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Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog 3rd Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1119942719
ISBN-10: 1119942713
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


WordPress guru Thord Daniel Hedengren takes you beyond the blog to give you the tools and know-how needed to build just about anything in WordPress. You'll discover how to use WordPress as a CMS to power full-fledged websites, photo galleries, forums, eCommerce sites, and much more. You get step-by-step instructions on developing model sites from the ground up and for developing plugins that let you take WordPress to the next level.


  • Use custom post types and custom taxonomies
  • Add and work with the new custom features
  • Build gorgeous WordPress themes
  • Create custom login forms and admin themes
  • Control content with the loop (and alternatives to the loop)
  • Integrate theme options
  • Develop powerful plugins-including widget functionality-from scratch
  • Build WordPress projects for SEO
  • Integrate WordPress with the social web
  • Create helpful navigation
  • Use conditional control elements

Updated to reflect the latest changes to WordPress 3.3 and featuring stunning new examples of some of the most innovative WordPress sites on the web. Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, 3rd Edition is the ultimate guide to pushing WordPress to the limit.

About the Author

Thord Daniel Hedengren is a professional web designer and developer who has created numerous WordPress themes, developed plugins, and put WordPress to good use powering both blogs and big editorial sites. He is a contributor to Web Designer UK, Smashing Magazine, the former editor of Blog Herald, Devlounge, and Wisdump, and the author of Smashing WordPress Themes and Tackling Tumblr.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 3 edition (April 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1119942713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1119942719
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,180,282 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Sylvester on August 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book in hopes it would be better than the last edition in terms of errors and omissions. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Errors in grammar & punctuation are one thing (and there are many of those) but massive errors in the code snippets, errors in images that are supposed to show the output of the code presented, and other such technical problems are unforgivable. Having to look up the code in the samples (if you download them) is a time waster. I should be able to sit under a tree while reading this book and at least read correct information.

Put simply, this book was not editied by any stretch of the imagination. There are errors that have made it through all 3 editions. John Wiley & Sons is well known for poor editing in technical books and this one is no exception. I would NOT recommend this book to anyone until the plethora of technical errors and omissions are corrected.

I'm thankful I'm not a complete novice with Wordpress (or PHP) otherwise the code errors, phantom code insertions, and discussions of code that are missing or wrong was easy to spot. A less experienced coder or Wordpress hack might get very confused and definitely frustrated with this book. Find a different book!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The longer I work on this, the more infuriating it gets. There are so many mistakes and examples in the book that differ drastically from the code examples downloaded from the companion site starting with page 77 in chapter 4, which says the style.css file begins with this:

Theme Name: Simple Blog
Theme URI: [...]
Author: Thord Daniel Hedengren
Description: A simple light weight blog theme.
Version: 1.0
License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
License URI: license.txt

but the actual file (which can be viewed at [...]) contains nothing of the sort! (You can check this yourself by looking at the book & code examples, in the CH04/html folder)

Functions in chapter 4 don't work AT ALL as a stand-alone file, and will only display an error message if added to the existing functions.php file. Still attempting to work through the book, but the organization of this thing is borderline incoherent, and growing worse by the page.

Because the template structure of Wordpress themes is so complex, confusing books like this one only makes it that much more difficult to sort through the syntactical structure of WordPress. There is a LOT of money to be had for anyone who can provide an organized and well-written beginners approach to this subject.

I don't understand how anyone could recommend this book, much less give it 5 starts. I'm thinking the publisher has something to do with this.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Thord Daniel Hendengren has released the third update for the excellent book Smashing Wordpres: Beyond the Blog. The five part and 14 chapter book is a bible for anyone wishing to work with Wordpress as a platform. This is my third Wordpress book review but I found myself coming back to the first two editions so I was anxious to review the third which is 350 pages.

Thord presumes a basic understanding of HTML, CSS and PHP. He starts the book with understanding a performing installs in the first section moving on to designing themes. Most people often look for free themes to begin and go from there. I was happy to see an entire section around plugins in section three before he covers some additional features and functions in the final section. I should mention there is also an appendix where he lists some plugins and themes to help you get started.

Even with all the Wordpress sites I have installed and currently run (like this one ) there are always tips. Such things as configuring the server to use an external MySQL database are covered right away. I also learned how to adjust the default autosave and revision history amounts. An awesome tip for everyone.

Chapter two digs right into the core of Wordpress including template files, themes and template tags (not t be confused with tags in posts describing content). Once you get a crash course on how those work he takes you right into the loop.

If you are going to do more than just apply a free template them knowing how PHP queries aka the loop work is a key to doing cool stuff. For example almost every theme has a loop that shows the latest blog posts. Without this code you would have static pages instead of ones showing the most recent updates.
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Format: Paperback
As other comments have noted, this book has many, many errors in the code and that should be enough to warn anyone off of this book. If it isn't, I'd like to add that the author has apparently never taught anyone anything in their life. He hops from subject to subject, throwing in some fairly advanced ideas, then drops them., leaving the reader confused and baffled by the leap from fundamental instruction to advanced, then back to an intermediate level, etc, etc etc.
I can honestly say I've never seen a manual so badly in need of an editor. At the very least, someone should have held given this guy a few lessons on chapter structure and the time tested process of clear explanations that build upon one another. This book's a ridiculous mish-mash of half formed ideas run rampant. It is, without a doubt, one of the worst instruction manuals I've ever had the deep displeasure of trying to read. Avoid this book like the plague. And if the author's reading this, please, please, please, don't even think about trying to write another "guide" without getting some basic fundamentals on how to teach first.
A ham handed, poorly conceived, horrifically written, error-riddled mess.
Thankfully, all it cost me was a trip to the library, because paying for this joke of a book would have been deeply annoying.
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