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WordPress 3 Cookbook Paperback – December 14, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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About the Author

Ric Shreves is a web application development consultant and tech author. Based in Bali, Ric is a partner at water&stone, a digital agency specializing in open source CMS web projects. Ric has been building CMS websites for over 10 years, and during that time has been involved in projects for a number of global brands, including BASF, BearingPoint, Colgate-Palmolive, Tesco Lotus, FPDSavills CBRichard Ellis, Mercy Corps and many others. Ric has published a number of books on open source in general and on open source content management systems in particular. The WordPress 3 Cookbook is his fourth book for Packt.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (December 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849514607
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849514606
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,436,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Marco Solazzi on February 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Even if I think of myself as an experienced WordPress developer, I've found many hints on new plugins to check out and some good advices on website development. This sounds great in the messed up sea of WordPress resources.

That said, the book is mainly meant for beginner to intermediate WordPress developers, so expect recipes for the most basic installation and customization tasks as well as insights on SEO optimization and advertising (expecially useful for Marketers and SEO specialists).

Beside that, the book covers most of the scenarios where WordPress get used. For example, I've really enjoyed the chapter about BuddyPress and social community building, and there're many hints on how to enhance the basic functionalities of pages and posts.

Still speaking as an experienced developer I'm disappointed by the choice of the author to suggest plugins even for those little customizations which involve little coding, but I get the author's intention to suit the content for those approaching WordPress for the first time and i think this cookbook may find a prime spot on their desks.
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Format: Paperback
I've never read one of these 'cookbooks' before. My first impression was that this was just a long list of available plugins; something I could get for myself by visiting the WordPress extensions page.

Of course, there is a lot to be said for a list of plugins that are already vetted by an experienced developer. And as I got into it, I found that this book is chock full of good information, and not just about plugins. Most of the 'recipes' describe methods and techniques learned over years by the author(s) and shared with us in this book. You can see a list of 'recipes' in the Table of Contents to determine if they are right for you.

On the downside, I found the mix of simplicity and complexity in this book to be a little bothersome. In spite of a few, shockingly simple 'recipes,' this book is not really for a general audience. At the very least, the reader would have to understand computer file systems, how to use FTP to move files around and some HTML/CSS. (I was glad to see examples that used HTML5 elements, btw.) Be sure to read the front section "What you need for this book."

Many of these recipes require changes to the PHP code, and PACKT Publishing provides the code for you online. You don't have to know PHP; you can just copy and paste. This will work fine as long as there are no typos. An extra quote or missing dot will break a PHP function. In that case, you'll have to know enough to troubleshoot, or get some help, maybe from the author or from one of the many online forums.

It's always best practice to make changes on a 'development' site anyway (not your live site!), and WordPress is so easy to install, I say don't be afraid of the PHP. Dive in! This book is a great reference, with a lot of great tools. It's a good 'cookbook' to have on my shelves.
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Format: Paperback
If you go much deeper into WordPress than simply adding pages, posts, and maybe some images, you will quickly come across areas where you will need a bit more instruction. As you start to customize menus, tailor-fit widgets, and adjust what posts appear in different locations, the standard out-of-the box help screens just don't cut it anymore. This is where a book like Ric Shreve's WordPress 3 Cookbook comes into play.

The WordPress 3 Cookbook, published by Packt Publishing in December of 2012, is not the kind of book you read cover to cover. As the title implies, it contains a series of recipes or tasks that you will go to in order to get something specific accomplished. Those tasks may be as simple as changing some text in the header or footer, or as complex as customizing the internal WordPress look to display posts of only a certain type or combining that with some custom CSS to display your posts in a two column layout.
You will want to at least read through the table of contents and introduction to familiarize yourself with what WP recipes are include, but you probably don't want to try to read the book straight through. If you do that, as I did for this review, you will find yourself increasingly annoyed at the repetition of basic instructions like using the text editor to open the CSS file. While they should be expected in a cookbook of recipes, since you never know where someone will dive in, they get mind numbing if read in a linear fashion. Even then they might have been done better. Every food preparation recipe I read does not include instructions on how to boil water or preheat an oven. You go over that once and make reference back to it. Unfortunately in this Shreve's book the instructions are repeated over and over again with each task.
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