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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Missing Manual" is an apt description
Getting started with WordPress is a lot scarier than it has to be. I struggled at first, trying the online documentation, which is written more like an encyclopedia rather than an instruction guide. I made a lot of mistakes along the way.

To give you an example of something that confused me when I first got started, just the phrase "WordPress" can be confusing...
Published 23 months ago by Masa

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76 of 108 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only For Wordpress.com-- Beware!
I don't like to write a negative review about any Missing Manual. This series is so useful, and Matthew McDonald really knows how to break down complex programs into understandable explanations. But this one is advertised inaccurately and is really kind of deceptive. It looks great at first-- sections on installation, building the blog, plugins, etc. etc etc. BUT.... this...
Published 24 months ago by Anise


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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Missing Manual" is an apt description, November 20, 2012
By 
Masa (San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
Getting started with WordPress is a lot scarier than it has to be. I struggled at first, trying the online documentation, which is written more like an encyclopedia rather than an instruction guide. I made a lot of mistakes along the way.

To give you an example of something that confused me when I first got started, just the phrase "WordPress" can be confusing if you don't have someone explain it to you. The term "Wordpress" refer to the software (which you can run yourself or get an account on a hosted site), wordpress.org is where you get the software (and docs on how to install it), and wordpress.com is where you get an account on a hosted installation.

What I like the most about this book is that it applies a lot of structure to learning how to get results with WordPress. This Missing Manual puts these items into perspective, making it very clear how to get going with wordpress.org/wordpress.com (Note that the Amaazon reviewer who stated that this book is only for wordpress.com is incorrect. In fact, installation is covered starting in chapter 3).

Instead of trying to teach you how every knob works, it teaches how to get started, make your first post, then start customizing with the existing tools, then customizing with add ons and changes to themes.

My favorite part of the book is explanation of how the gallery system and adding audio/visual elements. Very nice to have it explained in a way that I can now see the big picture of what's going on, and how to add things like carousel.

I like the number of screenshots of the topic being explained and the results of what happens. That element is a welcome change to anyone who's spent a lot of time with just the online docs.

There are two things I would have liked to have seen different. One, I think the book could benefit from a chapter that explained how to get started and posting in X number of steps. As it stands, the book is thorough but it takes over a 100 pages until you know how to post content. Getting some results quickly right off the bat (or at least explain the steps of what needs to be done to get results) would help people start feeling successful right away.

The second thing I would have liked to have seen is some focus on building one site rather than jumping around several. There are many different web sites used as examples. It would have been nice to seen how one site gets built from the ground up rather than flipping around so many pre-built examples.

That said though, I think the missing manual is very valuable, and easily one of the best ways to get to know how to use it. Now I can finally enjoy using Wordpress without all of the frustration I had before.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WordPress for Unknowns & Know-It-Alls, November 5, 2012
This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
Title: WordPress: The Missing Manual
Author: Matthew MacDonald
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-449-30984-8

In the beginning of his book, "WordPress: The Missing Manual," Matthew MacDonald writes about the website, WordPress, "You probably realize that it's a brilliant tool for creating a huge variety of websites, from gossipy blogs to serious business sites. However, you might be a bit fuzzy on the rest of the equation - how WordPress actually works its magic, and how you can use WordPress to achieve your own website vision."

With five hundred and forty-five pages, this softbound, thick book is one of "the missing manual" series that states, "the book that should have been in the box." Geared to anyone who wants to know more about practically any topic, these books cater to the minutiae missing when one wants to learn, use and expand knowledge regarding a subject. This issue is about the famous online blogging website, WordPress, and how to maneuver within it.

The book is arranged into five sections regarding the nuances of WordPress: starting, building, supercharging, customizing and appendixes. Designed as a textbook, one can easily search a topic via the fourteen page index or flip through the pages, as each top corner has a shaded square stating its contents. In addition to step by step instructions in each chapter, there are bolded, highlighted and boxed tip and note sections along with photographed computer screens depicting directions, samples and pointed areas discussed.
There are two distinct ways to approach WordPress - setting up the simple free hosting service or installing their software on another web host (self-hosting) for a monthly fee. Both types of sites are thoroughly discussed and explained early in the book and then shown their differences and applications throughout the chapters.

In the first chapter, one learns how to sign up and set up a blog or install the more complicated self-host option. The second chapter explains how to create a post, choose a theme, energize written posts, add pages and alter visitors' content. The third chapter discusses the more complicated plug-ins, adding media, maintaining users and attracting a crowd. The final chapter concentrates on the more complicated and in-depth self-hosting avenue. The appendixes offer both migration and useful websites for more assistance.

