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WordPress In Depth Paperback – February 21, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0789742759 ISBN-10: 0789742756 Edition: 1st
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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 gvDaily.com.


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 www.michaelmccallister.com.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Que Publishing; 1 edition (February 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789742756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789742759
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,737 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

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Sallie R. Goetsch on March 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
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 WordPress.com. As the authors point out, there are very few resources, online or off, devoted specifically to WordPress.com users. When I first began using WordPress in 2005, WordPress.com didn't even exist, so I never learned anything about it.
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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 By Marino Shauye on 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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