- Series: Missing Manuals
- Paperback: 612 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (July 12, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 144934190X
- ISBN-13: 978-1449341909
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 76 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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WordPress: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Matthew MacDonald is a science and technology writer with well over a dozen books to his name. Web novices can tiptoe out onto the Internet with him in Creating a Website: The Missing Manual. HTML fans can learn about the cutting edge of web design in HTML5: The Missing Manual. And human beings of all description can discover just how strange they really are in the quirky handbooks Your Brain: The Missing Manual and Your Body: The Missing Manual.
Top customer reviews
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- I signed up for a wordpress.com account, then tried to install a theme (a friend had suggested one). I soon discovered that I couldn't, which left me completely confused. A bit of online research revealed that there's wordpress.com and wordpress.org and the two are quite different. A day wasted, and a frustrating waste of time.
- I then went to wordpress.org and discovered an 'easy 5 minute install'. Great, I thought, I'm in the right place. So I started to do it and soon discovered I was out of my depth. Download the zip file, open it, go in and change a line of code, upload various files to your web server using ftp... again, completely bamboozling for someone who was hoping for a 'drag and drop' website creator. I happened then to be on an online forum and saw mention of 'softaculous'. I then went into my web host's cPanel (somewhat nervously) and discovered that you can actually install WordPress with ONE CLICK. Another day wasted.
I share this because it will hopefully give you some sense of my level of experience. Not exactly an experienced developer, but also reasonably comfortable with searching online to find answers.
I also share it because once I decided to actually buy this book, I discovered that the first chapter was about the distinction between wordpress.com and .org, and the second chapter was about how the 'easy 5 minute install' is actually quite difficult, and it's much easier to install it through cPanel using a one-click installer like Softaculous.
In other words, what had taken me two frustrating days to discover, I could have learned in 10 minutes of reading.
Since then I've burned through the book and I am now feeling very confident with the basics of WordPress. I saw some comments on the previous edition saying it focused too much on wordpress.com, but I would have to disagree. If anything, I was oblivious to wordpress.com throughout, and in general he simply says "this is how it works on wordpress.com, but on self-hosted wordpress.org sites, here's how it works". Regardless of the actual specific weighting either way, I found it provided me with all the information I needed to know.
One comment I would have is that there was a plug-in mentioned that I tried to use, only to discover that it was no longer working for the latest version of WordPress (3.9.1 at time of writing). This was One Click Child Themes - so it would probably be worth having a site with the most up-to-date plug-ins. I tried using it and it didn't work, and it took a while to discover that it was only compatible up to WordPress 3.2.1.
Another thing I couldn't see mentioned were tools like the Firebug extension for Firefox, or Chrome's Developer Tools, which reveal the CSS for web pages. Very useful.
But overall this book was exactly what I was looking for, and my only regret was that I didn't buy it earlier. For $9.99 I've gone from a frustrated WordPress noob to a pretty confident WordPress user in under a week - although a fairly focused week - doing pretty much everything I need to do.
If you're looking into WordPress, I'd recommend it. One thing I would say is that WordPress is NOT a basic drag-and-drop system like a Squarespace or Virb. (I've built sites with Squarespace and it's much easier for the everyday person). It helps a lot if you have some familiarity with html or css in particular, which is something I hadn't expected. It also comes with its own security issues, and you do need some familiarity with ftp and your web host. So while it's achievable, I wouldn't call it lay-down easy. I ended up buying Web Hosting for Dummies just to get my head around some of that stuff, and in combination the two books have been exactly what I needed.
"WordPress: The Missing Manual" lacks in entertainment value, it more than compensates fro in usefulness. And let me say this - if you are about to enter the world of WordPress, this is probably the best of the instructional references on the subject. I have spent hours in a Barnes and Noble brick & mortar store poring through other WordPress books and this is the most complete and up to date book I could find. There are other more advanced WordPress books - some that delve more deeply into niches (such as blogger or website specific or business and marketing specific). But this covers a WHOLE LOT of ground and you can be a total newbie and/or a reasonably advanced user and still find this a useful reference to keep handy in your library or by the computer workstation.
As with all the other "Missing Manual" series books, there is a "Missing CD" website where you can find links to toehr resources and files referred to in the book as well as updates to the content.
Even at almost 600 pages, it can't cover everything, but MacDonald provides plenty of links to more info on the web (including the "missing CD" with links organized by chapter).
One area the book ignores is the idea of setting up a local development environment on your own computer, rather than on a live, publicly-viewable site. While it's fine not to tackle that in detail in a beginner-friendly book, some basic guidance for readers and some links would have been a good idea.
I've read the book from start to finish, and am combining it with an online video training course. In sum, a very well-written, well-organized learning tool, to take you from newbie up to at least an intermediate level.