the official manual for WordPress. There are specific sections for people new to WordPress there. Also check out for how-to videos.
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on October 23, 2010
I bought the book about three weeks ago and still have my WordPress site hanging by threads, not completed. Although I'm not really a computer "Dummy," I found the book either too simple or not well organized ... and I really don't know which. All I know is after spending several hours trying to figure out how to configure the basic template recommended to do what I wanted to do, I lost interest and decided to "think about it." I found the explanations too often reverted to a programming language which I didn't speak: It looked like I needed to study PHP as a prerequisite.

The book seems to be full of good information, but at least for me, it was hard to convert all the info into a workable WordPress site. I'm sure it could be done, but I'm looking for another book.
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on October 27, 2010
Lisa Sabin Wilson did not write this book for the novice. The book is difficult to follow, having you jump back and forth to learn basic tasks. It is written more for one who has experience in designing websites or blogs.
Wilson should have referenced to a basic sample blog on the internet that she could have created and then using the book, walked the reader through each step of the dashboard as to how the site or blog was created. Her basic information is already on the WordPress site. The illustrations are difficult to read.
I can not recommend this book.
I have used many ....For Dummies books over the years and this is the poorest I have purchased in teaching one who wants to set up a blog. She is a BIG fan of WordPress and it comes through in the book.
Most learners just want to set up a blog, and do not want to become expert bloggers as this book spends many pages on.
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on July 23, 2011
Putting together a website, but never did one before. I heard great reviews for WordPress, & got the site up and running pretty easily, but but wanted to add links, RSS feeds, etc.

Well aware of my ignorance, I bought "Wordpress for Dummies" (WFD) - confident that the book was titled just for me. My first goal was to add some hyperlinks to help people navigate the site. I started by looking in the WFD index for "hyperlink" - WFD had no entry for hyperlink. (Aren't those things called hyperlinks?)

So I searched the index for "Links" - WFD had a plethora of listings for "Links." It talked about "link lists," "pretty links," "not so pretty links," "ugly permalinks," "link relationship (XFN) options," and "ordered/unordered links." (I had no idea what ANY of those are!) I NEVER found a place in WFD where it said, "to add a link... do this..." (Not saying it's not there somewhere... just that I never found it.)

My fears were confirmed! I was far "dummer" than the WFD author anticipated! (Do they have a book for people who are too dumb to understand Wordpress for Dummies?)

In desperation, it turned to the WordPress online help. Fearing the worst.

I was amazed! WordPress online help showed EXACTLY how to add links! It was EASY! Within five minutes I was adding links all over the site!

So... If you are new to WordPress and thinking of buying this book, my advice would be to visit the WordPress online help and forums first!
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VINE VOICEon May 23, 2011
Why could this book not have been more helpful then it turned out to be...

The author had moments when it should have been. The entire point of this book is to make our use of WordPress.Org something that if we don't master after reading the book and can make a website as well as the authors, at least start the process of making our own websites. A dummies book for just and blogging would take all of 50 pages and Dummies can't charge you $25 for that.

What goes wrong, oh so much. One is that there is not enough dummy humor. Always useful to break up the monotony of computer learning. But that is a minor point. The major problem of Sabin-Wilson is that she thinks to start telling the readers how to master their use of the software. A good thing, except that she fails miserably at telling us how to use the items.

She will have endless tables throughout the book that will tell us the name of a parameter, the information the programming tag. Such as charset, Character settings set in Settings/General, <?php bloginfo ('charset'); ?> and then does not tell us how to use that, or any of the other long lists and wasted pages of text she devotes to such lists. Even the programming code she took us through in her putting a theme together does not work, and has inconsistencies from her step by step instruction to the code she copied and pasted at the end of it.

Those are the features that should have made this book a powerful tool. Instead it becomes fluff letting you know that Wordpress is powerful but you need to spend money again to find a teacher who actually covers the material in how you can use it. Not who give you lists of the nouns and verbs you can use, but without the rules of what a noun or a verb is in the context of comparing grammar to Wordpress programming.

I have been programming in a lot of languages long enough to know that I can push it and get something out of this book. I can use the list of tens, but this book is not worth $25. If it is worth $10, that is a stretch.
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on December 30, 2010
This is an okay book for getting started,but leaves a lot of questions in the mind of the novice WordPress user. I am familiar with CSS and HTML, so am not a newcomer to coding, but some of her statements leave one dangling wondering what in the world she's talking about. For example, when talking about "refining posts" the following is said: "Custom fields: Custom fields add extra data to your posts and are fully configurable by you." Okay - what kind of data? Why would you want to do that? Example??? On page 254-on making titles clickable, she gives code, but no explicit instructions as to where the code should go. It would be helpful to show the whole block of code with the added code inserted and highlighted. Over all the illustrations are very poor and you have to really search to see what she's talking about. Also the interface I see on my WordPress installation doesn't match at all what she shows, although I am using the most up to date version. I'm pretty frustrated at this point, but will keep plugging away trying to figure it out. I would recommend buying this book secondhand, or borrowing it from the library, not dropping $25.00 on it.
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on October 5, 2010
Before buying this book I examined at least a half dozen of the competitors. Many of which are twice the price of WordPress for Dummies. Lisa Sabin-Wilson's latest WordPress for Dummies book is the best book available at this time for WordPress newbies.

It starts in the right place choosing how you will publish / host WordPress. Wilson explains both options with the pro's and con's of each. It's an important decision and the information she provides is helpful.

Chapters are sequenced properly with few references to something written in an earlier chapter. This kept me from flipping back and forth between chapters to setup this or that feature on my website. Each chapter provides explanations, examples, and sidebars with the "why this is important" information. Read all of it, you'll be glad you did.

Included in the book are detailed instructions for creating your own template, extending WordPress as a CMS platform and more. This takes you beyond a WordPress newbie.

If you intend to build a website you should strongly consider WordPress. It's a mature application and easy to learn. Unlike many opensource applications the documentation is great and it has been designed from the ground up with the the end user in mind as opposed to other applications which are designed to be used by a programmer,IT pro or advanced user.

After reading this book I have a website setup with a static front page, replete with many features found at very expensive hard to create websites. I am pleased with what the book has helped me create. I have used the book to tweak / troubleshoot something on my website as I continue to add to it. I think it will be a reference for me for some time.

I find the "Dummy" part of the title of the book series offensive but you would be hard pressed (pun intended) to find a better WordPress book than "WordPress for Dummies" by Lisa Sabin-Wilson. It makes learning something new fun!
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on November 18, 2013
I needed to get started building WordPress sites, and this book did it for me.

The Dummies books are what I turn to when I need to learn a new piece of software or a new programming language. I have a grad degree in computer science, but still find that the complete explanations of the Dummies books are especially useful when you don't have a teacher to handle questions.

This book does a good job of explaining the WordPress environment. I found it useful--but I skipped some parts intended for beginners, and I think it would also be excellent for beginners as well.

The author is clearly a fan of WordPress, but she doesn't make everything look perfect. Every product has its disadvantages. and Lisa does a good job of laying out the pitfalls of working with WordPress.
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on February 10, 2011
I am a big Dummies book fan--and all I can honestly say is that this thing is hard and dense. You really need to have a fairly decent knowledge of code and technical jargon and know-how; which I don't--hence, I bought the Dummies book. I have now posted an ad on Craig's List to hire someone to custom design a template for me--which is what I wanted to do in the first place. The WP Blog is very helpful, and provides tons of information on how to work WP and it is free. This was not for me.
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