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WordPress In Depth [Paperback]

Bud E. Smith , Michael McCallister
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

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WordPress In Depth (2nd Edition) WordPress In Depth (2nd Edition) 4.0 out of 5 stars (38)
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Book Description

February 21, 2010 0789742756 978-0789742759 1

Advice and techniques that you need to get the job done.


Looking for ways to streamline your work so you can focus on maximizing your time? In Depth provides specific, tested, and proven solutions to the problems you run into every day–things other books ignore or oversimplify. This is the one book that you can rely on to answer the questions you have now and will have in the future.


In Depth offers

  • Comprehensive coverage with detailed solutions
  • Breakthrough techniques and shortcuts that are unavailable elsewhere
  • Practical, real-world examples with nothing glossed over or left out
  • Troubleshooting help for tough problems you can’t fix on your own
  • Outstanding authors recognized worldwide for their expertise and teaching style
  • Quick information via sidebars, tips, reminders, notes, and warnings


In Depth is the only tool you need to get more done in less time!


Includes coverage on blog creation, widgets, plug-ins, themes, SEO, the platform, and software


Frequently Bought Together

WordPress In Depth + HTML5 & CSS3 Visual QuickStart Guide (7th Edition)
Price for both: $44.51

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bud Smith wrote his first book for Que about buying computers fifteen years ago–and had to do his online research for it using dial-up Internet. Since then, he’s lived and worked in Silicon Valley; London, England; Auckland and Christchurch New Zealand; and San Francisco and written a dozen more books. And he does most of his online work at broadband speeds–except when he’s using the Web on his cell phone, which is slower than his old dial-up modem. Bud runs a WordPress-based blog at


Michael McCallister is devoted to the idea that technology need not be feared and can be mastered by anyone. He has been writing about technology in general and open source software in particular, for the whole of the twenty-first century and part of the last century, too. He tries to help build the open source community, from which derives WordPress and so much else that is good, true, and pure in life (the parts of life that run on computers, anyway). While Bud has moved hither and yon, Michael has lived the relatively boring, stable life in the central United States (Milwaukee, Madison, and Boulder). Michael has been running “Notes from the Metaverse” on WordPress since 2006 at

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (February 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789742756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789742759
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,525,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike McCallister is devoted to the idea that technology need not be feared, and can be mastered by anyone. After all, he grew up in the days when computers filled entire rooms, and spent 13 years as a civil service clerk doing nothing more technical than recording WordPerfect macros.

He is devoted to making computing easier for the full spectrum of user levels and experience. As a technical communicator, freelance computer magazine writer, and book author, he understands that ordinary people can and should make the most of their tools.

Besides Linux, WordPress and other open source software, interests include tools for communicating via the Web (blogs, social networks, wikis, and the like) and bridging the digital divide.

McCallister has been running Linux as his primary day-to-day desktop operating system since 1999, but he also documents software for a variety of platforms.

He writes a technology-oriented blog, Notes from the Metaverse. His technology stories have been published in places like:
Java Developer's Journal

He is a compulsive joiner. Among the relevant groups: Senior Member of the Society for Technical Communication, and president of the Wisconsin chapter; Web414, Milwaukee's Web Community; and the National Writers Union, UAW Local 1981.

He absolutely loves going to BarCamps and BarCamp-style events, especially BarCampMilwaukee. Occasionally, you'll also find him at the Milwaukee Linux Users Group

When he's not staring at computer screens (which he admittedly finds strangely alluring), you'll often find him trying to make the world a better place. Or reading, watching a baseball game or other sporting event (live or on TV), hanging out with the grandkids and walking around urban landscapes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best for Users March 25, 2010
A representative of Pearson Education spotted me on the LinkedIn WordPress group and offered me a review copy of this book, and a second one to give away at the East Bay WordPress Meetup. That was more than a month ago, but I wanted to do justice to all 432 pages and actually read the book in as much depth as it had been written.

Not surprisingly, my fine-toothed comb revealed a handful of typos and printing errors, which I've pointed out to Pearson so they can be corrected in the next edition. They're all fairly minor and I won't mention them here.

There was only one omission really worth the name, and it made me wonder how many other experienced WordPress users might have overlooked this feature when it came out, because I'm pretty sure the authors aren't the only ones. More on that in a minute.

The book is detailed but not excessively technical. I wouldn't give it to my mom, but anyone who is computer-literate should find it accessible. The style is clear, the directions easy to follow, and the decisions about what to put in sidebars and callout boxes logical. There are plenty of illustrations and some impressively detailed tables. The book design, like the writing style, is workmanlike: it gets the job done effectively, without being especially beautiful or inspiring. (You want a WordPress book that's beautiful, go take a look at Digging into WordPress.)

