- Series: Missing Manual
- 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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WordPress: The Missing Manual 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.
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Top customer reviews
- 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.