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4.0 out of 5 stars Before I read this little book, I knew very ...
Before I read this little book, I knew very little about creating a website from scratch but by the time I'd finished it, I was able to create and maintain our church's website with ease. About 3/4 of the way through it got a bit 'heavy' but I stuck with it. There's enough in the beginning to at least start the project. The book gets deeper as you read through it. I...
Published 3 months ago by Jill Marley

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Publisher pedigree promised much, but this book delivers little.
I wanted to really like this book. I grabbed this book on impulse from the library, as I've had a great experience with Visual Quickstart books in the past. I dove into this book, wanting to learn a lot from it and give it a glowing review. However, I came out pretty disappointed. As I was reading through the book, I was basically finding one issue after another. I tried...
Published on May 12, 2012 by Molly Rose


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Publisher pedigree promised much, but this book delivers little., May 12, 2012
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This review is from: WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
I wanted to really like this book. I grabbed this book on impulse from the library, as I've had a great experience with Visual Quickstart books in the past. I dove into this book, wanting to learn a lot from it and give it a glowing review. However, I came out pretty disappointed. As I was reading through the book, I was basically finding one issue after another. I tried to read through the entire book to give it a chance, but I couldn't care enough to reach the final chapters.

First issue: The chapters don't offer more information than what Wordpress itself gives. As I'm reading the chapters, I'm following along in my Wordpress site. Wordpress itself does a decent job describing what each section, option, and feature does; the book just echoes this information, and no more. In fact, several sections of the book seem to just paraphrase what Wordpress had to say. I could, instead of reading first ten chapters of the book, just browsed through each page of the Wordpress backend, and learned just as much of what the book tried to teach. There were many topics where I wished the book could have explained a feature with more depth than it or Wordpress did.

Second issue: There are a few redundant sections and style inconsistencies throughout the book, that made it seem there were little communication between the two authors about who would write about what topic. One example of this was discussing the Discussion Settings page - that was gone over twice in two separate chapters. The general style inconsistency was in how the images and visuals were arranged around the two-column text: some chapters, the images were many and took up the second column on the page, in other chapters, the images were few and took the bottom spread of the page, or on it's own page separate from the text that would reference it (which made the book seem odd to be called a "Visual Quickstart Guide").

Third issue: The casual tossing-around of PHP code. The authors seem to assume the reader is already familiar with how to read and understand PHP code, or assume their PHP examples would be easy enough that readers don't have to know anything about PHP beforehand. Well, I've had no serious exposure to PHP code before picking up this book, and many of the given examples were easy enough to work with. But for the more complicated examples, where the authors just dump 10-15 long lines of code, the tight two-column book layout made the PHP snippets hard for my newbie brain to digest.

Fourth issue: conflicting instructions with using the PHP code examples. In the PHP customization chapters, the authors tell you to insert certain snippets into certain files of the Wordpress site, to get certain results. The first problem with this, is that it's only in the SECOND CHAPTER of the PHP customization chapters, do the authors mention what Wordpress theme these chapters are meant to work with. The second problem is in that even using the right Wordpress theme to be following the book's instructions, some of the PHP snippets the book said to add to the theme files, are actually already in the files. I don't know what the damage would be for adding in repeat sections of PHP code in the Wordpress theme files, but the authors don't address the possibility.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Before I read this little book, I knew very ..., October 3, 2014
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Jill Marley (Queensland, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
Before I read this little book, I knew very little about creating a website from scratch but by the time I'd finished it, I was able to create and maintain our church's website with ease. About 3/4 of the way through it got a bit 'heavy' but I stuck with it. There's enough in the beginning to at least start the project. The book gets deeper as you read through it. I admit I have a teaching background in basic IT so perhaps not a complete novice to computers.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not presented well, February 19, 2014
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This review is from: WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
Overall, this is a good book because it has a nice screen shot illustration on almost every page which really helps. The only reason I gave it 3 stars is because the way the information was presented was really out of order and can leave you confused. As an example, . . . in Chapter One they're already talking about how to back-up your files? Why do I need to know that now? I don't even know how to use this program yet!! The author knows the subject well, but doesn't know how to explain it to someone from the very beginning, and also doesn't realize what information is vitally important for a new user and what information can wait. Because of that, if you read the book twice you'll understand it a lot better the second time you read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for the beginner and beyond., December 2, 2013
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This review is from: WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
Covers both beginner and intermediate topics well. Almost every point is illustrated so the book does not have to be read at the computer. Note there is now a 3rd edition.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Functional and easy to comprehend..., July 11, 2013
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I own a variety of visual quick start guides and I believe this one helped me get an A in my course... Not bad...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Guide, June 16, 2013
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This review is from: WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
I'm a novice at WordPress and I can follow this book. Well written for newbies and also for not so newbies.
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2.0 out of 5 stars so boring., January 18, 2015
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This review is from: WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
blah book. so boring.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some books are to be tasted: WorkPress overview by Jessica and Matt Beck, March 26, 2012
By 
Joel Solkoff (State College, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) (Paperback)
One of my father's favorite quotations was "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested: that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention."

The now famous quote from Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), so famous keyboard "Some books are..." at the Google prompt to find the quote as the first hit. Bacon's 17th century prescience is: Multi-tasking will be a requirement to read some books in the future.

You cannot read Jessica Neuman Beck and Matt Beck's WordPress Second Edition without at least one browser tab open. The problem with any introductory book, there are pages of WordPress usuer manuals on Amazon's website (many introductory), is how basic it should be without losing readers who are already familiar with WordPress but do not know how to, for example, FTP an hour-long audio tape to the web site, which the Becks assume I know how to do.

WordPress is the answer to 20th Century New Yorker critic A.J. Liebling's remark: "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." Now, thanks to Word Press I own one blogging on the problems of housing disabled and elderly low-income individuals. To own one's press one must have knowledge of available tools. Fortunately, Kathy Forer, a New York-area-based computer professional (with excellent design experience), said, "Joel, you need WordPress."

I had never heard of it. Last month, to understand my site better, I had the good fortune to have this book recommended by Penn State's Engineering Library, headed by the ever-helpful Thomas Conkling.Not everyone has excellent resources available. WordPresss Second Edition is certainly a good start.
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WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition)
WordPress: Visual QuickStart Guide (2nd Edition) by Jessica Neuman Beck (Paperback - October 21, 2011)
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