This knowledgeable manual is the perfect tool to keep nearby if one has a WordPress blog and either does not know where to start or has to correct, change or trouble-shoot his or her own self-hosted blog site. Kudos to MacDonald for writing and explaining such a complicated topic in layman's "computerese."
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great "starter" for WordPress, March 18, 2013
By 
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This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
WordPress: The Missing Manual is an excellent tutorial for someone who has general web site building knowledge but wants to learn how to build a site using WordPress. The book introduces the various components of WordPress in a logical and orderly manner so that a "newbie" can learn how the trees make up the forest. The books strikes a good balance in providing sufficient detail to be useful without overwhelming. Prior to reading this book, I had purchased another WordPress manual and also had done a fair amount of material related to WordPress on the web. However, it wasn't until I read this book that I felt comfortable about tackling a project in WordPress. Also, the other reference materials that I had read approached WordPress from a blog perspective and then kind of threw in "oh, by the way, you can also do more conventional websites", whereas this book balanced the two uses for WordPress. Before purchasing this book, I was concerned by review comments which indicated that the book was biased towards using WordPress.com versus using WordPress on a site hosted elsewhere. I did not find this to be the case; in fact, I thought that the author was very conscientious about explaining the differences between the two situations.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete information at Last!, November 23, 2012
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This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
The first book I read for guidance on using this web-design software is "Wordpress: 24-hour Trainer." It has some strong points, but it left me with loose ends and questions. This book, "Wordpress: The Missing Manual," provides full information and includes answers to all my questions. Admittedly, I'm only about 3/4s through the book at this point, but I have been fully satisfied with each section so far. It provides clear priorities and clear instructions about pursuing those priorities, and inspires me to proceed to implementing new ideas. I prefer to focus on the content of my website, rather than to tinker with the technology, so this book provides just the level of technical information that I need to pursue my objectives.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Covers Self Hosting (.org) and Wordpress.com Hosted Blogs, December 8, 2012
By 
J. W. Rine (Madison, MS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
WordPress: The Missing Manual is a comprehensive guide to using the popular blogging/CMS software. Many comparisons are made between the blog hosting service at WordPress.com and installing the WordPress software downloaded from WordPress.org in what would be described as a self hosting environment. Reviews stating that the book only addresses blogs hosted at at WordPress.com are inaccurate and misleading. This book covers self hosting WordPress as well as WordPress.com hosted blogs.

I found this book to be informative and well written. It contains numerous screen shots of actual WordPress configurations screens and detailed step by step instructions for doing various tasks. The book is organized to get the reader's blog up and running quickly and then advances to more challenging tasks.

Links to the WordPress Codex and other resources are abundant and useful for additional information. For example, using shortcodes to embed video is discussed in the media chapter and a link to the Codex provides additional information regarding parameters available for use.

The book has two Appendixes that may be very useful depending on your situation. The first details how to migrate an existing blog from WordPress.com hosting to a self hosted environment. The other Appendix lists useful links by chapter.

I would recommend this book. There is a wealth of information available that ties in nicely with the Codex, which at times can be a bit obtuse. At 558 pages this book is not a lightweight. I would rate this book as best for novice to intermediate users.

Disclosure: I received a free ebook copy for review purposes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As the "missing manual"--perfect, January 18, 2013
This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
First, understand that "missing manual" does not mean that it's an exhaustive treatise, but instructions to get you going. In that respect, this is an excellent manual for someone who doesn't know anything at all about Wordpress, someone who needs to learn the landscape and the lingo. It does this quickly and succinctly, fills in the gaps left from Web-surfing the subject, and leaves you knowing where you want to go next.

Think of it as an indepth "tour guide" of Wordpress-Land. It won't make you a native, but you'll know your way around.
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76 of 108 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Only For Wordpress.com-- Beware!, November 3, 2012
By 
Anise (Portland, OR) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
I don't like to write a negative review about any Missing Manual. This series is so useful, and Matthew McDonald really knows how to break down complex programs into understandable explanations. But this one is advertised inaccurately and is really kind of deceptive. It looks great at first-- sections on installation, building the blog, plugins, etc. etc etc. BUT.... this applies ONLY to wp.com. There's a short section at the end on using WP.org, and that's it. Why wasn't all of the content on the only variety of WP worth bothering with? Who knows.

This could have been so useful for people running blogs on WP who are not experts. It's hard to find and digest and learn all of the WP information you need to know, and the expert techies can be very rude when all you're doing is trying to learn by asking questions.What a wonderful resource this book could have been. But it isn't. I'm giving it two stars because I do think that it's useful for those who actually have the .com version.

In short, the title is "Wordpress: The Missing Manual." NOT "Wordpress.com: The Missing Manual." But the second title would have been accurate; the first one is not.That tells you all you need to know. This book will be returned.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars For Wordpress.com Only, September 5, 2013
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This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
If you have installed Wordpress on your site and wish to tinker with it, this is not the book for you.
90% of it concerns wordpress.com only, so if you downloaded from wordpress.org, you're just out of luck as far as this manual is concerned.
If I had known this beforehand, I would have never bought this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but not great, January 30, 2014
By 
William Meyer (Suwanee, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
As seems often to be the case, this volume contains essential information, and is well presented, but stops short of answering more than the basic questions a new user might have. It is a quick read, and MacDonald's exposition is well written. Still, I had hoped for more depth, which is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good manual for someone starting with a full version of WordPress, January 5, 2014
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This review is from: WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) (Paperback)
Not the best manual for someone updating and working on a website already developed by a WordPress expert. Did not give me really what I was looking for.
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WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) by Matthew MacDonald (Paperback - October 29, 2012)
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