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WordPress Web Design For Dummies 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470935033
ISBN-10: 0470935030
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Express yourself with WordPress! Create a custom site with e-commerce, social media, and more

WordPress has grown up! No longer just a blogging tool, it has secret powers that enable you to include features like photo and video galleries, portfolios, directories and contact forms, client testimonials, integration with Facebook and Twitter, and a whole lot more in your Web site. The secret is out — read on and learn what you can do!

  • A solid foundation — understand what a content management system is, how a blog differs from a Web site, and what you need from a Web host

  • The right tool for the job — learn about FTP, types of editors, graphics programs, fonts and colors, and image libraries

  • Choose your theme — discover the anatomy of a WordPress theme and how to use template tags to display different content

  • It's all yours — create a unique, customized site using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and HTML

  • Pick plugins — use plugins to add galleries, social communities, and forums to your site

Open the book and find:

  • Why WordPress is perfect for e-commerce sites

  • Steps for installing WordPress on your Web server

  • How plain text editors differ from WYSIWYG editors

  • Hints for creating dynamite design

  • What you can do with widgets

  • Examples of content types and formats

  • Tips for using WordPress as a content management system

  • How template tags work

Learn to:

  • Create custom, feature-rich, dynamic Web sites using WordPress

  • Customize your design using CSS, HTML, and PHP

  • Develop company sites, online magazines, and e-commerce Web sites

About the Author

Lisa Sabin-Wilson is founder and Creative Director of E.Webscapes Design Studio. Lisa is a frequent public speaker at events like SXSW Interactive, Blog World Expo, and various WordCamps on the topics of WordPress, design, and social media. She's been designing Web sites with WordPress since 2003.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (June 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470935030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470935033
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Benjamin Starr on February 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me preface this review by stating that I have worked in web-based tech support for 11 years, I have been coding HTML since I was a teenager, and I have maintained an extensive personal website since 1998.

I am absolutely dumbfounded that some editor allowed this book through to the printer. This book should ONLY be considered reference material for someone who already knows ALL the material in the book. I have been working with WordPress in its simple blog format for several years, I've read several books on WordPress basics, and after reading this book all the way through 3 times cover-to-cover, I still can't interpret 90% of the content.

The book is altogether lacking in EXAMPLES. The author THINKS she is providing examples, and perhaps in her advanced mind, she is. For for a "DUMMIE" reading this book, her examples completely fail on most levels.

FOR EXAMPLE...In Chapter 12 (to which I randomly opened...every page of this book is completely lacking in practical examples), page 207 she says "WordPress lets you create categories and assign posts to a specific category (or multiple categories)... The /<?php wp_list_categories(); ?>/ template tag lets you display a list of your categories by using the available parameters and values. (Table 12-4 shows some of the most popular parameters)." She follows the table with "a couple of examples of tags used to display a list of your categories" and lists some specific lines of php code.

HOWEVER...nowhere in the entire chapter does she indicate WHICH FILE this code should be placed within...nor WHERE in the file the code should be placed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say that this book does have lots of good information. It is designed for people who already have some familiarity with Wordpress, and I have found that this book does give a good framework of how Wordpress works and how to modify and create themes. It does give a good framework to allow someone to move on and either learn more about programming Wordpress or to do some simple mods to improve a theme. It is well written and not too technical but also not too simple.

I would have given it 5 stars except for there is a slight credibility issue. She does give a lot of good links to get free utilities and find resources. She also gives links to programs in which she recommends that do require payment to use. My issue with this is, the link that is given is not straight to the program but through a link on her own website, and she then gets a kickback for being an affiliate. If she had mentioned that this what she was doing that would have been marginally better, but to not mention it, and receive an additional benefit seems sleazy to me and therefore makes you wonder how credible the link. Is this really the best tool or one that she recommends because she benefits from the link? The savvy user should just do a quick google search and come up with the link and evaluate whether it really is a tool that you need to use.

Worth getting and a useful book.


Update: I appreciate the author responding, I still feel that it would have been appropriate to disclose the reason for the redirection and to disclose that the author is getting compensation for some of the plugins that she is recommending. Since the book is an educational book, disclosure would have been best, so I still stand by my concerns, if it had been a self promotion advertisement than I could see not mentioning that fact. I added a star because of the disclosure from the author. I still recommend the book and did in my initial review.
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Format: Paperback
I thought I'd done my homework before purchasing both WordPress Web Design for Dummies AND WordPress for Dummies. These are the first Dummies book I've bought, as we know, dummies don't buy books. They seemed like the best resources for learning how to build an original, professional looking CMS (content management system) website. And maybe they are. Maybe the problem is that you actually can't design and build a professional Wordpress website (not to be confused with the usual blog) unless you want to be a professional developer who knows how to code.

I read both books, cover-to-cover, as well as spending a lot of time exploring premium theme options online. I also looked at hundreds of websites made with WordPress, including the ones mentioned in Ms. Sabin-Wilson's books. In the end, I concluded that WordPress, beyond the blog, is much, much more complicated than most people can handle. This doesn't mean I have given up on my own project. I have invested too much time to abandon it now. This said, I don't feel the books are worth the time and money I've invested in them.

Sabin-Wilson takes so long to get to the point that whatever point she's trying to make gets lost in all the repetitive verbiage. This makes a ponderous subject even more ponderous. I give the book three stars because it is packed with information the author genuinely wants to impart. Unfortunately, it's not the kind of step-by-step tutorial the novice requires.

The book tries to simplify something that can't be simplified because it's not simple. It's complex. To get what you want, a polished, non-template looking website, you have to learn how to write and edit code. That's what I learned hundreds of hours later.

WordPress Web Design is most assuredly not for the novice. Even after taking in everything Sabin-Wilson has to share, you will be sorely tempted to call on her company to help you out. Maybe she can offer a coupon code in her next book for new clients.
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