The most important thing to know about WordPress in Depth is that the first 226 pages are dedicated to As the authors point out, there are very few resources, online or off, devoted specifically to users. When I first began using WordPress in 2005, didn't even exist, so I never learned anything about it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a confident user of wordpress, having installed my own premium theme and customized it using google and online tutorials. I'm nervous but comfortable tinkering with my site. I hoped this book might give me some deeper understanding of some simple php or css things I could do to personalize my blog more or just understand it better and use it with more confidence. I'd definitely like to upload my own audio files and understand my options for video in greater depth, too.

But this book did not go "in depth" as the title suggests. They do give some instructions for doing some simple things, but they waste a good portion of the book on inserting images or what each of the things in the kitchen sink does, which is not necessary for most users - if you've used Word before, you can figure out the kitchen sink with little effort. I didn't really get any helpful explanations of how to do the in-depth things that I want to do.

I also hoped for more tips on how to make wordpress more secure (since I got hacked a few months back even with a premium theme), but they didn't even cover the basics of security that I could find, instead telling us to go to a blog post online at someone else's site.

I thought when ordering this book that if it was too basic for me, that I could send it to my Dad, who is a newbie at wordpress and has his own fresh new blog. But because the authors switch back and forth from wp dot com and wp dot org, I could just imagine the phone calls between me and my Dad, with him insisting that he knows how to do something and can I tell him why it isn't working the way it's pictured, and me telling him - you have a wordpress dot org site, please make sure you're following the dot org directions.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent WordPress Resource May 25, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you're just starting out with WordPress, or are looking to spruce up your existing WP blog, this book is for you.

It's well-written, well-organized, and easy to understand even if you're not a propeller head. I use it as a reference book, so instead of reading it from cover to cover, it's dog-eared from flipping back and forth between sections I look up, though, it is possible to read it from start to finish if you're so inclined.

The book is very thorough, so if you have basic questions like "Should I use the free WordPress dot com, or invest a bit in the dot org version?" it's all broken down for you so you can make an educated decision. It takes you step-by-step from setting up your blog, to publishing your first posts. Then it gets more advanced with details such as how to add widgets, include images and audio/video, and how to track visitors. It even covers plug-ins and CSS and PHP, if you want to get into the nitty-gritty. Don't be alarmed if this is starting to sound scary. Even if you're not a code monkey, you'll be able to edit CSS and PHP at the basic level thanks to the easy-to-follow steps.

As a bonus, you're also treated to a free online version of the book, so you can cut and paste code and easily search what you are looking for. The free online edition is accessible for 45 days after you activate it. A handy tool when you need to find something fast.

I would highly recommend this book if you're jumping into the world of WordPress. If you are using the free dot com version of WordPress and are already comfortable posting there, you may find this isn't your cup of tea. But for those exploring the platform for the first time, or those who want to expand their existing blog presence, this book will prove to be an invaluable addition to your library.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction for Veteran Web Developers
I ordered this book to learn more about WordPress, which I had pigeonholed primarily as a basic blogging site. Read more
Published 14 months ago by CG
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful reference book for WordPress
This is a good reference book for me. Instead of reading it from cover to cover, I look through the book, and then zoom in to the sections that I am really interested in. Read more
Published on June 23, 2012 by GreenExamEducation(dot)com
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book for users
"WordPress In Depth" is probably the best book available for WordPress bloggers that utilize the hosting platform. Read more
Published on March 22, 2012 by Wildness
3.0 out of 5 stars In depth? Not really, but it's hard to walk the line.
I"m not a WordPress novice. After creating several blogs on and then creating two full websites with a hosted (WordPress. Read more
Published on July 23, 2011 by M. Donnelly
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for WordPress beginners
The title is a little misleading. It is very in depth, but from a beginner's perspective. If you've ever had experience designing or developing for WordPress, the first two thirds... Read more
Published on June 30, 2011 by Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Seek the newer version
This is the older version, a new version has been updated.

The book is quite good, covers a wide range of all the plugins you could need and more. Read more
Published on April 28, 2011 by Jason
1.0 out of 5 stars No table of contents in Kindle edition!
This review is specific to the Kindle edition. I perused the book on the Amazon website and it looked great, so I downloaded for Kindle, only to find that there's no table of... Read more
Published on March 9, 2011 by mpaphd
4.0 out of 5 stars Great WordPress Book
I spent about 3 weeks reading this book. It is a well written book that
covers almost anything related to WordPress. It is very comprehensive. Read more
Published on February 21, 2011 by Nev Okyay
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reference
WordPress in Depth serves as a great reference for users of WordPress whether they be novice or more advanced. Read more
Published on February 15, 2011 by midnight821
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for those w/ rudimentary web knowledge
After taking a few web design classes and hearing positive reviews from friends about WordPress, I gave it a shot. Read more
Published on January 23, 2011 by K. Kasabian
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