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Showing 1-10 of 27 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 34 reviews
on February 13, 2012
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. Both of which are critical, indispensable bits of information, without which her exhaustive coverage of Template Tags in this chapter and the following ones is useless. php is a finicky thing. It does not like experiments or approximations. Only someone already highly experience in php would be able to divine her intentions for where this code should be applied.

The information in this book is presented in a reckless, haphazard way that is not remotely practical.

This book is missing CRITICAL and APPLICABLE examples on virtually every page.

FOR EXAMPLE...in the example above, Ms. Sabin-Wilson should provide a real-world example at the end of this section. "If you would like a page on your site to display ONLY posts tagged to the category RECIPES, first create a document in your text editor titled category-recipes.php, and copy and paste the information from the existing category.php file. Insert the following code /code/ into the category-recipes.php file below the /</head>/ line, and change the following entries..." etc.

Finally, this book is missing a step-by-step walk-through of how to build a sample site. "Our site is going to have a static landing page with 3 columns, a static ABOUT US page with 2 columns, a static CONTACT page with a single column, a BLOG page listing all posts tagged to the category BLOG, and a MUSIC page listing only custom posts. And here is how we're going to build it, each step of the way."

By the end of your journey through this book, you'll be infinitely more befuddled that you were when you began, and you'll be ready to hire Ms. Sabin-Wilson to build your site for you. But perhaps that was her intention all along?

This book lacks clarity, simplicity, and most of all...EXAMPLES. Do not buy this book if you do not already have a firm understanding of php, css, and have not already built several website using WordPress that required you to reach into the code beyond the available widgets and themes. This is a reference book. It is not a how-to book. And it is MOST CERTAINLY NOT for "Dummies."
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on April 15, 2012
Two shelves in my studio are lined with "for Dummies" books (plus I don't know how many in my storage shed). One thing I have always loved is that you can open any for dummies book, knowing nothing about the subject or software, and learn what you need to know in order to do what the title indicates. NOT SO WITH THIS BOOK!

After reading front and back covers, Author's Acknowledgments, About the Author, Publisher's Acknowledgments, Contents at a Glance, and Table of Contents, I believed that this book would give me the knowledge I needed to build my website using WordPress (which I was also brand new to) so I purchased this book. I was very shocked to find a subsection around the 20th physical page titled "FOOLISH ASSUMPTIONS". In that section, Lisa Sabin-Wilson reveals that this book will not be of use to me unless I already understand the innermost workings of WordPress. It goes on to tell me that if I don't already understand WordPress, I should first purchase and study another book authored by her in the for dummies series.

That information made the entire purpose of buying this book worthless. After all, if I already understood WordPress I wouldn't need THIS book. Based on all of my other for dummies books, I consider the title and covers of this book to be a gross misrepresentation of the actual contents. I wouldn't mind so much if the cover revealed that this is a book for techs who already know and understand WordPress, but it doesn't. This is definitely not a book that should be in the "for Dummies" series. I would never buy another book either written or co-written by Lisa Sabin-Wilson under the guise of it being for dummies (ie: people who do not already have an understanding of the topic). I will also seriously look deeper into the actual contents of any other "for Dummies" book before buying in the future just in case they are now starting to sell you one book only to tell you that you need to purchase another one in order to understand it.
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on February 6, 2013
I saw Lisa Sabin-Wilson give a short presentation at WordCamp Philly. She seemed like a natural as a teacher. She also seemed to enjoy talking about WordPress and helping to make this wonderful platform more approachable.

I'm a graphic designer. I've made a living in print and digital media for many years. WordPress is a fantastic web building tool and the first technology that seems to work well for designers and developers as well as more casual users. It also has a growing and infinitely supportive community. Lisa's book helps to pull much of this together in short order.

However, like any book attempting to give detailed explanation about digital tools, it can only do so much. In some spots, I had wished for more specific examples. When I got into tight spots, I simply cross referenced her notes with those in the WordPress Codex, and I was able to get a more thorough understanding. The other thing to be aware of is that Wordpress is constantly being updated and improved. So, using this book as a jumping off point in association with support from elsewhere in the community works best. Essentially, I've learned tons just from reading though it as a tour and found it very helpful with the actual tasks when coupled with additional texts.

The nice thing about the book is that it corrals many of the key learning points of WP and moves you in the right direction.
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on March 1, 2013
While elsewhere marketed as the bible for WP users,THiS BOOK IS NOT for SERVICE HOSTED WP sites. It is ONLY for SELF-HOSTED WordPress sites. For me, it was a waste of money as I have a services hosted site. I would urge anyone looking for a book on such subjects to take advantage of the QuickLook feature at Amazon to read the first few pages of the material they are considering. This book, on page 2, said that it was NOT for service hosted sites. I missed that information and wasted $24. DON'T RUSH TO BUY like I did, do your homework, folks!
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on October 11, 2014
All of Lisa Sabin-Wilson's WordPress Dummies books are excellent and will help beginners understand some aspects of the WordPress experience. Few WP newbies will ever need to know about web design, but this book can help you to understand what's going on beneath the surface of your WordPress site.
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on April 16, 2016
The book does clarify and explain this platform well. The issue is, WP is on the way out, going the way of the dinosauers.
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on July 12, 2015
This book is outdated although the information is interesting and gives some idea of how things work. WordPress is evolving constantly so a book is difficult to learn from.
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on November 25, 2012
I'm sure it is probably a good book but totally useless for me! The "Dummies" she wrote it for are a lot smarter than me!
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on October 12, 2015
It's not at all what I expected. Too many things are shown in code and I just want to be able to add things without a big deal.
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on June 20, 2013
The use of the word dummies as a brand name suggests the books will be a good starter for those wanting a simple explanation of the content subject matter. This book is not that and quickly launches into ccs and html. I need a book that gives me a simple non-programming entry into Wordpress.
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